Migrant advocates call on Biden administration to honor ‘commitments’

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Immigration rights advocates are calling on the incoming Biden administration to honor its “commitments” to asylum seekers — as a caravan of thousands of Hondurans headed toward the U.S. border. 

“We recognize the importance of the incoming Government of the United States having shown a strong commitment to migrants and asylum seekers, which presents an opportunity for the governments of Mexico and Central America to develop policies and a migration management that respect and promote the human rights of the population in mobility,” Pueblo Sin Fronteras said in a statement reported by Fox News.

“We will advocate that the Biden government honors its commitments.” 

The statement comes as more than 1,000 people from a Honduran caravan moved into Guatemala on Friday. The caravan, which includes more than 5,000 people in total, could be the first to reach the US border after Biden takes office.

Pueblo Sin Fronteras called on Biden to work with the Mexican government and Central American countries to address the roots of illegal immigration.

Biden’s administration needs to “dismantle illegal and inhuman programs such as Remain in Mexico, the United States’ Asylum Cooperation Agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, as well as the Title 42 expulsions by the United States authorities,” it said.

The Title 42 program allows Customs and Border Protection officials to immediately expel anyone who crosses the border illegally to their country of last transit.

Remain in Mexico, implemented in January 2019, requires U.S. asylum seekers to stay in the country while they wait for their cases to be heard by U.S. immigration courts.

Biden’s administration has promised a more humane approach to illegal migrants and a reversal of some of President Trump’s most controversial policies — but has warned the changes won’t happen overnight. 

“Our priority is to reopen asylum processing at the border consistent with the capacity to do so safely and to protect public health, especially in the context of COVID-19,” Biden policy adviser Susan Rice said in a recent interview with Spanish wire service FFE.

“This effort will begin immediately but it will take months to develop the capacity that we will need to reopen fully.”

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