Biden must prevent asylum for migrants at the US-Mexico border

Biden must prevent asylum for migrants at the US-Mexico border

The move in an election year is likely to spark legal challenges from immigrant and civil rights groups that criticize Biden, a Democrat, for adopting hard-line policies similar to those of his Republican predecessor, former President Donald Trump.

Biden is toughening his approach to border security as immigration emerges as a major issue for voting-age Americans in the run-up to the November 5 election, where he will face Trump in a rematch in 2020.

Biden took office in 2021, promising to reverse some of Trump's restrictive policies, but faced record levels of migrants being caught crossing illegally. Trump criticized Biden for reversing his policies and promised a widespread crackdown if re-elected.

The new US restrictions mirror a Biden-backed Senate bill that aims to prevent migrants from seeking asylum if the number of migrants caught crossing illegally reaches a certain level. The bill was drafted by a bipartisan group of senators, but Republicans rejected it after Trump spoke out against it.

The number of migrants caught illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has declined in recent months, a trend that U.S. authorities attribute in part to increased enforcement of Mexican laws.

Claudia Sheinbaum was elected as Mexico's first female president after a landslide victory on Sunday, and will take office on October 1. Biden's border restrictions could put pressure on Sheinbaum, the successor to current President Andres Manuel López Obrador, to keep illegal border crossings low.

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