More than 100 immigration advocacy organizations have launched a public campaign to raise awareness and voice their concern to the Biden administration over its new proposal to restrict access to asylum at the southern border.
The policy would make undocumented migrants crossing the southern border ineligible for asylum if they did not first make a claim in a country they passed through on their way to the U.S. The Biden administration has said it wants to incentivize more migrants to apply for asylum in their home countries, before making the dangerous trip.
The immigrant advocacy groups have launched a website, noasylumban.us, to rally opposition to the policy and spur opponents to contact the Biden administration. The proposed policy is currently open for public comment, meaning citizens can express opinions on the proposal to the Department of Homeland Security.
Over 70 Democrats send letter to Biden criticizing immigration policiesJan. 26, 202302:33
Trump ally and immigration hard-liner Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, meanwhile, offered qualified support for the new policy.
The endorsement by a conservative Republican and the rebuke by organizations that have previously aligned themselves with Democratic-led border policies illuminate the strange position the Biden administration has found itself in as it tries to prevent a surge at the border when the Covid ban known as Title 42 expires in May.
When presented with the new policy in an interview with NBC News while visiting the border in Yuma, Arizona, Jordan said, “Good,” but then said the lower numbers at the border seen in January have started to climb in recent weeks.
Jordan then said President Joe Biden should bring back Trump-era policies like Remain in Mexico and said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas should be impeached.
Immigration groups have likened the Biden policy to a similar strategy known as a “transit ban” that was championed by Stephen Miller, the former senior adviser to President Trump who drove many of that administration’s tough immigration policies.
“This is not a Trump-era policy,” Mayorkas said on MSNBC on Jan. 31, when details of the new policy were circulating. “This is not a transit ban. We have provided a lawful path for individuals to try and seek entry.”
Biden administration officials have said they plan to launch it when Title 42 lifts. Title 42, which has blocked more than 2 million border crossings, is expected to end on May 11, barring a successful court challenge.
“This rule is a stark reversal of the administration’s stated commitment to restoring access to asylum. The right to see asylum, no matter how you enter the U.S., has been a hallmark of U.S. asylum law and that right shouldn’t be conditioned on whether you sought and were denied asylum on your way here,” said Alex Miller, director of the Immigration Justice Campaign.
Other immigration groups, including the National Immigration Justice Center, have said they are prepared to sue the administration to stop the new policy from moving forward.