Border Immigration Advocates Criticize President Biden’s Latest Asylum Plans 

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By Rena Abdusalam

WASHINGTON, DC- President Biden’s recent changes to asylum and border policy (Title 42)—the President will be in El Paso Sunday—have comprehensive implications for people pursuing safety, and impact U.S. humanitarian protection, said immigration proponents who are openly critical of the Biden plan.

Border and immigration advocates Friday called for and offered recommendations for what they describe as real, humanitarian improvements, affirming the legal and human right to pursue an asylum

Although the administration’s plans provide more opportunities for Haitians, Venezuelans, Cubans, and Nicaraguans to immigrate to the U.S., advocates state the plan does not bring the U.S. closer to fixing the immigration system. 

“The right for all—regardless of national origin—to seek asylum should be fully restored. The creation of the parole program should not have come at the expense of barring others from exercising their rights to asylum,” said Guerline Jozef, Executive Director, Haitian Bridge Alliance. 

Jozef added, “We are extremely concerned the administration is returning to some of the Trump-era practices of expelling asylum seekers to Mexico without the opportunity to seek protection, and re-introducing an asylum transit ban,” noting the proposed parole program will be inaccessible to people at risk, especially people en route to the U.S border.

Jozef observed, “We see firsthand the negative consequences and disproportionate impact on Black migrants that the current state of our immigration system brings. We can have a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system that welcomes all with dignity and that is rooted in justice and language access.”

Advocates charge the administration’s agenda that includes Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans is a broken proposition, and instead of leading the country to a complete restoration of asylum at the border, the plan would allow “a dangerous, ineffective, and inhumane policy.” 

“For once, just once, I’d like to see this administration make the moral argument to the rest of the country that we need to put in place an effective, humane, accessible, welcoming, and compassionate system of protection at the border,” Dylan Corbett, Executive Director of the Hope Border Institute in El Paso.

Corbett added, “This is the leadership demanded of the United States at this moment. This is what it means to be a good neighbor to those in the region. This is what it means to be a country that supports human rights.”

Pedros Rios, Director of the US-Mexico Border Program, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), is asking the Biden administration to stop efforts that he argues threaten the right to asylum, which includes future disdain of asylum seekers that Title 42’s expansion will instigate. 

“The promise of asylum is an enshrined right under federal law and international agreements meant to respond to tyranny and despair that forces thousands of people to flee their home countries. The United States undermines that promise every day that Title 42 remains in place, and it endangers the lives of those seeking shelter from harm,” Rios added. 

Melissa Crow, Director of Litigation, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS), said Title 42 is out of touch with the actual circumstances that people who seek asylum experience, since many of those people who arrive at the border do so to escape impending threats.

Crow declared the administration’s plan also disregards the country’s commitments to shield people from persecution and torture by strengthening “illegal, Trump-era asylum bans.”

“It has been deeply disturbing to hear the President affirm seeking asylum is legal, pledge to create a safe and humane process at the border, and then turn around and announce policies that further undermine access to the U.S. asylum process. These reckless policy decisions will exact a horrific human toll and leave a lasting stain on the President’s legacy,” Crow maintained. 

“While we welcome the creation of new safe pathways, we strongly condemn the Biden administration’s decision to expand use of Title 42 to additional nationalities and its potential resurrection of a new asylum ban that would turn away people seeking refugee protection,” said Eleanor Acer, Senior Director for Refugee Protection at Human Rights First.

The critics urged the Biden administration to understand the urgency to adjust the contents of the plan, end the continuation of Title 42, and abandon the misguided proposition to an asylum ban. 

With an asylum ban, the specialists stressed the proposal would be a political miscalculation, as it seems to be “a policy straight from the Trump playbook.” They added that the proposition would benefit the allies of the former administration by strengthening and spreading their ideas. 

Title 42 would “cause more disorder than order, turn away Black and Brown refugees to suffer grave harms, separate families, and subvert refugee law,” the immigration advocates charged.

About The Author

Rena is a junior at Davis Senior High School and is currently exploring her interest in the criminal justice system. After high school, she plans to attend college and continue to pursue a career in law.

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1 Comment

  1. gregjohnson77

    Clearly, the most noble and most Christian answer to the border situation is don’t have a border.  Why should one group of people have it better and prevent others from sharing in the benefit?  In reality, most people, myself included, are selfish.  There are simply too many people who would have a better life here than where they currently reside.  If there were no borders, there would be an equilibrium situation in which everyone is equally happy/unhappy.  In the US, we are lucky to have more than most others, some would say anyone else.  As a practical matter, an open border would result in a BIG step down in wealth and living standards.  There are simply too many people who want to be here for us to accommodate without a huge cost to us.  The problem is clearly very complex in the real world.  Forgive my pessimism, but I believe most of the open border advocates would be hating life if their proposed open border were realized.  There is probably a small fraction of advocates who would truly celebrate the lack of borders.  God bless you!   For the rest of those, the great majority, you are completely ignorant, or just virtue signaling.

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