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Commentary By Daniel Di Martino

MI Responds: Bidens Executive Order regarding Border Security

Governance Immigration

Daniel Di Martino, a graduate fellow at the Manhattan Institute, reacts to today’s executive order, signed by President Biden, regarding border security:  

This executive action does not change much at the border on its own. All it does is declare that crossing the southern border outside of a port of entry is illegal—which is already the case. 

Accompanying this proclamation is a new asylum eligibility regulation from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Under this new regulation, while a “border emergency” is in place, DHS agents won’t prompt unauthorized border crossers about whether they’d like to apply for asylum; instead, migrants must “manifest” their fears or intentions unprompted, or else expedited removal will take place. This regulation will also raise the bar for credible fear and asylum eligibility within the interviews for those who do express fear of removal. 

This approach may work in the short term to reduce asylum claims, but cartels and nonprofits can and will coach people to request asylum on their own and circumvent this rule. Moreover, even if the letter of the law and the administration intend to remove illegal border crossers, DHS does not have the resources or capacity to remove or deport over 100,000 or even 200,000 illegal border crossers every single month. Securing the border will require more funding from congress to detain and deport illegal border crossers, cooperation from their home countries to allow for repatriations, and ultimately a change in the law itself. 

In conclusion, after today’s order, nothing meaningful changes at the U.S. southern border. Biden could be doing a lot more to secure the border, including the following measures: 

  1. Stop paroling migrants at the southern border; 
  2. Charge a fee for CHNV-sponsored parolees to fund asylum screening at the border; 
  3. Pressure Ecuador and Nicaragua to require visas for non-Latin American nationals since that's how illegal immigrants from outside Latin America are getting to the hemisphere and reaching the southern border (accounting for approximately one in five border crossers). 

Daniel Di Martino is a graduate fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and experienced broadcast guest on a variety of platforms. 

To book an interview with Daniel, please contact Nora Kenney at  

Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images