FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2021
#WelcomeWithDignity Campaign Speaks Out on Expedited Removal & Abbott’s Executive Order
Washington, DC – Today, the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign held a press call with advocates following the announcement that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would begin using a process of rapid deportations known as “expedited removal” for certain families arriving at the border, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order directing officials to stop and reroute any vehicle suspected of transporting migrants.
The recording of the press call can be found here.
“Despite the President’s professed commitment to human rights, his administration is failing to comply with US human rights obligations and refugee law here at home.” said Eleanor Acer, Senior Director of Refugee Protection, Human Rights First. “The administration’s decision to use this horrific and illegal policy has already, since President Biden took office in January, led to over 3275 reports of rapes, kidnappings and attacks against asylum seekers and migrants blocked or expelled under the policy.”
“Expedited removal should not be used under any circumstances – the risk of getting it wrong is simply too high. If the administration insists on use of this archaic black box of a process, there must, MUST, be adequate protections in place, which have not been accounted for under the recent announcement. ”said Gracie Willis, Staff Attorney, Southern Poverty Law Center. “These include: appropriately trained asylum officers utilizing trauma-informed interviewing techniques; highly skilled interpreters; immediate oversight for rampant well-documented racism within CBP that prevent people’s claims of fear from being identified.”
“As advocates our only defense is to welcome and to pick up the pieces the government won’t.” said Linda Rivas, Executive Director, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center. “Abbott in this political attack is trying to intimidate communities out of doing the right thing. Now more than ever, we need the Biden administration to do the right thing and defend the right to seek asylum, not weaken it.”
“These are families fleeing and violence, who have made a treacherous and traumatic journey to the US-Mexico border and have been told to wait for years in Mexico where they were sitting ducks for violence by cartels,” said Nicole Phillips, Legal Director, Haitian Bridge Alliance. “They deserve to be welcomed with dignity and humanity – not to be put on a conveyor belt like they are chickens.”
#WelcomeWithDignity’s response to Governor Abbot’s executive order is available here, and our response to the Biden Administration’s decision on expedited removals is available here.
Join the movement and sign our pledge to #WelcomeWithDignity here.
The Welcome with Dignity Campaign is composed of more than 80 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