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Biden’s Latest Round of Immigration Executive Orders “Falls Far Short”

UUSC welcomes the stated goal of restoring asylum, but points to disappointing lack of concrete progress
Cambridge, MA—February 3—On February 2, President Joe Biden signed three executive orders related to immigration, including one which reiterated the administration’s commitment to “begin consultation and planning […] to develop policies and procedures for the safe and orderly processing of asylum claims at United States land borders[.]”

UUSC’s Vice President and Chief Program Officer Rachel Gore Freed issued the following response:

“We of course welcome the administration’s commitment to restarting the asylum system, but this round of orders falls far short of what is needed to accomplish that goal. Reviewing and ‘considering’ future policy changes is not enough to save lives. In order to make real change for people stranded at the U.S.-Mexico border, the government needs to go beyond promises and actually end the Title 42 policy, stop expelling people to danger, and allow people trapped by the Remain in Mexico program to apply for protection.

We’re also very concerned about the many vital issues that were not addressed in these orders. The administration has said nothing about ending Trump’s proclamations suspending green cards and temporary visas, even as these policies continue to keep families apart and perpetuate the harms of the Muslim Ban. The orders also do not mention the administration’s promise to review Trump’s TPS decisions and begin restoring protections for immigrants from countries facing humanitarian crises. Nor do they commit to ending family detention.

We entered the era of a new administration with every hope and assumption of good faith. Yet we are very concerned that we are now weeks into a new presidency, and we are still seeing mass deportations of Black immigrants and asylum-seekers to dangerous conditions, expulsions of people seeking asylum at our borders, and the apparently indefinite continuation of a Trump-era shutdown on the immigration system. Immigrants and people of color made Joe Biden’s presidential victory possible. Our communities deserve better than this.”

UUSC is working with partner organizations to call for an end to all asylum restrictions at the border and a restoration of the human right to seek asylum.

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The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization advancing human rights together with an international community of grassroots partners and advocates.

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