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Biden’s racist border proclamation



Biden’s border proclamation is anti-Black, inhumane and breaks international law


June 5th, 2024


What is Going On?

On Tuesday, June 4th, 2024 Biden issued a proclamation that would severely restrict an already inaccessible asylum system. 

Biden’s proclamation suspends and limits entry under the authority of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) Title 8, Section 212 (f), arbitrarily limiting and suspending the entry of any noncitizen into the United States across the southern border—unless they meet an exception–effectively barring most individuals and families from seeking asylum in the US. 

The proclamation has been effective as of 12:01 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on June 5, 2024. This will result in the immediate barring of asylum seekers any time the number of people crossing between the U.S.-Mexico border and ports of entry exceeds 2,500. The limitations will not be removed until 14 days after the seven-day average of “encounters” falls below 1,500, which has only occurred 42 percent of the time over the past two decades. Overall, this will heavily restrict due process and immigration at the southern border and severely restrict the statutory right to access protection from persecution by seeking asylum at the border.


What Does it Mean?

The executive order allows the president to temporarily seal the US border with Mexico to migrants when daily crossings are at 2,500. The border would then reopen when there are 1,500 people at the border.

  • The restrictions do not apply to those children who the US government defines as unaccompanied minors who cross the border alone. 


This border policy is one of the most restrictive border policies instituted by any modern Democrat. It is eerily similar to the 2018 effort by then-President Donald J. Trump, which was blocked by Democratic opposition and the federal courts. 

Biden’s border executive order violates international human rights

  • This executive order violates the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, which protects the rights of refugees by heavily restricting refugees’ access to the border.
  • Asylum bans are unlawful, unfair, and inhumane. Border controls do not deter migrants seeking safety abroad and only exacerbate the dangerous conditions faced while in transit. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) warns that restrictive policies result in precarious situations for migrants by making borders more difficult to cross safely. This also creates greater danger for migrants with little financial means because they are less able to pay corrupt officials and nefarious actors. 
  • People who cross the southern border without authorization will be ineligible for asylum if they do not have “exceptionally compelling circumstances”. This will further restrict access to asylum, withholding of removal and Convention Against Torture (CAT) Protections for individuals who attempt to enter without inspection.
  • The US government considers “Exceptionally Compelling Circumstances” to include facing an acute medical emergency, facing an imminent and extreme threat to life or safety, or satisfying the legal definition of a “victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons”.


BAJI’s Position: Border restrictions are inhumane and anti-Black

This executive order forces Black migrants to face extreme anti-Blackness in Mexico, as detailed in our report: There is a Target on Us and our short documentary “Mexico is Hell for Black People.“  

Black migrants who are waiting indefinitely, often several months, in inhumane living conditions with limited to no access to food, water, shelter, or assistance from the Mexican government will continue to be forced to wait in Mexico while entry to the U.S. is suspended.

Black migrants who are struggling to access the CBP One app due to lengthy wait times, language barriers, and other technological barriers will be disproportionately impacted.

It is outrageous that Biden and his administration continue to advance harmful immigration policies that make asylum harder, increase expedited removal, expand detention systems, increase criminal prosecutions for border crossings, and create the ability for a president to simply “ shut down” the border. 

Biden’s reasoning is pretextual as the US is in the midst of a record decline in the number of migrant apprehensions at the US-Mexico border. US Border Patrol data shows a 57% decrease in apprehensions between December 2023 and January 2024, and apprehension numbers remained low throughout the spring. 

Related to Biden’s border policies, on Friday, May 31st, 2024, the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS) announced increasing resources to conduct more federal criminal prosecutions for immigration violations. Biden, DHS and DOJ actions only exacerbate the existent harms and racial disparities we have been fighting since the 1994 Crime Bill and the 1996 IIRIRA Bill.  

This executive order is further evidence that Biden’s 2021 racial equity executive order is a farce as these new border policies harm Black and brown migrants, many of whom are victims of US foreign policies.  



What is Section 212(f) of the INA?

  • Authorizes the president to suspend and impose restrictions on the entry of non-citizens when the president finds their entry would be detrimental to the United States: “[w]henever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”


  • Has previously been used by presidents to restrict the entry of specific, defined groups/populations of individuals.


  • President Trump relied on 212(f) to implement broad restrictions on entry to the United States. For example, the “Muslim Ban” or Visa Waiver Program suspended the entry of noncitizens between ports of entry across the southern border.


  • President Biden has used 212(f) to suspend entry of  1) people involved in actions jeopardizing “peace, security, and stability in the West Bank”; 2) people involved with Russian efforts in Ukraine; 3) people involved in the global drug trade.


  • District and appellate courts found the previous administration’s use of the Section 212(f) authority to be unconstitutional — yet the Biden administration is using every tool available to ensure that our asylum protections are no longer accessible.