New Border Policies Will Abandon the Most Vulnerable Asylum Seekers

January 5, 2023

Washington, D.C—Church World Service expressed concern over plans announced today by the Biden Administration designed to limit people seeking safety from accessing protection in the United States. The new policies include the expansion of expedited removal for those who arrive at ports of entry along the border and places a 5 year reentry ban on migrants whose claim for protection is denied. The administration also announced the creation of a humanitarian parole process modeled on the policy in place for Venezuelans for those from Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua–which requires U.S. sponsorship for entry. 

In response, Meredith Owen, Director of Policy and Advocacy at CWS, issued the following statement: “New sponsorship and travel requirements for parole for Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans will leave the most vulnerable people without a path to protection. Safety, protection, and welcome are rights that should be afforded to all people fleeing persecution, not a privilege given only to those who have the financial means or connections to qualify. If the plans discussed today come to fruition, many vulnerable individuals and families will be out of options and will be forced to return back into harm’s way. We must stop relying on policies based in exclusion and discrimination and instead invest in an asylum system that acknowledges and protects the rights of all people.”  

Since its inception, CWS has condemned and called for the removal of Title 42, a Trump era policy that continued under the Biden administration and has led to the wrongful expulsion and cruel endangerment of over 1.8 million individuals. This harmful policy has undermined the safety and dignity of those seeking safety and sought to erode the pillars of welcome and due process. Additionally, the continuation of Title 42 has perpetuated anti-asylum and anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies such as those communicated by President Biden today. As long as Title 42 remains intact, the foundational values of welcome and dignity will continue to be jeopardized.  

For more information, or to speak to Owen, contact