World Relief Affirms New Biden Administration Proposal Expanding Legal Pathways for Those Fleeing Hardship, Decries New Asylum Restrictions
January 5, 2022
BALTIMORE — Today, President Biden announced a series of new immigration policies seeking to address the challenges at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Biden administration plans to significantly expand parole programs for individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela — allowing individuals with U.S.-based sponsors to lawfully enter the U.S. and be authorized to work upon arrival — while creating new restrictions for individuals from these and other countries who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border and wish to seek asylum. To do so, the Biden administration is relying upon the legal authority of Title 42, a public health law whose use the administration has previously said is no longer justified, but which the U.S. Supreme Court has kept in effect with a temporary hold issued last month. Under the Title 42 policy, individuals are expelled to Mexico without the ability to seek asylum under the terms of longstanding U.S. immigration law. The administration also announced expansion of refugee resettlement from the Western Hemisphere and additional new proposed restrictions on asylum eligibility.
World Relief welcomes the expansion of lawful mechanisms for entry for individuals from these countries and is eager to partner with local churches to facilitate their integration, but opposes new proposals that would deny due process to those seeking refuge in the United States along the border.
“We strongly denounce any policies imposed by any administration that prohibit, deter, or limit individuals from seeking refuge in the U.S. as allowed by U.S. law,” said Myal Greene, president and CEO of World Relief. “Those fleeing their countries due to conflict, violence or fear not only have the right to seek safety and protection but to plead their case to determine if they qualify to stay in our country lawfully.”
World Relief has persistently advocated for the reversal of the previous administration’s harmful, illegal, and ineffective anti-asylum policies and now calls on President Biden to fulfill his promise to “secure our border, while ensuring the dignity of migrants and upholding their legal right to seek asylum.”
“We certainly acknowledge that not every individual who arrives at the border will qualify to be granted asylum under U.S. law, but we must respect our nation’s moral and legal obligations to ensure due process for those seeking protection from persecution,” said Jenny Yang, vice president for advocacy and policy at World Relief. “We are encouraged by the expansion of legal avenues for those who have fled countries where people are enduring incredible hardship. However, such processes should not be paired with new restrictions on asylum for those with no other avenue for protection under current U.S. law but for reaching the U.S. border to seek asylum. We urge President Biden to work with Congress to develop a pathway forward that both protects our nation’s borders and respects the dignity and value of all human life, especially those who are vulnerable.”
To learn more about World Relief, visit worldrelief.org.
To download a PDF version of this press release, click here.