Head of UNHCR Criticizes Biden Admin’s Latest Asylum Policies

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said the President’s recent executive order barring some asylum claims may breach international law. He described America’s migration crisis as “complex” and praised the US for the high number of migrants it has accepted. Grandi said this was a “shining example of US generosity.”

Mr. Grandi made the remarks at a press conference to announce the release of the UN’s 2023 Global Trends report. The report states that 123 million people were displaced in 2023, a 6 million increase from the previous year and the equivalent of Japan’s entire population. 

The report notes that three-quarters of displaced people lived in poor or developing countries, and most were displaced by conflict. More than 10 million people in Sudan were forced to leave their homes last year due to the outbreak of war last April, but Grandi stated that this was largely ignored as the world focuses on Gaza and Ukraine. 

Pro-migration groups slammed President Biden’s executive order on June 6 as the administration’s “most draconian” policy. The order prevents asylum claims if the average daily number exceeds 2,500 in a given week. Azadeh Erfani of the National Immigrant Justice Center said the policy violates US and international law and will direct migrants into harm’s way. 

President Biden, however, said it will allow America to regain control and restore order. 

Donald Trump described the move as a cynical ploy by the Biden administration to appear tough on illegal immigration as the November election approaches. At an Arizona rally, Trump said he would terminate the executive order on his first day in office, followed by “every single open borders policy of the Biden administration.” 

Republicans believe the order does not go nearly far enough and still permits more than one million migrants per year to enter the US illegally. House Speaker Mike Johnson accused the President of trying to “hoodwink” voters into believing he is solving a crisis he created.