News » White House, Congress Must Not Trade Away Asylum

White House, Congress Must Not Trade Away Asylum

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Dec 08, 2023

The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) is shocked by reports that the Biden administration may support radical anti-asylum legislation amidst negotiations on unrelated foreign aid. Proposals reportedly include: (1) Enacting a sweeping third country transit ban into law, automatically barring asylum for the vast majority of people seeking refuge at the U.S.-Mexico border; (2) Raising the bar in initial screenings, which would block many refugees from accessing the asylum process altogether; and (3) Expanding expedited removal nationwide, which would allow the government to round up immigrants and asylum seekers around the country for rapid deportations. These restrictions would decimate the U.S. asylum system, violate international law, and eviscerate due process protections for people seeking safety.

“We are horrified that the Biden administration is poised to trade away longstanding refugee protections and enshrine even more extreme anti-immigrant measures into law, including a ban on asylum for most people seeking safety at the southern border and a dramatic expansion of fast-tracked deportations,” CGRS Director of Policy and Advocacy Kate Jastram said today. “The proposals under consideration would extinguish critical lifelines for people fleeing deadly violence, separate families, and devastate immigrant communities. These include policies President Biden himself denounced on the campaign trail, where he positioned himself as a champion of immigrant and refugee rights. These policies will not bring ‘security’ to border communities or make anyone safe. They will only bring more chaos, and more refugee deaths. Decades of asylum law - enacted in response to the horrors of the Holocaust - must not be dismantled on President Biden’s watch. We urge the White House to reverse course, and we call on lawmakers to reject proposals that treat the lives of people seeking asylum as political bargaining chips.”