Refugees International Strongly Opposes Harmful Secure and Protect Act of 2019

In response to the passage by the Senate Judiciary Committee today of the so-called Secure and Protect Act of 2019, Refugees International’s Senior U.S. Advocate Yael Schacher issued the following the statement:

The so-called Secure and Protect Act of 2019 (S.1494) is a harmful bill that Refugees International strongly opposes. It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee today through an unprecedented flouting of committee and Senate rules.

The bill severely curtails protections for vulnerable children and imposes substantial barriers to asylum seekers. Especially concerning, the bill dismantles screening and due process protections for unaccompanied children, bans asylum seeking for anyone who attempts to enter between ports of entry or from Central American countries, and allows the administration to unilaterally send asylum seekers to third countries. The bill also calls for indefinite family detention in unlicensed facilities and makes it impossible for asylum seekers to qualify for other forms of relief.

This is all in violation of the Refugee Act, the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. Refugees International commends the senators who opposed the cruel bill and we repeat our call for the bill to be rejected by the Senate.

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