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Washington, D.C. – The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), a leading coalition of immigration and refugee advocates from across the nation, released the following statement today in response to the Biden’s administration’s proposed regulation to restrict the right to seek asylum for those who traveled through a third country. 

Statement for attribution to NPNA Executive Director Nicole Melaku:

“We are outraged by the Biden administration’s proposed rule to reinstate the previous administration’s inhumane transit ban denying basic human rights to asylum seekers. The transit ban is a death sentence for people who have been displaced from their homes and seek dignity and safety. This proposal, which will not be effective immediately, showcases the Biden Administration’s violation of long-standing international law and is a shameful return to Trump-era policies that betray our values and longstanding commitment to welcome those seeking refuge. 

President Biden vowed to fix our broken immigration system, yet it’s been two years since he’s taken office and his administration has replicated the previous administration’s use of Title 42, expedited removal, and now, a transit ban eliminating the ability to seek asylum for those who have risked their lives in order to arrive in the United States. The administration’s supposed carrot-and-stick approach has overly focused on deterrence measures that undermine the human right to seek asylum. We urge President Biden to fulfill his promise and implement his executive orders to fully restore asylum protections. 

As one of the nation’s largest immigrant and refugee rights organizations, NPNA works to uphold and strengthen our nation’s commitment to welcome and protect those seeking freedom, safety, and refuge in the United States. We are committed to building inclusive communities, keeping families together, uplifting experiences and leadership for those most impacted, and providing a welcoming environment for refugees and asylum seekers.

When we implement immigration policies that prioritize treating people with dignity, compassion and respect for their human rights, we can strengthen our multi-ethnic and multi-racial democracy where immigrants, refugees and all people can reach their full potential and contribute to our nation’s brightest future. We urge the administration to take a humane and inclusive approach instead of doubling down on failed and callous policies from the previous administration.”

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