Protection Denied: New IRC report calls for immediate policy change at US-Mexico border


A new IRC report, released a year after President Biden’s inauguration, “Protection Denied: Humanitarian Consequences at the US Southern Border One Year Into the Biden Administration,” calls for an immediate change in US-Biden border policy. mexican.

A year into the Biden administration, some of the toughest Trump-era policies that decimated access to asylum — commonly known as “Title 42” and “Remain in Mexico” — remain in effect. These measures “outsource” asylum beyond US borders, making US territory inaccessible to foreign nationals – even if they exercise their human right to seek asylum – and forcing Mexico and other countries to bear increasingly difficult burdens to meet humanitarian needs. Rather than welcoming with dignity, the rights of asylum seekers continue to be violated by the United States. These draconian and inhumane US border policies have pushed asylum seekers into border territories where they are specifically targeted by organized crime and other corrupt actors.

Olga Byrne, director of asylum and immigration legal services at the International Rescue Committee, said:

“The Biden administration has made important strides in protecting the right to seek asylum, including taking steps that reverse harmful legal interpretations that impede the protection of survivors of domestic violence and gang violence. However, by failing to end border-external policies that push asylum seekers back into Mexico, the Biden administration has denied people fleeing violence and persecution their legal right to seek safety in the United States and sent them back to dangerous situations in northern Mexico.

“These policies have serious humanitarian consequences for asylum seekers, who find themselves at risk of murder, rape, extortion and other violence. This is especially true for migrants and black women, who experience acute discrimination and violence during their journey and along the border. The stark reality is that these conditions often resemble the threats and dangers that asylum seekers fled in their country of origin.

“Civil society has the expertise and infrastructure to help the administration achieve its goals of safe, regular, and humane migration processes that respect the right to seek asylum. We call on the Biden administration to take the necessary steps to end outsourcing border policies that put asylum seekers at risk, and to invest in the capacity to receive asylum seekers in the United States.

The new IRC report urges the Biden administration to:

  • End of Title 42. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should immediately revoke the Title 42 eviction order and related interim final rule. DHS should follow the recommendations of public health experts on the safe treatment of asylum seekers at the border in coordination with civil society in border communities in northern Mexico and the southern United States. Seeking asylum is a right, even in times of pandemic.
  • End the MPP once and for all. The Biden administration must aggressively pursue measures to end the MPP as quickly as possible.
  • Immediately expand the capacity to process asylum seekers at entry points along the southern border.
  • Fund border shelters to extend humanitarian reception. Border Shelters have been providing a dignified welcome to asylum seekers for decades and have significantly improved coordination and best practices in recent years despite the challenges posed by COVID. Reception in border shelters can and should serve as a gateway to a fair and humane asylum process, starting with immediate humanitarian services and legal guidance that ensures asylum seekers understand the next steps in their process and how to get in touch with legal and social service providers in their places of destination. Civil society has the expertise and infrastructure to help the administration achieve its goals of safe, regular, and humane migration processes that respect the right to seek asylum. In addition, funding and support should also be extended to provide protection services to vulnerable populations along the migration journey.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has been providing responsive humanitarian services to migrants at the US-Mexico border since 2019 as part of our broader response in the region. The IRC has also strongly advocated for restoring access to the asylum system at the southern border of the United States, including through the cancellation of Title 42 and the termination of stay in Mexico.

About IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore the health, safety, education, economic well-being and power of people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC works in more than 40 countries and more than 20 American cities to help people survive, regain control of their future and strengthen their communities. . Learn more at and follow the IRC at Twitter & Facebook.


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