Asylum Advocates Speak Out after Walking Out on Biden Administration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 16, 2021

CONTACT: press@welcomewithdignity.org 

 

Asylum Advocates Speak Out after Walking Out on Biden Administration

“We refuse to be complicit”

 

Washington Earlier today, asylum advocates from the Southern Border and national allies walked out of a meeting with high-level Biden officials in protest of the government’s plans to reinstate the cruel and inhumane Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ program also known as MPP. Representatives from groups in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Black-led organizations read from a prepared statement and denied the administration’s assertions that they were compelled to reinstate MPP by court order

 

Since President Biden took office, human rights investigators have documented over 6,300 violent attacks on people expelled to Mexico because of Title 42,  a similar mass expulsion policy. And President Biden himself called MPP ‘dangerous and inhumane’ while on the campaign trail. 

 

“Black asylum seekers at the border are vulnerable to anti-Blackness from both sides of the border as BAJI’s report “There is a Target on Us” shows. They are disproportionately harmed by the Biden administration’s racist border policies,” said Nana Gyamfi, executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI). “MPP, Title 42, and even the metering system are inhumane and unlawful policies that mark Black asylum seekers for violence and death. President Biden should have terminated MPP long ago but instead has chosen to double down on violent Trump-era policies. BAJI is proud to have joined our partners in walking out of today’s fallacious meeting with the White House. We demand that this administration keeps its promise of racial equity.” 

 

“Today, we joined other border advocates in walking out of this meeting with the Biden administration after nearly a year of trying to engage productively with them to build back a fair, humane asylum system,” said Chelsea Sachau, a Border Action Team Attorney with the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project. “This week’s announcement that the administration is moving forward to re-implement MPP, a policy that has put hundreds of thousands of people in harm’s way, was the final straw. We stand in solidarity with the people seeking asylum whose lives are on the line and refuse to be complicit in deterrence-based border policies that prioritize politics over human lives. We hope today’s action makes President Biden and his administration finally listen.”

 

“We stand alongside our brothers and sisters working along the border and stand against MPP and Title 42, said Ariana Saludares, Co-Founder and President of Colores United. “We have seen firsthand the results of these inhumane policies along our New Mexico borders. We look forward to the period where all in peril are able to seek the right to asylum afforded to them.”

 

“The Biden administration has had two months to issue a new memo to terminate Remain in Mexico. Their insistence that these things take time rings hollow in light of their swift action during the same period to send 73 flights full of Haitians including babies and pregnant women to danger or worse and makes clear where their priorities lie. Let me be clear: continuing MPP and Title 42 are deliberate policy choices to perpetuate programs that are rooted in racism.” Guerline Jozef, Haitian Bridge Alliance. 

 

“The right to seek asylum must be restored and the egregious and dangerous policies that deny this right must be rescinded.  We will continue to push back against this Administration until they do the right thing.  MPP and Title 42 must end now.”  Jessica Corley, Director of Asylum Program, Albuquerque FaithWorks Collaborative.



The full text of the statement ready by advocates during the meeting is available here. #WelcomeWithDignity’s statement on the administration’s inexcusable plan to resume MPP is available here

 

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