Global Refuge alarmed by Biden administration consideration of new asylum ban

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Press Release

Global Refuge alarmed by Biden administration consideration of new asylum ban

Global Refuge Staff

February 23, 2024


February 23, 2023

Contact: Tim Young |

Washington D.C. – According to multiple reports, the Biden administration is considering executive action to further restrict asylum eligibility at the southern border for people who cross between official ports of entry. The controversial maneuver appears to echo a 2018 Trump administration attempt to deny asylum to those who crossed between ports of entry, which was ultimately blocked by federal courts.

Despite President Biden’s campaign promises to restore asylum protections, his administration implemented a sweeping rule in May 2023 that presumes migrants ineligible for asylum if they enter the U.S. illegally without having sought protection in a third country. The rule remains in effect as litigation continues.

Consideration of the new asylum ban follows congressional failure to advance a bipartisan agreement that would have provided more than $18.5 billion to the Department of Homeland Security for border security, additional personnel, and financial assistance to communities that have welcomed migrants.

In response to the potential new restrictions, Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Global Refuge, said:

“While the Biden administration is clearly hamstrung by congressional inaction, it would be deeply misguided to revive yet another unlawful asylum ban ripped from the pages of its predecessor’s playbook. Such restrictions would flout longstanding humanitarian law, and in so doing, cause great harm to persecuted individuals and families desperate to exercise their legal right to seek protection.”

“Progress has been made in restoring U.S. humanitarian leadership, however this administration has also leaned heavily on sweeping deterrence policies like Title 42 and a new asylum ineligibility rule. Policy makers now have ample evidence suggesting that such hardline restrictions do not reduce unlawful crossings, nor do they contribute to a more orderly and humane system at our border.”

“Instead, Congress needs to come back to the negotiating table and do the hard work of building consensus. Americans cast their vote with the expectation that our elected leaders finally reform and resource our immigration system in line with our humanitarian values and economic needs. To punt that responsibility simply because it’s an election year is a missed opportunity underscoring a troubling lack of political leadership.”

About us:

Global Refuge, formerly Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, is a nonprofit serving newcomers seeking safety, support, and a share in the American dream. For 85 years, we have welcomed those seeking refuge, upholding a legacy of compassion and grace for people in crisis. We walk alongside individuals, families, and children as they begin their new lives in the United States through our work in refugee resettlement, welcome and respite services for asylum seekers, economic empowerment and employment, and family unification for unaccompanied children. To date, we have served over 750,000 people from around the globe. At Global Refuge, welcoming newcomers isn’t just our duty — it’s an inherent part of our identity, rooted in our Lutheran heritage and inspired values, and serving as a testament to our unwavering commitment to those in search of refuge.


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