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World Relief Statement on President Biden’s Executive Order 

Yesterday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that has drastic implications for people seeking asylum at the United States-Mexico border. 

The executive action restricts entrance into the U.S. between ports of entry to asylum-seekers, once a 7-consecutive-calendar-day average of 2,500 encounters or more has been reached. This effectively means that asylum-seekers would be currently unable to enter because daily crossings are currently higher than the listed figure in the executive order. 

“Many asylum seekers have endured horrific circumstances in their home countries before making harrowing journeys to Mexico, then they have waited for months in Mexico to get a CBP One appointment to present themselves at the port of entry.” said Robyn Brown, Director of Immigration Programs, World Relief “During the wait, they often face severe physical harm and exploitation by cartels and gangs as they struggle to support themselves without work permits. In desperation, they often cross between ports of entry to present themselves to CBP agents, which is a permissible way to request asylum under U.S. law. This executive order seeks to cut off that path and it will result in significant harm to already vulnerable populations. While the executive action provides some limited exceptions, many individuals eligible for protection will not have knowledge of our legal system to make effective claims, particularly without time to access legal representation.” 

Scripture is clear that God has made every human being in His image with inherent dignity, worth and value.  Human life is worth protecting, regardless of one’s nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender or any other fact. This fundamental principle is at the foundation of our asylum laws, which offer protection to those who reach the United States and can demonstrate a real fear of persecution for reasons outlined in U.S. law. 

 “As a nation founded on the principles of freedom and justice, we cannot afford to abandon the principle of asylum. It is enshrined in both domestic and international law as a fundamental human right—a lifeline for those fleeing persecution and violence.” said Myal Greene, President and CEO of World Relief. “To close our doors to asylum seekers is to betray the very values that define us as a nation. It is to deny our shared humanity and to forsake the moral imperative to provide refuge to the oppressed and the persecuted.”  

President Biden’s actions closely mirrored aspects of the bipartisan Senate “Border Act”, restricting access to asylum altogether for individuals who enter between ports of entry, and when the number of arrivals at the US-Mexico border reaches a certain threshold. World Relief found this aspect of the bill concerning, especially given the reality that limited capacity at ports of entry has often meant that those fleeing persecution and well-founded fear face very long wait times in dangerous situations to begin the process to request asylum. 

“Today’s executive order underscores the need for comprehensive bipartisan legislation, addressing robust due process protections for asylum seekers, but also other longstanding immigration policy priorities, such as a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other Dreamers or an earned legalization process for other undocumented immigrants.” said Liliana Reza, Director of Border Engagement, World Relief “According to recent polling by Lifeway Research, 77 percent of evangelicals say it is important for Congress to pass significant immigration reform this year. Congressional leaders must revive bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform conversations and legislation and we pray that they will act.” 

World Relief provides legal services to asylum seekers and other immigrants through its network of offices and by providing support to church-based legal services programs throughout the United States. For more information, visit

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