Use this button to switch between dark and light mode.

Facing an Impossible Choice: The Asylum Ban and CBP One

July 25, 2023 (1 min read)

NIP Staff Attorney Ann Garcia writes: "The National Immigration Project and Together & Free jointly released a report on the experiences of asylum seekers in Matamoros and Reynosa two months into the Biden administration's Asylum Ban.

Our findings and observations are:

  • Asylum seekers who are not able to access a CBP One appointment are unable to access U.S. ports of entry unless they are escorted by an advocate.
  • Immigrants with serious medical conditions are not able to access Brownsville and McAllen to seek medical attention without assistance from local advocates, and even then must wait on the bridge in Matamoros for days to be processed by CBP.
  • Asylum seekers who have experienced violence and torture in Mexico while waiting for CBP One appointments are unable to access U.S. ports of entry unless they are escorted by an advocate.
  • CBP and INM put asylum seekers with CBP One appointments in danger in Reynosa.
  • The CBP One app appointment lottery system is opaque and in flux, leading to the spread of misinformation among asylum seekers in Matamoros and Reynosa.

Our recommendations include that the Asylum Ban be ended and rescinded. If the administration is not willing to end and rescind the ban, then we call on the administration to urgently make these changes to the CBP One appointment process:

  1. Expand access to the ports of entry for those who meet exceptions to the Asylum Ban and those who are at high risk in Mexico.
  2. Continue increasing CBP One appointment numbers across the border and add resources to expeditiously process asylum seekers at ports of entry.
  3. Stop engaging INM to be the first line of defense preventing asylum seekers from approaching U.S. ports of entry.
  4. Abolish the CBP One lottery system to decrease chaos and increase transparency to the CBP One app.
  5. Make key improvements to the CBP One app and create a helpdesk and oversight process.

You can read the whole report here

Thanks to all of the asylum seekers who gave us their time and shared their stories, the service providers who provide vital services to asylum seekers along the border every day, and the asylum and border experts who provided their feedback on this report."