Biden turning to Trump-era rule to expel Venezuelan migrants

Two years ago, candidate Joe Biden loudly denounced President Donald Trump for immigration policies that inflicted “cruelty and exclusion at every turn,” including toward those fleeing the “brutal” government of socialist Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.

Now, with increasing numbers of Venezuelans arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border as the Nov. 8 election nears, Biden has turned to an unlikely source for a solution: his predecessor’s playbook.

Biden last week invoked a Trump-era rule known as Title 42 — which Biden’s own Justice Department is fighting in court — to deny Venezuelans fleeing their crisis-torn country the chance to request asylum at the border.

The rule, first invoked by Trump in 2020, uses emergency public health authority to allow the United States to keep migrants from seeking asylum at the border, based on the need to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Under the new Biden administration policy, Venezuelans who walk or swim across America’s southern border will be expelled and any Venezuelan who illegally enters Mexico or Panama will be ineligible to come to the United States. But as many as 24,000 Venezuelans will be accepted at U.S. airports, similar to how Ukrainians have been admitted since Russia’s invasion in February.

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