With 70th Anniversary of Refugee Convention, CLINIC Calls on Biden Administration to Ensure True Humanitarian Protection

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Seventy years ago, the United States joined other nations ratifying the “United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees,” and formally committed to providing a safe home for persecuted people across the globe.

“Jesus was a refugee. Welcoming and assisting the world’s persecuted people is at the very core of our Catholic identity. The Biden administration has made some strides forward on humanitarian immigration policies, but there is so much more to be done,” said Anna Gallagher, CLINIC executive director. “Expelling people and families under expedited removal and Title 42 go against our commitments to God and humanity. We must eliminate past and present anti-refugee policies, use Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure to the maximum and fix all that is broken within the U.S. asylum and immigration court system. We cannot keep sending people back to the danger they fled.”

Said Luis Guerra, Strategic Capacity Officer with CLINIC: “Seeking asylum is a right under the laws of the United States, and our central commitment in the 1951 Convention. The Biden administration should not implement policies, like this new expansion of expedited removal, which will result in returning people to danger. We are talking about some of the most vulnerable people and families in the world. If the Biden administration wants people to seek asylum at ports of entry, it must transform those spaces — which have been full of confrontation, violence and fear — into ones that are accessible, functional and welcoming. CLINIC urges the Biden administration to immediately reverse the expansion of expedited removal, stop expelling people under Title 42 and create policies that uphold our obligations under the law and to each other, as human beings.”

Added Lisa Parisio, CLINIC director of advocacy: “The Biden administration has pledged to address systemic racism in the United States. Access to humanitarian immigration protections must be included in that commitment. Despite clear dangers to life and liberty in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mauritania and other African nations, there have been no new TPS designations for the continent since 2014. As a ‘blanket’ protection for all nationals of a country, TPS is a life-saving tool. It becomes all the more important when people slip through the cracks of the U.S. asylum system, as they often do due to systemic racism. CLINIC calls on the Biden administration to use TPS broadly and boldly to protect the lives of Black and other immigrants in the U.S.”