Human Rights First Decries Political Dealing on Refugee and Migrant Lives 

WASHINGTON  – Human Rights First expressed outrage over reports overnight that the White House is ready to make a deal with Senate Republicans that would result in the rounding up of migrants across the country, a dismantling of U.S. asylum law, and other harmful anti-immigrant policy changes. The report follows comments made by the president in which he stated his administration’s willingness to make “significant compromises” to our immigration system in a major contradiction to campaign promises he made to “restore” asylum and welcome immigrants.

“It is deeply disheartening to witness this administration playing politics with the lives of migrants and refugees in stark contrast to the hopes with which the American public greeted President Biden’s election,“ said Mike Breen, CEO and President of Human Rights First. “Our asylum laws are the bedrock of our commitment to refugees and have stood as a beacon of safety to the world for decades. Any moves by the president and Congress to compromise them will be felt for decades, both at home and globally, and set a dangerous precedent. President Biden and Congress must cease these perilous negotiations and shift course. History has its eyes on us.”

Human Rights First joined nearly 200 groups in a letter to President Biden, urging him to reject any such compromise to our asylum laws and immigration system, and in a statement to members of Congress reiterating our opposition to such a deal. Last month, Human Rights First also joined several organizations to issue a policy demands memo that provides recommendations on funding that ensure a fair and more efficient asylum process.

Human Rights First has reported on the impacts of the various policies being debated, including the devastating human rights abuses as a result of the Biden asylum ban, and why the Remain in Mexico policy should never be resuscitated. It also reported on the illegality and harm of an expulsions policy (previously referred to as “Title 42”) and why the credible fear standard must not be changed. The organization also released a joint analysis of the Senate Republican proposals and how these proposals also violate international law.

Human Rights First issued recommendations for how the Biden administration could upgrade and uphold our asylum system.


Published on December 8, 2023


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