JRS/USA Welcomes Reversal of Travel Ban & Commitment to Immigration Reform

20 January 2021

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA welcomes the quick and important policy decisions made by President Joe Biden in an effort to build bridges and not walls for those seeking safety, security, and welcome in the United States. Hours after taking the oath of office, President Biden signed a number of Executive Actions putting into place critically important policies.

These policies include the reversal of the travel ban on Muslim-majority countries which has impacted refugees living in affected countries who have sought resettlement in the United States, including reunification with family members.

“By reversing this harmful policy on his first day in office, President Biden is sending a strong signal that religious tolerance and refugee protection will be priorities for his new Administration,” said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director.

JRS/USA also supports the Administration’s plans to work with Congress to introduce the US Citizenship Act of 2021, which aims to modernize the US immigration system and support asylum seekers as well as other vulnerable populations. This includes creating safe and legal channels for people to seek protection and enhancing the ability to process asylum seekers.

“JRS/USA will continue to oppose any effort to limit access to protection for individuals based on their country of origin and support legislation that protects the rights of asylum seekers,” said Giulia McPherson, Director of Advocacy & Operations.

Though these actions are significant advancements for the rights and protection of forcibly displaced people, there is still more to be done. JRS/USA has outlined key recommendations for the Biden Administration including assisting refugees abroad, restoring the US as a place of welcome, and stopping the use of hateful and discriminatory refugee policies. We look forward to working with the Administration to advance these goals as part of our mission and commitment to protecting the rights of all forcibly displaced persons.

We also welcome others to express their support by signing our petition, calling on the Administration to consider these recommendations.