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New Biden Administration Border Policies Will Continue to Cause Harm to Asylum Seekers

Published January 5, 2023

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) today issued this statement in response to President Biden’s announcement of new border policies.

“CVT is deeply disappointed by the Biden administration’s decision to expand the Title 42 ban and revive other Trump-era immigration policies. These policies violate domestic and international law and actively put asylum seekers in harm’s way. Asylum seekers and refugees – many of whom are torture survivors – do not make the decision to flee their homes lightly. Their journey to find safety is often as perilous as the danger they faced at home. Turning them away is not only illegal, but morally reprehensible.

“As a candidate, President Biden pledged to ‘finish the work of building a fair and humane immigration system—restoring the progress Trump has cruelly undone and taking it further.’ More specifically, he promised to ‘reassert America’s commitment to asylum seekers and refugees,’ including by ensuring asylum seekers’ dignity and ‘their legal right to seek asylum.’

“That is not what happened today. The administration’s decisions and actions endanger asylum seekers and refugees. President Biden telling a group of people to stay where they are and apply “legally” does not reflect the reality facing people who are seeking asylum. From our work with asylum seekers who cross the Southern border, we know they not only carry the trauma of persecution and their journey, but also trauma from the current U.S. immigration system. CVT calls on the Biden administration and Congress to design a trauma-informed asylum system and uphold its campaign promise of ‘building a fair and humane immigration system.’”

-Yumna Rizvi, CVT policy analyst


The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization with offices in Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Uganda, United States and additional project sites around the world. Visit www.cvt.org

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