FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2023
Myneilles Negron | +1 703 585 6727 | [email protected]
Administration’s proposal threatens international commitments
CHICAGO, IL –– Today, the Biden Administration announced a new proposed rule, which intends on expanding the ineligibility for asylum for individuals and families seeking protection in the United States. There will be few exceptions for individuals who applied and were approved for parole, used the CBP One app, or were unable to do so due to a language or literacy barrier, and for those who applied and were denied asylum in a third country en route to the United States.
Alianza Americas, a multiethnic and multiracial network of 59 grassroots organizations in 18 states and Washington D.C. fighting for just and equitable migration policies, concludes that this new proposed rule represents a significant setback by the Biden administration and an abuse of the legal system to continue denying protection to individuals and families who take the dangerous and challenging route through the Central American – Mexico corridor to reach the U.S. and seek asylum.
“Individuals forced to migrate from their home countries enter the U.S. without authorization because they are unable to obtain a tourist visa, they do not have travel documents, and their fear and sense of uncertainty prevents them from using the CBP One app. Asylum seekers come to the U.S. to seek protection because they know that they will not find it in any other country on their route to the U.S. The figures on killings, disappearances, rapes, kidnappings, and other forms of violence in Mexico and Central America speak for themselves,” said Rita Robles, Mexico coordinator for Alianza Americas.
Asylum is a humanitarian form of protection, an international commitment the United States made to the international community that is enshrined in its laws. This new proposed rule denies protection and seeks to add an inexistent requirement: exhausting remedies, in this case, seeking protection in a country en route to the U.S. Individuals and families fleeing persecution are unable to plan an orderly and organized flight to the U.S. that requires among other things, the use of technology available only in some languages.
“These measures are geared towards limiting and stopping entry of poor and vulnerable people into the U.S. The U.S. government is trying to force them to seek protection in another country before the U.S.” said Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas. “This measure accepts and enforces the long-standing narrative that successfully created the erroneous and cruel perception that Latin American and Caribbean migrants as undesirable individuals, perceived as a burden to our 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.”
Alianza Americas is concerned that the Biden administration’s root causes strategy has not been defined in the best way possible, and it often seems to be limited to fostering direct foreign investment. Private investments are helpful yet insufficient. There is a need for direct economic support from the U.S. government to address the multiple causes of migration that includes a long-term perspective. “Without a sustained effort, people will continue to be forced to leave their home countries. Efforts to deter migration such as this presumption for ineligibility for asylum leave the most vulnerable without protection. It is an inhumane response, contrary to what is just and right.” concluded Oscar Chacon.
Individuals will be able to rebut the presumption of ineligibility for asylum if they are able to demonstrate that at the time of entry, they were suffering a medical emergency, or were facing an extreme and imminent threat to their life and safety or were victims of a severe form of trafficking. This presumption of ineligibility will be part of the credible fear interview. Individuals subject to this expanded presumption of ineligibility for asylum will be promptly removed from the U.S. and ineligible for parole if a process has been established for their country of origin. The rule will not apply to unaccompanied children and the federal government will open the proposed rule for comments for 30 days.
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.