Go to Press Releases library
Press Releases

Priority Recommendations to the Biden Administration in its First 100 Days: Update 3

President Joe Biden tonight signed a series of executive orders, two of which are aimed at addressing family separation under the Trump administration and asylum and migrant rights at the US border with Mexico and in the region. The first executive order creates a family separation task force with the goal of reunifying families separated by the Trump administration. The second executive order focuses on developing a regional migration strategy that includes addressing root causes; enhancing protection capacity in the region through programs like a refugee resettlement program for Central American immigrants and a family reunification program for persons approved for family reunification petitions; and directs a comprehensive review of border and anti-asylum policies implemented under the previous administration.

In response to tonight’s action, Michelle Brané, senior director, Migrant Rights and Justice Program at WRC, issued the following statement:

“The Women’s Refugee Commission welcomes these orders as a critical step toward rolling back the cruel Trump-era policies. The current humanitarian crisis at the US border, together with the ongoing harms suffered by families who were cruelly separated under the Trump administration, demands immediate attention. The Women’s Refugee Commission has urgently called for the rebuilding of a fair and humane asylum system that respects family unity and ensures those seeking protection are not detained. As members of the steering committee recognized by the court in the Ms. L family separation litigation, we are ready to work closely with the new family reunification task force.

“We also call for immediate action to welcome and protect those seeking safety at our borders, keep families together, ensure the administration phases out the use of detention, and start the healing process for children and parents.

“We welcome the administration’s review of harmful and cruel policies that have traumatized families and communities while creating chaos and confusion. Migrant and border communities, as well as experts and humanitarian actors, are ready to work with the administration to reopen our borders, build back better, and create a humane reception process that welcomes migrants with dignity.

“It will be critical to ensure that regional solutions focused on root causes or implementing resettlement do not impact the ability to seek protection at US borders, and that people in need of protection are not asked to remain in the situations they need to flee. We also urge the Biden administration to immediately take steps to rescind and address the harmful consequences of policies such as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or Remain in Mexico programs, metering, and Title 42 expulsions.

“The Trump-era policy of stranding people in Mexico has placed families and people seeking asylum in dangerous situations where there is little to no protection for them, placing them at risk of kidnapping, human trafficking, and worse. Instead of turning away people seeking protection, the United States should have a fair, just system that reflects American values and welcomes law-abiding immigrants seeking protection. This includes not subjecting them to detention and instead offering case management services to support their immigration process when needed.

“More than 20,000 children and families who are currently enrolled in MPP are still in limbo, waiting in Mexico to see their day in court. We can’t allow them to remain in danger any longer.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Biden administration to undo the cruelty and chaos left by the Trump administration and to rebuild a new and humane asylum system.”

With record levels of people displaced by conflict, climate change, and other drivers of displacement, the majority of whom are women and children, WRC crafted a list of priority recommendations for the Biden administration to take action on within the first 100 days.

View the entire update on actions taken by the Biden administration on our priority recommendations.

View Update