Biden's Promise to Asylum Seekers: 'Starting on Day One' We’re Going to Roll Back Trump’s Restrictions

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Posted: Dec 29, 2020 2:00 PM
Biden's Promise to Asylum Seekers: 'Starting on Day One' We’re Going to Roll Back Trump’s Restrictions

Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

President-elect Joe Biden promised on Monday that, starting on the first day of his administration, he will work to undo the "humanitarian disaster" on the southwest border and undo the restrictions created by the Trump administration.

“Finally, we spoke about the day one challenges that we’re going to need to address immediately, drawing on the skill set of the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. We were briefed on the steps needed to clean up the humanitarian disaster that the Trump administration has systematically created on our southern border. We will institute humane and orderly responses. That means rebuilding the capacity we need to safely and quickly process asylum seekers, without creating a near-term crisis in the midst of this deadly pandemic," Biden said.

"These are hard issues, and the current administration has made them much harder by working to erode our capacity. It’s going to take time to rebuild that capacity. We’re going to work purposefully, diligently, and responsibly to roll back Trump’s restrictions, starting on day one, but it’s not as simple as throwing a switch to turn everything back on, especially amid a pandemic. We’ll have to have a process to ensure everyone’s health and safety, including the safety of asylum seekers hoping for a new start in the United States, free of violence and persecution," he continued.

One policy immigration advocates hope Biden reverses is the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy. MPP requires some of those who wish to seek asylum are required to stay in Mexico while their claims are processed instead of coming inside the United States. Advocates say MPP puts asylum seekers lives' in danger since they have to wait in dangerous parts of Mexico for months at a time.

Others want a Biden administration to fulfill his campaign promise to stop the construction of the new border wall system, citing cost and claiming it is ineffective. Current Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan has said the new border wall system that is replacing simple barriers makes a huge difference in deterring and controlling illegal border crossings.