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SPLC urges Biden administration to abandon ‘misguided’ asylum rule

The Southern Poverty Law Center submitted public comments this week in opposition to a proposed Biden administration rule – titled “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways” – that would severely restrict access to asylum for thousands of otherwise eligible migrants and their families.

The new asylum ban is a replica of Trump-era policies and stands in direct violation of long-established U.S. and international laws. Placing difficult and unfair barriers before migrants fleeing persecution is indefensible. It violates our nation’s laws and international commitments, and it would amount to abandoning our long-held aspiration to become a safe haven for anyone seeking asylum.

Access to asylum has not and cannot be dependent on an individual’s ability to access a limited number of slots through a glitchy mobile app. Requiring migrants to wait in Mexico until they can secure an appointment through the CBP One app is unfair and inequitable – especially for Black, LGBTQ+ and Indigenous migrants who face racial bias and language-access barriers within the app. Further, requiring migrants to first seek asylum in another country, like Mexico, where violence against migrants has been well documented, is morally unconscionable and practically unrealistic.

The SPLC urges the Biden administration to abandon this misguided, inhumane and discriminatory asylum ban.

Picture at top: Demonstrators gather on March 16, 2023, near the White House in Washington to protest the Biden administration’s plans for new asylum restrictions at the southern border with Mexico. (Credit: Bryan Olin Dozier/NurPhoto via AP)