PETITION: Urge President Obama to Voice Support for Measures that Protect Asylum Seekers at SOTU

At its best, the United States has been a beacon for refugees fleeing persecution. Tonight, President Barack Obama will address Congress and the nation with his State of Union speech, and Senator Marco Rubio will deliver the Republican response. With immigration reform at the top of the agenda for the White House and Congress, please join us in urging the President to remember asylum seekers in any immigration reform proposals.

Urge President Obama to use his State of the Union address to voice support for measures that protect asylum seekers, including:

  • Eliminate the wasteful and unfair asylum filing deadline that is barring genuine refugees from asylum.
  • Reduce unnecessary immigration detention costs including by promoting alternative forms of detention and alternatives to detention.
  • Require and support a fair and efficient adjudication process, providing for Legal Orientation Programs in all detention facilities and counsel where justice requires.
  • Protect refugees from inappropriate exclusion and free up administrative resources by adjusting overly broad immigration law definitions that have mislabeled refugees as supporters of “terrorism.”

Refugee protection is a core American value and commitment. We are encouraged that President Obama’s immigration reform proposal includes principles that would ensure refugee protection, including the elimination of the asylum filing deadline. Now, we must make sure that Congress does the same.

Over 160 leading human rights organizations and legal experts signed onto a letter to the Administration including these recommendations—add your voice to this call!  Urge President Obama to use his State of the Union address to voice support for measures that protect asylum seekers.


Published on February 12, 2013


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