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Media Inquiries

Contact NIJC Communications Director Tara Tidwell Cullen at (312) 833-2967 or by email.

Today, President Biden announced yet another anti-immigrant executive action that will effectively shut down the U.S.-Mexico border to thousands of people fleeing harm and seeking safety. The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) plans to challenge this new restriction on the right to seek asylum in federal court. NIJC continues to denounce the Biden Administration’s embrace of anti-immigrant policies akin to those promoted by the Trump Administration.   

The executive proclamation and Interim Final Rule (IFR) issued today by the Biden Administration will go into effect starting tomorrow and will result in the immediate deportation of people and families seeking asylum any time the number of people crossing between “ports of entry” at the U.S.-Mexico border exceeds 2,500. Using this arbitrary limit will mean that thousands of people with legitimate legal claims will never have a chance to present a case for asylum and will receive no warning in advance of their immediate removal to countries where they will face danger and harm. 

This announcement is reminiscent of a 2018 Trump executive order that made asylum unavailable to people who seek protection between ports of entry, a policy that contradicts the clear mandate in U.S. federal law that any person be permitted to seek asylum regardless of their manner of entry. Two federal courts declared this policy unlawful and one issued an immediate injunction preventing it from going into effect. 

Keren Zwick, Director of Litigation at NIJC, responded with the following statement:

“We’ve been here before. The policies announced today are near replicas of Trump-era asylum bans. Only now, they come from an administration that vowed to protect the right to seek protection and support immigrant communities.  

“Immigrants and their advocates will not stand by while this administration adopts inhumane and ineffective policy that violates U.S. and international law. Amidst unprecedented migration challenges across the globe, the United States is choosing to shut out asylum seekers with arbitrary quotas and harsh legal standards. This is both unconscionable and proven to be ineffective in managing humanitarian challenges near the U.S.-Mexico border. We once again urge the Biden Administration to adopt effective solutions that protect the right to seek asylum rather than embrace anti-immigrant and restrictionist policies that violate basic human rights."