#WelcomeWithDignity Responds to Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection from the Summit of the Americas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 10, 2022

CONTACT: press@welcomewithdignity.org

 

#WelcomeWithDignity Responds to Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection from the Summit of the Americas

Los Angeles The Ninth Summit of the Americas concluded today with the announcement of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection and a series of commitments from U.S. and regional governments to promote safe, humane, and orderly migration in our region. Members of the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign welcome efforts to respect the rights of migrants and asylum seekers, reunify migrant families, and uphold the right to seek protection. Across the region, xenophobia and racism (including anti-Black and anti-indigenous racism) have fueled  increasingly draconian migration policies that abrogate human rights obligations and cause death and suffering. The #WelcomeWithDignity campaign remains committed to working with partners in the United States and the region to affirm the human right to seek safety and build an asylum system that honors the dignity of all. 

“Although the Ninth Summit of the Americas brought some hope, President Biden’s Los Angeles Declaration encourages countries in the Americas to target people in mobility and have them deported to the same danger they are fleeing. Haitian and other Black migrants will be disproportionately targeted and impacted by these policies, as they fall prey to smugglers without equal access to asylum protection due to racist discrimination and stereotypes,” said Guerline Jozef, co-founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance. “Last week we buried two Haitian men who had been denied their right to seek asylum in the United States because of Title 42. We encourage governments to reject these tactics and promote real equity, sustainability, and safety throughout the migrant path in the Americas. We also encourage policies to strengthen governance in Haiti and other countries so that people can thrive at home instead of using irregular migration and making these dangerous journeys in order to survive.”

 

“The Los Angeles Declaration represents a necessary step towards addressing migration challenges in the Americas,” said Felipe Navarro Lux, Manager of Regional Initiatives at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS). “It is encouraging to see the United States and our neighbors come together and commit to uphold the rights of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees including efforts to promote access to protection and complementary pathways. It is however concerning that, contrary to some of the aspirational language of the Declaration, the United States continues to embrace and promote enforcement- and deterrence-centric migration policies that endanger the lives of migrants seeking safety. The United States cannot espouse values of humanity, fairness, and solidarity on paper while externalizing our border and continuing to block the majority of people seeking refuge at our doors under the Title 42 and Remain in Mexico policies. At this pivotal moment, the U.S. government must lead by example, restart asylum at the border, and welcome people fleeing persecution with dignity.”

“The Los Angeles Declaration on Migration reflects a positive commitment towards the protection of migrants in the Americas. But let’s make sure the Declaration doesn’t remain just words,” said Daniella Burgi Palomino, co-director of the Latin American Working Group (LAWG). “Instead, governments should propose concrete action plans towards increasing protection pathways for the men, women, children and families seeking safety and consult with the civil society organizations serving communities. And the United States can be a leader in the hemisphere by doing everything in its power to lift Title 42 and restore access to asylum at its border once and for all.”

“In light of changing migration trends over the past decade, a hemispheric-wide approach to migration and international protection is an important step forward,” said Savi Arvey, policy advisor in the Migrant Rights and Justice Program of the Women’s Refugee Commission. “If meaningfully implemented, the Declaration provides a crucial opportunity for countries across the region to come together to take bold, concrete action to strengthen protection-based approaches to migration. Doing so must not only include a transparent and inclusive approach grounded in the needs and rights of people on the move, but must also ensure that signatories lead by example. In particular, we urge the United States alongside its regional partners to now center protection – not misguided attempts at deterrence – to ensure that access to asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border is finally restored.”

The Welcome with Dignity Campaign is composed of more than 100 national and regional organizations committed to transforming the way the United States receives and protects people forced to flee their homes to ensure they are treated humanely and fairly. To learn more and join our campaign visit: welcomewithdignity.org

###