There Was No Mention of 853 Migrant Deaths in 2022 in Biden’s State of the Union

On February 7, President Joe Biden gave his second State of the Union deal with. A DREAMer was the primary woman’s date for the night, however the humanitarian disaster at our borders barely registered as a blip within the 73-minute speech.

That’s not accidentally. There’s no cause that cautious White Home workers would encourage the president to spotlight the 853 individuals who died making an attempt to succeed in our nation by crossing the U.S.-Mexico border final yr. Why draw consideration to the mass deaths suffered by thousands seeking safety? Within the president’s second of glory, higher to not acknowledge the administration’s inhumane, unlawful strategy to the asylum course of.

President Biden’s immigration platform is window dressing designed to attempt to conceal the useless struggling his insurance policies are inflicting on determined people who find themselves being denied essential protections.

The president’s posture in the present day is a far cry from the guarantees he made on the marketing campaign path.

Candidate Biden campaigned on a promise to revive our asylum legal guidelines, elevate the refugee ban and finish a dangerous Trump-era coverage referred to as the “transit ban” that prevented weak migrants from getting into the U.S. in the event that they failed to use for asylum in a foreign country earlier than reaching our border.

However as president, Biden took a web page out of Stephen Miller’s playbook — reviving Trump-era immigration insurance policies that illegally and instantly expel to Mexico asylum seekers from a listing of specified international locations.

The Biden administration claims it has created new avenues to facilitate the arrival of asylum seekers from a shortlist of nations. What the administration fails to acknowledge is simply how lethal such border restrictions have been — and can proceed to be — as folks in determined conditions confront insurance policies designed to dam them on the border.

Congress designed U.S. asylum legal guidelines to make sure that anybody escaping persecution has an opportunity to hunt secure harbor, no matter how they enter the nation. The president’s present immigration insurance policies ship folks fleeing persecution again to hazard and bar asylum even to these with the strongest claims.

Below Biden, the U.S. authorities has nonetheless not taken accountability for the deaths of Roxana Hernandez and Johana Medina — transgender immigrants who died whereas in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody through the Trump administration. And Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has ignored the calls of LGBT immigrants’ rights teams who’ve requested for significant engagement and conferences to debate preventative coverage measures that deal with transphobic remedy inside detention and on the border.

And so, as he stood earlier than each homes of Congress and the American folks and professed assist for human rights, President Biden’s unlawful, inhumane immigration insurance policies put him squarely in violation of U.S. and international law.

When Donald Trump divided households, held kids in cages and banned Muslims from immigrating to the US, everybody from grassroots organizers to the highest-ranking Democrats in Congress rose up in outrage. We took to the streets, organized rallies, raised cash and wholeheartedly denounced the cruelty coming from the White Home.

Throughout the State of the Union, the place had been the protests in opposition to Biden’s cruelty? The place had been the immigration advocates demanding humane remedy for folks dying at our borders? The place had been the congresspeople invoking the Statue of Liberty’s “poor, drained, huddled plenty”?

They had been within the room, applauding.

Members of the Biden administration had been savvy of their efforts to court docket organizers and activists. They invited us to affix them at coverage tables. They held off-the-record conferences to solicit our ideas on the Title 42 court docket battle.

And the previous agitators who made names for themselves railing in opposition to the Trump administration accepted this appeasement, deciding {that a} direct line to D.C. would function higher leverage than organizing within the streets.

However all of these conferences had been a entrance — a field to be checked in order that press secretaries may honestly say they’d met with stakeholders when pictures of the determined households who drowned crossing the Rio Grande made entrance web page information.

And whereas these advocates shuffle out and in of D.C. places of work shaking palms, a whole lot of 1000’s of individuals are dealing with human rights atrocities and unspeakable violence — each on the border and from establishments like ICE and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).

Advocates who had been praised for his or her outrage in opposition to Donald Trump sat in rooms with the identical individuals who continued his disastrous immigration insurance policies.

As soon as they acquired their ticket to the White Home, they one way or the other misplaced their voices. Slightly than threat their seat on the desk by issuing clear calls for to reestablish and affirm asylum, they stayed quiet. They allowed this unspeakably merciless coverage to come back to life.

In the meantime, the Democratic Social gathering, which raised untold thousands and thousands on the tales of kids being held in cages, has shrugged its shoulders. They’re joyful to be complicit so long as their man sits within the West Wing.

In the meantime the philanthropic neighborhood, flooded with funding from liberals, has thrown cash at direct service immigrant rights teams to appease their guilt for not talking out in opposition to the failed management of the Democratic Social gathering.

However one-off clothes drives and part-time funding for pro-bono immigration attorneys are merely inadequate.

We don’t want a Band-Help. We’d like the wholesale immigration reform we had been promised. We’d like a president who understands that the precept of asylum is immutable.

The reality is, President Biden’s immigration proposals are constructed to obscure the useless distress his insurance policies have dropped at immigrants who’re being denied essential, everlasting safety for causes that don’t have anything to do with their want for refuge.

Just like the insurance policies of earlier administrations, Biden’s insurance policies will trigger additional struggling and the demise of innumerable folks searching for refuge on U.S. soil.

As a result of, no matter which get together occupies the White Home, one factor stays the identical: Migrants with few decisions will threat their lives for the American Dream.

It’s time for retired agitators to let go of their fears and proximity to energy and discover their method again to the streets and to the center of organizing — constructing energy with our folks.

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