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Women’s Refugee Commission Celebrates Ruling Blocking Biden Administration’s Asylum Ban

Washington, D.C. – Today, a U.S. federal court blocked the Biden administration’s “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways” federal rule. The rule functions as an asylum ban that limits how people may seek protection in the United States and requires individuals who have not been granted parole or presented to a port of entry with a CBP One appointment to first seek asylum — and be denied — in another country. U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar, who issued the ruling, also issued a stay for two weeks.

In response, Katharina Obser, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), stated:

“The Women’s Refugee Commission celebrates today’s decision, in which the court correctly ruled that the Biden administration’s asylum ban violates United States law in numerous ways. WRC urges the Biden administration to now fully restore the right to seek asylum and build a fair, orderly, and humane process to welcome, rather than punish, vulnerable people. Restrictions like the asylum ban illegally dismantle refugee rights and harm people fleeing for their lives.

“Just last week, WRC visited both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley and witnessed the harm and devastation caused by the asylum ban. My colleagues spoke to dozens of individuals who have attempted — for weeks or months — to seek asylum at the U.S. border and remain trapped in dire conditions and fearful for their safety. Their lived experiences underscore how critical it is that the administration abandon its attempts to restrict access to asylum. People will flee to save their lives regardless of the U.S. policies in place. No one we spoke with fully understood the ban or its requirements and ramifications. Rather than respond with bans, the United States should instead expand capacity at ports of entry and invest in humanitarian reception of people seeking safety.

“WRC will continue to advocate for a U.S. asylum system that honors the right to seek protection, no matter one’s nationality, race, or manner of entry. We commend the plaintiffs — East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, American Gateways, Central American Resource Center, Immigrant Defenders Law Center, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Tahirih Justice Center — and litigators — the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Northern California, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, and National Immigrant Justice Center — for their success in blocking this inhumane and illegal policy.”