UN’s shot at Biden’s border plan marks latest in fierce pushback from left-wing groups

UN’s shot at Biden’s border plan marks latest in fierce pushback from left-wing groups

The United Nations this week issued a scathing criticism of the Biden administration’s latest border security measures, particularly the expansion of Title 42 and asylum eligibility limits — marking the latest blow to the plan from activist groups and some Democrats.

The Biden administration announced last week, ahead of President Biden’s visit to the southern border, that it was expanding a humanitarian parole program to include Haitians, Nicaraguans and Cubans. The program will allow 30,000 of these nationalities to enter the US each month if they did not cross illegally and if they already have a sponsor in the country.

However, while this was largely welcomed by immigration campaigners, what accompanied it was not. President Biden announced that Mexico had also agreed to accept up to 30,000 immigrants per month. In addition, the administration announced an increase in the use of an alternative removal authority—expedited removal—to remove those who are not seeking asylum and cannot be deported under Title 42.

Separately, the Department of Homeland Security announced a rule that would make illegal immigrants ineligible for asylum if they “bypass available, established pathways to legal migration” and do not seek asylum in a country through which they traveled to reach the USA.


It was those policy changes that saw immediate backlash from groups that typically side with the Biden administration on immigration. The UN human rights chief accused the Biden administration of jeopardizing the right to seek asylum in the US.

“The right to seek asylum is a human right, regardless of a person’s origin, immigration status, or how they arrived at an international border,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement. Human Rights Volker Turk.

Turk said the measures “seem to be contrary to the ban on collective expulsion and the principle of non-refoulement”.

US President Joe Biden speaks with a member of the US Border Patrol as they walk along the US-Mexico border fence in El Paso, Texas, on January 8, 2023. (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Image)

“While I welcome measures to create and expand safe and regular pathways, such initiatives must not come at the expense of fundamental human rights, including the right to seek asylum and the right to an individual needs assessment for protection,” he said. “Limited access to humanitarian parole for some cannot be a substitute for protecting the rights of all to seek protection of their human rights.”

Turk’s criticisms were the latest such on the plans, particularly from activists upset by the expansion of deportations under the public health order Title 42. That order, which the Biden administration had sought to end, is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court and allows the rapid return of migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While humanitarian parole programs are certainly useful and necessary, they are no substitute for an asylum system that continues to be eroded by the expanded use of Title 42,” Anna Gallagher, executive director of the Catholic Immigration Network, said in a statement. Legal (CLINIC). . “The CLINIC has been adamant: Any expansion of Title 42 is wrong and dangerous. The continued use of a harmful and outdated health policy to usurp our legal obligations under international and asylum law is wrong.”

The CLINIC was one of a number of immigration groups that, while happy about expanded asylum paths, were not prepared to accept the stick that came with that carrot.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also attacked the administration’s expansion of Title 42 and compared its cap on migrants who had passed through safe havens to policies implemented during the Trump administration.


The activist group said Biden’s plan further ties his administration to the toxic anti-immigration policies of the Trump era, rather than restoring fair access to asylum protections.

Democrats in Congress were similarly angered by the restrictions.


“While we understand the challenges facing the nation at the southern border, exacerbated by Republican obstruction of modernizing our immigration system, we are deeply disappointed by the Biden administration’s decision to expand the use of Title 42,” Sens. Bob Menendez, DN.J. ., Ben Ray Luján, DN.M., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Cory Booker, DN.J., said in a joint statement.

“We are pleased to see increased access to parole for Cubans, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, and Haitians, but this narrow benefit will exclude thousands of immigrants fleeing violence and persecution who lack the ability or economic means to to be eligible for the new parole process,” they said.

The Biden administration has stressed that it sees the answer to the immigrant crisis — which has seen millions of immigrant encounters since Biden took office — as including expanded legal pathways.

But the left-wing pushback illustrates how the Biden administration is likely to face stiff opposition from Democratic peers as well as activist groups if it in any way undermines the ability of border crossers to make an asylum claim and to be released in the US. — even if they passed through multiple countries or crossed illegally.


The Biden administration has sought to counter criticism from its left wing, noting in particular that in addition to the expanded parole program, the administration is also using a CBP One application that helps migrants file an asylum claim in a port of entry — not crossing the border illegally.

“If they don’t use that application, then they would have to have applied for humanitarian assistance in one of the countries they traveled through,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said this week. “And if they are denied, then—then they are not subject to—not a prohibition, but a rebuttable presumption of ineligibility. And there is a distinct difference between the two.”

Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital, primarily covering immigration and border security.

He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter.

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