Washington (June 4, 2024) -- Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement on the Biden administration’s new Executive Order on asylum.

“Limiting our ability to grant legal protection to asylum seekers is irresponsible and ill-advised. The United States has long embraced its obligation to provide refuge to people fleeing persecution. People fleeing violence and unstable conditions helped build the United States, and our country has recognized the duty to continue providing vulnerable populations safe harbor. This asylum ban threatens this foundational promise and pushes the United States in the wrong direction. 

“This administration and the U.S. Congress should adopt policies that manage large numbers of people seeking protection with fairness and humanity. Pathways to citizenship, fair adjudication of asylum claims, limitations on detention, and more legal pathways to entry – any of these policies would help the executive branch manage the border and the reception of new arrivals in the interior. We must address the root causes of record migration. Asylum bans and summary expulsions will only cause more chaos at our borders and more desperation in those seeking safety. 

“I urge the Biden Administration to change course.”

In February 2023, Senator Markey and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-18) reintroduced the Guaranteed Refugee Admission Ceiling Enhancement (GRACE) Act, legislation that would ensure a U.S. President could not set a Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions below 125,000. In November 2023, Senator Markey and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-07) announced the reintroduction of the Climate Displaced Persons Act to enact a national strategy that would provide a more equitable immigration pathway to the United States for people displaced by climate change and critical support for people affected by climate disasters internationally. In March 2023, Senator Markey and Representative Grace Meng (NY-06) reintroduced the New Deal for New Americans Act, legislation to promote the inclusion of immigrants and refugees in the United States.