As Biden Addresses the Country Amidst Growing Conflict, Immigration Justice is More Important Than Ever

March 3, 2022
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While President Biden laid out the dire conflict in Europe, his administration continues to deport asylum seekers

Washington DC – President Biden’s state of the union address to the nation came amidst the biggest crisis in Europe since World War II. The President praised the courage of the Ukrainian people and laid out the dire situation following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis that has unfolded. Already, 660,000 refugees have fled the country and thousands more have been displaced within Ukraine.

“We are very concerned with the situation in Ukraine, and we know as the violence grows, even more people will be forced to migrate. Now is a critical moment for us to live up to our values of welcoming and inclusion. The United States must be prepared to welcome and resettle as many Ukrainian refugees into the country as possible, and the Biden Administration must grant immediate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation to all Ukrainian nationals in the United States. Unprecedented Russian aggression has brought total war to Ukraine and returning to the country is not an option, “ said Gladis Ibarra, Deputy Director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. “We expect him to step up.”

Ukraine has joined the growing list of states around the world that have seen huge community displacement as a result of violence recently. Extreme gang and cartel violence continue to plague Central America and Mexico. Natural disasters and political and gang violence have created a humanitarian crisis in Haiti. Growing instability and violence is leading to a worsening humanitarian situation in Cameroon. Despite these crises, the Biden Administration has deported thousands of people back to dangerous situations and has turned away asylum seekers fleeing violence.

“Despite promises of a more humane immigration system, under this administration we have witnessed people deported en masse back to Haiti, despite an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe there. We have witnessed Cameroonians detained and deported by ICE back to a crisis that puts their lives at stake. We have witnessed Central American, Mexican, and Haitian asylum seekers turned away at the border, and we have seen migrants murdered when they have been deported back to the countries they fled from. The Biden administration continues to weaponize Title 42 to turn away asylum seekers, in violation of US and international law which gives them the right to claim asylum in the United States. Given this track record, will President Biden also green light the expulsion of Ukrainians back to a dangerous war zone? And if the President does offer protection for Ukrainians, why is he not offering the same protections to other vulnerable groups who need asylum as much as anyone?” said Ibarra.

“As the world grows more dangerous, we must step up for Ukraine and for every country that is experiencing extreme violence and danger to those there. This begins with ending the use of Title 42 and allowing asylum seekers to claim asylum in the country, stopping deportations especially to countries that, like Ukraine, are experiencing humanitarian disasters, and opening the door of welcoming for everyone around the world coming here to seek peace and safety, “ added Ibarra.