Although the president’s comments on refugees and asylum were short on details, they foreshadow a parade of horribles that will perpetuate his administration’s unmitigated hostility toward asylum seekers.
Refugees International and 76 other organizations call on Congress in an advocacy letter to oppose any legislation that would expand the scale or length of immigrant family detention, overturn the child protection policies and laws currently governing the treatment of migrant children in custody, or undermine asylum protections.
Refugees International urges the governments of Mexico and the United States to suspend any discussion of an agreement that would force asylum seekers to remain in Mexico pending a determination of their U.S. asylum claims.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security memorandum on limiting access to asylum is appalling, and Refugees International is deeply alarmed about any presidential proclamation that would bar access to asylum to those entering the United States between U.S. ports of entry.
The efforts of individuals to seek asylum in the United States represent a policy challenge but not a national security crisis. The president has willfully and cynically vilified an asylum seeker population composed of vulnerable children, women, and men.
Upon return from a field mission to the border between the United States and Mexico, Refugees International President Eric Schwartz decried human rights abuses against highly vulnerable asylum seekers from the Northern Triangle of Central America.