Human Rights First Opposes Playing Politics With the Lives of Those Seeking Safety

Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First expressed outrage in response to President Biden’s statement on the status of the Senate Border Security negotiations in which he stated he would shut down the border on day one if given the authority to do so.

“Compromising our asylum laws is not a political middle ground but a moral low ground. The President is wrong when he describes this list of proposals as “fair.” The inhumane immigration proposals coming out of the Senate to punish those seeking refuge from persecution flagrantly violate international law. Embracing these cruel policies will further endanger lives, incite chaos at our border, and exacerbate existing backlogs in the immigration system,” said Mike Breen, CEO and President of Human Rights First. “We oppose playing politics with the lives of vulnerable individuals seeking safety and call on President Biden to reject proposals that sacrifice our commitment to refugees on the altar of political expediency.”

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. In November 2023, 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 for those arriving at our border.

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 January 26, 2024


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