New Asylum Ban
by Jose Enrique Perez
After finishing Title 42, the Biden Administration has decided to put in place an asylum ban.
When we hear an immigration ban, we immediately remember the bans during the Trump Administration. The Biden ban is very similar to those. They are basically “entry” and “transit” bans. At the time, there was a lot of litigation around it and the Trump bans ended up being blocked by the courts.
What is the ban about? It prohibits asylum for everyone at the border who transited through another country en route to the United States from any country other than Mexico. This ban would not apply to immigrants who are using CBP One or are coming with previously scheduled appointments for the border. The immigrant who did not use the CBP One or has arranged an appointment and was trying to seek entry by seeking asylum or refugee status in the United States, then the immigrant would be denied entry if he/she has not applied for asylum in the other country outside of the United States. Thus, that person is banned.
Clearly, these types of bans run afoul asylum and humanitarian laws. Generally, Asylum and Humanitarian laws and regulations do not allow any government to restrict access to asylum based on an individual’s manner of entry or whether they applied for asylum elsewhere. An immigrant who is fleeing a dangerous situation or a persecution from another country should not be required to seek asylum in transit countries because that country may be as bad as the country the person is coming from or may not have a good asylum system or may have a collapsing immigration system, but more importantly those countries may be even more dangerous than the country the person is running form.
When immigrants are seeking refuge or protection, they should have a right to at least fight an asylum case no matter how they came or how many countries they traveled through or how they got to the border.
The Biden Administration is trying to push for people to come with prior authorization or at least with appointments. However, applying this ban significantly limits immigrants’ ability to get protection from persecution or danger. That is why several organizations (ACLU, CGRS, and NIJC) have filed lawsuits to enjoin the application of the Ban. These legal challenges actually show the reality of the problems that immigrants have when they are exposed to these types of bans or prohibitions. For instance, some of the problems that immigrants seeking asylum face when being forced to use CBP One to secure an appointment to seek asylum: lack of financial resources to acquire a smartphone, lack of adequate internet access to use the app, technical glitches, language and literacy barriers, and an insufficient number of available appointments. These issues ultimately will leave many asylum seekers stranded indefinitely in dangerous and life-threatening conditions in Mexico or other countries.
The problem for the ban is that other courts in the past have recognized that these measures violate human rights, humanitarian laws and, of course, asylum regulations. Therefore, we have to wait and see what the courts will do now with this new ban.
You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance or information about immigration issues. Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in connection with this form. Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.
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