Promising Initiatives Are Undermined by Unjust Border Policy

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Yesterday, the Biden administration announced a series of new policies to manage the processing of migrants expected to seek entry to the United States following the expiration of Title 42 on May 11. The new measures include expanding refugee processing abroad, creating new processes for family reunification, and raising the number of refugees accepted from the Western Hemisphere. However, the plans also include implementing the proposed asylum ban, rapid expulsions, and other punitive measures.

“We are disappointed that promising initiatives from the Biden administration continued to be accompanied by harsh and unjust border policies,” said Anna Gallagher, CLINIC’s executive director. “While some positive and encouraging measures were announced to create legal pathways for certain populations, the administration also plans to finalize an asylum ban that would reduce access for others to the life-saving protection they should be afforded by international and U.S. law. Policies such as this are gradually shifting our asylum structure into one that degrades human dignity, which is unacceptable according to the teachings of the Catholic faith and this nation’s founding principles.”

“From our experience working with asylum seekers, we know that certain measures included in the asylum ban will send people back to danger and cost lives,” said Karen Sullivan, director of advocacy at CLINIC. “Also, fast-track credible fear interviews while in Border Patrol custody and without adequate counsel will lead to wrongful decisions and unjust deportations. These and other policies of the asylum ban will likely undermine justice rather than uphold it.”

“We urge the Biden administration to rescind the portions of this plan that will erode our country’s asylum protections,” continued Gallagher. “Maintaining adequate and fair access to asylum is the minimum standard for respecting migrants’ dignity. By law we owe our migrant brothers and sisters this right — and according to our faith, we owe them much more: our solidarity and generous hospitality.”