Human Rights First Blasts Murphy-Lankford-Sinema Agreement for Punishing Refugees
WASHINGTON – Human Rights First today assailed an announced Senate deal that purports to make processing of asylum seekers more efficient but in reality forces vulnerable refugees to pay the price for foreign aid. The organization urges Members of Congress and President Biden to reject this proposal, as it undercuts the United States’ longstanding commitment to protecting refugees.
“Instead of working to find a resolution to serious issues confronting people seeking asylum and the U.S. immigration system, Washington is playing politics in ways that threaten refugees’ and other migrants’ lives,” said Michael Breen, CEO and President of Human Rights First. “Our government’s leaders must stop viewing the border as a numbers game. The United States cannot deny someone the right to seek safety and protection just because they are number 5,001 in line that day. The partisan posturing and political games being played in Washington serve no one. The time for theater is long past – it’s time for legitimate solutions, and Human Rights First has recommended many.”
Human Rights First joined nearly 200 groups in a November 2023 letter to President Biden that urged him to reject any such compromise to our asylum laws and immigration system. A statement to members of Congress reiterated Human Rights First’s opposition to such a deal. Also in November 2023, Human Rights First joined several organizations to issue a policy demands memo that provides recommendations on funding that would ensure a fair and more efficient asylum process for those arriving at our border.
Human Rights First has reported on the impacts of the various policies being debated, including the devastating human rights abuses as a result of the Biden asylum ban and why the Remain in Mexico policy should never be resuscitated. It also reported on the illegality and harm of an expulsions policy (previously referred to as “Title 42”) and why the credible fear standard must not be changed. The organization released a joint analysis of the Senate Republican proposals and how these proposals violate international law. Human Rights First also issued recommendations for how the Biden administration could upgrade and uphold our asylum system.