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New US border measures ‘not in line with international standards’, warns UNHCR

New US border measures ‘not in line with international standards’, warns UNHCR

In a sweeping reform, migrants who cross the US-Mexico border without authorization would be denied asylum in America. This policy shift is sure to have far reaching implications for those escaping persecution and seeking refuge within our borders. 

President Biden recently announced a new opportunity for 30,000 people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to come experience the United States. In order to take advantage of this offer they must fulfill certain requirements such as obtaining an American sponsor and displaying proof that they can cover their travel expenses. This is a unique and exciting chance for many individuals across these nations. 

The UNHCR spoke out in Geneva yesterday, declaring that any measures taken by the US must not deny those fleeing from danger of their fundamental right to safety. The agency also expressed appreciation for expanded pathways allowing them access into America. 

More examination time needed 

The UNHCR is delving deep into the multifaceted nature of recent government announcements to determine how this will enable an unprecedented influx of people from 4 countries entering with potential new measures. 

In addition to considering the well-being of thousands already on the move from Latin and Central America, the agency raised its concern over the expansion of the controversial COVID pandemic emergency “Title 42” health restrictions order, to expel Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans without weighing the dangers they were fleeing or the risks and hardships many of them will face in Mexico. 

UNHCR had made continuous calls for it to be lifted, and the issue has provoked a major court battle in the US, with the Supreme Court ruling at the end of December that the policy allowing migrants to be turned away at the border on health grounds, should remain for now. 

Mr. Cheshirkov was steadfast in his insistence that allowing only certain refugees access to legal pathways is a violation of international law - he called for an expansion of accessible routes, welcoming the initiatives made but arguing they didn't go far enough towards granting those seeking safe harbor their right to asylum.