San Antonio legal experts try to digest Biden Administration’s new immigration policy days after it takes effect


SAN ANTONIO – Just days after President Joe Biden dropped a new executive order limiting asylum seekers, San Antonio legal experts are trying to digest what exactly this means for Texas.

The policy that went into effect earlier this week will temporarily stop granting asylum to migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border if illegal crossings pass a certain threshold.

Migrant advocacy groups are concerned about the policy’s long-term effects.

Krystle Cartagena, a managing attorney with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, called it “horrifying.”

“It is disappointing. It’s disheartening,” Cartagena said. “People are desperate. They will leave situations that they need to flee from, and now, we’re just setting them up to be in pathways of increased violence again.”

Both major political parties have criticized the policy. An emerging question is whether it will stand or if someone will soon challenge it.

“I expect that fairly soon,” said Erica Schommer, a clinical professor of law at St. Mary’s University. “There is a fundamental conflict between laws that Congress passed and what this executive order is doing.”

Schommer said similar legislation to this order has been struck down in court because it conflicts with a person’s right to apply for asylum on U.S. soil. She said presidents have some power to restrict immigration but only to a certain extent.

Schommer said history with previous administrations and previous border policies don’t show many positive outcomes.

“It never works, and it almost always makes a situation worse,” Schommer said.

For more information on President Biden’s executive order, click here.