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America’s Voice: “Slamming the Door to More Asylum Seekers While Cracking Open a Few Windows Isn’t the Answer”

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Vanessa Cárdenas Reacts to New Biden Border and Asylum News

Washington, DC – Today, the Biden Administration unveiled a new “carrot and stick” approach for Nicaraguans, Cubans, Haitians and Venezuelans at the U.S. southern border. 

The following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice: 

“President Biden ran on a pro immigrant platform consistent with our values and on the notion of fighting for the soul of our nation. We welcome his engagement on this issue rather than ceding the debate to a rabidly nativist Republican Party wanting to end asylum and maintain an ongoing ‘crisis.’ Further, it is about time that his administration leans in on expanding alternative legal pathways so that walking to and across Mexico is not seen as the only option to reach safety in the U.S. 

But the rest of what we know of this new policy announcement gets it wrong – slamming the door to more asylum seekers while cracking open a few windows isn’t the answer or an appropriate balance. Continuing to rely on, and expand, Stephen Miller’s Title 42 and proposing expanding an asylum ban advances chaotic and ineffective policy while trampling on some of our proudest traditions as a welcoming nation. We should be finding ways to fix and fully resource our asylum process, not devising ways to prevent people seeking safety from accessing the asylum process under our laws.

Moving past the status quo of a broken immigration and asylum process to create a new, modern set of immigration laws and a new framework for regional migration is long overdue. The American people support immigrants and a modern immigration system that is both welcoming and orderly; creating such a system is one of the central challenges of our time. It’s a good thing the Biden administration seems ready to engage, but the answer is not more reliance on myopic, deterrence-heavy policies at odds with our values and interests.”

For more on the America’s Voice policy vision, read the final “Where We Need to Go” section of our recent Medium piece: Taking Stock on Immigration