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Today, President Biden made an announcement further expanding Title 42 expulsions to Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans paired with a narrow parole program. Biden also announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are planning to release a proposed rule resurrecting the twice-enjoined asylum ban previously proposed under the Trump administration. Finally, the administration announced the new measures would include enhancing the use of expedited removal and other programs that harm migrants and offshore U.S. obligations to process asylum seekers.  

The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy stated the following in response: 

“This administration continues on a dangerous path to replicate some of the worst aspects of the Trump administration’s assaults on the right to asylum. The narrow pathways announced today cannot replace reopening ports of entry for processing all asylum seekers. The Biden administration must decide to be on the right side of history, one that upholds our decades of domestic and international law protecting the right to asylum. We urge them to change course immediately.

“Rather than taking steps to restore the U.S. asylum system, today the administration heralded the return of two infamous bans related to asylum seekers’ entry between ports of entry and transit through any other country prior to seeking protection in the United States. Previously enjoined under the prior administration, these dual policies have caused death and devastation for people seeking refuge. After campaigning on human decency, President Biden now makes clear that such decency is not extended to Black, Brown, and Indigenous people in need of protection at our borders.

“The administration also announced a further expansion of the Title 42 expulsion program to rapidly expel Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans seeking refuge in the United States. This follows the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision to keep Title 42 in place and the Biden administration’s shameless endorsement of this public health ban on asylum, despite declaring that the COVID-19 pandemic is “over” and seeking to end the expulsion policy nearly a year ago. People have suffered unspeakable harms and died as a result of Title 42.  

Like the Venezuelan parole program, President Biden pairs this announcement with limited, temporary pathways for some nationals from Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua. While this is good news for the few who qualify, we will not be fooled by this. The administration offers crumbs, when our asylum system has been starved for years.”