Reported Reinstatement of Trump-Era Rapid Asylum Processing Signals a Step Back for Biden Administration, Sounds an Alarm for those Legally Seeking Asylum

Chris Plummer | April 7, 2023

Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the Biden Administration will begin reimplementing expedited and harmful asylum processes that would limit due process and access to asylum protections at the U.S. southern border, Danilo Zak, Associate Director of Policy and Advocacy at CWS issued the following statement:

“Reinstating rapid asylum processing that requires vulnerable migrants to remain in deeply inadequate and inhumane conditions in Border Patrol custody while they attempt to pursue asylum claims is a mistake, pure and simple. The policy is strikingly similar to programs implemented during the Trump administration by Stephen Miller, a man who devastated asylum protections in the interest of xenophobia. At a time when the world looks to the United States for leadership in protecting the vulnerable, reinstating these inhumane practices would show that this country is more interested in optics than common decency. Limiting due process is unjust, restricting asylum is cruel, betraying our nation’s long history of welcome flies in the face of all we claim to be. President Biden needs to pause, take stock of what he wants his presidency to be defined by, and correct our course so that our northern star is based on compassion and not fear.”

As soon as April 10, the administration is reportedly planning to begin fast-tracked asylum screenings in which migrants are forced to stay within cramped, cold Customs and Border Protection holding cells, facilities where it will be difficult or impossible to access adequate legal counsel. This rushed processing will result in the return of asylum seekers with credible claims to contexts of violence and persecution. 

For more information or to speak with Zak, contact