On June 23, the Supreme Court determined that the Biden Administration has the authority to narrow the scope of who immigration agents can target for arrest and deportation.
We celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Biden Administration to use prosecutorial discretion in decisions on immigration enforcement. We have seen first hand the devastating suffering of parents who have lived for over a decade in the US deported away from their children and communities.
Although there is much work ahead to mitigate this harm, the court’s decision is one step towards preventing this suffering in the future.
Human Rights first: Biden Administration Asylum Ban: Widely Opposed Misstep violates law and fuels wrongful deportation of refugees
This investigation continues to highlight the grievous harm and injustices of the Biden Administration’s asylum ban. The current set of policies place asylum out of reach for nearly all asylum seekers who have traveled through another country on their way to the US unless:
- They apply for asylum in one of the countries they passed through and were denied. This “transit ban” closely resembles a Trump-era policy.
- Manage to navigate the fraught CBP One application and secure one off the limited appointments
The report highlights the fact that the Biden Administration has implemented these policies in spite of tens of thousands of public comments condemning the moves. We contend that both these commenters and the Biden Administration recognize that these policies infringe on asylum-seekers’ rights under international law and that they will mean more people in need of protection will be returned to places where their lives are in danger.
A detailed investigation from International Rescue Committee shows that asylum-seekers face additional barriers to accessing the border – beyond the Biden Administration’s new policies. After observing six ports of entry at the US-Mexico border, they documented practices that blocked asylum seekers from physically reaching the ports of entry, a lack of accurate or sufficient information for asylum seekers, and the re-implementation of the noxious practice of metering.
The US State Department estimates that over 70% of the persons trafficked in the United States each year are immigrants. To discuss this tragic and horrific link, Sister Tracey Horan, a Sister of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods and Associate Director of Education and Advocacy, joined a panel on June 14 hosted by Sisters Against Trafficking and the National Advocacy Center.
“With U.S. immigration policies ‘constantly changing’ and being ‘very confusing,’ criminal groups in Mexico and Central America ‘have now made a business out of crossing asylum seekers into the U.S,’ said Sister Tracey. ‘When we’re blocking access to asylum, that translates into these increased funding streams for criminal groups. And those groups are then better resourced to continue taking advantage of people.’”
Humane, just, and workable migration systems are one way that we can work to protect people in need of protection from being taken advantage of in this way.