The Biden administration is reportedly considering the revival of family detention for illegal migrants at the southern border, and some Democrats are not happy about it.
Senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, spoke out against the potential move, saying that if President Biden goes down this path, he will become the “Asylum Denier-in-Chief.”
Family detention was a controversial policy under the Obama and Trump administrations, and the Biden administration ended it in its first two years.
However, reports indicate that the policy is now back on the table as the administration looks for ways to cut down on the number of immigrants attempting to illegally enter the US.
While the White House has yet to confirm whether family detention will be revived, some officials have suggested that it is being considered as an option. Menendez, however, believes that it would be a step in the wrong direction.
In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Menendez called for a “comprehensive plan to deal with the border” that would allow officers to more efficiently process “legitimate” claims for asylum. He argued that family detention has been proven to be a failure under both the Obama and Trump administrations as a way to deter individuals from coming.
Menendez’s comments highlight the tension within the Democratic party over immigration policy. While some Democrats are pushing for a more compassionate approach to immigration, others are concerned about the political fallout of a perceived lenient approach.
The Biden administration has promised to take a different approach to immigration than its predecessors, with a focus on expanding legal pathways for asylum seekers and addressing root causes of migration. However, the surge of migrants at the southern border has put the administration under pressure to act quickly.
As the administration considers its options, Republicans are seizing on the issue to criticize the president’s handling of the border crisis. They argue that the surge of migrants is a direct result of Biden’s decision to reverse many of Trump’s immigration policies, including the construction of a border wall and the Remain in Mexico program.
While it remains to be seen whether family detention will be revived, the debate over immigration policy is likely to continue. As the border crisis continues to be a hot-button issue, both Democrats and Republicans will be looking for ways to score political points while addressing the humanitarian crisis at the southern border.