ACLU Calls on White House, U.S. Senate Leaders to Protect Asylum System from Attacks in Budget Negotiations

November 3, 2023 3:40 pm

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WASHINGTON — Today, Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, issued the following statement in response to emerging reports that the White House and U.S. Senate leaders are considering proposals to upend the U.S. asylum system as part of a deal that would include funding for Israel and Ukraine:

“President Biden faces tough dynamics in negotiating a deal, but writing harmful policies, including any version of the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, into law should not be on the table. That would betray our commitment to protect people fleeing persecution, violence, war, and human rights violations around the world. These proposals would do nothing to improve border management, while causing individuals and families serious harm. Turning our backs on asylum seekers is contrary to the ideals that represent the best of our country.

The situation at the border has presented challenges for border states and cities across the country – but it also presents a remarkable opportunity for President Biden to uphold his campaign promise to end Trump’s assault on the dignity of immigrant communities. Instead of doubling down on the same failed policies of the past, the Biden administration must meet the moment and invest in sensible, humane, and effective solutions to shore up our immigration system. That includes increasing funding and support for government agencies to improve screening processes, expand the number of ports of entry, expedite employment authorization for asylum seekers, and address barriers to legal pathways to entry.”

To learn more, read the ACLU’s letter to President Biden here.

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