News » CGRS Urges Senators to Reject Anti-Asylum Bill

CGRS Urges Senators to Reject Anti-Asylum Bill

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May 11, 2023

The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) urges lawmakers to reject legislation introduced by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) which would replace the Title 42 policy with a deadly “detain and expel” regime at the southern border. Unveiled last week, the bill (S.1473) would require the mass detention and rapid expulsion of all people seeking safety, including families and children traveling alone, with narrow exceptions.

“This bill would require the government to detain families. People seeking asylum are exercising their legal rights, and they should not be punished or detained for doing so. Blanket detention flies in the face of UNHCR guidance and international human rights norms,” said Professor Karen Musalo, Director of CGRS. “Under the Obama administration, I served on an expert advisory committee to the Department of Homeland Security on the issue of family detention. The traumatization and other harms caused to parents and their children as a result of detention led our committee to conclude that family detention is inappropriate and never in the best interest of children. Opposing this bill – with its punitive and anti-humanitarian provisions – should be an easy call for any senator who professes to care about families and children. Oppose S.1473.”

“The Biden administration recently announced new measures that will drastically limit access to asylum, including a sweeping ban that shuts the door to most people seeking protection at the southern border,” Kate Jastram, CGRS Director of Policy & Advocacy, added. “That Senators Sinema and Tillis would choose to concoct additional roadblocks to asylum – even going so far as to target unaccompanied children – is almost unfathomably cruel. No senator should attach their name to this callous legislation.”