Refugees International Statement on Biden Asylum, Migration Executive Orders

Please see below statement from Refugees International:

“Tonight, through executive order, President Biden made strong commitments to support the well-being of forced migrants from Central America and to expand protection for asylum seekers in the United States. The President ordered reviews of many of the former administration’s harmful anti-asylum policies. But tonight’s executive orders did not provide critically needed guidance to address the human rights of those in the MPP program who are currently stranded and in danger in Mexico, and of those arriving at the border while these reviews take place.

We understand the need for deliberate review of a bevy of outrageous policies of the former administration, and we appreciate the measures announced this evening.

Nonetheless, when lives of people at risk are at stake, as they are in northern Mexico, more immediate action to protect human rights is essential.

We strongly urge President Biden to instruct the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to develop an emergency plan to address urgent protection needs for those who remain at grave risk during the period of review envisioned by tonight’s executive orders. This could include substantially increased protection measures in northern Mexico as well as asylum processing of the most urgent cases.  

Both immediately and over time, the Biden administration must deploy federal resources to support both humane treatment and processing of those who are fleeing persecution. International organizations, health officials and NGOs in border communities, and families across the country are ready to lend assistance.

Even before we completely rebuild a broken system, we can, in the welcome words of the President this evening, again be “a haven for people in need.”

For more information see Refugees International’s recent report “Building Better, Not Backward: Learning from the Past to Design Sound Border Asylum Policy.”

To arrange an interview, please contact Refugees International Director of Communications Sarah Sheffer at or +1 202 540 7029.


Cover photo: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan.