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August 2, 2023


The Honorable Joseph R. Biden

President of the United States

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500


Dear President Biden, 

The undersigned 203 civil, human rights, and immigrant rights organizations write in the wake of the U.S. District Court’s decision in the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant case, pertaining to your administration’s “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways” rule (“asylum ban”), to urge your administration to withdraw your recently filed appeal and stay motion and accept the court’s decision as final. More than 290 organizations wrote to express alarm when this policy was first announced at the start of this year, along with nearly 80 members of Congress echoing our distress. Tens of thousands of organizations and individuals submitted public comments opposing the ban, including many Black-led, Indigenous, Latinx, civil rights, and LGBTQ+ organizations, the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the union representing asylum officers who have now been forced to implement the illegal ban, former immigration judges, major labor unions, and members of Congress.

Your administration's continued fight to uphold this unlawful ban on appeal flies in the face of the values and promises you held high when defending the right to seek asylum on the campaign trail. We call on you to adjust course, comply with the federal court order, and immediately end this policy. Every day the asylum ban remains intact, it inflicts immeasurable harm on people in urgent need of protection.

The court’s decision leaves no room for doubt that the asylum ban is unlawful and cannot stand. While Biden administration officials have inaccurately touted it as “working,” the grim reality is that the asylum ban is a refugee protection, humanitarian, and legal travesty. In just two months since its implementation, the ban has stranded vulnerable people in parts of Mexico where they are targets of kidnapping and violent assaults, rigged the credible fear process against people seeking asylum, and deported many without meaningful access to counsel, despite potential eligibility for asylum under U.S. law. Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ people waiting to seek asylum in the United States, as well as those without financial resources, face particular and egregious barriers, dangers, and disparities in seeking asylum due to the asylum ban.

U.S. immigration law is already replete with unduly harsh consequences. Imposing punishments on vulnerable people who may be eligible for asylum under our laws is inhumane and bolsters xenophobic narratives that falsely paint people seeking asylum as threats. We are troubled and perplexed by the counterproductive and inaccurate attempts to tout the asylum ban as responsible for the recent decrease in migrant crossings between ports of entry. In reality, this shift can be attributed to effective steps you have taken to bring more individuals to safety, such as ending the illegal Title 42 policy, which spurred repeat crossings, expanding additional safe pathways, and restoring some access to asylum at ports of entry. The attempts to frame the ban as a success are also at odds with the harsh reality that many of our organizations have witnessed working closely with people waiting in Mexico to seek asylum following the ban’s implementation. A policy that strands vulnerable people in perilous conditions cannot be described as “working.” A policy that results in the deportation of individuals with meritorious asylum claims to countries where they face persecution, in violation of our laws, cannot be heralded a success.

We urge your administration to end the asylum ban and redouble your focus on effective, humane, and legal solutions, including to: strengthen and provide equitable access to your administration’s parole initiatives; fully restore asylum processing capacity at ports of entry including for people who do not have CBP One appointments; end the practice of subjecting individuals to fear screenings while in CBP custody; work with Congress to adequately fund immigration court and USCIS asylum adjudications as well as reception efforts in U.S. communities; and improve your asylum processing rule by eliminating counterproductive unworkable deadlines. Your administration has repeatedly indicated that its asylum ban would only be “temporary.” Given the judge’s clear finding that the ban is unlawful and the harm the policy has already caused, we implore you to adjust course and rescind the ban now before even more human—and legal—damage is inflicted.



Acacia Center for Justice

Afghan-American Community Organization (AACO)

Afghans For A Better Tomorrow

African Advocacy Network

African Communities Together (ACT)

African Human Rights Coalition

Al Otro Lado

Aldea - The People’s Justice Center

Alianza Americas

America’s Voice

American Gateways

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

American Immigration Council

American Immigration Lawyers Association

Americans for Immigrant Justice

Amnesty International USA

Annunciation House

Ansara Family Fund

Arkansas United

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta

Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP)


AZ Immigration Alliance

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action

Beyond Borders, Inc

Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

Border Kindness

Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC

California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice

Capital District Border Watch

Carroll Gardens Association

Casa San José

CATA - The Farmworker Support Committee

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Center for Constitutional Rights

