ACLU Comment on Biden Border Remarks Today

January 5, 2023 11:45 am

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WASHINGTON — President Biden today announced new border policies, which include an expansion of immediate expulsions to Mexico under Title 42 for people seeking asylum at the border from Nicaragua, Cuba, and Haiti, and the revival of the Trump administration’s asylum transit ban in some form.

Jonathan Blazer, the American Civil Liberties Union’s director of border strategies, had the following reaction:

“President Biden correctly recognized today that seeking asylum is a legal right and spoke sympathetically about people fleeing persecution. But the plan he announced further ties his administration to the poisonous anti-immigrant policies of the Trump era instead of restoring fair access to asylum protections.

“Title 42 expulsions were already an unjustifiable misuse of the public health laws; this knee-jerk expansion of Title 42 will put more lives in grave danger. Let’s be clear: nothing requires the administration to expand Title 42 while it claims to be preparing for its ending. There is simply no reason why the benefits of a new parole program for Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Haitians must be conditioned on the expansion of dangerous expulsions.

“And previously, President Biden explicitly condemned Trump’s asylum ban against people who travel through other countries and made a campaign promise to end it and restore our asylum laws. But today the White House announced that he plans to bring a version of that ban back. His commitments to people seeking safety will ring utterly hollow if he moves forward in substituting one illegal anti-asylum Trump policy for another.”

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