Biden’s Border Action Immediately Hit With Challenge From His Own Side, ACLU Announces Lawsuit

President Joe Biden’s Tuesday executive order barring illegal immigrants in the United States from obtaining asylum has been met with opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The left-leaning national civil rights organization criticized the Biden administration’s action in a post on X, calling it a policy that “will severely restrict” what the ACLU claims to be migrants’ “legal right to seek asylum.”

The ACLU accused the Biden administration of “putting tens of thousands of lives at risk” with a policy decision that mirrors the Trump administration’s restrictions against unlawful immigration. The organization vowed to challenge the decision in court.

Former MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan also criticized Biden’s actions, arguing that the president is “screwing over actual asylum-seekers who he promised to support.” Hasan noted that Biden’s policy could set a precedent for future administrations, potentially enabling stricter immigration policies under a future Trump administration.

Democratic House Rep. Nydia Velazquez of New York expressed disappointment with Biden’s decision. “We need comprehensive immigration reform, not a return of Trump-era policies,” Velazquez wrote on X. “The right to seek asylum is fundamental in the United States, and we must never abandon that idea.”

Biden’s executive action halts the processing of asylum applications for those who cross the border illegally. According to a Tuesday news release from the White House, the objective is to “make it easier for immigration officers to quickly remove individuals who do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States.” The White House stressed that this is a temporary measure to be discontinued when migrant crossings are sufficiently reduced.

The executive order includes humanitarian exceptions similar to those in the bipartisan border agreement announced in the Senate, such as for unaccompanied children and victims of trafficking. The White House had briefed members of Congress before Biden’s public announcement.

The border closures are triggered once the average rate of daily encounters with illegal migrants by border patrol officers hits 2,500 for seven consecutive days. The executive order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday and will be lifted when the encounters fall below 1,500 for seven consecutive days.

When borders are closed, border officers can quickly send illegal immigrants back to Mexico or their countries of origin. The New York Times reported that Biden’s executive order is similar to prior legislation that Republicans voted down in February, citing a lack of efficacy.

Trump had previously attempted to shut down the border to illegal immigrants claiming asylum, succeeding only during the COVID-19 pandemic with pandemic-era regulations. In a video shared on Truth Social, Trump criticized Biden’s actions, calling them a show for an upcoming debate. “After nearly four years of his failed, weak leadership — pathetic leadership — Crooked Joe Biden is pretending to finally do something about the border,” Trump said.