Awareness - February 28, 2023 - We Welcome

Awareness - February 28, 2023

Biden administration publishes new proposed rule to restrict access to asylum

The Biden administration released a new proposed rule that disqualifies migrants coming through other countries to the southern border or who do not request an appointment using the new CBP One app from applying for asylum in the U.S. The rule “encourage[s] migrants to avail themselves of lawful, safe, and orderly pathways into the United States, or otherwise to seek asylum or other protection in countries through which they travel”. The administration asserts that this rule is necessary to control the number of encounters with migrants at the border. 

Many democratic lawmakers and immigration advocates condemn this policy because it denies people on American soil the right to seek asylum, which is a right protected by federal law. “This rule is a stark reversal of the administration’s stated commitment to restoring access to asylum. The right to seek asylum, no matter how you enter the U.S., has been a hallmark of U.S. asylum law and that right shouldn’t be conditioned on whether you sought and were denied asylum on your way here,” said Alex Miller, director of the Immigration Justice Campaign. The proposed rule will be in the Federal Register for 30 days, during which time the public has the opportunity to comment on it before its implementation. Check out our resource page for more information about leaving a comment on the Federal Register.


Migrant children are working some of the most brutal jobs in the U.S.

Children, largely from Central America, who have arrived unaccompanied to the U.S. have been found working in dangerous conditions in factories for major companies like Hearthside Food Solutions who makes and packages food for brands such as Frito-Lay, General Mills, and Quaker Oats. The New York Times spoke with over 100 migrant children in 20 states who described their exhausting jobs and hazardous working conditions. The report is also based on court and inspection records as well as interviews with many professionals including lawyers and teachers. 

In response to this report, the Biden administration announced new efforts to combat labor exploitation of migrant children. The actions include improving the vetting of adults who sponsor migrant children, expanding services for unaccompanied children after their release from HHS shelters, and increasing the investigation and prosecuting of cases of child exploitation at job sites throughout the country. In FY2022, the Department of Labor found that over 800 companies employing 3800 children were found in violation of child labor laws. 

“The exploitation of children is inexcusable and a cruel departure from our values,” said Jennie Murray, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “Although federal agencies need to move people through the system quickly, they must get it right, first and foremost by respecting human dignity. Protecting children is too important to cut corners.”