The Department of Homeland Security will begin phase one of the Biden administration’s new approach to immigration and asylum seekers on Friday by releasing thousands of migrants in three American cities over a two-week period.
The new plan, in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s “Remain In Mexico” policy, will have DHS start releasing illegal aliens in San Diego, California; El Paso, Texas; and Brownsville, Texas, according to Breitbart and the Associated Press. Around 25,000 migrants will be let into the country through the first phase.
DHS plans to process and release about 300 migrants a day in both San Diego and El Paso, with plans to release about 100 migrants a day in Brownsville.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Friday, when the new plan was announced, they hope to have an online system to have illegal aliens apply for asylum virtually so they do not need to present themselves at the ports of entry on the southwest border.
“As President Biden has made clear, the U.S. government is committed to rebuilding a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system,” Mayorkas said in a statement. “This latest action is another step in our commitment to reform immigration policies that do not align with our nation’s values. Especially at the border, however, where capacity constraints remain serious, changes will take time. Individuals who are not eligible under this initial phase should wait for further instructions and not travel to the border. Due to the current pandemic, restrictions at the border remain in place and will be enforced.”
Whether all of the aliens will be tested for COVID-19 remains to be seen. As Breitbart reported, DHS internal communications had no mention of testing, but AP reported Liz Lizamama, a spokeswoman for International Organization for Migration, said the organization will help with testing people before they enter the United States.
Illegal aliens have already been released in the United States under the reinstated “catch and release” policy in some areas of Texas. Those illegal aliens have not undergone testing for COVID-19.