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HomeNewsBiden's reverse card? After UK's Sunak, now US mulls detaining migrant families

Biden’s reverse card? After UK’s Sunak, now US mulls detaining migrant families

The Joe Biden led government in United States is mulling detaining immigrant families, who cross over from the side of Mexico, in a bid to curb illegal immigration in the country, an Associated Press report has stated. This comes as a complete reverse card for the Democrat government in US, a seemingly fall back upon previous President Donald Trump’s immigration (often deemed xenophobic) policies. 

The news of Biden administration trying to curb immigrants seeking asylum in US from the side of Latin America comes at a time when United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak aims to legally validate his ‘stop the boat’ campaign. UK’s Sunak aims to stop ‘illegal immigrants’ coming to seek asylum in UK on boats through the English Channel. 

The Biden administration’s roll back on the otherwise liberal stance on immigrants in US also seems to have been timed with the upcoming US Presidential Elections in 2024. 

A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll has shown that Joe Biden’s public approval rating edged up to 42%, its highest level since June, as inflation has eased in the United States and job growth has stayed strong. 

Biden’s popularity had suffered since the first days of his presidency in early 2021, declining almost steadily until the May-July period of last year, when it touched as low as 36%.

The small upswing in his popularity comes as the pace of consumer price increases has slowed to 6.4% in the 12 months through January, from 9.1% in June.

While this clearly indicates general favour of the Democratic party in the general consensus, at a time when Donald trump also filed nomination to fight the 2024 elections, the ‘return to Trump-era border policies’ by Biden could just earn the government some brownie points ahead of the election. 

US is looking to ease the Covid pandemic time stringent policies on the border end with Latin America. This is also predicted to open the floodgates for immense immigrant influx into US. 

The AP report stated that Department of Homeland Security officials are working through how to manage an expected increase of migrants at the border once the pandemic restrictions that have been in place since 2020 are lifted in May.

Under current policy, families who arrive at the US-Mexico border are released into the US and instructed to appear in immigration court at a later date. During the height of the pandemic, few families were held in custody, and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are now using those facilities to hold single adults who cross the border illegally, according to AP. 

The report notes that illegal border crossings plummeted after Biden announced on 5 January that Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans would be returned to Mexico if they crossed illegally.

(With inputs from AP)

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