The Biden administration on Thursday announced an increase in its processing of asylum seekers at the southern border, allowing nearly 40,000 migrants each month to book appointments to make their case.
The appointment slots, distributed through the CBP One app run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, will jump from 1,000 to 1,250 a day.
“Today we are announcing an increase in available CBP One appointments to 1,250 a day, effective June 1st. This is a continuation of the Biden Administration’s expansion of lawful pathways and opportunities to access them, including CBP One appointments,” a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesman said in a statement.
“The process cuts out smugglers while also providing a safe, orderly, and humane process for noncitizens to access ports of entry instead of attempting to enter the United States unlawfully.”
The expansion of appointments follows the end of Title 42, which allowed for the rapid expulsion of migrants without allowing them to seek asylum.
The termination of the pandemic-era policy has not yet resulted in an uptick of migration to the border, though DHS officials say it’s too early to determine if that trend will hold.
Those seeking asylum protections are strongly encouraged to use the CBP One app to seek an appointment, during which they will face an initial screening to see if they qualify.
Though the figure represents a substantial increase in potential asylum cases, the Biden administration has rolled out other limitations on the process, including on those who do not first seek protections elsewhere along their route.
“We are continuing to enforce consequences for migrants who cross unlawfully, and those who do not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed. CBP will evaluate further expansion of daily available appointments as operations and efficiencies permit,” DHS said in a statement.
Updated at 11:01 a.m. June 2