Over 100 groups decry linking Venezuelan parole plan to Title 42
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the Biden administration’s announcement expanding the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) use of Title 42 expulsions against Venezuelans to accompany a new limited parole program for some Venezuelans, Human Rights First led a coalition of 138 organizations urging the administration to instead restore access to asylum at all ports of entry for asylum-seekers regardless of their nationality or ties to the United States.
In an open letter sent today to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the groups jointly expressed deep concern and shock that the administration’s parole program for a limited number of Venezuelans is coupled with an expansion of the inhumane and counterproductive Title 42 expulsion policy.
Today’s letter reads, in part, “[W]hile we welcome steps to provide safe processing for some Venezuelans, the creation of safe pathways should never be wielded to deny other people seeking protection access to asylum. We are also troubled that the announcement refers to attempted entry at the southern border by Venezuelans as ‘illegal.’ Seeking asylum is legal under both U.S. and international law.”
Human Rights First and other signatories to the letter call on the Biden administration to immediately de-couple the parole program from Title 42 and take all legally permissible steps to restore access to a fair, orderly, and humane asylum process at ports of entry, regardless of the asylum-seeker’s nationality, pre-existing ties in the United States, or other factors.
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.
Rather than deny refugees the right to seek asylum guaranteed under U.S. and international law, Human Rights First and other signatory groups also urge the Biden administration to continue to rebuild and strengthen the capacity of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program to process refugees from Venezuela and other countries.