President Joe Biden is considering reinstating controversial immigration restrictions that detain migrant families who try to cross the border without documents, according to administration officials.

Biden promised during his campaign to take a “more compassionate approach to the border” following policies during former President Donald Trump’s administration that some deemed harsh, according to The New York Times. Biden shut down the detention policies shortly after taking office.

During his tenure so far, families who were caught crossing the border were released with ankle bracelets and cellphones that can be traced and equipped with other tracking methods, rather than detaining them in a makeshift migrant prison, The Times reported.

What is Title 42?

Title 42 ends soon — a policy that turned away people who crossed the border undocumented during the COVID-19 pandemic as a health precaution. And the White House and the Department of Homeland Security are scrambling on how to approach immigration issues once Title 42 comes to an end on May 11.

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According to NBC News, more than 2.3 million people have been turned away from the border since it was invoked by the Trump administration in 2020.

“No decisions have been made as we prepare for the Title 42 Public Health Order to lift,” a Homeland Security spokesperson told CNN. “The administration will continue to prioritize safe, orderly and humane processing of migrants.”

What do Democrats, Republicans say about Biden’s immigration plans?

Immigration advocates and more progressive Democrats have opposed the measure that would allow border agents to detain migrant families who try to cross the border illegally. Proponents of detentions say that it would discourage families from attempting to cross the border without documents.

“It is heartbreaking to hear there could be a return to the Trump-era use of this practice,” Leecia Welch told The New York Times. Welch was the lead lawyer who argued the 1997 Flores settlement — a settlement that sets a limit on the amount of time children can be detained in holding facilities.

Some research has revealed a “high risk of harm” to children who are detained in border facilities. Medical consultants said one child lost a dangerous amount of weight and an infant suffered bleeding of the brain while being detained that wasn’t discovered for five days. Former presidents Barack Obama’s and George W. Bush’s administrations also followed the controversial detention practices. Trump attempted to expand the practice and “end limits on how long minors could be held” but the attempts were ultimately blocked in court, with per The Times.

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This isn’t Biden’s first attempt at tackling the influx of people migrating into the U.S. In January, the administration rolled out a program that would allow 30,000 additional applicants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to enter the U.S. if their application qualifies their entry. Those four countries are the countries that have the highest number of migrants attempting to come to the U.S. to escape war, poverty and uncertainty in their home countries.

According to Politico, Trump cut legal immigration in half during his tenure. Republicans continue to hammer Biden on his immigration approach, calling it too “soft” on immigration.

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