One day after the announcement by the President of the United States, Joe Biden, about the new “humanitarian parole” for immigrants from Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti, the White House defended its measures, which are the target of criticism from legislators and lawyers as well as human rights activists.
“What we would say is that this is a president who understands that safe and legal immigration to this country is a key pillar of our own security and prosperity and who is advancing ways to improve those legal pathways of entry,” he said Friday at the afternoon John Kirby, Coordinator of Strategic Communications of the White House National Security Council in exchange with reporters.
Kirby said that the objective of Biden’s immigration policy is to seek “a balance” between the management of legal immigration and the control of the mass of migrants who do so irregularly.
On Thursday, President Biden expanded the humanitarian parole program originally designed for Venezuelans and now extended it to migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti, at a rate of 30,000 monthly quotas for citizens of those countries. The US has recorded record numbers of immigrant arrivals from those countries at the southern border in recent months.
In any case, the authorities continue to apply Title 42, an expedited removal route for public health reasons implemented in the era of Republican President Donald Trump, through which thousands of asylum seekers have been returned to Mexico without the possibility of presenting their cases before the United States Justice.
Although Republican opponents have accused the Biden Administration of maintaining an “open borders” policy, Democrats accuse Republicans of holding back the budget in Congress that would provide more financial coverage to deal with the incessant arrival of people seeking asylum.
A “disappointment”, critics respond
After the new plan was revealed, three Democratic senators, Bob Menendez, Cory Booker and Alex Padilla, led an open letter that they released “in response to the new border policies of the Biden Administration.”
“We are deeply disappointed by the Biden Administration’s decision to expand the use of Title 42,” the legislators state in the letter, in which, however, they acknowledge the challenges that the US currently faces in immigration matters.
The trio of senators expressed concern about the immigration transit ban, arguing that it “will ignore our obligations under international law by barring families from making asylum claims at the border, which will likely separate families and leave migrants stranded.” They are fleeing persecution and torture in countries without the ability to protect them.”
The same happened with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which criticized the expansion of Title 42. “Instead of restoring fair access to asylum, this plan further limits it,” said the organization on Twitterr.
“There is no reason for the Biden administration to expand Title 42 while claiming to prepare for its end. People from Nicaragua, Cuba and Haiti seeking safety are now at greater risk of immediate removal at the border, threatening their safety.” the ACLU said.
Kirby, for his part, insisted that President Biden has maintained his political line of improving the immigration system since the start of his term in January 2021. “I mean, he dramatically increased the number of refugees they were willing to receive from the nations of the hemisphere,” he argued.
“Obviously we have a different point of view as far as the president’s priorities,” Kirby responded to the criticism.
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