Biden Administration Must Do More to Restore Access to Asylum at the Border

Please see below statement from Refugees International Senior U.S. Advocate Yael Schacher:

“Over the past few days, the Biden administration has announced new policies related to asylum at the border: a dedicated immigration court docket to expedite cases of families who enter at the border, and the end of the Remain in Mexico policy, which sent asylum seekers back to Mexico only to wait in danger and deprivation for their hearings in the United States. 

But these developments mean little for people seeking protection. Thousands subjected to Remain in Mexico still need a means to pursue their asylum cases in the United States. With the exception of a small number of exemptions, U.S. ports of entry remain closed to asylum seekers. People seeking safety at the border continue to be expelled to Mexico under supposed public health “Title 42” authority. Restrictions on eligibility for asylum, especially for those fleeing domestic violence or violence targeting family members, remain in place. And legal counsel for asylum seekers is lacking while the immigration courts are still run by rules and judges of the previous administration. 

Yesterday was the deadline for the Biden administration’s review of the use of expedited removal, which the president called for in a February 2 executive order. Since then, its use has grown, and with it the deprivation of due process and the increased inhumane detention of asylum seekers in ICE facilities. 

The Biden administration has much more to do to restore and reform the United States asylum system and to welcome asylum seekers with humanity and dignity. And, where it falls short, Congress must step in.”

For more information, read Yael Schacher’s recent report, “Addressing the Legacy of Expedited Removal: Border Procedures and Alternatives for Reform.”

To schedule an interview, please contact Refugees International  Director of Communications Sarah Sheffer at or +1 202 540 7029.

PHOTO CAPTION: A mother and daughter from Venezuela is taken into U.S. Border Patrol custody on May 19, 2021 in Del Rio, Texas. They had crossed the Rio Grande minutes earlier from Mexico to seek political asylum in the United States. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.