President Joe Biden’s asylum rule has imperiled thousands of migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border and significantly narrowed their opportunities to seek asylum in the country, a new report says.
Attorneys and researchers with the humanitarian organization Human Rights First spoke with more than 300 asylum seekers in five Mexican cities along the southwest border over two months and published the report on July 12.
The report documents dozens of firsthand accounts of the harms that Biden’s asylum rule has caused since it was implemented on May 10.
Daileska Giovanna Vaquero Escalona waits in line in Nogales, Sonora, where she has a CBP One appointment with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The rule aims to incentivize asylum seekers to use parole programs and the CBP One government mobile application to seek asylum at official ports of entry. A vast share of asylum seekers, however, are not aware of the rule or the consequences it poses for people trying to enter without a CBP One appointment.
The penalties of the rule include rapid deportation through the expedited removal process. People are considered ineligible for asylum if they arrive in between ports of entry without having applied and been denied asylum in a country they already passed through.
Wilmer Rafael Carson Castillo (right) who has been on an eight-month journey from his home country of Venezuela, stands outside of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry in Nogales, Sonora, on May 12, 2023, where he has an asylum appointment set up through CBP One.
It’s not enough to wait a long time for an asylum decision in a transit country, such as Mexico. Migrants must also be denied protection before moving forward.
Humanitarian group: Biden’s rule has put people in danger
The rule has stranded thousands of asylum seekers in places where they are targets for kidnappings; sexual assault; enforced, or forced, disappearance; and extortion as they wait for a CBP One appointment, the report found.
Researchers documented the experience of a Haitian family that was nearly kidnapped in early June in Nogales, Sonora, as they arrived for their CBP One appointment. The family was traveling with an 11-month-old infant.
This report recommends, among other measures, that the Biden administration immediately end and rescind its asylum ban, which received widespread opposition and which U.S. agencies have stated is a “temporary” measure and subject to review.
Source: Human Rights First