Center for Democracy in the Americas

Center for Immigration Law and Policy, UCLA School of Law

Center for Popular Democracy

Center for Victims of Torture

Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN-NY)

Central American Resource Center - DC

Central American Resource Center - CARECEN - of California

Central American Resource Center of Northern CA - CARECEN SF

Chacón Center for Immigrant Justice at UMD Carey Law

Church Women United in New York State

Church World Service

Cleveland Jobs with Justice

Coalición de Derechos Humanos

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)

Coalition on Human Needs

Columbia Law School Immigrants' Rights Clinic

Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim

Community Change Action

Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA)

Communities United for Status & Protection (CUSP)

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces

Deported Asylum Seekers Assistance Project

Detention Watch Network

Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, Inc.

Dominican Sisters of Peace

Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House, Washington DC

DRUM - Desis Rising Up & Moving

East Bay Refugee and Immigrant Forum


El Calvario Immigrant Advocacy Center

Faithful America

Families for Freedom

Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project

Florida Immigrant Coalition

Forward Latino

Franciscan Action Network

Freedom for Immigrants (FFI)

Freedom Network USA

Futures Without Violence

Haitian Bridge Alliance

Haitian Women’s Collective

Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program


Hispanic Federation

Hope Border Institute

Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative

Human Rights First

Human Rights Initiative of North Texas

Human Rights Watch

Ignatian Solidarity Network

Immigrant Defenders Law Center

Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project

Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Immigration Equality

Immigration Hub

Immigration Institute of the Bay Area

Immigration Law & Justice Network

Immigration Services and Legal Advocacy (ISLA)


Innovation Law Lab

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Instituto de Educacion Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA)

Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migracion (IMUMI)

Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America

Interfaith Welcome Coalition - San Antonio

International Mayan League

International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)

International Rescue Committee

InterReligious Task Force on Central America

Jericho Road Community Health Center

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA

Jesuits of the US Central and Southern Province

JFCS East Bay

Journey's End Refugee Services

Justice Action Center

Justice for Migrant Women

Justice in Motion

Just Neighbors

Kids in Need of Defense

Kino Border Initiative

La Raza Community Resource Center

Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center

Latin America Working Group EF

Law Offices of Martinez, Nguyen & Magana

Legal Aid Justice Center

Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice

Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic, Loyola Law School in Los Angeles

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA)

Mariposa Legal, program of COMMON Foundation

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

Mennonite Central Committee U.S.

Midwest Immigration Bond Fund

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Mobile Pathways

Muslim Advocates


National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

National Employment Law Project

National Immigration Law Center

National Immigration Project (NIPNLG)

National Lawyers Guild-San Francisco Bay Area chapter

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR)

National Partnership for New Americans

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

New York Law School Asylum Clinic

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

Oasis Legal Services

OLA of Eastern Long Island


Our Children Oregon

Oxfam America

Pax Christi New Jersey

Physicians for Human Rights

Project ANAR

Public Advocacy for Kids (PAK)

Public Counsel

Public Law Center

Quixote Center


Rapid Response Network of Kern County

Red Jesuita con Migrantes LAC

Refugee Congress

Refugee Council USA

Refugee Health Alliance

Refugees International

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network

Sanctuary for Families

Save the Children

Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team

Social Justice Collaborative

Southern Border Communities Coalition

Southern Poverty Law Center

Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice

The Advocates for Human Rights

The Bronx Defenders

The Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network

The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law's Immigrant and Refugee

Advocacy Clinic

The Children's Partnership

The Green Valley/Sahuarita Samaritans

The Workers Circle

Tsuru for Solidarity

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)

UndocuBlack Network

Union for Reform Judaism

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice

Unitarian Universalist Refugee & Immigrant Services & Education

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1445

United We Dream

University of Detroit Mercy Immigration Law Clinic

University of San Francisco Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic

USC Gould School of Law Immigration Clinic

Washington Defender Association

Washington Office on Latin America

We Are All America

Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration

Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center

Witness at the Border

Women’s Refugee Commission

Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights


Hon. Kamala D. Harris, Vice President of the United States

Hon. Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security

Hon. General Merrick Garland, Attorney General, Department of Justice

Hon. Antony Blinken, Secretary, Department of State

Jeffrey Zients, White House Chief of Staff

Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor

Neera Tanden, Director, Domestic Policy Council

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