• Press Release

Amnesty International USA’s Reaction to Biden Administration’s Executive Order on Asylum 

June 4, 2024

Mario Tama/Getty Images

In response to an executive order announced today by President Biden that effectively shuts down the U.S.-Mexico border and creates a first of its kind numerical cap on the number of people who can seek asylum in the United States, Amy Fischer, Director of Refugee and Migrant Rights at Amnesty International USA, made the following statement: 

“This executive action plays into false narratives about invasions at the border and advances a policy grounded in white supremacist ideas at the expense of people in search of safety in the U.S. 

“President Biden’s action sets a dangerous international precedent as a first-of-its-kind numerical cap on asylum, limiting the number of people who can claim asylum in the U.S. and effectively shutting down the U.S.-Mexico border, using the same legal authority that the Trump administration used to implement the dangerous and xenophobic Muslim and African travel bans. 

“To be clear, this executive action will not fix the problems plaguing the border, address the needs of big cities faced with high numbers of new arrivals, stop people from fleeing for their lives, nor will it not keep communities safe. It will only cause more chaos and cruelty, and inevitably, more torture, violence, and deaths of women, men, and children seeking safety in the U.S. 

“It’s deeply disappointing to see President Biden so hellbent on dismantling human rights for people seeking asylum and implementing policies that are plainly illegal under international and refugee law. 

“This is an utterly shameful move for a country that once helped draft the Refugee Convention. We need real solutions that respect human rights, address root causes of forced migration, allow for safe and orderly pathways to safety, and meet the needs of communities at the border and in the interior of the United States.  

“Amnesty International USA urges President Biden to put himself in the shoes of people forced to leave their homes and embark on a dangerous journey to escape harm, and finally consistently follow the human rights norms that he claims to champion.” 

CONTACT: [email protected]