News » CGRS Urges Biden to Abandon Plans to Gut Asylum

CGRS Urges Biden to Abandon Plans to Gut Asylum

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Feb 23, 2024

In response to reports that the Biden administration may wield its executive power to enact extreme anti-asylum policies, Kate Jastram, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS), shared the following comment:

“Rather than pursue real solutions, it appears the Biden administration is once again doubling down on failed policies that will imperil the lives of people seeking safety and sow chaos and dysfunction at the southern border. This marks yet another betrayal of President Biden’s promise to turn the page on Trump-era cruelty and restore a fair, orderly, and humane asylum process. The proposals reportedly under consideration violate U.S. and international refugee law and would undoubtedly face litigation, as the administration well knows. ‘Ban asylum first, deal with the lawsuits later’ was Stephen Miller’s approach to policy making. We implore the White House to do better.”

Earlier this year the White House threw its weight behind a radical Senate bill that would have amounted to the most anti-asylum and anti-immigrant legislation in decades, pledging to “shut down the border” should it pass. After the bill failed, reports emerged of the administration’s intent to pursue executive action to gut access to asylum at the southern border. The administration reportedly plans to rely on the same legal authority that the Trump administration weaponized in its failed attempts to implement its Muslim ban, African ban, and asylum entry ban.

This week CGRS joined more than 150 international, national, state, local, and faith-based organizations in a letter to President Biden, urging the president to reverse course. “You cannot outdo your predecessor in engineering extreme policies, either by legislation or executive action,” the groups wrote. “Your recent comments and actions have [left] little daylight between your administration and others who demonize Black, Indigenous, and Brown people, including particularly vulnerable groups like women, children, and LGBTQ+ people. Instead, we urge you to consider the many humane steps your administration can take via executive action to restore faith in our immigration system while bringing order and fairness to the border.”