WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Biden Administration today announced a series of policies to process asylum seekers and those who wish to enter the country after Title 42 expires on May 11. These policies include regional processing centers in Latin America, expansion of family reunification avenues, and increased use of punitive enforcement measures. Below is a statement from Karen Tumlin, founder and director of Justice Action Center:
“The Biden administration faces the formidable task of building a new asylum system in the wake of one that has been decimated by past administrations, the pandemic, and the current administration’s own moves. Like so many policy measures, implementation will determine whether these changes meet the needs of our communities and country. We will judge these policies not by the fact sheet issued today, but by whether the clients we serve are actually able to access these new pathways and a chance at asylum at the border.
“Some elements of today’s announcement may tangibly improve the lives of those seeking safety or reunification. Other elements, like the expansion of expedited removal and prioritization of speed over fairness of results, will make a mockery of the notion that those fleeing danger have a fair chance to present their asylum case in the United States.
“Success in policy making should be measured by how well our system actually functions for people—not by the speed with which we make decisions or the numbers of people on the move in our hemisphere. We are heartened by the administration’s proposal to double the numbers of refugees that we welcome from the Western Hemisphere, but believe that prioritization of one region for refugee processing cannot come at the cost of another. Our system must focus on people in need of safety equally, regardless of the region of the world they live in. We encourage the Biden administration to work hand-in-hand with direct service providers to build a system where freedom of movement is recognized and where the dignity of those seeking safety is upheld.”
# # #
Justice Action Center (JAC) is a new nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting for greater justice for immigrant communities by combining litigation and storytelling. JAC is committed to bringing additional litigation resources to address unmet needs, empower clients, and change the corrosive narrative around immigrants in the U.S. Learn more at justiceactioncenter.org and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.