Biden administration considers forcing migrant families to remain in Texas
Thu, September 7, 2023 at 1:05 PM MST·6 min read
The Biden administration is considering forcing some migrant families who enter the country without authorization to remain near the border in Texas while awaiting asylum screening, effectively limiting their ability to travel within the United States, three U.S. officials told The Times.
Administration officials have been considering the idea as a way to stem recent increases in the numbers of migrant families crossing the southern border, which reportedly reached an all-time high last month. Supporters of the remain-in-Texas idea, which has yet to be finalized, hope that it would help the administration advance its goals of quickly deporting families who fail initial asylum screenings and deterring other families from crossing in the first place.
But the proposal, which recalls President Reagan’s efforts to limit asylum seekers’ movements in the late 1980s, is likely to draw fierce opposition from immigrant rights groups and border-state officials. Since 2022, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has bused thousands of migrants out of his state to Democrat-run cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C.
The Biden plan would force certain migrant families to remain in Texas — or possibly other border states — by tracking their location through GPS monitoring devices, such as ankle bracelets, according to the three officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The families would be put through an asylum screening process to determine whether they could stay in the U.S. and proceed with their claims. Officials have discussed working with local organizations to provide housing for the families.