OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The Biden administration is preparing to implement a new taxpayer-funded program aimed at providing “legal services” for illegal aliens, a move that critics say is certain to entice even more people to cross illegally into the U.S.
The new federal program, first reported by Axios, empowers private contractors working for the Department of Homeland Security to provide extensive legal assistance to those crossing illegally from Mexico at border stations in Arizona, California, and Texas.
The report notes:
It will be for migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, those in Border Patrol custody, in the [Remain in Mexico] program or who may be enrolled in [Remain in Mexico] or otherwise placed in deportation proceedings, according to the published documents on SAM.gov.
Increasing migrant access to legal services has long been a goal of the administration. While the new Legal Access at the Border (LAB) program will help prepare migrants for the immigration legal process, it will not directly provide them attorneys. …
Contractors will explain the migrants’ options for staying in the U.S. while deportation orders are pending, as well as general immigration court practices and procedures.
“The expanded legal services for border crossers and illegal aliens are part of a larger plan by the Biden administration to transform the southern border into a mere checkpoint for foreign nationals seeking entry to the U.S.,” Breitbart News’ John Binder explains.
In December, Breitbart reported that one objective of the Biden regime’s immigration policy is to create “European-style reception centers,” which is 180 degrees opposite of former President Donald Trump’s border enforcement policies that sought to disincentivize illegal crossings with immediate deportation and a “Remain in Mexico” program while migrants awaited adjudication of their asylum claims.
That plan was first reported by the Washington Post, which noted:
President Biden’s immigration advisers are discussing proposals to set up European-style reception centers along the Mexican border that would transform the way asylum seekers are processed and potentially curb the large-scale release of migrants into the United States, according to administration officials and others with knowledge of the conversations.
The proposals remain in development, these people said, but the reception center model represents a possible breakthrough because it would reduce the number of illegal border-crossers issued a notice to appear in U.S. courts, the practice derided by Republicans as “catch and release.” It also potentially offers Democrats a more palatable alternative to the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program that Biden has restarted under federal court order but is reviled by immigrant advocates.
Katie Tobin, the president’s top immigration adviser on the National Security Council, told the Post that the objective is to move in a direction “where we are testing innovative ideas that are humane, that maintain the due process that’s required in an asylum adjudication but that get us away from a system where people wait five years for a decision.”
Those delays are “not good for our country and not good for people who are really in need of protection,” she added.
“We’re still in the concept development phase, but as we move into year two of this administration, there will be a real focus on truly bringing about meaningful reform to our asylum system and how we process asylum seekers at the border,” she continued.
And while Tobin said that another goal of the reception center concept would be to have asylum and other cases decided within weeks, not years, the Post adds that not all migrants would be required to remain in the centers at all times.
The administration has, for months, sought ways to provide migrants with more taxpayer-funded legal assistance, beginning with an executive order Biden signed in May authorizing the Department of Justice (DOJ) to expand legal representation for Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs).
Also, illegal aliens are already being provided taxpayer-fund attorneys in major American cities, Breitbart News added.