The Biden administration is proposing strict asylum restrictions at the border

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US President Joe Biden’s administration has unveiled a plan that will make it more difficult for migrants to seek asylum when Covid border controls are lifted in May.

It would require adult asylum seekers to use an app to book a meeting with US officials or first apply for asylum in another country before reaching the US.

Failure to comply will disable migrants if they later reach the border.

Pro-migrant groups compared the plan to Trump-era policies.

Tuesday’s proposed measures are the toughest to curb immigration yet introduced by Mr. Biden, a Democrat who took office promising a more humane approach to the border crisis than the administration of his predecessor.

The proposed rule would only apply to adults and families, but not to unaccompanied children.

Under the plan, migrants must use a phone app to arrange to speak with a US immigration official when they arrive at the border.

Those who failed to make the appointment would be presumed to have been found ineligible for asylum in the other countries they traveled through.

The proposal – issued jointly by the US Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice – allows for the speedy deportation of the undocumented migrants.

If approved, it would be enacted on May 11, when Title 42 — a Trump-era health emergency provision that allows migrants to be deported back to Mexico — is set to expire.

The Biden policy will remain in place for two years with an option to extend it.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it would sue to block the rule from taking effect.

The organization compared the plan to actions previously taken by former President Donald Trump that were ruled unconstitutional in the courts.

Oxfam America said: “This sweeping asylum ban will close the door on countless refugees seeking safety and protection in the United States.”

But an unnamed Biden administration official told the AFP news agency: “This administration will not allow mass chaos and disorder at the border because of congressional inaction.”

The public has 30 days to comment on the proposal.

About 200,000 undocumented migrants attempt to enter the United States each month, recent government records show.

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