NEW YORK– In response to the Biden administration’s Tuesday announcement proposing a new rule that will restrict asylum seekers who have traveled through other countries before reaching the U.S. southern border from applying for asylum in the United States, the following statement is attributable to Michael Payne, deputy director of advocacy at PHR:
“The Biden Administration’s latest move to ban asylum seekers who have traveled through other countries to get to the United States is a blatant failure of U.S. immigration policy. Instead of strengthening and modernizing the asylum system, the administration is seeking to restrict access further by rejecting many asylum seekers and sending them back into harm’s way. The very nature of Biden’s proposal requiring vulnerable individuals to first seek asylum elsewhere before applying to enter the United States further exacerbates an already strenuous process for those fleeing widely documented harms and persecution.
“To turn asylum seekers back to life-threatening situations is eerily reminiscent of Trump-era asylum transit bans that resulted in disastrous family separation along the U.S. Southern border. Asylum transit bans are punitive policies with detrimental consequences—it’s extremely disappointing to see this administration’s failure to learn from the mistakes of the past.
“The Biden administration must immediately withdraw this proposed rule and implement solutions that align with international standards and protect the human rights of asylum seekers. That includes ending all asylum bans and instituting a fair and orderly process to seek asylum at the border.
“For the administration to propose this rule to take effect after the Title 42 policy ends is to replace one dangerous, draconian policy with another, doubling down on the failed policies of the Trump administration.”
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.