Joe Biden
A newly announced executive order would shut down the border after a daily threshold is met. Initial reactions have been mixed during a tight election year. AFP

It looks like there are limitations to implementing President Joe Biden's new asylum ban policy, as it spares some nationalities because deportation flights are scarce.

Just 14 hours after Biden signed the new executive order, the Border Patrol arrested a Colombian person named Gerardo Henao but instead of being deported, he was dropped at a San Diego bus stop the next day, from where he took a train to reach the airport for a flight to New Jersey.

Henao, who ran a jewelry business in his country, had left Colombia due to frequent extortion attempts.

The 59-year-old Henao shared his experience with the Border Patrol agent, saying, "It was nothing. They took my photo, my fingerprints and that was it," as per NBCDFW.

One of the Border Patrol agents told him about the ban after being arrested from a dirt road near a high-voltage power line in the boulder-strewn mountains east of San Diego. According to Henao, the agent asked why he left Colombia, but didn't continue with more questions and simply processed release papers.

Henao has been ordered to appear in the immigration court on Oct. 23 in New Jersey.

The Biden administration is facing challenges in enforcing its broad measure due to limited resources, diplomatic constraints, and logistical obstacles.

The policy includes a provision for "operational considerations," recognizing the government's inability to deport everyone affected by the measure. This exception is especially relevant for individuals from South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, who recently arrived at the border and whose deportation is impacted by financial and legal constraints.

According to a detailed document from the Homeland Security Department, the "demographics and nationalities encountered at the border significantly impact" its ability to carry out deportations.

As per two senior Homeland Security Department officials, thousands of migrants have been deported under the ban, noting that 17 deportation flights, including one to Uzbekistan, have deported many people. Those deported include individuals from Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru and Mexico.

The Department of Homeland Security deals with roughly 4,000 migrants on a daily basis. As per the new executive order, the government will discontinue this restriction after the daily average of migrants crossing the border falls below 1,500 for a week.

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