Biden Admin Implementing Policy Shift for Immigration Proceedings

Biden Admin Providing Immigration Judges With Classified Info Access

( – The Biden administration is shifting one of its immigration policies after news broke that a migrant on the terrorist watchlist was able to walk free.

The Biden administration will give US immigration judges increased access to confidential records for undocumented immigrants facing charges. Additional access will be granted to asylum officers as well. The policy shift is reportedly intended to help identify terrorist threats.

The change comes over a month after 48-year-old Mohammad Kharwin, an individual on the terrorist watchlist from Afghanistan who entered the US illegally, was released over a lack of evidence. Kharwin was apprehended a year before his trial but was released on bond while he awaited his court date. He was arrested again in February but freed shortly after since his records were sealed from the judge. He was permitted to travel freely across the US after being released on bond.

The policy change will override a directive passed in 2004 that said classified information could only be used in immigration courts after all other resources had been exhausted. The 2004 rule required asylum officers analyzing asylum claims to seek permission from the Department of Homeland Security before sharing classified information. It also required prosecutors to obtain the same permission if they wanted to file charges against a migrant. The process is often time consuming.

However, those same officers, agents, and prosecutors may now go to the leaders of their respective agencies instead when seeking approval to use classified information. One DHS official noted that criminal organizations are becoming more and more “involved in the movement of people in our hemisphere,” as well as individuals from the Eastern Hemisphere. The official also noted the increasingly “complex” “terrorist threat landscape.”

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