FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 2022
As Title 42 Ends, Advocates and Faith Groups are Eager to Welcome People Seeking Asylum
Washington – On a press call today, representatives from faith and human rights groups that welcome and care for people seeking asylum in the United States responded to the ending of the Title 42 border closure policy and troubling reports by Axios that the Biden administration is planning to take criminalizing measures to bar asylum, including cruel Trump-era asylum bans and family separation, for some migrants when Title 42 ends later this month.
A recording of the call is available here.
Eleanor Acer, Senior Director Refugee Protection, Human Rights First, said:
“With Title 42 ending, the Biden administration now has the opportunity to fulfill the commitments made by President Biden in his February 2022 Executive Order, ramp up resettlement and safe pathways, restore compliance with U.S. refugee law at ports of entry and along the border, and provide fair and timely adjudications. The asylum bans and other draconian policies that Biden administration officials are reportedly considering, however, would cause family separations, deliver people seeking refugee protection to brutal attacks and kidnappings, punish people for seeking protection, and subvert refugee law. The last thing the Biden administration should do is embrace the failed Trump play book. Instead, the Biden administration must lead by example, welcoming people seeking refuge as it urges countries around the world to continue to host the vast majority of the world’s refugees.”
Guerline Jozef, Director, Haitian Bridge Alliance, said:
“It is hard to see how we continue to use extremely dehumanizing policies, and Haitians have always been on the receiving end of the worst of this treatment. We are extremely discouraged to see the Biden administration considering sending migrants to Guantanamo, which would greatly impact Haitians seeking asylum. It is unacceptable for the administration to send people to Guantanamo, to continue use of Title 42, and any policies that bar people from their legal right to seek asylum. We stand ready to support, organize, and coordinate to ensure that we have a humane and dignified system to help people get access to asylum. President Biden promised to restore the soul of America, but that is not what we are witnessing. People need a safe passage to security. He must restore asylum now.”
Mary Miller Flowers, Senior Policy Analyst, Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, said:
“Anti-immigrant actors would like us to believe that there is a “crisis” at our borders. But the truth is, the real crisis is our willingness to play politics with people’s safety and deny children and their families the right to seek asylum in the United States. For years, advocates at the Young Center and our allies have proposed comprehensive child-centered strategies that can be implemented now. We have worked together to devise plans for more reception centers at the border to accommodate increased processing needs. We have proposed strategies for the government to evaluate family relationships at the border to keep families together whenever possible, and strategies to minimize the time children spend in federal custody. We have the plans and the capacity to step up and meet this moment with humanity.”
Dylan Corbett, Executive Director, Hope Border Institute, said:
“For decades, the strategy of the US government here on the border has been expensive, blunt, and ineffective. We’ve invested over and over again in a massive program of deterrence, detainment, and expulsion. We’ve learned really well how to treat vulnerable people on the move more and more like criminals, now to include asylum seekers. Denying protection to asylum is unacceptable, deadly, and illegal. None of that is effective. People still keep coming – they’re not just seeking a better life, but bare life. If the administration continues down this route, if we don’t put in place real solutions, we’re just kicking the can down the road. As one of many faith based organizations and community organizations working with vulnerable people on the move, I can say we’re ready. We’re ready to flip the script, restore asylum, redirect resources, and put in place a safe, welcoming, and humane system of reception at the border. We can do this in strong partnership with the federal government. It’s possible, it’s the right thing to do; we believe this can be a transformative moment for our country.”
The #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign for asylum rights 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
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition is made up of over 55 national, faith-based organizations brought together across many theological traditions with a common call to seek just policies that lift up the God-given dignity of every individual. In partnership, we work to protect the rights, dignity, and safety of all refugees and migrants. Follow us on Twitter @interfaithimm