As Biden’s asylum ban is implemented, fewer migrants are arrested at the US-Mexico border.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters) – The number of migrants caught crossing illegally the U.S. Mexico border decreased on Friday, a U.S. senior border official said. He added that it was a sign a new restrictive Biden administration policy is deterring illegal immigration.

The U.S. Border Patrol has arrested approximately 3,100 people who crossed illegally in the last few days, down by about 20% from the previous days, said the official, who requested anonymity for preliminary data.

The official stated that it was still too early to declare this a trend. “But I believe it’s indicative of possible early successes.”

In the months leading up to the Nov. 5 election, which will determine control of the White House as well as Congress, immigration has become a major issue among Americans. In a rematch, President Joe Biden (a Democrat seeking a second term) will face Republican Donald Trump – an immigration hardliner – in the 2020 election.

Biden entered office in 2021 promising to reverse Trump’s restrictive immigration policy. However, he has since become more aggressive in response to record numbers of migrants arrested at the border.

Biden announced a policy that bars asylum claims from migrants who cross illegally the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Unaccompanied minors, those who are in serious danger or face medical issues, and victims of human trafficking can still claim asylum.

The goal of the new policy is to increase the number migrants who are placed under “expedited deportation,” which is a rapid-fire deportation procedure. The U.S. official stated that since Wednesday, over 2,000 people have been placed in expedited removal per day, which is more than twice the previous rate.

There are still questions about whether the border crossings can be kept low enough to allow people to pass through quickly, and whether U.S. officials have the capability to achieve their goals.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has pledged to sue the government to stop this measure. It is similar to Trump’s restrictions on asylum.

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