Against Voters’ Desire for Humane Immigration Solutions, Biden Announces Executive Action on Southern Border

CONTACT: Zameena Mejia,

WASHINGTON, D.C—Today, the Biden administration unveiled an executive order that would grant the president the authority to temporarily and arbitrarily limit the number of people permitted to claim asylum at the U.S. southern border. The executive action, which utilizes the authority granted to the president under the Immigration and Nationality Act, allows President Biden to bar asylum-seeking people for extended periods.

Advocates concerned for the due process rights of people seeking asylum say that the order undermines the explicit statutory right to apply for asylum at the border, severely restricting the right to claim asylum in the United States. This measure will disproportionately endanger marginalized groups, including Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ people seeking asylum, while violating our nation’s legal obligations under domestic and international law.

The new executive order endangers people seeking safety and goes against the desired immigration solutions of voters. New voter polling conducted by the U.S. Immigration Policy Center (USIPC) at the University of California, San Diego, shows that members of Biden’s own party approve of Biden’s earlier promises of humane and fair solutions. The poll shows no increase in support for the Biden Administration overall for taking on a policy agenda of harsher immigration restrictions.

"We need our elected officials, especially the Biden Administration, to focus on real policy solutions to build a humane and functional immigration system, not on political posturing,” said Annie Chen, director, Advancing Universal Representation initiative, Vera Institute of Justice. “Asylum-seeking immigrants are fleeing danger, not causing it—and President Biden said as much during the early years of his administration. It's time to stop the political games and build a fair and workable asylum system that prioritizes fairness and due process, keeps families together, and stabilizes our communities."

Said Nicole Melaku, National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) executive director: “President Biden's executive order is a profound disappointment and a stark betrayal of the compassionate, life-affirming immigration solutions he promised in 2020. By embracing punitive, right-wing strategies, the administration is turning its back on the American electorate's clear desire for inclusive policies that provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants. Instead of performative bandaid ‘solutions’ that will hurt all of our communities in the long-run, we need real solutions that address the root causes of migration, honor our nation’s commitment to provide refuge to those in need of safety, and uphold the dignity and rights of all individuals and families. We urge President Biden to reverse course and call on our members of Congress to reject these misguided approaches and instead implement humane, effective immigration policies that reflect our nation’s values of welcome, fairness, security, and promoting lives of dignity.”


Fairness to Freedom: The Campaign for Universal Representation was launched by the National Partnership for New Americans and the Vera Institute of Justice in April 2022 with a coalition of over 200 organizations and legal service providers. The campaign’s goal is to support the passage of the Fairness to Freedom Act to establish a federal right to representation for all immigrants facing deportation.

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