RCUSA responds to Biden’s latest EOs on asylum

Washington, DC — Today, President Biden continued reversing course from the previous administration’s cruel anti-asylum, anti-immigrant agenda, signing three executive orders to review and overturn some of the most harmful and discriminatory policies instituted under the Trump administration.

RCUSA welcomes news that the Biden administration will begin reunifying separated families, develop a national response to address root causes of displacement from Central America, and craft policies to safely welcome asylum seekers in the United States. These are important steps toward restoring a well-functioning, humane asylum system. The administration has also ordered a review of the so-called “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP), under which those seeking asylum at the US Southern Border were forcibly returned to Mexico, where thousands continue to face crowded and inhospitable living conditions, and are vulnerable to assault, kidnapping, and even murder.

John Slocum, RCUSA Interim Executive Director, stated: “Today’s executive orders signal that the Biden administration is making the task of restoring protection and welcome a priority. We applaud the president’s actions, including the call for family reunification, restoring the Central American Minors (CAM) program to protect children from Central America fleeing violence, and re-establishing the Task Force on New Americans to facilitate immigrant integration. We know, too, that ensuring a safe and accessible path to protection is only part of the work to be done. This administration must equally dedicate itself to addressing the root causes of displacement, for every person deserves to find safety in their communities.”

RCUSA urges the Biden administration to fully restore asylum and refugee protections, terminate the MPP program, expand the CAM program, and halt Title 42 expulsions, under which nearly 400,000 people have been deported without due process. RCUSA further calls on Congress to introduce and pass the Refugee Protection Act, which would strengthen the resettlement program and US asylum system. RCUSA is prepared to work alongside our partners to ensure the reunion of families torn apart by the previous administration’s policy of family separation, and work to ensure that all persons seeking asylum are treated fairly and humanely, and their cases processed expeditiously.

Media Contact: Sarah Seniuk, sseniuk@rcusa.org

RCUSA is a diverse coalition advocating for just and humane laws and policies, and the promotion of dialogue and communication among government, civil society, and those who need protection and welcome. Individual RCUSA members do not all address all refugee-related issues, nor do all individual members approach common refugee-related issues identically.