• Press Release

Amnesty International USA Condemns Biden Administration’s Attack on Asylum

January 5, 2023

Amnesty International USA Advocacy Director for the Americas, Amy Fischer, released the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s announcement to limit pathways to asylum seekers:

“Amnesty International USA condemns the Biden Administration’s attack on the human right to seek asylum. Today, the Biden Administration fully reversed course on its stated commitment to human rights and racial justice by once again expanding the use  of Title 42, announcing rulemaking on an asylum transit ban, expanding the use of  expedited removal, and implementing a new system to require appointments through a mobile app for those desperately seeking safety. While we welcome the expanded humanitarian parole program to provide a pathway for Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans to apply for protection without having to make the dangerous journey to the border, that must not come at the expense of the human right to seek asylum. These new policies will undoubtedly have a disparate impact on Black, Brown, and Indigenous people seeking safety. In fact, Amnesty International previously found that the cruel treatment of Haitians under Title 42 subjected Haitian asylum seekers to arbitrary detention and discriminatory and humiliating ill-treatment that amounts to race-based torture. The measure of success for border policies should be reflected in protection given, not denied. The new policy for Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans is an extension of the program established for Venezuelans which has resulted in massive deterrence for Venezuelans seeking protection, deportations from Mexico, and Venezuelans facing violent pushbacks at the U.S. border. The United States has both a legal and moral obligation to uphold the right to seek asylum, and over the holidays, we once again saw communities mobilize to welcome asylum seekers with dignity. The Biden Administration must reverse course and stop these policies of exclusion, and instead uphold the right to seek asylum and invest in the communities that are stepping up to welcome.”

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