Human Rights First Welcomes Safe Pathway for Venezuelans, Expresses Grave Concerns about Potential Expanded Use of Title 42
WASHINGTON, DC — With news reports that the administration is planning a humanitarian parole program for Venezuelans, Human Rights First looks forward to more information on a policy that could provide a safer path for some asylum-seekers to reach the United States.
The organization is deeply concerned about reports that this program roll out will be coupled with an expansion of the inhumane and counterproductive Title 42 expulsion policy to certain Venezuelans, Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Haitians. Human Rights First calls on the Biden administration to uphold refugee law and ensure all asylum-seekers, regardless of their nationality or pre-existing ties in the United States, have access to a fair, orderly, and humane asylum process.
“The creation of safe pathways for people to be processed into the United States is a smart and welcome move by the Biden administration,” said Eleanor Acer, senior director for refugee protection at Human Rights First. “It would be a grave mistake, however, to link this welcome shift to the expanded use of Title 42 to turn away people seeking asylum – another misuse of what is supposedly a public health order. The United States has the capacity and should welcome people seeking safe haven at our borders by reopening our ports of entry for orderly, safe, and humane asylum processing. We can and must restore access to asylum and welcome refugees with dignity.”
More than six million Venezuelans have fled their country due to political repression and economic turmoil, with the vast majority hosted by Colombia, and throughout the Americas. The Biden administration must redouble efforts to rebuild and strengthen the pace and capacity of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program to process more refugees from Venezuela and other countries.