Letter to President Obama on Asylum

November 20, 2014

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to ask you to restore American leadership in protecting the persecuted by ending the detention policies aimed at women and children seeking asylum from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala as well as other measures that limit access to asylum for these populations. Our groups include non-profit, faith-based, human rights, legal service, immigration bar association, refugee assistance, and domestic violence organizations that provide legal representation or other assistance to refugees and asylum seekers, as well as law professors who teach asylum and refugee law in this country. This country has a long history of providing refuge to the persecuted, a tradition that reflects core American values and U.S. global leadership. The United States led efforts to draft the 1951 Refugee Convention in the wake of World War II, and agreed to abide by its central tenets when it ceded to the Refugee Protocol in 1968. As you noted on World Refugee Day this June, “[t]he ordeals refugees survive and the aspirations they hold resonate with us as Americans.”

This is an excerpt.


Published on November 20, 2014


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