Biden’s Executive Action on Immigration Called ‘Ruthless’ Asylum Ban by San Francisco Civil Rights Group  

By Quinn Hogan

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCRSF) is calling President Biden’s recent immigration executive action a “ruthless asylum ban that places arbitrary limits on asylum seekers’ ability to present their claims at our southern border,” and urged an “immediate rescission” of the order.

The executive action, announced June 4, includes a variety of immigration policy changes, including a temporary ban that will bar those who cross the southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum.

The ban will go into effect when the daily average number of border crossings between official ports of entry reaches 2,500 people crossing between points of entry each day, and will be lifted 14 days after that number is reduced to 1,500.

According to the White House fact sheet, the ban will be “discontinued when the number of migrants who cross the border between ports of entry is low enough for America’s system to safely and effectively manage border operations.”

“A quota system arbitrarily denies thousands of individuals their right to seek asylum, without any legal process,” alleges LCCRSF in a statement, adding, “With this new policy, the U.S. blatantly violates its own asylum laws, along with international refugee laws, that guarantee the right to seek asylum regardless of one’s mode of entry.”

The Biden-Harris administration’s fact sheet characterizes the immigration system in the U.S. as “broken,” and describes the executive action as a limited version of a more comprehensive immigration bill that was unable to make it through Congress earlier this year. 

“This cannot achieve the same results as Congressional action, and it does not provide the critical personnel and funding needed to further secure our Southern border,” said the White House, noting, “Congress still must act.”

The LCCRSF calls the executive order “a pernicious revival of the Trump administration’s failed immigration policies and disastrous asylum bans.” 

According to the San Francisco-based civil rights organization, “deterrence based policies inevitably intensify suffering, increase fatalities, and drain vital immigration resources.”

In addition to enacting the temporary suspension of border crossings, the White House claims the action will serve to “strengthen the asylum screening process” and “more quickly resolve immigration cases.” This includes a rule that will remove migrants who cross the border unlawfully from the process more quickly.

The White House sheet indicates the executive action will support a continued increase of Department of Homeland Security enforcement at the border, and the addition of 40 new drug detection machines meant to decrease the volume of fentanyl entering the US.

According to the LCCRSF, “President Biden’s order eviscerates asylum rights and prioritizes political gain over the urgent safety and protection of vulnerable individuals fleeing war, poverty, authoritarianism, and violence.”

Amanda Bhuket, director of LCCRSF’s immigrant justice program, charged the new policy “is in direct violation of both U.S. and international refugee law, which dictate that every individual, regardless of how they arrive, has the right to seek asylum.”

About The Author

Quinn Hogan is a rising senior at the University of Vermont, where he studies English and Political Science and works as a writing tutor. He is a lifelong writer and storyteller with passions for journalism and social justice. He plans to continue writing after undergrad as a journalist or novelist (or both). Quinn loves talking to strangers, rescuing worms, reading books by Susanna Clarke and Jeff VanderMeer, and playing games with overly complicated rules. He is also a musician and songwriter.

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