RCUSA Condemns Biden Administration’s Executive Order Banning Asylum

JUNE 5, 2024

Washington, DC – On June 4, the Biden administration announced a federal rule designed to close the border to most asylum-seekers. The rule represents a devastating escalation of  U.S. asylum restrictions. It will likely lead to an indefinite closure of the border to almost all those seeking protection, severely impacting human rights and exacerbating humanitarian crises. This policy attempts to use the same authority as a Trump administration asylum restriction that was swiftly struck down in court. The rule includes even fewer exceptions than prior harsh asylum restrictions, potentially denying essential protections to individuals in dire need, including those seeking protection under the Convention Against Torture.

The proposed border closure policy contravenes U.S. obligations under international law and would likely result in the refoulement of asylum seekers back into the dangers they have fled. It would also exacerbate the already-significant backlog of individuals waiting to seek asylum, which could lead to prolonged and indefinite waiting periods, causing uncertainty and life-threatening circumstances for vulnerable populations. Additionally, many asylum seekers who are denied a legitimate process may attempt to cross the border multiple times, leading to heightened border security challenges and increased danger for migrants.

“Our coalition is aligned in impressing upon President Biden that his executive order goes against every principle of American humanitarianism,” said RCUSA Executive Director John Slocum. “This rule will endanger people’s lives by forcing them to return to places where their lives are in danger. At a time of unprecedented levels of global forced displacement, the Biden administration must reconsider this approach and seek humane, lawful, and effective solutions to address the challenges at the border while upholding the nation’s commitment to human rights and justice.”

Media Contact: Mariam Sayeed, msayeed@rcusa.org


RCUSA is a diverse coalition advocating for just and humane laws and policies, and the promotion of dialogue and communication among government, civil society, and those who need protection and welcome. Individual RCUSA members do not all address all refugee-related issues, nor do all individual members approach common refugee-related issues identically