Virtual actions keep asylum protected

By Brenda Vargas 

For months, a group of Senators and the White House have been negotiating a supplemental funding bill. In exchange for foreign aid, their deal could effectively end asylum in the United States. In this bill are proposals that would shut down the border, expel migrants, make it nearly impossible to access asylum protection, and put in harm’s way people fleeing persecution. Recently, President Biden released a statement affirming that if this deal moves forward he will use its new expulsion authority to shut down the border.

In response, for the last two weeks, Human Rights First led constituents, former refugees, and immigrants’ rights organizations across the United States in Virtual Advocacy Days. We brought hundreds of constituents from 40 states to meet with congressional offices and demand that efforts to end asylum in the ongoing supplemental funding negotiations are rejected. In each meeting, participants reminded their Members of Congress that constituents will not stand idle while negotiators and the President play politics with the lives of vulnerable people in exchange for short-term foreign aid funding. 

A constituent of Washington’s Senator Murray shared her experience supporting asylum seekers through her church and reminded Senator Murray’s office that “the government must prioritize creation of policies that keep both our borders and those who seek to cross them safe and secure.” 

Congressional offices also heard from directly-impacted constituents. One of Senator Cantwell’s constituents shared their experience navigating the U.S. immigration system and their journey as a law student and advocate.

Human Rights First also led a group of constituents and advocates to meet with Congresswoman Chu and her staffers.  In December 2023, Congresswoman Chu and Senator Hirono released a joint statement opposing draconian immigration policy changes in the supplemental. During our meeting last week, the congresswoman expressed support for our legislative agenda and encouraged us to continue our outreach to Members of Congress.

With your help, Human Rights First will continue to urge President Biden and Members of Congress to reject severe anti-immigrant proposals, to safeguard vulnerable migrants and their families, ensure the preservation of fundamental principles of refugee law, and provide humanitarian protection within the U.S. immigration system.

We urge you to keep taking action for asylum! Please call your Senators and Representatives today and express why you oppose this inhumane bill. If you need details for your argument, please feel free to use our messaging. 

We also thank all the constituents, former asylum seekers, advocates, people of faith, veterans, those with loved ones who have benefited from immigration protection, and people who care deeply about protecting individuals fleeing violence and persecution who have participated in our Virtual Advocacy Days.

Due in part to your efforts, we are turning opinion against this draconian anti-asylum bill.  Thank you for your ongoing support!



  • Brenda Vargas

Published on February 9, 2024


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