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ImmDef Condemns Biden's Border Shutdown

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Press Contact: Renee Garcia, rgarcia@immdef.org, 213-634-2186 ext. 8128 


ImmDef Condemns Biden’s Border Shutdown 


Los Angeles (6/4/24) – On Tuesday, June 4, 2024, President Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation that will allow the president to shut down the southern border to asylum seekers and refugees and eliminate their ability to seek safety in the United States based on apprehension numbers. The President is invoking the authority of Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to halt or restrict people from entering the country, despite migrant crossings plummeting by 54% since December 2023. This authority was previously used during the Trump administration and was found to be unlawful by the courts. A trigger of 2,500 daily border encounters per day over one week will prompt the closure of the border to asylum-seekers and the border will only reopen once encounters fall to 1,500 per day. 


Closing the border and expelling people to Mexican border towns exposes families to exploitation, kidnappings, physical and sexual violence, and death. As we’ve learned from prior border shutdowns, without safe legal pathways to enter the United States, people will take desperate measures to seek safety and reunite with family members.  


ImmDef condemns the Biden Administration’s flawed decision to mirror the inhumane and unlawful failed policies of the Trump era and has issued the following statement:  


“The administration continues to revert to failed border policies that slam the door in the face of those seeking protection for political gain. Nothing has been gained by these political ploys. The Biden administration must focus on effective solutions that uphold due process in the immigration system and end fragmented and counterproductive measures that undercut justice for asylum seekers. Now is the time to implement humane and effective border processing upgrades instead of doubling down on deterrence-based policies that fail asylum seekers and refugees as well as betray our values as a nation. We implore the Biden administration to forge a path forward with solutions like increased lawful pathways, and veer away from the inhumane and illegal policies of the Trump era” said Lindsay Toczylowski, Executive Director, ImmDef.  


“Asylum is not about arbitrary justice--one day you are in and the next day you are not. It is about giving the most vulnerable people in the world the opportunity to thrive instead of perish. Deterrence policies do not work in a world where war, discrimination, environmental disasters, and persecution based on their political opinion, sexual identity, or gender are rampant, forcing people to seek safety in other countries,” said Margaret Cargioli, Directing Attorney Policy and Advocacy. "People only leave their homes when they have no other choice. Sensible immigration policies focus on safely welcoming migrants into our communities and upholding fairness and due process while considering asylum applications. Pregnant mothers, LGBTQ+ individuals, families, men, and their loved ones will suffer for generations due to a short-sighted political strategy by an administration that had promised to restore asylum.” 


 “The Biden administration seems hell-bent on chasing anti-immigrant ideologues down the rabbit hole of failed deterrence policies in a cynical effort to make themselves look tougher at the border. But taking a page from the Trump playbook is not going to score Biden any points. What it will do is force thousands of people—including families and children—back to dangerous conditions. It will separate families. And it will give America a black eye for failing to live up to its ideals by refusing to welcome immigrants and asylum seekers,” said Alvaro Huerta, Director of Litigation and Advocacy, ImmDef. 


 ImmDef calls on the Biden administration to: 

  1. Open safe, legal pathways to asylum for those fleeing persecution and danger.  

  2. End restrictive and deterrence-based asylum policies like the asylum ban and the border shutdown, and instead increase the number of CBP One appointments and expand this program to all ports of entry. 

  3. Fund access to counsel for all immigrants.  

  4. Provide more funding to USCIS to process asylum applications. 

  5. Provide lawful pathways for people who have lived in the United States for decades including undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens and DREAMers, TPS for people from countries in turmoil like Haiti, and humanitarian parole for refugees from countries like Sudan. 

 

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The Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef) is a next-generation social justice law firm that defends immigrant communities against injustices in the immigration system.  Our programs are a first step towards the long-term goal of providing universal representation to all immigrants facing deportation. ImmDef is now the largest non‐profit, pro bono provider of deportation defense in California, with offices in Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Ana, and San Diego. 

 

 

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