Awareness - June 27, 2023 - We Welcome

Awareness - June 27, 2023

New asylum rule denies more asylum seekers as levels of global displacement reach record highs

Last week the Los Angeles Times reported that the U.S. is rejecting asylum seekers at much higher rates under the Biden administration's new asylum rule than in the past. According to court records, the number of single adults who passed initial screenings in the asylum process fell from 86% between 2014 and 2019 to 46% for those screened between May 12th and June 13th of this year. 

Because so many asylum seekers are presumed ineligible for asylum under the new rule, there are much higher bars for receiving protection than before unless individuals meet a narrow list of exceptions. The ACLU and other immigration advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit alleging that the new rule “places vulnerable asylum seekers in grave danger and violates U.S. asylum laws.” 

This news was reported on World Refugee Day, coinciding with the announcement from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees that the number of forcibly displaced people hit new record highs at the end of 2022.

Last week’s Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Texas strengthens federal authority to set immigration enforcement priorities

Last Friday the Supreme Court ruled in an 8-1 decision that Texas and Florida lacked the standing to challenge the Biden administration’s authority to set enforcement priorities. The two states filed a lawsuit challenging a 2021 memo directing ICE agents to prioritize arrests for those who were a public safety threat, had committed serious crimes, or had recently entered the country illegally. The states alleged that this placed an undue burden on ICE agents and failed to carry out immigration enforcement according to federal law, but the Supreme Court upheld the authority of the federal government to set such priorities. 

In the majority opinion, Justice Kavanaugh wrote that the court was “not the proper forum” to settle such disputes between state and federal governments and further explained, “If the Court green-lighted this suit, we could anticipate complaints in future years about alleged Executive Branch under-enforcement of any similarly worded laws—whether they be drug laws, gun laws, obstruction of justice laws, or the like. We decline to start the Federal Judiciary down that uncharted path."


This week's news blog was written by Sheila Joiner.