Advocates sound alarm on negotiations that could alter border policy, harm immigrants
Immigrant advocacy groups and other human rights activists are sounding the alarm as policymakers seek ways to push through permanent and substantial changes to immigration policy in a supplemental funding measure that would provide billions in international aid.
Republicans are holding up the measure unless President Biden agrees to restrictions relating to what they call “border security.” Specifically, they want new restrictions on who can seek asylum, an expanded nationwide deportation process, and a return to Title 42, a law used by the Trump Administration during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent migrants from entering the U.S.
According to Reuters, Biden indicated on Wednesday that he would be willing to make concessions on dramatic changes to immigration policy in exchange for Republican support for the international supplemental measure. This week, the Coalition on Human Needs joined local, state, and national organizations in signing a letter via the Children’s Thrive Action Network calling on the White House and Congress to oppose harmful immigration restrictions.
“We are alarmed to see reports that the White House and lawmakers are seriously considering proposals that would further restrict asylum, expand expedited removal, detain families, and revive Title 42,” the letter states. “All these policies will endanger lives. Any effort to revive Trump-era proposals to expand mandatory detention and expedited removal also puts more people at risk of being jailed in inhumane conditions or separated from their families. It is also clear that Black, Brown, and Indigenous immigrants would be at greater risk of being targeted and harmed by such measures.”
Instead, the letter states, the “Biden Administration and Congress should support humane child and family-centered solutions.”
“Congress does not have to compromise our nation’s values to achieve its funding priorities,” the letter concludes. “Families and children seek asylum because their lives depend on it. Congress must affirm their right to safety and reject harmful proposals in ongoing supplemental funding negotiations.”
The Coalition on Human Needs and many of our allies continue to raise concerns about these policy changes to the Administration and members of Congress before a potential vote next week in the Senate, and we urge organizations and individuals to weigh in also.