New Executive Action Shuts the Door on Asylum Seekers

For Immediate Release
June 6, 2024
Contact: [email protected]

Miami, FL — On June 5, 2024, the Biden Administration announced a new presidential proclamation and interim final rule that suspends entry along the Southern Border and bars individuals who enter between ports of entry during a suspension from asylum eligibility.

Under this new process, suspension of entry by non-citizens along the southern border is triggered when daily migrant encounters by DHS along southern land or coastal borders reach an average of 2,500 people per day over a seven-day period. The suspension took effect yesterday, June 5, 2024. During a suspension, individuals who enter between ports of entry will be required to affirmatively outcry a fear of return or an intent to apply for asylum to receive a fear screening by U.S. Asylum Officers. Those who successfully outcry fear will be subject to a new, higher screening standard. The suspension would lift fourteen days after encounters fall to an average of less than 1,500 people over seven days.

“We speak with hundreds of families each month seeking asylum and preparing for their fear screenings. Many vulnerable families, including indigenous language speakers, struggle to understand their rights and the requirements of the credible fear process even after attending our legal orientations. Requiring families, especially those who speak rare languages, to affirmatively manifest a fear of return during a brief and likely non-confidential screening at the border will likely result in many legitimate asylum seekers being unlawfully deported,” said Jovita Salas, Managing Attorney of the Asylum Project at Americans for Immigrant Justice.

Americans for Immigrant Justice is troubled and concerned by the Administration’s decision to restrict access to asylum for some individuals based solely on an arbitrary threshold of daily entrants.

“This new executive order and interim final rule literally shut the door on vulnerable people fleeing persecution and seeking safety in the United States,” said Cindy Woods, National Policy Counsel with Americans for Immigrant Justice. “Instead of randomly restricting our asylum system, the government should and can reinvest in humane and orderly processing.”

AI Justice has repeatedly called for both the Administration and Congress to reject efforts that undermine due process and limit access to asylum as a means to deter those seeking safety and instead invest in frontline efforts to process and welcome migrants humanely.