Understanding Biden’s New Border Shutdown Proclamation

Today, President Biden announced a new border shutdown proclamation, significantly impacting the flow of individuals crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. It goes into effect at 12:01AM on 06/05/2024. This executive order aims to address the recent surge in the number of people entering the United States, particularly those seeking asylum or entering for other reasons.

Current Situation:

Recently, there has been a significant hike in the number of individuals crossing the border. Currently, about 5,000 individuals are entering the U.S. through the southern border daily. These individuals utilize three primary methods:

1) Entry Without Inspection (EWI): This includes crossing the border without visas or permission, such as jumping over or digging under fences, using open areas or swimming across the river. Those apprehended are processed and may be detained, especially if there are security concerns. They might be released with or without bond and placed in new proceedings to formally apply for asylum.

2) Checkpoint Requests for Protection: Some individuals come directly to a point of entry, the official checkpoints where travelers with visas would typically be processed. They declare that they do not have a visa and seek protection, stating that they would face danger or persecution if returned to their home country or Mexico. The government processes these individuals and allows them to enter the U.S., placing them in removal proceedings where they can formally seek asylum.

3) Using CBP1 App to register for an appointment: Individuals applying for asylum can arrive to central or northern Mexico, download the CBP One app on their smartphone and register for an appointment with a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer to get processed and placed in removal proceedings to apply for asylum. Usually, the applicants and processed and released. Some may be detained if the CBP is unable to determine their identity or for any other national security reasons. This proclamation has no effect on the CBP One process. I repeat, it does not affect it and CBP One will still remain as viable option. It takes on average 3 months of waiting in Mexico for an appointment.

Why Now?

The timing of this proclamation is significant, coming close to the elections. The Biden administration aims to demonstrate that it is taking concrete steps to address the chaos at the border and create order. Despite the potential for legal challenges, similar to those faced by the Trump administration’s efforts, the administration is making a visible effort to manage the border crisis.

Legal Challenges and Provisions:

The proclamation is expected to face lawsuits, including from the ACLU, reminiscent of challenges to similar actions by the Trump administration that were struck down by federal courts. However, the Biden administration has included provisions to mitigate legal challenges:

Humanitarian Exceptions: Officers can make exceptions for humanitarian reasons, such as individuals in obvious distress or with medical conditions.

Temporary Suspension Clause: The proclamation is not indefinite. It will be lifted if there are fewer than 1,500 apprehensions per day for a continuous period of two weeks.

CBP One Process:

The proclamation emphasizes the use of the CBP One process, which requires individuals to register and wait for an interview with a Customs and Border Protection officer. This process, taking about three months, aims to verify the identity and asylum claims of individuals. While this system is currently overwhelmed and faces significant delays, it remains unaffected by the new proclamation. The orderly CBP One process continues to operate as usual, and individuals using this process are not impacted by the border shutdown.

Impact on Asylum Seekers:

For those seeking asylum, the proclamation may result in longer wait times and stricter scrutiny. It emphasizes the need for individuals to follow proper legal channels and underscores the importance of maintaining border security while addressing humanitarian concerns. However, the Biden administration hopes to manage the influx more efficiently by dedicating resources to the CBP One process.


While the new proclamation aims to control the border situation and demonstrate the administration’s commitment to order, it faces potential legal challenges and operational hurdles. The CBP One process remains a crucial component for orderly entry and is not affected by this proclamation. Stay tuned for more updates as this situation evolves and more details emerge about the implementation of the proclamation.

By: Ismail Shahtakhtinski, Esq.
Expert on US Immigration Law