U.S COMMITTEE FOR REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS
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USCRI Condemns the Effective Closure of the Border to Asylum Seekers

By USCRI June 4, 2024

President Biden today issued a Proclamation on “Securing the Border,” which effectively closes the southern U.S. border to asylum seekers and other migrants. The proclamation limits and suspends the entry of any noncitizen into the United States across the southern border—unless they meet an exception—effective at 12:01 a.m. Eastern daylight time on June 5, 2024.

Along with the proclamation, the Administration announced a forthcoming interim final rule to operationalize the executive action. The limitations will not be removed until 14 days after the seven-day average of “encounters” falls below 1,500, which has only occurred 42 percent of the time over the past 24 years, making it extremely difficult to rescind.

Closing the border to asylum seekers would have significant implications for families, children, and individuals fleeing persecution, violence, and other forms of harm, leaving them more vulnerable and without adequate avenues for protection. These actions run counter to our nation’s immigration laws and long-standing tradition of providing refuge to those fleeing persecution. By limiting humanitarian protection, we betray our values and undermine our credibility as a global leader in promoting human rights and dignity.

Longstanding domestic asylum law allows asylum seekers arriving anywhere along the U.S. border to apply for asylum. However, under the proclamation, asylum seekers who are apprehended will be barred from seeking asylum and will be rapidly deported without due process or the chance to seek safety.

Current bars to asylum already make it difficult for asylum seekers to access protection,” said Eskinder Negash, USCRI President and CEO. “These new executive actions essentially shut down the mechanism for asylum seekers and others seeking safety to request refuge in the United States.”

During this time of heightened need, the United States should be the leader in offering protection and creating solutions to forced displacement. USCRI calls on the Administration and leaders in Congress to prioritize the right to seek asylum.

 

USCRI, founded in 1911, is a non-governmental, not-for-profit international organization committed to working on behalf of refugees and immigrants and their transition to a dignified life.

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