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  4. FACT SHEET: President Biden’s Presidential Proclamation and Joint DHS-DOJ Interim Final Rule Cut Encounters at Southwest Border by Over 40 Percent in First Three Weeks

FACT SHEET: President Biden’s Presidential Proclamation and Joint DHS-DOJ Interim Final Rule Cut Encounters at Southwest Border by Over 40 Percent in First Three Weeks

Release Date: June 25, 2024

The Presidential Proclamation issued by President Biden to temporarily suspend the entry of certain noncitizens across the Southern border and the complementary joint interim final rule (IFR) issued by DHS and DOJ have now been in effect for three weeks, resulting in a significant reduction in the number of encounters at our Southwest Border. Under the IFR, asylum eligibility is generally limited for those who cross the southern border unlawfully or without authorization during times of high encounters. While it is still early, the Border Patrol’s 7-day encounter average has decreased more than 40 percent to under 2,400 encounters per day.

These executive actions are no substitute for Congressional action. Twice now, Congress has failed to pass the bipartisan border security agreement negotiated in the U.S. Senate, which would have provided the critical personnel and funding needed to further secure our Southern border. The agreement would have added 1,500 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agents and Officers, added 1,200 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel, invested in technology to catch illegal fentanyl, and delivered sweeping reforms to the asylum system. Congress must still act.

Enhanced Enforcement and Consequences

Noncitizens who are subject to the rule’s limitation on asylum eligibility and who do not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States are being promptly removed. Those removed are subject to at least a five-year bar to reentry and potential criminal prosecution.

DHS personnel at CBP, ICE, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have quickly operationalized and implemented the Proclamation and IFR over the past three weeks, with notable impacts including:

  • Average daily encounters by Border Patrol at the Southwest Border are below 2,400 per day, the lowest level of encounters since January 17, 2021, but still above the level that would lift the suspension under the Proclamation and IFR.  
  • DHS has removed and returned more than 24,000 individuals to more than 20 countries, including by operating more than 100 international repatriation flights.
  • DHS has doubled the percentage of noncitizens removed or returned directly from Border Patrol custody.
  • DHS has doubled the share of encounters processed through Expedited Removal while in USBP or ICE custody. Expedited Removal processing was already at record levels prior to the Declaration.
  • DHS has decreased the number of people released pending their removal proceedings by over 65 percent.
  • We continue to implement recently announced measures to increase the overall capacity of enforcement resources — including repatriation flights and detention capacity. ICE is optimizing air charter contracts to ensure the maximum amount of repatriation flights can be effectuated weekly. Over the past year, ICE averaged 29 repatriation flights per week. Record numbers of flights have been enabled by continued diplomatic efforts to significantly expand the number of countries to which ICE is able to regularly remove individuals.
  • Over the last year, the agency has conducted removal flights to a range of South American and Eastern Hemisphere countries, including Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Egypt, Mauritania, Senegal, Uzbekistan, and India. Efforts to expand the number of removal flights continue with the expectation of additional flights added to the schedule in the coming weeks.
  • ICE ERO is adjusting existing detention facility contracts to expand the number of beds in its detention network.

Public Safety

The Presidential Proclamation and IFR have enhanced DHS’s capacity for enforcement against individuals who pose a public safety or national security threat, such as gang members attempting to enter the country unlawfully or without authorization, because the IFR renders those individuals ineligible for asylum and enables their quick removal. With the 1,500 Border Patrol Agents and CBP Officers that the bipartisan border security agreement would add, DHS would be able to enhance enforcement even further.

  • DHS has returned more Border Patrol agents to the field to undertake front line border security operations, enhancing DHS efforts to interdict individuals who pose a threat to public safety.
  • These efforts continue to expand and maximize DHS enforcement against individuals who pose a threat to our communities, including the announcement on May 9 of a Proposed Rule to apply statutory bars to asylum for individuals who pose a public safety concern earlier in the process, during the credible fear screening.
  • To identify individuals of concern, DHS uses a range of resources and information, including information shared by partners worldwide, to inform screening and vetting and to target such individuals attempting to come to United States. DHS works tirelessly to expand access to additional foreign records systems through new international agreements.
  • Along with law enforcement partners worldwide, DHS is constantly monitoring new and emerging threats, including the threat posed by criminal organizations that could present a concern to public safety. The Department conducts thorough screening and vetting for any individual that we encounter on the southern border who could be affiliated with these organizations.
  • For example, DHS has implemented enhanced screening measures at the border to identify known or suspected gang members, including members of the Venezuelan gang Tren de Aragua. Individuals confirmed to be gang members are required to be referred for criminal prosecution or placed into Expedited Removal and detained.

How it Works

The Presidential Proclamation suspends the entry of noncitizens across the southern U.S. border, which includes the Southwest land and the southern coastal borders, with certain exceptions. The rule, issued consistent with the Proclamation, restricts asylum eligibility for those who cross the southern U.S. border unlawfully or without authorization. That means that noncitizens who have crossed unlawfully or without authorization since June 5, 2024, are considered ineligible for asylum, with certain exceptions.

Individuals in Mexico may continue to use the CBP One mobile app’s appointment scheduling function. Currently, CBP makes 1,450 appointments available per day at eight land ports of entry via this functionality. Use of the app requires those seeking an appointment to submit vital information in advance, improving DHS’s ability to conduct screening and vetting.

Building on Significant Actions to Enforce our Laws and Expand Access to Lawful Pathways and Processes

  • A majority of all southwest border encounters during the past three fiscal years resulted in a removal, return, or expulsion. DHS removed or returned over 740,000 individuals in the 12 months after the end of the Title 42 public health Order, more than any year since 2010. This has included more removals to countries other than Mexico than in any prior year ever.
  • DHS has significantly expanded its capacity to conduct credible fear interviews. Since May 12, 2023, DHS has conducted more than 152,000 credible fear interviews. The Proclamation and IFR follow a series of steps that the Administration has taken over the past three years as it prepared for the end of the Title 42 public health Order, and after it was lifted last year, including surging personnel, infrastructure, and technology to the border, issuing the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways Rule, and referring record numbers of noncitizens into expedited removal.

For additional information on the actions taken over the past three years, see our fact sheet at the link below:

This Administration has also carried out the largest expansion of lawful pathways and orderly processes in decades. The Presidential Proclamation and corresponding rule are already enabling DHS to quickly remove those without a lawful basis to remain, strengthening enforcement and freeing up the asylum system for those with legitimate claims.

  • Through the CHNV processes, nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela who have a supporter and who clear background checks, may receive advanced travel authorization to travel to the United States lawfully, without going through dangerous and costly irregular migration routes. Through the end of May, more than 462,100 CHNV nationals have arrived lawfully through the process.
  • Through the Safe Mobility initiative, U.S. government and international non-governmental organizations are working with several countries to establish centers where individuals can find information and screening for potential access to processes, including the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, and information on other pathways and orderly processes to the United States as well as other countries, such as Canada and Spain. More than 10,000 refugees have arrived in the United States through this initiative thus far.

Still, it is important to underscore that these actions cannot achieve the same results as Congressional action. DHS needs additional personnel and funding in order to quickly impose consequences on all noncitizens who cross irregularly and do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States.

Last Updated: 06/26/2024
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