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CBP's metering policy is confirmed through litigation

  1. Original Date Announced

    April 27, 2018

    Previously widely reported, CBP's "Metering Guidance" is uncovered in the Al Otro Lado v. McAleenan litigation (Case 3:17-cv-02366-BAS-KSC), now Al Otro Lado v. Mayorkas. The memo indicated that "to facilitate orderly processing and maintain the security of the port and safe and sanitary conditions for the traveling public, [Directors of Field Operations (DFOs)] may elect to meter the flow of travelers at the land border to take into account the port's processing capacity." The memo further states that "DFOs may not create a line specifically for asylum-seekers only, but could, for instance, create lines based on legitimate operational needs, such as lines for those with appropriate travel documents and those without such documents." [ID# 37]

    2018.04.27 CBP Metering Guidance. pdf
  2. Effective Date

    June 1, 2018
  4. Biden Administration Action: Revoked/Replaced

    November 1, 2021

    2021.11.01 Memo-Guidance for Management and Processing of Undocumented Noncitizens at Southwest Border Land Ports of Entry

    This Biden administration policy revokes in its entirety the Trump-era policy identified in this entry. On November 1, 2021, the Acting CBP Commissioner revoked the policy known as metering, which limited the number of asylum seekers who can be processed each day at designated crossing points along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    The memorandum further instructs the Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations (CBP OFO) to “consider and take appropriate measures, as operationally feasible, to increase capacity to process undocumented noncitizens at Southwest border ports of entry, including those who may be seeking asylum and other forms of protection.”

    View Document

Current Status

Not in effect
November 1, 2021
Acted on by Biden Administration

Original Trump Policy Status

Trump Administration Actions: Agency Directive Change in Practice
Agencies Affected: CBP USCIS EOIR

Pre Trump-Era Policies

  • The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides that a person who "arrives" at the border "whether or not at a designated point of arrival ... may apply for asylum."

    8 U.S.C. § 1158 - Asylum


  • Amnesty International USA: You Don't Have Any Rights Here

    Pushbacks of asylum-seekers are illegal under U.S. law and violate U.S. obligations under international refugee law.

    Go to article
  • AIC|Challenging CBP's Unlawful Practice of Turning Away Asylum Seekers

    Class counsel prepared a Frequently Asked Questions resource to address common questions about the court’s order, class membership, and implementation.

    Go to article
  • The Department of Homeland Security’s “Metering” Policy: Legal Issues

    Congressional Research Service report on "The Department of Homeland Security’s 'Metering' Policy: Legal Issues."

    Go to article on

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