FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 5, 2024
CONTACT: Madison Allman | email@example.com
[WASHINGTON] – Shaina Aber, executive director of the Acacia Center for Justice, issued the following statement in response to the Senate’s recently released emergency spending bill with provisions that would decimate our asylum system and endanger the lives and safety of immigrants, their families, and our communities:
“This proposed framework alarmingly undermines the US commitment to support and defend the rights of refugees both abroad and within our national borders. Our communities and newcomers seeking safety from life threatening conditions deserve better than these short-sighted, politically motivated measures that echo the kinds of inhumane ‘deterrence’ strategies which have proven time and again to be ineffective and too often deadly.
“While the bill acknowledges the need to expand access to legal representation including for very young children and other people deemed incompetent to represent themselves, these provisions do not make up for the proposed drastic changes to the US asylum framework, which would make it virtually impossible for many asylum-seeking refugees to even access proceedings before neutral immigration adjudicators that could grant them protection. Additionally, these proposed changes will disproportionately subject communities of color – specifically Black and Brown people – to aggressive enforcement tactics and force many people back into unsafe and potentially life-threatening conditions, either in their home countries or at the border.
“Asylum is a human and legal right. Any proposal that places further limits on an already beleaguered humanitarian protection framework must be rejected outright. We urge Congress to vote down these harmful proposals swiftly and decisively, and instead fulfill its commitments to creating an immigration system that welcomes people with dignity and humanity.”
The Acacia Center for Justice is a non-profit immigrants’ rights organization that supports and coordinates a portfolio of national and state programs delivering legal services and representation to immigrants at risk of deportation and detention.