RAICES Responds to the White House’s “New” Asylum Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, February 24, 2023
Media Contact: [email protected]

San Antonio, TX — In yet another reminder that the U.S.’s elected officials want to end asylum, The White House re-introduced the illegal Trump-era “transit ban” this week.

This policy is the most restrictive border measure proposed so far by the current administration. It essentially shuts down our border to those seeking their human and legal right to asylum. And it deems asylum seekers from certain countries undeserving of safety and protection.1

It’s another tactic with the same goal: close our nation’s borders.

RAICES, along with CAIR Coalition, Human Rights First, and nine individual asylum seekers, already sued the Trump administration over a nearly identical policy — and won.2 In fact, multiple courts found the Trump-era ban to be illegal. So why is The White House now repackaging this asylum ban?

The policy forces people seeking asylum in the U.S. to first request asylum in other countries they had to cross through to get to the U.S. — known as “transit countries.” These countries, including Guatemala and Mexico, do not have adequate asylum processes and cannot offer the safety asylum seekers need. So we are faced once again with an immigration “solution” that perpetuates cruelty.

“Once again the current administration is embracing the most xenophobic elements of the prior administration’s immigration policies,” said Javier Hidalgo, Director of Pre-Removal Services at RAICES. “By picking and choosing which type of migrant we welcome, this asylum ban is racist, and it will be deadly.”

RAICES pledges to continue working in coalition with civil and immigrant rights advocates to hold the Biden administration accountable for its anti-immigrant actions and to ensure just, humanitarian solutions are proposed to restore asylum and protect our immigrant community.


  1. Myah Ward, “Biden to replace Trump migration policy with Trump-esque asylum policy,” Politico, February 21, 2023.
  2. Rafael Carranza, “Federal court strikes down Trump’s ‘third country’ asylum ban at the U.S.-Mexico border,” AZ Central, July 3, 2020.