In response to reports that the Biden administration will continue construction of border barriers in Starr County, Texas, the following quote is attributable to Tessa Wilson, senior program officer with the asylum program at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR):
“The Biden administration’s decision to waive 26 federal laws for faster border wall construction in Texas contradicts campaign promises and betrays human rights, due process, and longstanding commitments to U.S. and international law.
“While seeking office, President Biden rightly criticized the border wall as cruel and ineffective. The administration’s stark reversal and embrace of Trump-era policies only exacerbate the suffering of vulnerable communities. It will do nothing to address the root causes of migration or the dire humanitarian conditions along the U.S. southern border.
“The U.S. government continues to enact a wide range of immigration and asylum policies that violate international human rights norms as well as U.S. and international law. The United States has both a legal and moral obligation to process people exercising their human right to seek asylum on U.S. soil, with safety and dignity.
“In addition to embracing the border wall and expansive deportation policies, the Biden administration is also defending the Trump administration’s family separation policies. When they should be providing reparations for extensive harm inflicted by U.S. officials, the Biden administration is instead continuing to fight separated families in court.
“PHR remains committed to supporting individuals internationally recognized right to seek asylum. We call on the U.S. government to reverse its campaign to construct new physical and legal barriers along the border. The United States should address this humanitarian crisis in humanitarian ways.”
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.