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Biden Expected to Issue Executive Order Limiting Asylum

State of the Union: Biden’s latest line on immigration might just be a smokescreen.
Credit: Muhammad Aamir Sumsum

President Biden is reportedly expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday that will temporarily close the U.S.–Mexico border to illegal immigrants claiming asylum.

This order would be Biden’s most restrictive border policy yet, and comes as a response to the pressure the president is facing from a growing number of voters for whom immigration is a top issue going into the November election. According to the New York Times, “Polls suggest growing support, even inside the president’s party, for border measures that once Democrats denounced and Mr. Trump championed.” 


The news has been met with mixed feedback. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) told Axios, “I’ve been briefed on the pending executive order. I certainly support it because I’ve been advocating for these measures for years. While the order is yet to be released, I am supportive of the details provided to me thus far.”

Lee Gelernt, an ACLU attorney who specializes in immigration cases, however, said that this executive order could be met with legal action: “We will need to see the EO before making any litigation decisions…. [A]ny policy that effectively ends asylum protection for people fleeing danger would raise significant legal problems, as it did when Trump tried to end asylum.”

Biden’s efforts to secure the border may not be that restrictive in practice. According to the New York Post, “Data show that since 2022, more than 350,000 asylum cases filed by immigrants have been closed by the US government if the applicants don’t have a criminal record or are otherwise not deemed a threat to the country.” 

These immigrants are subsequently “removed from the legal system and no longer required to check in with authorities.” Immigrants seeking “asylum” may conveniently fall through the cracks of the U.S. legal system, despite Biden’s forthcoming executive order.