Republicans Target Biden Asylum Rule in New Legislative Gambit

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Republican lawmakers are working to ax a new federal regulation designed to speed asylum processing at the border, the latest attack on the Biden administration’s immigration policies.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) on Thursday unveiled a Congressional Review Act resolution that would toss the Homeland Security and Justice departments’ asylum officers rule and bar the department from crafting anything similar in the future. The Senate resolution already has the support of 29 other senators.

The administration’s proposed changes “cannot come from unelected bureaucrats, but rather from Congress,” Johnson said in a statement.

The asylum rule is part of the Biden administration’s plan to deal with an anticipated increase in migrant crossings when pandemic-related border restrictions end.

U.S. to Speed Asylum Review for Migrants at Border With New Rule

A group of Republican state officials also filed lawsuits Thursday challenging the regulation.

The asylum rule, set to take effect at the end of May, directs agency officials to review and decide claims from migrants who fear persecution at home, rather than funneling all claims to the Justice Department’s severely backlogged immigration courts. The regulation would shorten the process from years to months for most asylum seekers, the agencies said when they released the final rule.

The regulation would also result in quicker deportations for migrants who fall short of the asylum threshold, though they still would be able to make their case to an immigration judge.

The Congressional Review Act allows lawmakers to formally disapprove of federal regulations, taking the rule off the books and barring agencies from crafting anything “substantially” similar.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen M. Gilmer in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Robin Meszoly at; Sarah Babbage at

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