Statement on the Biden administration’s restrictions on asylum seekers

Americans deserve an immigration policy that reflects our best interests and highest values. As our own founding documents declare, human equality and freedom are our cherished values, and based on these principles, the United States has been a place of safety for those fleeing persecution on the basis of their race, religion, identity, nationality, or because they have spoken out against oppressive regimes. In fact, the right to asylum is one of the most sacred features of modern, pluralistic democracy.

At a time when the values of democracy and human equality are being challenged by authoritarian forces around the world, it is deeply troubling that the Biden administration has chosen to further erode access to asylum and respond to — rather than counter — dangerous narratives that paint immigrants with a broad brush rooted in our worst fears.

Managing migration and creating a safe and orderly system does not have to come at the expense of our core values. Instead, Congress could act to invest in our capacity to process asylum claims and overhaul our immigration approach. Our nation’s leaders should remind the American public that regardless of our origin, we all deserve dignity, and that many of the people seeking safety here do so because of U.S. foreign policy that has contributed to instability at home. In the 21st century, the American people deserve a vision for immigration that aspires to higher values and meets the reality of a world on the move.

Such an approach would take leadership: the kind of humane, abundant, and sensible leadership being practiced every day in welcoming communities that has consistently demonstrated that growing our population and deepening our commitment to basic safety and prosperity for newcomers and longtime residents alike makes our communities stronger.

Welcoming America calls on the Biden administration and the American public to support an abundant approach to supporting asylum, opening legal pathways, and ensuring that immigrant and non-immigrant Americans can together belong and thrive in a welcoming America.