Senate Democrats warn Biden against detaining migrant families

Border Patrol, Rio Grande Valley, Texas, Feb. 9, 2016
Rio Grande City, Texas, USA – February 9, 2016: A Border Patrol agent takes a Mexican man and woman into custody for illegally entering the U.S. by crossing the Rio Grande River in the Rio Grande Valley in far south Texas. A continuous game of cat and mouse plays out along the river twenty four hours a day. vichinterlang/Getty Images

Senate Democrats warn Biden against detaining migrant families

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Top Democrats urged the Biden administration against restarting a controversial program detaining families who cross the southern border illegally.

“I urge you to learn from the mistakes of your predecessors and abandon any plans to implement this failed policy,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and 17 others said in a letter sent to the White House, according to the Los Angeles Times. The senators also called family detention an “ineffective and impractical” immigration tool.


President Joe Biden ended family detentions during his first few months in office, vowing a more humane approach. In recent months, the administration has been under pressure to act and manage the record number of immigrants flocking to the southern border.

The Biden administration has faced bipartisan criticism over its border policies as it struggles to respond to a record 2.2 million arrests of immigrants caught crossing the border illegally in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30. The White House has attempted to show a willingness to crack down on illegal immigration.

Immigration has already been a point of division among Democrats. A group of more than 70 Democrats in the House and Senate sent Biden a letter in January. The letter urged him to reconsider policies restricting asylum access for immigrants crossing the southern border, after the Biden administration announced it would limit asylum claims at the southern border and expand its use of Title 42, a pandemic-era policy initially put in place by the Trump administration that enabled officials to turn away asylum-seekers in the name of public health.


Democrats also slammed Biden’s new proposed change to asylum rules that could penalize those who cross the border illegally without first asking for protection in a country they traveled through on their way to the United States, which was unveiled in mid-February. The new rules are expected to restrict access to the asylum process and could lead to more deportations for some seeking protection in the U.S. but are undergoing a comment period.

The U.S. and Canada struck a deal last week that would allow both countries to turn away asylum-seekers who cross the northern border illegally.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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