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President Biden’s 2021 immigration policy, in photos – The Washington Post

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By Washington Post Staff | Dec 22, 2021
President Biden’s first year began with a burst of hope among supporters and activists for a more humane immigration enforcement system, as he promised during the campaign.
Arrests along the Mexico border slumped in 2020 after President Donald Trump restricted crossings during the pandemic and expelled most migrants, including unaccompanied children.
Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
Biden rolled back some of those restrictions, allowing in children and teens traveling without their parents.
Then record numbers of them began to arrive and officials scrambled to shelter them. More families and single adults followed.
The influx upended Biden’s plans.
Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
Asylum-seeking migrants from Nicaragua, Ruben, 30, and Jessica, 23, hold each other at the riverbank as they wait to be escorted by the National Guard after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States from Mexico in August.
Go Nakamura/For The Washington Post
Go Nakamura/For The Washington Post
Asylum-seeking migrants disembark from an inflatable raft after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States from Mexico in Roma, Tex., in August.
Go Nakamura/For The Washington Post
Go Nakamura/For The Washington Post
Border apprehensions soared in the months after Biden’s inauguration and reached record levels during the summer, defying the president’s characterization of the surge as “seasonal.”
Go Nakamura/For The Washington Post
U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded more than 1.7 million arrests along at the Mexican border in the 2021 fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, an all-time high.
Many border-crossers tried more than once to get in.
Go Nakamura/For The Washington Post
Immigrants from Central America arrive on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande after crossing from Mexico in Mission, Tex., in March.
Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
Before the pandemic, the Trump administration sent nearly 70,000 migrants back into Mexico to await their U.S. asylum hearings.
The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), as Trump officials called it, left many in squalid camps where they were targets for extortion, sexual assault, kidnapping and murder.
Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
Recently deported immigrants, mostly from Central America, sleep in a plaza near the International Bridge crossing into the United States in Reynosa, Mexico, in March.
Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
Immigrants from Central America arrive on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande after crossing from Mexico in March.
Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
A woman washes her hair while another does laundry at a migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico.
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
Biden ended Trump’s MPP program, but his administration was forced to restarted it in December under federal court order.
The Biden administration has also continued to rely on the Title 42 public health law as its primary enforcement tool, expelling most border-crossers to Mexico.
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
Migrants, mostly from Haiti, cross back and forth between the United States and Mexico at the Rio Grande in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, in September.
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
When thousands of Haitians crossed the Rio Grande in September, overwhelming U.S. authorities, Biden officials sent the migrants back to their homeland en masse.
More than 10,000 have been expelled to Haiti, alarming immigration advocates.
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
A migrant man from Haiti carries his daughter on his shoulders before entering and crossing the Rio Grande in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, in September.
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
Migrants cross back into the U.S. side of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Tex., in September.
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
Migrants from Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil and other nations have also arrived in soaring numbers. Mexico has imposed new visa requirements at the behest of U.S. officials.
Ecuador’s numbers have already fallen and others are expected to as well.
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
Migrants walk across the Rio Grande into the United States from the Mexican side in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, in March.
Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
Biden officials have repeatedly said to migrants: “Now is not the time to come.” With the latest coronavirus variant picking up speed in the United States, there is no sign that message will change soon.
Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
A group of undocumented immigrants wait to be processed after being apprehended at the U.S. border near Mission, Tex., in February.
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
Asylum-seeking migrants wait to be escorted by the National Guard after crossing the Rio Grande in August.
Go Nakamura/For The Washington Post
Go Nakamura/For The Washington Post
Lights from a police car illuminate a migrant family who was apprehended at the U.S. border near Mission, Tex., in February.
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
Sergio Flores/For The Washington Post
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Credits
Photo editing by Karly Domb Sadof, Chloe Coleman, Natalia Jimenez and MaryAnne Golon. Text by Maria Sacchetti and Nick Miroff. Production by Karly Domb Sadof.

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