Leading by example, honoring commitments

Summary of Recommendations for the Biden Administration to Uphold Refugee Law   

While it has taken some important steps toward ending several Trump administration policies that trampled on asylum, including Remain in Mexico, the Biden administration has not yet ended some of the most inhumane and dysfunctional Trump administration policies due to lawsuits filed by Trump-aligned state politicians aligned with the prior administration, slow-paced U.S. agency regulatory action, and highly damaging steps backward. The Biden administration recently expanded use of the much-criticized Title 42 policy to additional nationalities and announced plans to propose an asylum ban — an approach repeatedly initiated by the Trump administration and repeatedly found unlawful by the courts. These announcements sparked public criticism from the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNHCR, IOM and UNICEF, given the violations of human rights and refugee law.      

The last thing the Biden administration should be doing is advancing the Trump administration’s agenda, or attempting to replace one failed, illegal, and inhumane Trump policy with another. There is a better way. The Biden administration should, working with Congress, redouble support to strengthen refugee hosting capacities in other countries, ramp up refugee resettlement, build and improve upon steps to provide parole and other pathways that help reduce irregular migration — but without imposing deeply damaging, counterproductive policies, like Title 42 and asylum bans, that are the opposite of “success” as they inflict grave human rights abuses, systemic dysfunction at the border, and lasting damage to human rights and refugee law globally.

Fact Sheets

Published on January 30, 2023


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