Biden’s Immigration Proclamation Betrays the Need of Border Communities and the Nation

(Washington)—President Biden’s proclamation shutting down the southern border serves another devastating policy move that will catastrophically alter the asylum system for individuals seeking safety and protection.   

These executive actions wrongly rely on section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the very same flawed and discounted legal rationale used during the Trump presidency to effectuate the Muslim and African ban.    

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) decries the Biden administration’s willingness to forfeit access to humanitarian protections as well as the due process of law to politics.  Sound immigration policy rooted in compassion must guide the administration.   

“Our leaders are doubling down on failed enforcement-only approaches.  Today’s executive actions do nothing to address humanitarian crises at the global level but instead make the conditions for migrants seeking refuge more dangerous and dire,” said Policy Director Sameera Hafiz. “The ILRC calls on the Biden Administration to do better.” 

Specifically, the ILRC calls on Biden to: 

  • Rescind all harmful asylum rules and restore access to protection.  The administration’s record on asylum is already abysmal, at best. The administration’s deeply dehumanizing approach to asylees and refugees must be reframed. In addition to allowing numerous Trump-era regulations to remain on the books, it has issued its own damaging policies, including the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule, which institutes a process gauntlet that severely limits access to asylum. Most immediately, the administration must urgently take steps to rescind all these rules. In addition, it must dedicate significant resources toward rebuilding the asylum program. Currently, there are over 1 million asylum applications pending before USCIS and over 1 million pending before the immigration courts. These are staggering numbers and the administration must take steps, including streamlining the onerous adjudications process, toward reducing the backlog and ensuring that benefits available are, in fact, accessible. 
  • Use executive authority broadly and creatively to help immigrant communities in Texas.  The Biden administration should take immediate administrative action to provide relief to Texas families. DHS should offer immigration relief to all migrants arrested and prosecuted under Operation Lone Star and immediately reunite families who have been separated under the program. 
  • End prosecutions for immigration violations.  Prosecutions for immigration violations drive mass incarceration and target individuals seeking safety, freedom and opportunity. Under the Biden administration, prosecutions for unlawful entry have exploded.  The administration should end these cruel prosecutions immediately. The administration should instead work alongside border communities to identify their challenges and address their needs. 

For more information on exective actions the ILRC urges the Biden administration to take, see:   



The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities. Follow us at, and on Twitter and Instagram @the_ILRC