Regulations that were in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic are about to expire, and the President Joe Biden administration announced a rule to take its place.

The rule affects who is allowed to claim asylum when at the southern border. It comes as an answer for intense scrutiny from Republicans about the flood of people attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border during 2022, and Biden is attempting to take a harder stance on immigration. But this rule has now drawn criticism from the other side with Democrats and immigration allies calling it a “mash” of two of the worst aspects of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policy.

What is Biden’s new immigration, asylum rule?

The announcement came on Tuesday and goes into effect Thursday, and “will generally deny asylum to migrants who show up at the southern border without first seeking protection in a country they passed through,” the Associated Press reported.

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It will be in place for two years and the administration says it’s a temporary measure. It will not apply to minors who are unaccompanied.

“These temporary measures are being taken out of necessity,” an administration official told CNN.

Title 42 was put in place at the beginning of the pandemic and was originally implemented as a way to minimize disease spread. According to AP News, the administration expects the possibility of 13,000 migrants attempting to cross the southern border per day once it ends.

According to government records, around 200,000 people attempt to enter the U.S. each month without documents, per BBC.

The rule comes in response to the program launched in January that would let in up to 30,000 migrants per month from Nicaragua, Haiti, Cuba and Venezuela — the countries’ large numbers of migrants have been trying to find asylum in the U.S. from war, poverty and oppression.

Democrats, immigration advocates oppose Biden asylum rule

Many Democratic lawmakers and immigration advocate groups oppose the rule.

“This rule reaches into the dustbin of history to resurrect one of the most harmful and illegal anti-asylum policies of the Trump administration,” Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, said in a statement, per CNN.

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The American Civil Liberties Union challenged immigration law during Trump’s tenure and the sweeping asylum restriction was ultimately denied in federal court.

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“We will sue if this administration goes through with its proposed asylum ban, just as we successfully sued over the Trump asylum bans,” ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said in a statement, per ABC News.

Earlier this week, Biden traveled to Ukraine and Poland to express U.S. support for Ukraine’s defense against Russian invasion. During a speech in Poland, Biden praised the country for welcoming 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees since the war started saying, “God bless you. Poland’s generosity — your willingness to open your homes — is extraordinary.”

Immigration advocates back home took issue with the speech, which came hours before the new rule denying asylum seekers physically at the border was announced.

One senior Democratic aid called it a “real contradiction,” telling CNN, “You see the president really highlighting how many refugees Poland has taken. And then on the same day, there’s a rollout to very actively reduce the number of people who can even access our asylum system.”

President Biden visited the southern border amid increase in migrants entering the country
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