Although President Biden has promised to restore humanity to our asylum system, many of his predecessor’s cruelest policies remain in effect, placing vulnerable women and families at risk of deportation to the very dangers they have fled. Trump’s racist, misogynist legacy includes a series of restrictive Justice Department rulings that have made it extremely difficult for people fleeing gender-based violence to win asylum protection.
Communities around the country are calling for the incoming administration to deliver justice and safety for refugees. When lives are at stake, there can be no other choice.
Rebuilding the U.S. asylum system will not be without its challenges. But the Biden-Harris administration can meet this moment and, more importantly, it must. Here’s how it can start.
Refugee survivors of domestic violence were among the first targets in the Trump administration’s sustained assault on our asylum system. And over the past two years, restrictive Department of Justice decisions have severely eroded protections for survivors.
But this month, the efforts of immigration advocates paid off in a series of victories.
182 organizations called on the Trump administration to immediately halt border expulsions for asylum-seekers and protect domestic violence survivors.
The Trump administration and our leaders in Congress now have a clear choice to make: Whether to adopt commonsense public health measures that protect everyone—regardless of where they come from—or to embrace policies that endanger asylum seekers and jeopardize our collective health.
The perversely-named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)—more appropriately dubbed by advocates the Migrant Persecution Protocols—requires asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico for the duration of their immigration proceedings. Every day that this policy is allowed to stand, the administration is endangering thousands of lives.
It is indisputable that barring exceptional circumstances, jailing children is wrong. Child welfare experts agree that detention, even for short periods of time, has profoundly adverse impacts on children’s long-term health and development. But the Trump administration is still fighting to hold migrant children in detention—indefinitely.