ACLU Sues Biden Administration to Stop Border Executive Action

AP Photo/Christian Chavez

President Joe Biden’s executive order aimed at mitigating the border crisis was met with mockery and derision from folks on the right who have long criticized him for his inaction on illegal immigration.


However, folks on the left aren’t all that enthused about the executive order either. In fact, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), along with migrant rights groups, is suing the Biden administration over the supposed crackdown on asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.

The lawsuit is aimed at stopping the White House from disqualifying illegals and those seeking asylum while making it easier for the authorities to deport them.

ACLU lawyers asked the federal district court in Washington, D.C., to strike down the regulations that implemented Mr. Biden's order, arguing that they violate U.S. asylum law and federal policy-making rules. The civil rights group, however, did not ask the court to immediately block the regulations, which were published by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

The ACLU convinced federal courts to halt a Trump administration asylum restriction in 2018 that relied on the same legal authority, known as 212(f).

"We were left with no choice but to file this lawsuit. The ban will place countless people at risk and is legally identical to the Trump ban we successfully blocked," Lee Gelernt, the lead ACLU attorney behind the lawsuit, told CBS News.

Under the new policy, only those who proactively claim they fear returning to their home country will be screened for legal protections.


The lawsuit targets several provisions in the executive order, one of which gives illegals and asylum seekers only four hours to obtain legal representation to advocate for their asylum. It also challenges a provision that denies asylum consideration to those who enter the country outside of a recognized port of arrival.

However, the executive order might not be quite as effective at addressing the border crisis as Biden and company would have us believe. In a post on X, reporter Bill Melugin pointed out the flaws in the new policy.

In no way can Biden’s executive order be described as “shutting down” the border.

It bans asylum to some illegal crossers, with some exceptions.

It does *not* stop or slow the up to 1,500 migrants per day released into the U.S. via CBP One app at ports of entry, and does not stop or slow the up to 30,000 migrants per month flying directly into the U.S. and being released into the country via Biden’s controversial mass parole program for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans.

Unaccompanied children/minors are exempt from the order - which will lead to concerns about child trafficking, and migrants can still claim fear in an attempt to avoid deportation.

Also, asylum has already been banned for most migrants who cross illegally since the end of Title 42 last year - and that hasn’t stopped them from coming. Highest numbers in recorded history end of 2023.

The order may speed up removals to countries we can deport easily to, (Mexico, northern triangle countries, etc), but there has been no explanation as to how the administration will be able to begin mass removals of migrants coming from another hemisphere with governments that don’t cooperate with the U.S.


The number of people crossing the border has exploded since President Biden took office. In December, authorities recorded 250,000 illegal border crossings.



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