People running for their lives deserve to be safe, not stranded. That is the purpose of this country’s asylum system. However, like the one before, the Biden administration missed the mark when it decided to flex its military muscle at the border. It sent in 1,500 troops in anticipation of the end of Title 42, a Trump-era policy that weaponized the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to violate the rights of migrants and turn away those seeking asylum in the United States.
The people who make the harrowing journey to the U.S. border seek refuge from unthinkable circumstances; they're not invaders to be met with military might. The current administration's use of armed force as a deterrent is both ineffective and inhumane. It does not solve the inherent issues plaguing our immigration system, rather it exacerbates the fear and trauma already experienced by those seeking refuge.
Sign the petition to President Joe Biden: We need compassionate immigration reform.
Decades of U.S. policies, both foreign and domestic, have contributed to the crisis we see today. Whether it's crushing sanctions on Venezuela, armed interventions in Haiti, or a legal flow of U.S.-made guns that shower El Salvador and Guatemala in bullets, U.S. policies have driven violence and displacement across Latin America for decades.
The Republican Party continues to focus on draconian and catastrophic immigration measures that fundamentally misunderstand a basic sentiment toward immigration: cruelty or compassion. The GOP's antics treat migrants as mere props in the immigration debate. Instead of genuinely seeking to address immigration issues, these actions are obviously designed to stir controversy and rile up the GOP base.
To help immigration policy gain traction, advocates need to communicate about immigrants and immigration in a way that fosters support rather than enhancing political opposition. The conversation should emphasize the consensus view, diminishing the current polarized nature of the debate. Just as good policy won out in health care reform, sensible, comprehensive immigration reform could make immigration a politically winning issue.
It is unacceptable for the United States to greet asylum seekers with armed force rather than humanitarian aid. There is no military solution to the United States’ immigration challenges. We need a system that treats asylum seekers and migrants with dignity and respect. As Biden ramps up his reelection campaign, we have an essential moment to build something better and push him on the campaign promises he made four years ago.
Sign the petition: Asylum seekers need humanitarian aid, not a military solution.