Statement from Refugee Council USA Executive Director Mary Giovagnoli Opposing Trump Administration Shifting Funds to Build a Wal

The Refugee Council USA opposes the President’s unprecedented use of executive power to use resources designated by Congress for other purposes to build a wall on the U.S. southern border with Mexico. Indeed, many of those who are currently seeking admission to the United States are fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. Many are children and families who qualify for child or refugee protection under U.S. law. Funding for further building of a wall does not address their vital needs or fulfill the U.S. commitment and responsibility to provide protection. Quite the contrary. Funding for the wall represents a disregard for human suffering.

RCUSA urges the administration instead to reverse policies that have created barriers to asylum protection for children and families seeking refuge in our country, thereby leaving them in harm’s way as they wait indefinitely in Mexico. The tools exist to act with compassion and to fairly evaluate the claims of all those who seek admission to the United States. Making use of those tools is consistent with our national values as well as our legal and moral obligations to provide due process and refugee protection. Our immigration laws are badly in need of reform, but it must be done by vigorous debate and respect for the democratic process.