As a bipartisan group of US Senators negotiates President Biden’s supplemental funding request this week, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA (JRS/USA) urges lawmakers to safeguard critical asylum protections. Senators are holding up funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan by demanding lasting changes to immigration policy in the supplemental funding bill. This includes harmful proposals that would put significant restrictions on access to asylum and further complicate the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“With over 110 million people displaced worldwide, and new and protracted conflicts continuing to force people from their homes, now is not the time to place further restrictions on the U.S. asylum system as a tradeoff for emergency funding to our allies,” said Joan Rosenhauer, President of JRS/USA. “Instead, now is the time to strengthen our asylum system through investments in processing, shelter, and services, so we can meet the needs of individuals and families seeking safety in the U.S. and keep the border secure. We urge Congress to heed the words of Pope Francis when he said that ‘a just policy is one at the service of the person, of every person involved.’ Further restricting access to asylum is at the service of a few.’’
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is present at the U.S. border, providing mental health and psychosocial support and legal services to migrants in El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico.
“Every day we hear the stories of individuals and families who are seeking safety in the U.S.,” said Maria Torres, JRS/USA’s Director of Domestic Programs. “We come to know what forced them to leave their homes and we are aware of the distressing experiences they carry. By further restricting access to asylum, Congress will only exacerbate the difficulties experienced by people seeking safety at the U.S.-Mexico border. Instead of restricting access to asylum, now is the time to respond humanely and welcome migrants with dignity.”
You can protect asylum by taking action with JRS/USA below: