We Denounce President Biden’s Executive Order to Close the Border

Latest news | Jun 04, 2024 05:06 pm

Despite voter desire for Biden’s dignifying immigration solutions of 2020, administration embraces restrictionist approach and election-year politicking

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  At the start of Immigrant Heritage Month, the Biden Administration issued executive orders that would arbitrarily restrict the number of migrants who can enter the country, bar people from seeking asylum for temporary periods of time, and increase the screening requirement for other forms of humanitarian protection. The order closely mirrors measures in the failed bipartisan border deal and is even more restrictive than a 2018 effort by former President Trump to deter migration to the United States, which faced strong opposition from Democrats and was ultimately blocked by federal courts. 

President Biden issued the order under Immigration and Nationality Act sections 212(f) and 215(a), restricting entry of noncitizens who cross the Southern border into the United States when there is an average of 2,500 crossings per day over a seven-day period, thus closing the border and restricting legal rights to seek asylum at ports of entry. This Interim Final Rule, which takes effect immediately, disregards the participatory process of notice-and-comment rulemaking.

Rather than punitive, enforcement-only immigration policies that, per the White House statement on the order, “deliver timely consequences” to people seeking safety and return them to harm, advocates and the electorate alike seek dignifying immigration solutions like pathways to citizenship and fair access to asylum. According to a new non-partisan poll conducted by the U.S. Immigration Policy Center (USIPC) at the University of California, San Diego, inclusive immigration policies that include a pathway to citizenship for immigrants significantly boosts approval for President Biden’s immigration policies among Democratic and Independent voters.

In response to today’s executive order and in support of dignifying solutions, the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) and the We Are All American (WAAA) campaign issued the following statements:

Said Nicole Melaku, NPNA executive director: “President Biden’s executive order is a profound disappointment and a stark betrayal of the compassionate, life-affirming immigration solutions he promised in 2020. By embracing punitive, right-wing strategies, the administration is turning its back on the American electorate’s clear desire for inclusive policies that provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants. Instead of performative band aid “solutions” that will hurt our communities and economy in the long-run, we need real solutions that address the root causes of migration, honor our nation’s commitment to provide refuge to those in need of safety, and uphold the dignity and rights of all individuals and families. We urge President Biden to reverse course and call on our members of Congress to reject these misguided approaches and instead implement humane, effective immigration policies that reflect our nation’s values of welcome, fairness, safety, and promoting lives of dignity.”

“We are deeply disappointed by this executive order that is reactive to political whims rather than responsive to human needs,” said Fatima Said, Campaign Director of We Are All America. “This ‘border closing’ authority will allow the president to arbitrarily limit the number of people allowed to seek asylum in the United States. This approach fails to address the root causes of forced migration and start the workable, dignifying asylum system President Biden envisioned for the nation at the start of his administration. Asylum-seeking people and refugees have brought renewed life to our local economies and irreplaceable vibrancy to our families and communities. We expect our elected officials – from the halls of Congress to the White House – to enact immigration policies that honor immigrants for their contributions and promote the safety and inclusion of all people.” 

The USIPC poll, which surveyed a representative online sample of 4,164 registered voters, revealed that President Biden’s 2020 immigration platform, which focused on a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, increased his approval of immigration policies by an average of 17 percentage points among Democratic registered voters. Additionally, polling results showed that providing information about a hypothetical shift to the right by President Biden does not increase approval for the President’s policies among Democratic or Independent voters.


The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) is a multi-ethnic, multiracial coalition of 70 of the nation’s largest immigrant and refugee rights organizations with reach across over 40 states. Together with our members, we advance immigrant and refugee equity and inclusion, build and expand immigration legal services and integration programming capacity, and drive campaigns that strengthen democracy through increased civic participation. See our website for more information at partnershipfornewamericans.org.

We Are All America works to uphold and strengthen our nation’s commitment to welcome and protect those seeking freedom, safety and refuge in the United States. We organize people across religious and cultural differences to build inclusive communities where we all belong. See our website for more information at weareallus.org