Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice, reacting to the Biden administration’s “sweeping new actions to manage regional migration,” announced yesterday:
“We welcome the Biden’s administration’s announcement to expand legal pathways, create new regional refugee processing centers, and expand family reunification for key countries. This is an important, new and smart approach centered on creating legal channels to alleviate border pressures so that people are able to migrate safely with a visa instead of dangerously with a smuggler. The announcement also shows what is possible when our government works jointly across agencies – in this case DHS and State – and with partners in the region, as well as when we are focused on cooperation and solutions.
Details matter and we will be monitoring when and how these new measures are implemented. Meanwhile, for a ‘sweeping’ set of policies on regional migration, yesterday’s announcement was a missed opportunity to announce TPS redesignations and new designations for nations such as Guatemala. TPS remains an important tool to advance stability in sending countries, while strengthening the American economy. Nonetheless, the above positive elements of yesterday’s announcement are crucial steps forward compared to the broken and inhumane status quo.
We remain concerned about other elements of the Biden administration’s announcement– mainly the potential new barriers to fair asylum access and a punitive set of measures meant to deter people from migrating in the first place. Blunt, deterrence-only policies continue to misread the fundamental realities and drivers of migration and asylum.
It is also important to underscore that these administration policies and announcements operate in the context and constraints of an outdated and dysfunctional immigration system, desperate for modernization and overhaul that only Congress can deliver through a long overdue legislative solution. Yet, Republicans continue to stand in the way and obstruct legislative solutions that the American people demand, while proposing ever-more-extreme policies that would inject even more chaos, cruelty, and dysfunction.
While continuing our call for a legislative fix and broader reforms we desperately need, we call on the Biden administration to uphold the values that the President often speaks about and move toward what the American people want: a system that is both compassionate and orderly.”