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'So many exceptions' to Biden's new asylum policy that it's just 'smoke and mirrors,' former ICE official claims

Former acting director for ICE Thomas Homan (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement torched the Biden administration's new proposed asylum policy for containing "so many exceptions to the rule that the exception is going to swallow the rule," Fox News Digital reported.

Earlier this week, the Biden administration's Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice issued a joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking "designed to address the current and anticipated surge in migration."

Former acting director of ICE Thomas Homan told the news outlet that the proposed rule, "Circumvention of Lawful Pathways," appears to be similar to the Trump-era "Remain in Mexico" policy; however, unlike former President Trump's rule, the Biden administration's policy includes several exceptions.

The Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" order allowed individuals to request asylum, but migrants were required to wait in Mexico until their scheduled immigration court date.

If implemented, Biden's proposed policy would make migrants ineligible to claim asylum if they passed through other countries to get to the United States but failed to first seek asylum elsewhere. The administration proposed the policy to prepare for the anticipated influx of migrant encounters when the Title 42 Public Health Order ends in May.

Democrats torched the rule as "shockingly inhumane." The Biden administration defended the policy by claiming that it would be temporary.

Homan told Fox News Digital that he agrees that asylum-seekers should be required to first seek refuge in countries they travel through before getting to the United States.

"I do think when someone claims asylum, and let's say that they claim asylum from Honduras, because they have a fear of persecution from their home government — that's what asylum is," Homan stated.

"So they get to Mexico," he continued. "Have they not escaped that fear of persecution from their own government? Of course. They should claim asylum in the first free country they come to. I believe in that."

Homan accused Biden's proposal of being "smoke and mirrors again."

"They're going to establish rules, but there are so many exceptions to the rule that the exception is going to swallow the rule," Homan claimed.

The White House's fact sheet regarding the policy stated, "Noncitizens could rebut this presumption of asylum ineligibility in exceptionally compelling circumstances, including if they demonstrate that, at the time of their unauthorized entry, they or a member of their family with whom they were traveling" is a trafficking victim or an individual facing either an acute medical emergency or an "extreme and imminent threat to their life or safety."

The proposed order would also carve out exceptions for unaccompanied children.

Homan argued that some exceptions would be impossible for border officials to refute.

"They just got to come to the border saying, well, I fear for my life. And how do we disprove that they fear for their life? So there's going to be so many exceptions to this rule, it is not going to matter," Homan explained.

The former ICE official stated that he anticipates the Biden administration's new policy is "unlawful" by design and will fail in court.

"And here's your game when they lose in court. They can say, well, we were solving the border crisis numbers going down. Republican states came in and sued us. Now the numbers are going back up. This is the game they're playing," Homan said.

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