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IRAP Denounces Biden Asylum Ban


May 10, 2023


Spencer Tilger |


(New York, NY) – Today, the Biden administration finalized a rule that will devastate access to the asylum system at the U.S.-Mexico border ahead of the expected lifting of Title 42 restrictions on May 11, 2023. The rule will deny people their right to seek protection in the United States and force asylum seekers to first apply for asylum in Mexico or other transit countries, violating both domestic and international law. A similar ban proposed by the Trump administration was quickly struck down by a federal court. Last week, the administration sought to deflect criticism of its actions at the border by announcing the opening of refugee processing centers in Guatemala and Colombia.

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) strongly opposes all policies aimed at restricting the ability of people to access their legal right to seek safety in the United States. IRAP submitted a comment opposing the ban and joined the Welcome With Dignity coalition campaign to gather nearly 33,000 public comments in opposition. 

IRAP U.S. Legal Director, Laurie Ball Cooper, said: 

“It is deeply troubling that the Biden administration has chosen to rush forward with this rule knowing full well it will inflict needless suffering and harm at the border. The Biden administration should be ashamed of pursuing Trump-era policies to unjustly deny protection to people seeking safety in the United States and return them to danger. The administration must immediately rescind this harmful and illegal rule.” 

IRAP and Derechos Humanos Integrales en Acción (DHIA) Case Manager, Victor Flores, said: 

“The recent fire at a migrant detention center in Ciudad Juárez is a tragic reminder of the consequences of policies that restrict the ability of people to apply for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. Many people are either not able to access the Mexican asylum system or are not safe in Mexico. For them, asylum in the U.S. is a matter of life or death and should not be undermined by bans or determined by a glitchy app like CBP One. These misguided policies do not address the root causes of migration and instead seek to punish people who are fleeing danger and persecution.” 

Additional Information

  • Read IRAP’s comment opposing the proposed rule: HERE.
  • Read IRAP’s previous statement condemning the proposed asylum ban: HERE
  • Read IRAP’s response to the establishment of refugee processing centers in Latin America: HERE