At Two Months, Biden’s Asylum Ban Threatens Lives

WASHINGTON – Two months into the Biden administration’s asylum ban, Human Rights First today released Refugee Protection Travesty: Biden Asylum Ban Endangers and Punishes At-Risk Asylum Seekers,” a report which outlines ways in which the ban is a refugee protection, humanitarian, and legal travesty that puts human lives at risk.  

“Over the last two months, we interviewed more than 300 people seeking asylum in five Mexican cities across the southwest border. Their testimonies are devastating, and the findings are clear: The illegal Biden asylum ban threatens the lives of vulnerable children and adults fleeing persecution forcing them to remain trapped for months in Mexico where they are targeted for kidnapping, rape, and exploitation while placing themselves at the mercy of the glitchy, inequitable CBP One app,” said Christina Asencio, Director of Research & Analysis, Refugee Protection with Human Rights First. “The ban violates core principles of refugee law by punishing and denying asylum protection to people in dire need of safety regardless of their eligibility under U.S. law, deporting them to danger. A ban that circumvents U.S. and international law, leaves stranded people at risk of harm at our doorstep and returns refugees to persecution cannot be touted as a success and must be rescinded immediately.” 

 Key findings of the report include:  

  • The asylum ban endangers the lives of thousands of at-risk asylum-seeking children, families, and adults waiting in Mexico for limited CBP One appointments. 
  • The asylum ban rigs the expedited removal and credible fear processes against people seeking asylum, with pass rates plummeting by 45%. 
  • People waiting to seek asylum overwhelmingly did not know about the Biden asylum ban nor understand the penalties it inflicts, contrary to government assertions touting the ban as a key factor in lowered border apprehension rates.  
  • People seeking asylum face unlawful, accompanying barriers to access U.S. ports of entry including limited and inequitable access to CBP One appointments and actions by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Mexican authorities to illegally turn away or meter people without appointments. 
  • Black, Indigenous, LGBTQ+ people, and those without financial resources face particular difficulties, dangers, and disparities when seeking asylum under the new process established by the Biden asylum ban.
  • People waiting to seek asylum are forced to endure inhumane standards of shelter, safety, water, sanitation, and hygiene even in extreme summer heat.

The report recommends, among other measures, that the Biden administration immediately end and rescind its asylum ban, which received widespread opposition and which U.S. agencies have stated is a “temporary measure and subject to review.


Published on July 12, 2023


Related Posts

Seeking asylum?

If you do not already have legal representation, cannot afford an attorney, and need help with a claim for asylum or other protection-based form of immigration status, we can help.