The Biden Administration Must Take Action on the Border Crisis

Sign HIAS’ petition calling on the Biden administration to protect asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, and to implement a fair and humane asylum system in the president’s second year in office.

President Biden,

When your administration took office one year ago, you promised to reform the immigration system with “real leadership and real solutions” and recommit our country to welcoming asylum seekers and refugees. In year two, we call on you to commit toward that original goal and to address the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Despite many substantial changes to the immigration system, the majority of asylum seekers are still turned away at the U.S.-Mexico border and sent into extreme danger, either in the very countries which they fled, or in border cities in Mexico.

In this year, we encourage your administration to take the following steps to address asylum at the border. 

  • End the deterrence-first approach. Telling migrants “do not come” to seek safety and a better future is not an effective strategy, and runs counter to our nation’s history and values. Policies to quickly send people away, such as Expedited Removal or Dedicated Dockets cause harm and suffering.

  • End the use of Title 42 to expel asylum seekers from the U.S. Health experts have repeatedly said that the spread of coronavirus is not linked to asylum seekers at the border; this healthcare regulation has caused serious physical and emotional harm to thousands of people seeking safety.

  • Minimize the use of Remain in Mexico (MPP). Reverse the expansion of Remain in Mexico to Haitians and others. 

  • Immediately end deportations to Haiti, a country that your administration acknowledges is experiencing a “deteriorating political crisis, violence, and staggering increase in human rights abuses.”

  • Designate or redesignate countries for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to protect people from unsafe countries that have experienced disasters.

  • Address the backlog in immigration court to uphold due process and ensure asylum seekers’ right to access a fair legal process.

  • Work with the families who were separated under the previous administration’s Zero Tolerance policy rather than fighting them in court.

  • End the use of immigration detention unless absolutely necessary, and improve detention center conditions.

We are grateful for the steps that have been taken, including the end of the metering program; the termination of the Asylum Cooperative Agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; and the reversal of the barriers in immigration court to domestic violence survivors and victims of family-based persecution. But these steps fall short when asylum seekers at the border are unable to even stay on U.S. soil.

Our Jewish tradition teaches us to see each person as a reflection of God’s image. Each person is worthy of dignity, rights, compassion, and safety. We encourage you to see each and every asylum seeker as a potential new American, and to accordingly treat them with fairness, respect, and humanity.

Our commitment to asylum in this country is steadfast and we look forward to working with you in your second year to uphold it.

Personal Information

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