U.S. Senators Must Hold the Line and Protect Asylum Law from Radical Changes
As negotiations continue this week in Washington, D.C. on President Biden’s supplemental funding request, the Florence Project renews its calls on lawmakers to ensure they protect life-saving asylum provisions from being bargained away in exchange for foreign funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Radical, anti-immigrant lawmakers are insisting on tying border and asylum policy to the supplemental funding bill, including poison pills that would end asylum as we know it and further incite chaos at the border.
The reported deal would include an asylum ban, create barriers to apply for asylum that would be nearly impossible to overcome, and undermine humanitarian and other forms of parole. Most notably, the legislation would include devastating changes to the Credible Fear Standard, which would “make it far more difficult for asylum seekers to obtain life-saving protection and result in children, families, and adults who would otherwise qualify for asylum being returned to violent, dangerous conditions,” according to a brief from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
“These permanent changes to our asylum laws would be nothing short of devastating for people seeking safety in the United States, including families,” said Laura St. John, Florence Project Legal Director. “Everybody is entitled to live a life safe from harm and persecution; it is a fundamental human right. If the changes reported in this deal are passed, people from around the world could no longer rely on the United States as the beacon of hope and safety that it has been for generations. These changes are radical, extreme, and go against our very core values. We urge all members of the Senate, especially Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who is part of the negotiating team, to stand on the side of fundamental human rights and reject these changes to asylum.”
Instead, we join other immigration advocates in urging Congress to prioritize bipartisan solutions that improve existing processes, including supporting funding requests the Biden administration has already made to increase grants for local governments and non-profits to provide food, temporary shelter, and other services for recently arrived migrants and to hire more USCIS officers to speed up the issuance of work authorization documents and other forms of processing. We also call on Congress to invest in efforts to process migrants efficiently through all ports of entry and to protect both access to asylum and the humanity of those seeking protection