The International Rescue Committee (IRC) welcomes the news today that President Joe Biden has signed multiple Executive Orders (EO) outlining a vision for renewed humanitarian focus seeking to reverse Trump-era immigration policies which needlessly criminalized asylum-seekers, separated families and damaged the US’ long-standing role and bipartisan tradition of providing safe haven for the world’s most vulnerable. The IRC applauds the Biden administration’s measures, including:

Hans van de Weerd, Vice President for Resettlement, Asylum and Integration of the International Rescue Committee, said: “With 80 million forcibly displaced people worldwide and counting-- the largest number since the Second World War-- restoring a humane and competent asylum system is absolutely indispensable. The past four years of the Trump Administration were a lesson in how not to tackle this crisis humanely and competently, cruelly separating families and penalizing them for fleeing violence and persecution, and strong-arming countries in Central America already in the midst of humanitarian emergencies. The Biden-Harris Administration’s latest suite of executive orders are a moral necessity and a return to US traditions -- and a visible example of the values-based domestic and foreign policy to which the Administration has committed itself. 

“We look forward to continued reform of an unsafe, unfair and broken asylum system which has caused incredible and unnecessary damage to thousands of lives and the US’ legacy. We equally look forward to an immediate increase in the number of refugees allowed into America this year, an increase to a minimum of 125,000 in FY22, alongside continued policies for diplomacy and development that tackle displacement crises at their source.”