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June 05, 2024

Statement of ABA President Mary Smith RE: Executive order on asylum

CHICAGO, June 5, 2024 — The American Bar Association strongly opposes the Executive Order issued by President Biden, which effectively seals the southern border when daily encounters exceed a seven-day average of 2,500. This order bars individuals fleeing persecution in their home countries from applying for asylum until the average at the U.S. border falls below 1,500.

This violates critical provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, international law and due process. It jeopardizes the safety of thousands of vulnerable individuals and families on both sides of the border and diminishes America’s longstanding role as a sanctuary for the oppressed.

While we acknowledge the need for more effective border solutions, this action fails to address the systemic issues within our immigration system. Instead, it erodes our nation’s history of welcoming those in need and accelerates deportations, significantly endangering those seeking protection.

The ABA urges Congress to repair our broken immigration system with comprehensive immigration reform legislation that offers realistic and fair solutions. We urge the administration to abandon this order and adhere to laws ensuring fair treatment and due process for asylum-seekers and to create an effective, sustainable and humane approach to our immigration and asylum policies.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.