Joint Letter to Biden Administration Urging Safeguarding of U.S. Asylum Protections

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Biden,

We write as organizations committed to civil rights, human rights, and racial justice to express extreme concern over proposals to dramatically and permanently change the U.S. immigration system in ways that would harm asylum seekers and other vulnerable immigrants. Immigrants and refugees are our neighbors and our co-workers. They make our economy vibrant and our communities stronger. In a time of growing political divisiveness, it is imperative that your administration outright reject extremist measures and stand solidly on the side of inclusion. 

We are appalled by proposals that would eliminate or reduce asylum protections at precisely the moment in which protections for people seeking asylum are most needed. These proposals, including statutory changes to asylum law and major funding expansions to detain and rapidly remove people seeking asylum, would lead to violations of international law, and would violate your campaign commitment to restore the asylum system after the prior administration decimated it. Most importantly, if these proposals are implemented, more people who have no choice but to flee for their lives will be sent back to once again face persecution and harm. Some will die. The harm will fall disproportionately on Black, Brown and Indigenous refugees who are already marginalized globally.

We acknowledge your administration’s efforts to address the humanitarian crises in Latin America and the Caribbean and to rebuild the U.S. refugee program after it was nearly dismantled during the prior administration. The Western Hemisphere is facing one of its greatest refugee crises in modern history, and we support the Administration’s efforts to better resource processing, adjudications, and civil society and local governments providing respite and social services to new arrivals.

Our communities are stronger because of the generations of immigrants and refugees who have come to the United States seeking safety for themselves and their loved ones. We urge you to fulfill your promise to “restore our asylum system” and affirm U.S. global leadership on refugee protection by ensuring processing, welcoming and adjudication services are robustly funded while publicly rejecting policy and funding proposals that would impose even greater obstacles to equitable access to asylum for people arriving in the United States.


Acacia Center for Justice
The Advocates for Human Rights
Advocates for Youth
Afghan Evacuation and Resettlement Lawyers
Afghan-American Community Organization (AACO)
African Advocacy Network
African Communities Together (ACT)
Al Otro Lado
Alianza Americas
American Civil Liberties Union
American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Americans for Immigrant Justice
America’s Voice
Arkansas United
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta
Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence
ASISTA Immigration Assistance
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
Black Alliance for Just Immigration
The Border Network for Human Rights
Bridges Faith Initiative
California Immigrant Policy Center
Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition
Casa Freehold
Center for Gender & Refugee Studies
Center for Immigration Law and Policy, UCLA School of Law
Center for Law and Social Policy Center for Popular Democracy
Center for Victims of Torture
Central American Resource Center- CARECEN- of California
Central American Resource Center of Northern CA – CARECEN SF
Children’s Advocacy Institute
Church World Service
Climate Refugees
Coalición de Derechos Humanos
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
Coalition on Human Needs Communities United for Status & Protection (CUSP)
Community Change Action
Community Supported Film
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services Inc
Doctors for Camp Closure
Drug Policy Alliance
Economic Policy Institute
The Education Trust
Esperanza United
Every Texan
Faith in New Jersey
Family Voices NJ
First Focus on Children
The 5ive Pillars Organization
Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project
Florida Health Justice Project
Fordham Law School Feerick Center for Social Justice
Freedom Network USA
Friends Committee on National Legislation
GRACE/End Child Poverty California
Haiti Solidarity Network
Hope Border Institute
Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative
Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights First
Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Humboldt Park United Methodist Church, Chicago Illinois
Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization
Immigrant ARC
Immigrant Children Advocates’ Relief Effort (ICARE)
Immigrant Defenders Law Center
Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
Immigration Equality
Immigration Hub
Immigration Law & Justice Network
Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America (IFCLA)
Interfaith Welcome Coalition – San Antonio
International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)
Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice
ISLA: Immigration Services and Legal Advocacy
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
Jesuits West
Jewish Activists for Immigration Justice
Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay
Just Detention International
Just Neighbors
Kino Border Initiative
Lambda Legal Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center
Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
LatinoJustice PRLDEF
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
Lawyers for Good Government
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition
Make the Road NY
Mariposa Legal, program of COMMON Foundation
Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
MetroWest Legal Services
Michigan United
Midwest Immigration Bond Fund
MPact Global Action
Muslim Advocates
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
National Center for Parent Leadership, Advocacy, and Community Empowerment (National PLACE)
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Health Law Program
National Immigrant Justice Center
National Immigration Law Center
National Immigration Project (NIPNLG)
National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC)
National Network to End Domestic Violence
National Partnership for New Americans
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
Nebraska Appleseed
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
New Jersey Citizen Action
New Jersey Consortium for Immigrant Children
New Jersey Forum for Human Rights
New Jersey Policy Perspective
New Mexico Immigrant Law Center
New York Immigration Coalition
North Carolina Justice Center
Oasis Legal Services
Oregon Food Bank
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
Oxfam America
Pedro Arrupe Jesuit Institute
Physicians for Human Rights
Physicians for Reproductive Health
Project ANAR
Public Advocacy for Kids (PAK)
Public Counsel Red Jesuita Con Migrantes LAC (CPAL)
Refugee Congress
Refugee Council USA
Refugee Solidarity Network
Refugees International
Restoration Immigration Legal Aid
Robert F. Kennedy Human
Rights Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
Safe Harbor Clinic
Save the Children
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Justice Team
Sisters of the Presentation, Dubuque, Iowa Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
Southern Border Communities Coalition
SPAN Parent Advocacy Network
Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice
Tahirih Justice Center
Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition
Truman Center for National Policy
UndocuBlack Network
Union For Reform Judaism
Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO
Unitarian Universalist FaithAction NJ
United Parent Leaders Action Network (UPLAN)
University of San Francisco Immigration & Deportation Defense Clinic
U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)
Ustun Law International
Vera Institute of Justice
Voces de la Frontera Action
Voces Unidas RGV
Washington Office on Latin America
We Are All America (WAAA)
West Virginia University Immigration Law Clinic
Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center
Witness at the Border
Women’s Refugee Commission
The Workers Circle
World Hazara Council USA
Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights

cc: Hon. Kamala D. Harris, Vice President of the United States
Hon. Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security
Hon. General Merrick Garland, Attorney General, Department of Justice
Hon. Antony Blinken, Secretary, Department of State
Jeffrey Zients, White House Chief of Staff
Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor
Neera Tanden, Director, Domestic Policy Council