Hoeven Votes to Prevent Biden Administration from Weakening the Asylum Process

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate voted on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution he helped introduce with Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) to nullify a proposed Biden administration rule that would upend the process by which the U.S. government considers asylum claims. The resolution was blocked by Senate Democrats by a vote of 46-48.

Under current law, asylum claims must be adjudicated by an immigration court judge, and asylum seekers must be detained throughout the adjudication process. The rule being proposed by the Biden administration would permit migrants crossing the border illegally who claim asylum to have their asylum application approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials, not immigration judges, and to be released while their application is pending.   

“The Biden administration needs to enforce the law and secure the border, rather than weaken our asylum process and prevent our border professionals from detaining illegal immigrants,” said Hoeven. “The changes proposed by Biden’s Justice and Homeland Security departments would completely upend the way our nation handles asylum claims, making the crisis at our southern border worse and harming our national security. That’s the wrong approach for our nation, and Senate Democrats should join us in preventing this harmful policy from going into effect.”

The CRA resolution comes as part of Hoeven’s efforts to address the illegal immigration crisis at the nation’s southern border. To this end, the senator recently traveled to Del Rio and Eagle Pass, Texas to support Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials and North Dakota Guard members and to draw attention to their work at the U.S.-Mexico border. At the same time, Hoeven has been working to hold the Biden administration accountable and pressing them to secure the border using existing immigration tools, including:

  • The Title 42 Public Health Order, an important tool that allows immigration officials to return illegal immigrants to their home country and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or Remain in Mexico Policy, which requires people seeking asylum at the southern border to wait in Mexico while their case is adjudicated.
  • The Safe Third Country Agreements so those seeking asylum from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala can be returned to their home country to await the outcome of their claims.