WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte released the following statement today after the Biden Administration formally proposed their plans for an asylum ban:
“President Biden’s proposed asylum ban is a terrible mistake that, if enacted, will have devastating consequences, almost certainly for decades to come. Today’s announcement is not a step to building a ‘humane and working immigration system,’ it is not something required in the absence of comprehensive immigration reform. And it is not about rebuilding a failed and broken system after the horrors of the Trump Administration.
“Today’s announcement proposes a massive restriction on people’s rights to seek refuge from persecution in the United States; it is an historic reversal of the basic protections established after World War II regarding displaced people, asylum, and refugees. If enacted, it would likely persist for decades.
“A policy that disqualifies individuals and families fleeing persecution from seeking safety in the U.S. – and for whom doing so might be the last and only hope – is a policy that the United States should not implement. At our best, America’s promise has included a commitment to those seeking refuge; we have presented our nation as a beacon of hope and refuge for the world. Today’s proposed policy is a rejection of this promise. We are deeply concerned about the harm it will do to people most in need today and tomorrow, as well as the signal it will send to people across the world in an era of ongoing global migration crises.
“The U.S. does not currently have modern, working, and safe legal pathways – either for family reunification, for work, or to seek refuge – which allow people to come to the U.S, including for people from most countries in the Western Hemisphere. The Biden Administration took a positive step last month with the announcement of new parole pathways for four countries. That they are now responding to a lawsuit against these pathways with a massive enforcement-only policy is the wrong approach—and if these pathways are blocked in court, we cannot help but question what will come next. When the Biden Administration says building legal pathways is the right thing to do to help people migrate safely and to reduce pressure at the border, they are correct. This transit ban will increase chaos at the border, pushing people to cross between ports of entry.
“The proposed rule’s stated expiration date of two years from enactment makes this no better: everyone should expect that, if enacted, this administration’s policy will remain for decades. One need look no further than Title 42’s continued existence – a policy which, unlike this one, the Biden Administration inherited from the prior administration – to see the fallacy in this concept.
“Earlier today, after having returned from Ukraine to Poland, President Biden proudly proclaimed to the world: ‘Freedom. There is no sweeter word than freedom. There is no nobler goal than freedom. There is no higher aspiration than freedom. Americans know that and you know it.’
“Families belong together – safe and free. In a harsh, imperfect world, we know that policies that will ban the most vulnerable from a basic right to seek refuge are wrong – be they people yesterday, today, or tomorrow, from Haiti, Poland, Ukraine, Cuba, or Afghanistan.
“When President Biden previewed his intention to propose this rule last month, we called on him and his administration to reverse course and instead honor his campaign promises to build diverse, working legal pathways so that people can safely come to the U.S. We are deeply saddened by today’s announcement, and call on the President and his team to reverse course and not to move ahead with their proposed asylum ban.”