Opposition to Proposed Asylum Transit Ban Rule Across U.S.

April 10, 2023
Last modified: 
April 10, 2023

WASHINGTON “Death cannot be the cost of our immigration laws.” The title of Bishop Mark J. Seitz’s op-ed in America Magazine says it all in one devastating sentence. 

The Biden administration may have thought it could replace Title 42 with a different asylum ban without much of a fight. But partners in the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign for asylum rights are showing that the opposition is passionate, strong, and unrelenting.

Responding to a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register, nearly 33,000 people sent a message opposing the asylum ban through the online portal NoAsylumBan.US, and nearly 10,000 people submitted comments through portals created by movement partners. 

Over 65 organizations sent statements opposing the proposed asylum ban directly to the administration. Organizers held two protests outside the White House, including one with teddy bears locked in cages, representing the children who would suffer from the administration’s plans to pair the asylum ban with the reinstatement of family detention.

Piper Perabo, Mia Farrow, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and others sent an open letter to the administration urging it to “rescind these proposed regulations and to build back an asylum system in the U.S. that is safe, orderly, and humane.” 

Padma Lakshmi weighed in on Twitter and Instagram, saying: “Asylum is a human right. As one of the richest countries in the world, we should be doing our best to provide asylum for those escaping persecution and violence from around the globe, INCLUDING at the southern border.” There’s really no arguing with that.  

Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell called out the administration’s hypocrisy, citing times that President Biden himself criticized the proposals he’s now supporting. This hypocrisy has become a consistent feature of Biden’s border policies, as his administration increasingly relies on draconian measures it once rightfully repudiated as inhumane and unlawful.

A new report from First Focus on Children and the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights explains how another Biden administration policy—fast-tracked asylum screenings—harms children. Linda Corchado, director of the Children’s Immigration Network at Children at Risk in Texas, wrote about what she saw when the Trump administration implemented its own asylum ban: “I cannot recall one conversation with a parent that didn’t include the long, forlorn siren sound of their children’s cries.” 

An alternate approach is happening across the country—from Texas and Arizona to Michigan and beyond. Lisa Parisio of the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in Maine explained: “The incredible thing is that when we choose to welcome people over inflicting more cruelty and harm, we all benefit. This is especially true in Maine when we look to the needs of our people and our economy.”

Susan Reed with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center described how immigrant leaders, lawyers, and volunteers are working together to “tend to our community needs and find joy in the ways individuals and families can flourish.” She added, “The rhetoric of resentment and fear, though cruel and wasteful, can’t shatter that strength.”

Said Bilal Askaryar, Campaign Manager with #WelcomeWithDignity: “There are two choices here, but only one right answer. The Biden administration must stand with communities who are to welcome and withdraw the asylum ban rule.”

Read the WelcomeWithDignity campaign’s comment to the proposed federal rule.


For more information, contact the American Immigration Council: 

Brianna Dimas at [email protected] or 202-507-7557

The American Immigration Council works to strengthen America by shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration and by working toward a more fair and just immigration system that opens its doors to those in need of protection and unleashes the energy and skills that immigrants bring. The Council brings together problem solvers and employs four coordinated approaches to advance change—litigation, research, legislative and administrative advocacy, and communications. Follow the latest Council news and information on ImmigrationImpact.com and Twitter @immcouncil.

The #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign for asylum rights is composed of more than 100 organizations committed to transforming the way the United States receives and protects people forced to flee their homes to ensure they are treated humanely and fairly. To learn more and join our campaign visit: welcomewithdignity.org 

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Elyssa Pachico
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