FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2023
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Biden’s Asylum Ban is Not the Solution
Washington – In a press call, litigators challenging Biden’s asylum ban, border policy experts, and legal service providers discussed how the administration is illegally barring access to asylum, inflicting disproportionate suffering on the most marginalized populations, including Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQIA+ people.
The Biden administration is shamefully touting its restrictive policies, instead of implementing workable solutions to achieve campaign commitment to a humane, orderly immigration policy that upholds refugee law and respects asylum rights.
“The last thing the Biden administration should be doing is to implement and tout policies that inflict harm on people seeking refuge in this country,” said Eleanor Acer, senior director for Refugee Protection at Human Rights First. “Instead, the administration should end its asylum ban, strengthen regular pathways to the United States and maximize asylum at ports of entry. There is no justification for prolonging a temporary policy that endangers human lives every day that it is left in place.”
“Each day the Biden administration prolongs the fight over its illegal ban, people fleeing violence and seeking safety for their families are placed in harm’s way,” said Katrina Eiland, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “Our country is better than this and should be a beacon of hope, not fear.”
“Title 42 may have ended, but in Nogales, Sonora, we’re seeing the same humanitarian concerns on the ground that we’ve been trying to call attention to for years,” said Chelsea Sachau, Managing Attorney of the Border Action Team at the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project. “People are struggling for months on end to make appointments via the app, and many have resorted to waiting in line at the port of entry to present instead, even though this exposes them to danger, violence, and exploitation. We’ve heard from people who have witnessed others being beaten and kidnapped directly from the line; families report reducing their food and water intake because there are no free public restrooms nearby; and the extreme heat and imminent monsoons present dire health and safety threats to families waiting outside. These are the life and death realities that occur any time the U.S. adopts deterrence-based policies that keep asylum seekers displaced at the border. A deterrence policy just means death, danger, and displacement.”
“Across the northern Mexico border, vulnerable children and adults fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries are targeted for horrific harms while forced to wait months in situations of danger, blocked from seeking asylum protection on account of the Biden administration’s illegal restrictions,” said Christina Asencio, Director of Research and Analysis, Refugee Protection at Human Rights First. “The world is confronting unprecedented global forced displacement while our neighbors to the south host the majority of refugees in the Americas. The administration can and must uphold U.S. and international refugee law.”
Join the movement and sign our pledge to #WelcomeWithDignity.
The #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign for asylum rights is composed of more than 100 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