While New Biden Border Measures Open Pathways for Regular Migration, the Overall Focus is on Limiting Asylum and Ignoring Root Causes

January 6, 2022
Elyssa Pachico  | +1 503 347 23 29 | [email protected] 
Myneilles Negron | +1 703 585 6727 | [email protected]


On January 5, the Biden administration announced new measures on the southern border, while Title 42 remains in force. Some of these measures will become effective immediately, others depend on administrative procedures to issue a new rule, and finally another set of measures will be implemented when Title 42 ends.


According to Alianza Americas, a multiethnic and multiracial coalition of 56 grassroots organizations in 18 states fighting for equitable policies, creating more legal pathways for regular migration is worth celebrating. Expanding a parole program for Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua is a positive measure, as this will allow people to request protection in the United States or stay in the country for two years with a work permit. Notably, Mexico is interpreting the parole program as temporary work permits. However, this measure is insufficient considering the number of people who have been forced to leave their countries and because it only applies to four nationalities. The program’s requirements make it unfeasible and expensive for the majority of asylum seekers to apply, especially in those countries where obtaining a passport is a luxury; nor do the requirements account for how persecution leaves people with no choice but to flee.


“These measures are geared towards limiting and stopping entry into the United States. They are trying to force people to flee in a planned and orderly manner, which doesn’t make sense,” said Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas.  “We should note there’s a long-standing narrative that’s successfully created this erroneous perception of Latin American and Caribbean migrants as undesirable individuals, perceived as a burden to the nation. Nothing can be farther from the truth, as these immigrants have proved to be a true economic and social blessing for the United States, and for millions of households in countries of origin receiving remittances.” 


Alianza Americas is concerned that the focus of these measures remains primarily centered on the U.S.-Mexico border. This is an insufficient approach. The Biden administration has announced its strategy to address the root causes of migration, but hasn’t actually implemented it. Biden’s press conference included a reference to private investments for USD$3.2 billion. This is a positive yet insufficient measure. There is a need for direct economic support from the U.S. government to address the multiple causes of migration, understanding that this is a long-term strategy. Without this effort, people will continue to be forced to abandon their countries, and deterrance-focused border strategies will remain insufficient, leaving people in situations of risk and dehumanization, and denying humanitarian protection to those that need it the most. 


Finally, the announcement of a new proposed rule to limit asylum for those who transit through a third country is a matter of concern. Alianza Americas will review the full proposal once it is available, to share our views and comments.





Alianza Americas is the premier transnational advocacy network of Latin American migrant-led organizations working in the United States, across the Americas, and globally to create an inclusive, equitable and sustainable way of life for communities across North, Central and South America. In 2022, Alianza integrated with Presente.org, establishing a stronger digital organizing powerhouse.
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