The state’s largest immigration coalition condemns the latest Executive Order to end asylum

Newark, NJ (June 4, 2024) - New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice loudly decries President Biden’s decision to shut down the border as reprehensible, a misuse of power, and an affront to the internationally recognized human right to seek asylum. Just weeks after a similar proposal failed in the Senate, President Biden has invoked Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to turn away adults and families with children, including many asylum seekers, who cross the southern border between official ports of entry after an arbitrary daily limit has been met.

“Today is Primary Day in New Jersey, and after months of relentless campaigning to appeal to our communities, this Executive Order is a betrayal of trust for voters who have been sold empty promises about defending basic values and principles of our country,” said Amy Torres, Executive Director with New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. “New Jersey is one of the top five states where naturalized immigrants are eligible to vote and nearly one in four of our residents is foreign born. We are outraged not only by the blatant cruelty of this new policy, but by the complete reversal of values by the Biden Administration. When previous administrations attempted such reprehensible measures, they were rightly called racist and a misuse of power. Those labels apply just as truly today to President Biden’s announcement.”


The Section 212(f) authority was exploited by the Trump Administration to block refugees from African and Muslim-majority countries and to suspend the entry of asylum seekers crossing between U.S. ports of entry. These prior attempts by the Trump Administration were ruled unlawful by federal courts, and loudly critiqued by then-Presidential-candidate Biden.

Today’s decision by the Biden Administration signals a dangerous step backward at a time when many other fixable parts of the immigration system – like the appointment of judges, case backlogs, and pathways to citizenship and reprieve – remain woefully unaddressed. Over the years, stricter enforcement has not proven to be an effective deterrent to the number of people seeking safety in the United States. More often, stricter measures have only encouraged more dangerous passage, whether by sending unaccompanied minors on their own or by exploitation from “snakeheads” and traffickers who prey upon those denied under draconian border policies.

New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice calls upon our US Senators and Members of Congress to rebuke this cruel policy, just as they did five years ago when they loudly affirmed that immigration bans are contrary to our nation’s values. NJAIJ and its members will continue to fight for policies that empower and protect immigrants.