RCUSA responds to President Biden’s new executive orders

Washington, DC — Quickly following his inauguration as president, Joe Biden rescinded Donald Trump’s bigoted and xenophobic Muslim and African bans — which targeted a number of Muslim-majority countries and, later, primarily African countries — and among other important day one actions, suspended new enrollments in the anti-asylum Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, and announced a 100-day deportation moratorium for many of our immigrant neighbors.

Scott Roehm, RCUSA’s board chair said: “We applaud President Biden’s swift action in repealing these discriminatory bans and beginning to repair the harm that they caused to refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants. The damage inflicted by the previous administration’s anti-refugee agenda cannot be overstated; these and related bans have kept thousands of families needlessly separated, and prevented innumerable refugees from accessing safety and reunion in the United States.”

This is just the beginning of the work that needs to be done to rebuild the refugee resettlement program and restore asylum protections, but it is an encouraging and much welcome start. We look forward to the Biden administration partnering with Congress and key stakeholders to bring forth meaningful change for humanitarian protection.”

RCUSA urges the Biden administration to reestablish welcome as a guiding principle in US policy by immediately increasing the Fiscal Year 2021 refugee admissions goal to reflect global need, with an eye toward setting the Fiscal Year 2022 admissions goal at 125,000. The administration should terminate all anti-asylum policies and begin to process all asylum seekers  in a safe, fair, and humane manner. By restoring our commitment to those fleeing persecution, the United States can once again take up the mantle of leadership on humanitarian assistance and protection, sending a signal to the world that we are committed to helping those forcibly displaced. RCUSA and its members will continue to work alongside Congress and this new administration to rebuild the refugee program and advocate for refugees, asylees, asylum seekers, stateless people, and all forcibly displaced persons in search of safety, and to promote actions that build and create welcoming communities.

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.