Take Action on Immigration

An appeal from Guillermo Torres of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice.

After four years of horrific immigration policies of the previous administration, I was somewhat hopeful (I say that because with politicians you never know) that things were going to change when the new Biden administration took over. But to my dismay, but not surprise, this administration had some major hick-ups right from the start. 

It started with the process of detaining unaccompanied minors and locking them up in a detention center in Texas that was previously used by the former Trump administration, located near toxic grounds. 

Then, after that, came horrific images of Custom Border Patrol agents in Texas pursuing and hurling their horses at Haitian asylees to detain them and deport them back to Haiti, this in the midst of a country that was experiencing horrific violence and reeling from an earthquake. 

Next, came even more chaos and suffering with the decision to evacuate and leave Afghanistan. More recently asylum seekers from Venezuela and Colombia were expelled back after making a dangerous journey to come right before Title 42 ended, news outlets were splashing all kinds of images of families standing outside in the freezing cold waiting to be processed at the El Paso/Juarez border crossing.  

Now the Biden Administration is proposing a new policy that will hurt and cause more suffering to those legally seeking asylum.

The following statement released from the Children’s Refugee Center by Board President Sumangala Bhattacharya summarizes the new proposed policy:  

 “The proposed federal rule (informally called the “transit ban” or “third country transit ban”) that would create a near-total ban on asylum when the Title 42 public health ban expires on May 11 (i.e., as soon as one ban expires, another will take its place). 

 The rule states that anyone who has passed through another country to get to the U.S. will be barred from asylum unless that person had previously applied for and been denied asylum in a country they passed through (with some very limited exceptions). Asylum seekers subject to the rule (which is anyone applying at the Southern border who is not a Mexican national) will also be subjected to heightened standards of initial screening (with the likelihood of detention and rapid deportation if they fail to meet the heightened standard). The rule has a very complicated system that individuals can use to challenge (by a preponderance of the evidence) the “rebuttable presumption” that they are ineligible for asylum at this early screening stage.

The point of this proposed rule is to act as a deterrent – to build a legal wall that will supposedly prevent people from coming to the Southern border and creating a visual spectacle of human distress that presents a political problem for the administration (Democrat or Republican)”.

So, I ask myself, why can’t this administration get it right?  Why are they so disconnected from the humanity of those who are fleeing violence to seek refuge?  


Please consider writing a comment in the Federal Public Register. The Biden administration has provided only a short 30-day window to write comments. So, if you are considering writing a comment, please do it right away (at least before March 20). We have included a link for guidance on how to write a comment: 


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