After an outcry from blue state governors and big city mayors, President Biden's border policy in 2023 is resembling former President Trump's, Axios reports. Biden is going forward with a border wall in South Texas, striking deals with Mexico, expediting family deportation, restricting asylum, and paying Panama to remove people as historic migration continues. Administration officials are quick to point to the differences between Biden's border policies and his predecessor's, including Biden's expansive legal parole programs. However, the similarities are hard to miss. Top Cabinet members descended on Mexico on Thursday to discuss solutions to illegal migration and fentanyl smuggling as tensions between the two countries have escalated. Mexico has reportedly agreed to deport people along its northern border on behalf of the U.S. Trump was infamously known for being aggressive with Mexico to deter migration, while Biden has taken a more diplomatic approach. After claiming he would not build more border walls, Biden is now waiving dozens of federal laws to allow exactly that in South Texas. The project will use 2019 funds, however, and Biden argues the construction is required to go forward by law.
Asylum-seekers who cross the border illegally and do not first seek refuge in a country they traveled through are being rejected for asylum, reminiscent of Trump's transit ban. The Homeland Security Department is expanding a program to deport families faster. Similar to a plan first pursued by Trump, the State Department is readying to use foreign aid to assist another country's deportation efforts for the first time in history. Venezuela will begin to cooperate with U.S. deportation efforts for the first time in years, administration officials said Thursday. State and local Democrats have shared concerns about strained city resources and overrun shelters because of the migrant influx, and ongoing migrant busing from Texas. New York City Mayor Eric Adams is setting out on a tour of Central and South America to urge migrants not to come to his city. A DHS spokesperson said the agency "legally required to utilize these funds" to construct border barriers and had hoped Congress would reappropriate the money instead. Still, the notice signed by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, "There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers ... in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States."