AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

Legal and Policy Experts Discussed Asylum and Border Changes in Virtual Press Briefing

6/7/24 AILA Doc. No. 24060762. Admissions & Border, Asylum, Removal & Relief
AILA held a virtual press briefing in which AILA ED Ben Johnson was joined by Greg Chen, Jennifer Ibañez Whitlock, and Angela Kelley to discuss the recently issued Interim Final Rule (IFR) and Presidential Proclamation; an audio recording is available.

Washington, DC – On Thursday, June 6, 2024, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) held a virtual press briefing in which legal and policy experts discussed the recently issued Interim Final Rule (IFR) and Presidential Proclamation.

Key messages included:

“This fatalistic response that we have no other choice but to shut down the border is a false narrative driven by politics, not policy… Setting up systems that deny people a full opportunity to be heard, when the consequences are as high as they are in asylum, is unacceptable.” – AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson

“Biden’s new policy blocks access to nearly every person arriving at our southern border, and by so doing flouts the guarantee in America’s asylum law ensuring people have a fair shot at seeking asylum. People who have suffered horribly will not be able to navigate the impossible legal obstacle course erected under this policy and will face swift return to danger. It is inconceivable that someone who fled violence, journeyed across the border and doesn’t speak English could consult with an attorney in the mere four hours the new policy allows for before starting the expulsion process. The border needs to be more efficient and orderly but at the same time U.S. law requires a fair system, and this policy is a far cry from any notion of fairness. - AILA Senior Director for Government Relations Greg Chen

“Changes to the legal standard to be eligible for humanitarian protection are not insignificant… they take what is supposed to be a safeguard in an already fast process, fear interviews, and undermine it.” - AILA Supervisory Policy and Practice Counsel Jennifer Ibañez Whitlock

“The American public hasn't forgotten that we have a longstanding undocumented population that is deeply rooted in this country. They are settled. These are folks that are married to US citizens. And so when I heard the President say in his speech about the border policy, that in the coming days or weeks that we would see something that is “fair and just”, I hope it is that population he's talking about because a Wall Street Journal poll found that 74% want a path to citizenship for people who've been here for a long time because they are our neighbors, because they are as American as I am, and others on this call, but for a piece of paper.” Angela Kelley, AILA Senior Policy Advisor

The discussion also touched on several key points in the recent analysis of the IFR published by AILA late yesterday.

Listen to the Audio Recording

An unofficial computer-generated transcript is available for download below the audio recording player through the above-mentioned link; please note there may be typographical errors.