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Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

Global Refuge Decries Drastic Immigration Proposals in Supplemental Funding Negotiations

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Global Refuge Staff

December 14, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 14, 2023

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

Washington, D.C. – The White House is reportedly offering sweeping measures that would functionally end the legal right to seek asylum in the United States in exchange for passage of its supplemental aid package of security assistance for Ukraine and other allies. The Biden administration has indicated its openness to a new Title 42-like border authority to expel certain migrants without asylum screenings, as well as a higher credible fear screening threshold for asylum seekers who are not summarily expelled under this new authority.

In addition, administration officials have indicated support for a nationwide expansion of expedited removal, which is currently limited to the border region and allows for the deportation of migrants without court hearings. The White House has further signaled willingness to mandate detention until migrants can be placed into expedited removal proceedings, despite its lack of detention space to do so.

In response to the ongoing negotiations, Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Global Refuge, said:

“These concessions would be incredibly harmful to vulnerable people whose only beacon of hope is the legal right to seek asylum on U.S. soil. Moreover, nationwide expansion of expedited removal would be equally devastating to families in the interior who have been longstanding members of and contributors to countless communities. For the White House to endorse such cruel policies would be a betrayal to millions of Americans who believed President Biden’s campaign promises to restore our humanitarian leadership and the rule of law.”

“Negotiators have thus far failed to learn from the very recent past that callous deterrence policies like Title 42 will not stop individuals and families from seeking the protection they desperately need. Nor do they recognize that summarily removing this scale of people depends on the cooperation of foreign governments like Mexico who have little incentive or capacity to protect them.”

“There are real solutions available to manage migration humanely and they certainly do not include the death of due process, mass detention of families with children, or the wholesale shutdown of asylum protections. While there is bipartisan consensus that our immigration system is broken, inflicting cruelty on the most desperate is not the practical or political fix our elected officials seem to believe it is.”

“Missing from the political debate is the urgent need for stronger federal coordination to ease challenges faced by both border and receiving communities, as well as meaningful investments in domestic and international processing capacity, immigration courts, and community-based support programs. At a time of unprecedented need, the world’s humanitarian leader cannot compromise its core values as a bargaining chip in an entirely avoidable political showdown.”

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