Bridges Faith Initiative Decries Biden’s Proposed Asylum Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2023

Contact: policy@bridgesfi.org

The Biden administration yesterday proposed a rule that would illegally ban many refugees from seeking asylum in the United States due to their transit through “unsafe” countries and the way in which they enter the U.S. Bridges Faith Initiative condemned the decision and urged the administration against promulgating these new provisions as a final rule.

“We must not repeat our nation’s mistakes of the past. This proposed rule is reminiscent of the times that the United States manufactured excuses to turn back Jewish people and
others escaping the Holocaust. The Biden administration must repeal this proposed asylum ban. These are matters of life and death. Instead, our country must implement solutions that align with our values and protect human life. Seeking asylum regardless of the manner of entry into the United States is legal and is a human right. It is immoral of the Biden Administration to posit that is not.”

Rabbi joshua lesser, president of bridges faith initiative

This asylum rule is only applicable to the U.S. Southern Border and will deny asylum to those who have passed through any other third country and /or those who cannot use a CBP app to get an appointment to present themselves at the southern border. This rule says people are only disqualified if they fail to use “some legal pathways”, but these pathways and processes are functionally impossible for most people, especially LGBTQ+ asylum seekers who are fleeing persecution.

Like the Trump administration’s asylum transit ban, this rule would deny refugees asylum and rapidly deport refugees without access to asylum hearings through expedited removal. Restricting access to asylum at ports of entry by requiring asylum seekers to use “CBPOne” app forces refugees to wait in danger and violates U.S. law.

Prior to yesterday’s announcement, faith groups, civil and human rights organizations, and 77 Democratic lawmakers urged the president to abandon the proposed rule. Yesterday leading senators and members of Congress, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, denounced the proposed rule, imploring the administration to reverse course.