Advocates Urge Washington to Prioritize Humane Immigration Solutions Over Criminalization Policies

New York, NY—Today, the Justice Department announced a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to direct additional prosecutors and support staff to increase federal immigration-related prosecutions at the U.S. southern border. The goal of deploying additional Justice Department and DHS prosecutors and support staff to crucial border U.S. Attorneys’ Offices is to criminalize people exercising their right to ask for asylum. 

This executive order is yet another action in an escalating number of deterrence-based proposals from the Biden administration to restrict access to protection for people seeking safety at the U.S. southern border and fast track the process to deport them without meaningful due process, among other harmful measures. 

Murad Awawdeh, President and CEO, New York Immigration Coalition:

“Yet again the Biden administration has failed to put forward fair and meaningful reform to our immigration system, let alone humane solutions that ensure people are processed fairly and with due process at our southern border. This new executive order is one in a long line of recent border measures designed to normalize deterrence-based measures, while simply scoring cheap political points. Given the challenges facing the world, including climate change, political instability and war, criminalizing people simply for seeking safety is cruel and wrong. Americans need real proposals that recognize the value of investing in access to safe and legal pathways for immigration; addressing the root causes that compel people to leave their countries for refuge; and working in coordination with regional governments and civil society to strengthen humanitarian protection systems and development and integration efforts. The Biden administration must stop playing politics with people’s lives, and truly commit to addressing the challenges of our arcane immigration system with smart strategic solutions that allow us to power the U.S. into the future.”