Washington, DC – A bipartisan group of Senators are continuing their debates on the President’s supplemental funding request, with Republicans proposing sweeping changes to the US asylum system in exchange for other national security and humanitarian assistance funding.
Republicans are aiming to codify regressive policies that would severely limit access to asylum and violate international law. These policies include barring migrants from accessing asylum if they have not first sought protection in countries they have transited through – even if those countries are unsafe or have an inadequate asylum system –, expanding expedited removal by heightening the credible fear standard, requiring certain migrants to remain in dangerous conditions in Mexico while awaiting review of their claims, and granting border agents powers to expel migrants en masse.
“In this latest round of budget negotiations, some members of Congress are using humanitarian protection programs as bargaining chips – but ensuring access to asylum is an essential, life-saving commitment rooted in our country’s highest aspirations,” said RCUSA Executive Director John Slocum. “As the global leader on humanitarian protection, the US sets the standard for how countries respond to crises. Chipping away at these protections not only risks our country’s moral standing, but can threaten our credibility during global negotiations. Congress must reject any and all proposals that undermine asylum or other humanitarian protection programs.”
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RCUSA is a diverse coalition advocating for just and humane laws and policies, and the promotion of dialogue and communication among government, civil society, and those who need protection and welcome. Individual RCUSA members do not all address all refugee-related issues, nor do all individual members approach common refugee-related issues identically