Washington, DC – In response to the Biden administration’s new measures announced today to deter migration, Setareh Ghandehari, Detention Watch Network’s advocacy director offered the following statement:
“Today’s announcement builds on the U.S. government’s failed, decades-long deterrence strategy that causes immeasurable harm for people seeking safety and opportunity in the United States. While the announcement included plans to establish migration pathways such as new family reunification parole processes and increase refugee admissions, overall these plans are designed to attack access to asylum at the border and are insufficient to make up for the ramp up in punitive enforcement measures. Shamefully, the Biden administration is continuing an immoral legacy by prioritizing profiling, jailing and expelling people at the heart of its immigration policy, and by spending billions of dollars annually on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), agencies with well documented records of abuse.
Measures announced today that will have an immediate impact on the safety and well-being of people coming to the United States, include:
- Increasing deportations by doubling or tripling deportation flights to some countries and increasing the use of expedited removal for both single adults and families (with the intention of deporting people within a matter of days to a few weeks and barring re-entry for five years)
- Increasing detention capacity in order to facilitate the increased use of expedited removal and deportations
- Further establishing presumed ineligibility for asylum for people arriving at the border without authorization
- Signaling an intention to increase criminal prosecutions of people crossing the border
- Increasing interdictions at sea and extending ineligibility for parole programs not only to those who arrive at the border without authorization but also those interdicted at sea
- Increasing militarization of migration pathways in the Americas by turning people back long before they reach the US border, on land and at sea
- Surging resources to the border to facilitate deportations and enroll people in the surveillance dragnet, including restrictive GPS monitoring, curfews and case management while signaling a need for more funds, despite the fact that CBP and ICE receive more funding than any other federal law enforcement agency combined.
The Biden administration has co-signed a right-wing agenda that promotes fear and demonizes migrants by expanding the cruel and racist policies at our borders and points of entry, punishing and excluding people for seeking safety and opportunity – oftentimes hoping to reunite with loved ones in the United States. The administration must end Title 42 without increasing immigration detention, surveillance, and deportations that separate loved ones from their families and communities forever. Rather, every person should have the right to move and live freely, without fear of being jailed, separated from their loved ones or displaced from their home.”
Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the United States’ immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons. Founded in 1997 by immigrant rights groups, DWN brings together advocates to unify strategy and build partnerships on a local and national level to end immigration detention. Visit detentionwatchnetwork.org. Follow on Twitter @DetentionWatch.