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AHR Denounces the Biden Administration’s Ongoing Efforts to Negotiate Away Migrant Rights

January 29, 2024
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The Advocates for Human Rights Denounces the Biden Administration’s Statement and Ongoing Efforts to Negotiate Away Migrant Rights for Political Ends

Minneapolis, MN--

On January 26, 2024, President Biden issued a statement calling on the Senate to pass negotiated appropriations text that attempts to shoehorn extreme immigration changes. Describing the proposed border negotiations as “the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country,” President Biden indicated he would shut down the border if given the power to do so.

“This statement not only abandons President Biden’s campaign commitment to protect human rights, it abandons U.S. obligations under international law,” said Michele Garnett McKenzie, Deputy Director. “People move, and when they are forced to move due to humanitarian emergencies, attempts at shutting our border simply force people to take more dangerous and disorderly pathways. The U.S. led the world in urging protections for people fleeing persecution; this direction threatens to betray that leadership.”

“We call on the Biden Administration to immediately rescind its harmful comments and make clear that it will not negotiate away the fundamental right to seek asylum from persecution.”

Far from being the fairest immigration legislation in our history, the proposals from Congress and President Biden will represent the largest cuts to asylum protections in our history. The proposals also replicate illegal and ineffective exclusion- and punishment-focused policies of the past-which The Advocates joined more than 200 experts to denounce.

Congress has failed to address gaps in our immigration system for decades while continuing to ask why enforcement-only policies are failing. "Congress has spent billions of dollars and wasted decades in quixotic attempts to seal the border. It's simultaneously starved the adjudications and humanitarian infrastructure necessary to ensure protection and deal with the reality of human migration," said Garnett McKenzie.

"We call on the Biden Administration to immediately rescind its harmful comments and make clear that it will not negotiate away the fundamental right to seek asylum from persecution," continued Garnett McKenzie. "Being bullied into backdoor and last-minute negotiation is what threatens our nation; not people yearning to be free."


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Media Contact: Michele Garnett McKenzie, mmckenzie@advrights.org