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Congresswoman Escobar Statement on Title 42 and the Biden Administration’s Proposed Changes to Asylum Proceedings

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) issued the following statement on Title 42 and the Biden Administration’s proposed changes to asylum proceedings:

“The use of Title 42, introduced by the Trump Administration, effectively eliminated access to legal asylum in our country. I have been calling for an end to Title 42 since it began and I am hopeful that the Biden Administration will soon rescind it. At the same time, the administration expects to continue seeing large numbers of migrants and asylum-seekers arriving at our southern border, a trend that began nearly a decade ago.

“Addressing immigration exclusively at our nation’s borders represents a failure of vision and policy. Outdated policies and processes harm migrants and asylum-seekers, waste millions of dollars annually, misuse law enforcement personnel, and do not make us more ‘secure.’ Now is the time to reform an outdated and inhumane system, and I urge the administration and Congress to implement changes I have championed. Our country can and must do better.  

“Recently, I led letters to Secretary of State, Antony Blinken and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas urging the State Department to establish in-country asylum processing and DHS to use the planned construction of a new Central Processing Center in El Paso to create a pilot program for processing vulnerable populations using civilian personnel instead of law enforcement. If we re-envision our immigration policies to be more strategic and humane, we can simultaneously create a more just and orderly process at our southern border, better use our resources, and prioritize both security and human dignity.

“In addition to these letters, I have called for an annual Western Hemispheric Summit where leaders from North, South and Latin America come together to agree to addressing root causes as well as shared obligations and opportunities around migration. In El Paso, we are working on re-envisioning our land ports of entry to more effectively process goods and people and this must include vulnerable populations. Also, I have filed legislation to reform DHS, to increase oversight, community collaboration, and accountability. 

“Finally, Congress has an obligation to act on reforming outdated immigration laws. Calls for vulnerable populations to ‘get in line’ or ‘do it the right way’ reflect an ignorance about the limited legal opportunities that exist. It falls on those of us in Congress to create those legal opportunities that would go a long way in addressing the challenges and opportunities we face at our nation’s front door and beyond.”

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