Immigrant Rights Advocates Welcome Court Ruling Against Pres. Biden’s Asylum Ban

July 26, 2023
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MIAMI, FLORIDA—Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that the Biden Administration’s asylum ban violates U.S. law. The asylum ban was a key policy in Biden’s post-COVID era border response and had been in place since May 12, 2023. Under the now-defunct rule, asylum seekers had to obtain an appointment through the flawed CBP One app in order to ‘lawfully’ present at a port of entry to seek asylum. With limited exceptions, anyone who entered the U.S. to seek asylum without an appointment was subject to the ban on asylum.

“We welcome the decision in East Bay as it affirms that asylum access cannot be arbitrarily restricted or denied,” said Shalyn Fluharty, Executive Director at Americans for Immigrant Justice. “With the end of Title 42 restrictions on the border, the U.S. government has an opportunity to restructure asylum processing in a rights-respecting, victim-centered way. This ruling gives the Administration a chance to course correct, and we stand ready to help navigate our asylum system towards a more inclusive and humane model.”

“In finding the asylum ban contrary to law, Judge Tigar upheld that the right to seek asylum cannot be predicated on arbitrary requirements, many of which are inaccessible to those most vulnerable, including families, indigenous peoples, and Brown and Black asylum seekers,” said Cindy Woods, National Policy Counsel at Americans for Immigrant Justice.

“Our attorneys have seen firsthand the harmful impact that the asylum ban had on individuals and families seeking safety in the United States, through our work providing representation to detained individuals and families released into the United States in the credible fear process,” said Jovita Salas, Managing Attorney of the Asylum Project at Americans for Immigrant Justice. “Imagine having to ask a client who fled her home with her young children why she did not stop to ask for protection in another country or struggle to stay safe in a Mexican-border city while attempting days on end to receive a coveted CBP One appointment, and then advising her she likely did not qualify for asylum because she chose her family’s safety over continued risk. This ruling could not have come soon enough.”

The ruling is stayed from taking effect for 14 days to allow the government time to appeal.