Today the Biden Administration announced its intention to re-issue a version of the Trump Administration’s asylum, or transit, ban that requires families and individuals to seek asylum in countries they pass through en route to the United States first. Transit ban 2.0 emulates the previous administration’s disregard for America’s national asylum laws and commitments to international human rights laws and treaties, and our moral obligation and tradition of welcoming people escaping conflict and persecution.
To outsource asylum-seekers’ safety to transit countries, which in many cases can neither provide the safety nor support and legal protection necessary is appalling. Moreover, access to asylum should not depend on a newly-launched phone app to make an appointment like a dental cleaning. While we appreciate the consideration of exempting unaccompanied children, the ban does not provide them with the protection to which they have the right.
In hopes of mitigating the sting with this announcement, the rules are slated to commence May 11 – in conjunction with the end to Title 42 – and stay in effect for two years. However, this rolls us into the next Administration’s term. Who’s to say that when that comes to be, these rules will be reversed?
We are not a nation that punishes people seeking safety and tears families apart. We hope these new inhumane and unjust policies will be struck down by federal courts and won’t see the light of day.
We, along with nearly more than 160 faith-based organizations and congregations across traditions, sent a letter to the Biden Administration last month admonishing these policies.
Make your voice heard! The proposed rule is open to a 30-day public comment period starting February 23.
Add your voice urging the Biden Administration to rebuild and restore a humane and just asylum system.