WASHINGTONRepresentative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Representative Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), chair of the CPC Immigration Task Force, released the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s announcement on increased border enforcement actions:

“The Biden Administration’s announcement of expanded legal pathways to come to the United States — something President Trump ripped away ruthlessly — is long overdue. The moves to expand the parole process to include Nicaraguans, Haitians, and Cubans; increase the number of individuals permitted to come through this parole program; and triple refugee resettlement from the Western Hemisphere over the next two years are commendable. 

“However, the new Department of Homeland Security proposal also includes expanding the use of Title 42, a public health law weaponized by Donald Trump to deny legal rights to asylum seekers, as well as potential regulations that would restrict the legal right to seek asylum. That is unacceptable. We recognize that President Biden has inherited a broken immigration system, and that he has taken steps to restore it by ending the Trump administration’s discriminatory and xenophobic implementation of Title 42. Even as that effort has unfortunately been thwarted in the courts, we cannot go backwards. Immigrants and their families are not a political football, and seeking asylum is a legal right. We must work to find policy solutions to meet the deep humanitarian need at the border and uphold U.S. treaty obligations by continuing to expand legal pathways to the United States and ensuring efficient and timely processing of people seeking protection. We must address the root causes of this crisis, including reconsidering Trump-era sanctions that have fueled much of the economic deterioration that triggered the latest wave of migration. Democrats must refuse to participate in Republicans’ games with people’s lives. 

“Despite congressional Republicans’ refusal to humanely engage with this issue, the American people want to see our government treat people with humanity, keep families together and recognize the value and necessity of immigrants. The details of this new rule will be critical. We strongly urge the Biden administration to reconsider this proposal, and work in consultation with members of Congress and immigration organizations to find solutions that live up to our American values.”