FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2023
Restrictions to asylum continue as the U.S. transitions from Title 42 to Title 8
Chicago, IL — Today, the Departments of State and Homeland Security announced a set of immigration measures in preparation for the expiration of Title 42:
- Title 8 will be implemented once again with additional requirements and hurdles, such as the presumption of ineligibility for asylum for those persons that do not fulfill a number of requirements, including obtaining an appointment to cross the border with the CBP One App and applying for and being denied asylum in a third country en route to the U.S.
- The number of flights of persons with removal orders will continue to increase. The end of Title 42 will result in an increase in deportations, including a bar to re-enter the U.S. for 5 years.
- The creation of regional processing centers in Guatemala and Colombia in collaboration with UN agencies (UNHCR and IOM), and with the presence of U.S. officials. These centers should provide information and screening for individuals in need of international protection and who will be offered a legal pathway to the U.S., Canada or Spain.
- Persons from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Colombia with approved family-based petitions will be paroled to the U.S. without the need to request a visa. The parole program for Cubans, Nicaraguans, Haitians and Venezuelans will continue with a monthly cap of 30,000 persons. The refugee admissions quota from Latin America and the Caribbean will be doubled to 30,000.
Alianza Americas, a network of migrant-led organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean is concerned with the announced measures by the Biden Administration and its concrete implementation. The announcement intends to appease the xenophobic calls for greater enforcement and deterrence measures while also appeasing those who understand the plight of individuals seeking international protection. This is a flawed approach and fails to address the root causes of migration. The Administration should be leading by acknowledging the contributions that immigrants make to the U.S. every day and must create real pathways for those who are seeking a safe and dignified life in the U.S. The U.S. government should not punish those who are forced to migrate, including along unsafe routes to the U.S.
The proposed actions by the administration leave out any efforts to address the root causes of migration, a necessary policy approach that is underfunded and has been focused so far on private investment, which in the best of cases is a tool of a sound policy. Alternatively, adequate funding and sustained foreign policy approaches are crucial in order to change conditions in the countries of origin that many are fleeing from. Deterrence and increased enforcement have proven to be failed approaches that do not change the multiple factors that force so many people to flee their countries and only result in pushing people into more dangerous routes that allow criminal organizations to thrive, resulting in the smuggling, trafficking, extortion, and kidnapping of migrants and others.
“A significant number of these measures are a cause of extraordinary concern. In reality, legal pathways are not truly being expanded and the implementation of the parole and the refugee program has been very limited. It is fundamental to address these obstacles so that parole applications can be processed in an orderly and timely fashion. In Fiscal Year 2023, only 2,295 refugees from Latin America and the Caribbean have been admitted to the U.S. Additionally, the deportation machine will be strengthened, resulting in increased family separation and agony. We know all too well that punishing those seeking safety in the U.S. is a failed strategy,” said Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas.
“The regional processing centers confirm the externalization of U.S. immigration enforcement, a source of concern for Alianza Americas. However, if these centers identify persons in conditions of vulnerability and those in need of protection and offer them legal pathways and transportation to the U.S., Canada and Spain, this could be a promising policy solution. We will be monitoring their implementation closely and hope for their expansion to Mexico, where there is great need for assistance,” added Chacón.
“We know that these measures are not enough to address the real reasons why people are migrating. We need a series of policies that uphold the right to seek protection and allow persons to reunite with their families. Restricting access to asylum is not the answer and the existing legal pathways to enter the U.S. are insufficient in terms of the number of people fleeing their homes,” concluded Chacón.
Presente.org is Alianza Americas’ digital organizing powerhouse. As the nation’s largest online Latinx organizing group — and the nation’s premier Latinx digital organizing hub — Presente.org advances social justice with technology, media, and culture.
Alianza Americas is the premier transnational advocacy network of Latin American migrant-led organizations working in the United States, across the Americas, and globally to create an inclusive, equitable and sustainable way of life for communities across North, Central and South America.