Providing Perspective on the Application of Immigration Law at the US Southwest Border

Aaron Reichlin-Melnick


June 7, 2023


June 7, 2023

The American Immigration Council appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Sub-committee on Immigration, Integrity, Security, and Enforcement to address the question of whether the Biden administration is faithfully executing the law. The testimony explains how immigration officials are imbued with significant enforcement discretion and explains that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are required to carry out both enforcement laws and humanitarian protection laws. The testimony emphasizes:

  • That releases of migrants at the border are a lawful exercise of the executive branch’s authority.
  • That every presidential administration has released some migrants after crossing the border, due to legal, logistical, and diplomatic concerns.
  • That CBP officers have more options than detaining individuals seeking protection.

The testimony concludes by arguing that Congress’ failure to provide sufficient resources to our humanitarian adjudication systems has made the situation at the border worse. It calls for Congress to come together to update our immigration laws and address the difficult question of how to build a 21st century humanitarian protection system.

Watch Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director at the American Immigration Council testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee




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