U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) and Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on the Biden Administration reinstating an asylum processing system at U.S. borders. The order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lifts Title 42 on May 23.
"The United States must uphold its responsibility under domestic and international law to process people seeking asylum. People fleeing persecution and torture have rights to not be returned to danger and the government must treat them with respect and humanity.
"The Biden Administration inherited a dismantled asylum system from the previous Administration. It must now quickly execute a comprehensive, multi-agency strategy to ensure that asylum seekers and border communities do not bear the brunt of our broken immigration system.
"In the most recent funding bill passed by Congress, we fought to secure robust funding for border management, including resources for medical services, transportation, processing facilities, alternatives to detention programs, and border security technologies. We also secured $150 million for border communities through FEMA's Emergency Food and Shelter program to ensure that our communities do not face new and unbudgeted costs as we rebuild our immigration system into one that is safe, fair, and orderly.
"As the Biden Administration reinstates humanitarian protections at our border, it must use resources to create an orderly asylum processing system that protects those fleeing their countries, communities along the border, and our law enforcement personnel. In planning, the Administration must recognize border communities are at the forefront of any changes in immigration policy and emphasize coordination with local and state border governments and NGOs. We will continue to ensure that border communities are first at the table when changes in immigration policies are considered.
"We will continue to hold President Biden accountable for delivering on his promise to keep families together and ensure an orderly and humane process at the border."