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Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

Biden administration details new immigration measures for the end of Title 42

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Global Refuge Staff

April 27, 2023

Contact: Tim Young | timothy.young@globalrefuge.org

Washington, D.C. – The Biden administration announced its new immigration plan in anticipation of the May 11 termination of Title 42, a pandemic-era public health rule used to restrict asylum access and expel migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border nearly 3 million times since March 2020.

Officials detailed more severe enforcement measures in expectation of increased arrivals, including a highly controversial asylum rule that would presume migrants ineligible for asylum if they passed through other countries en route to the U.S.-Mexico border, but did not seek and be denied asylum in those countries. In addition, DHS is preparing to expand its expedited removal process, which would require asylum seekers to defend their cases via telephone from jail-like facilities within days of their arrival to the U.S. Officials also noted that the number of weekly deportation flights will double or triple for some countries.

Additionally, the administration announced plans to set up processing centers in Latin America in order to screen migrants and determine whether they qualify for programs to enter the U.S., including a new family reunification parole process for nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia. The administration also committed to doubling the number of refugees resettled from the Western Hemisphere from 20,000 to 40,000 over Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024. The current target for the region is 15,000 admissions this fiscal year, however there were fewer than 2,300 as of the end of March 2023.

In response to the announcement, Lee Williams, Chief Programs Officer at Global Refuge, said:

“While there are some promising measures for managing migration humanely, the Biden administration has prioritized its predecessor’s stick over the carrot. A recycled Trump-era asylum ban will render large swaths of desperate people ineligible for protection afforded to them under decades of U.S. law and international agreements. Expanding the expedited removal process poses serious concerns about due process violations and opens the door to the return of vulnerable people to their country of persecution.

Increasing regional refugee admissions, issuing temporary humanitarian parole, and expanding family reunification programs are all welcome steps, but they cannot and should not be considered a replacement for the bedrock human right to seek asylum. We urge the Biden administration to reverse course before this misguided asylum rule denies protection to those whose lives depend on the U.S. living up to its moral and legal obligations.”

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