FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2022
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WASHINGTON – Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas faced strong attacks from Republican lawmakers in hearings before the House Committee on Appropriations and the House Homeland Security Committee on April 27; he will appear today in a third hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. In this context, Alianza Americas, a coalition of 55 migrant-led groups in 18 states, issued the following reaction:
“Make no mistake: it’s the Trump administration that created a disaster at the southern border. We’re going to see a lot of political grandstanding on the Hill this week aimed at obfuscating that fundamental reality,” said Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas. “Failed Trump actions, such as invoking a false public health measure like Title 42, didn’t even succeed at the purported goal of deterring migration. Congress should be focused on delivering real solutions that fix our broken immigration system. Poll after poll shows it’s what the majority of Americans want.”
Mayorkas appears on Capitol Hill after the DHS released a 20-page plan explaining how the Biden administration is preparing to lift the Title 42 public health order. The plan details that one strategy will involve “maximiz[ing] the use of Expedited Removal,” a process that allows for fast-tracking deportations. Legal experts have pointed out that depending on expedited removal means there’s a higher chance of people being deported when they would actually qualify for asylum or some other form of relief.
“With this new border plan, the Biden administration wants to deport people as quickly as possible with little regard for due process,” added Chacón. “In no way does this represent any kind of shift away from how the U.S. has been treating migrants, especially from Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean nations.”
In part because of lawmakers failing to deliver long-overdue action to transform the U.S. immigration system, the courts have become a primary arena where battles over immigration policy are playing out. This was seen earlier this week when a federal court in Louisiana indicated it would temporarily block the Biden administration from ending the “Title 42” policy, which has virtually ended asylum at the U.S. southern border.
“If we truly seek to protect our democracy, the Biden administration needs to fight, tooth and nail, to stop Trump-appointed judges from imposing a second Trump presidency from the bench,” said Matt Nelson, director of Presente.org, Alianza Americas’ digital organizing powerhouse. “Despite scores of health experts documenting how Title 42 has zero bases in protecting public health, we’re still keeping the border shut to those fleeing violence and repression. We need bold, immediate action from President Biden to fully restore asylum protections and defend human rights and mobility.”
Alianza Americas is the only transnational organization rooted in Latino immigrant communities in the United States focused on improving the quality of life of all people in the U.S.-Mexico-Central America migration corridor. As a network of Latino and Caribbean immigrants, Alianza Americas is working for change in the U.S. while also promoting a more stable, healthy, democratic and safer conditions in the countries of origin of their members.