FAIR Podcast: CBP One – A Mobile App to Facilitate Illegality
FAIR Take | April 2023
In FAIR’s latest podcast, FAIR President Dan Stein and Former Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Mark Morgan discuss the CBP One mobile app and the Biden Administration’s open-border policies that have led to migrant surges at the Southern border.
The CBP One app has become the latest controversy surrounding President Biden’s failure to control the border. But what is this app? In a fact sheet, DHS says, “The free CBP One™ mobile application enables noncitizens without appropriate documents for admission who seek to travel to the United States through certain southwest border land ports of entry (POEs) the ability to submit information through a module within the application instead of coming directly to wait at a POE.”
In other words, the Biden Administration has created an application in a desperate attempt to avoid the bad optics of huge caravans of illegal aliens storming the border and overwhelming the Border Patrol. The app allows aliens who have no documentation, but still want to enter the United States, to schedule an appointment at a port of entry. To encourage migrants to use it, the Biden Administration issued a new asylum rule that requires asylum-seekers to use the app to submit documentation in advance, secure an appointment, and present themselves at a port of entry. At the same time, the rule provides an exception to the rule if the alien can demonstrate that the mechanism for scheduling was not possible to access or use.
The Biden Administration argues the app creates a more orderly process for asylum-seekers or people who want to enter the country illegally. According to DHS, the CBP One App is “an innovative mechanism for noncitizens to schedule a time to arrive at ports of entry at the [southern border], to allow an increasing number of migrants who may wish to claim asylum to request an available time and location to present and be inspected and processed at certain ports of entry, in accordance with operational limitations at each port of entry.”
Perhaps counterintuitively, many immigrant advocates are strongly opposed to the new app, in large part because they claim asylum-seekers should have a right to enter anywhere in the United States, including between ports of entry. In effect, they argue that seeking asylum is a right and that it can be claimed anywhere without inconvenience.
The ACLU says the app “has proven inaccessible for many people and has been fraught with technical problems, privacy concerns, and racial biases.” It further states that it will “cause disproportionate harm to the most vulnerable asylum seekers.” Seemingly oblivious to the myriad of pull factors that the Biden Administration has intentionally created, the ACLU argues that “conditioning asylum eligibility on securing a CBP One appointment will expose people to very real dangers of torture, rape, and murder while they wait.”
In the podcast, Dan Stein and Mark Morgan talk about how the Biden Administration’s proposed rule is similar to what President Trump tried to do before the ACLU challenged it. Morgan talks about his experience as Commissioner of CBP under the Trump administration and the implementation of the Remain in Mexico program. He says that when Biden came into office, the ports of entry were processing 24,000 illegal aliens a month, and last month it was 85,000 – jumping over 240%. He describes the app as a “head fake” that is “shifting the burden of the crisis to ports of entry.”
Morgan and Stein also discuss the Biden Administration’s blatant abuse of parole. As Mark noted, the administration is “waiving the case-by-case basis review” required under the law in order to mass-parole people across the border, and the CBP One app is helping facilitate it. Stein stated, “This is a fine example of how the media treats the Biden Administration differently.” Morgan agreed, noting, “If, under Trump, you made anybody remain in Mexico for any reason, bad. But, under the Biden Administration, if you make them wait in Mexico, good.”