The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns issued the following statement regarding several adjustments to border policy made by the Biden administration in its first week.
January 28, 2021
On Tuesday, January 26, the Biden administration formally rescinded the 2018 “zero tolerance” policy at the U.S.-Mexico border which resulted in the forced separation of more than 5,000 children from their parents. In addition, last week the Biden administration suspended new enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy, which since December 2018 has required asylum seekers to remain in unsafe and degrading conditions in Mexico while their cases are processed in the United States.
As people of faith appalled by the horrifying consequences of these policies, we celebrate these decisions by the Biden administration and call for further reforms in border policy to prioritize the dignity of migrants.
Maryknoll Sisters Ann Haden and Pat Edmiston, who work with immigrant families near the border in Peñitas, Texas, commented:
“Ending the zero tolerance policy that inhumanely separated children from their parents will bring an end to the openly cruel treatment of both parent and child and hopefully open a new path to reuniting children, now lost in our system, with their parents. Under the Biden administration we expect that asylum seekers will be treated with dignity and respect rather than forced to wait in improvised and sometimes dangerous camps right outside the entry gate to our nation, a nation built by immigrants. We are filled with hope, and continued prayer, for those who wait to hold their children again and for those who wait for safety on our doorstep.”
The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns urges the Biden administration to prioritize reuniting the remaining separated children with their parents as well as attending to wellbeing of the thousands of asylum seekers still waiting in Mexico due to the MPP policy. We commit to working with the Biden administration to promote just border policy and comprehensive immigration reform that respects the dignity of all people as created in God’s image.