Pres. Biden Announces Asylum Ban

June 4, 2024

I’m announcing actions to bar migrants who cross our southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum.

President Biden announcing new executive action on immigration, including an unprecedented plan to limit asylum claims at the U.S. border to only those who attempt it through “legal pathways” (instead of attempting to cross the U.S. border illegally.

Why It Matters: A record number of encounters have occurred at the U.S. border under the Biden Administration. Last year, encounters (people confronted by law enforcement entering the country without legal status – either taken into custody, arrested, removed or allowed to stay pending asylum claims) topped 3 million for the first time in recorded history; more than 2.4 million on the southwest border alone. While the pace of encounters has somewhat slowed in recent months, it has not decreased significantly, creating as the Customs and Border Protection described in a recent press release, a resource challenge for the U.S. government and a political challenge for those in office (both republicans and democrats).

Important Context: Once someone has two feet on U.S. soil they can claim asylum; whether the U.S. government will approve that asylum remains TBD. Pres. Biden’s proposal would limit asylum requests to *only* those who come in a legal port of entry, or apply through the government’s app, but technically, that’s not required by asylum law (which doesn’t stipulate you have to have permission to be in the country to apply). Changing asylum law would take an act of Congress.

Timing: President Biden announces these executive actions 6 months ahead of election day. An executive action means he does not need Congressional approval – this is a unilateral move. Legal challenges to this move = TBD.

Reports: Earlier reporting put some numbers to the president’s now announced actions citing sources close to the matter, though we caution, we haven’t see or heard these numbers directly from the the President or the White House specifically The early proposal suggested that if encounters top more than 2500 per day, the U.S. government would limit or even shut down the asylum process at the U.S. border; nationwide encounters in April averaged roughly 8,000+ per day and just under 6,000 at the southwest border alone.

The number of “encounters”: This refers to individuals actually confronted by law enforcement, not the total number of those who entered the country without legal status.

Fact Sheet From The White House

Biden to announce executive action on immigration

Biden prepares an order that would shut down asylum if a daily average of 2,500 migrants arrive

by Jenna Lee,