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ImmDef Responds to Senate Bill that Would Gut Asylum, Plays Politics with Immigrants’ Lives


February 5, 2024

CONTACT: Jesus Contreras


Los Angeles, CA - Yesterday, Senate negotiators released a proposed supplemental spending bill that would make drastic changes to the nation’s asylum laws, making it much harder for vulnerable people to obtain asylum, and shutting down the border if a “trigger number” is reached. The bill would also increase funding for border security and interior enforcement, including seeking record-breaking funding for immigration detention, and would shockingly reinstate funding to build Trump’s border wall. ImmDef leaders issued the following statements in response:


“This bill is the harshest anti-immigrant and anti-asylum bill in decades, chock-full of ineffective deterrence-only policies. As so often happens during election years, immigrants are being treated like punching bags to score cheap political points. Our representatives need to stop playing politics with immigrant lives and focus instead on following domestic and international laws, which obligate us to protect those fleeing persecution and to give asylum seekers an opportunity to make their case,” said Lindsay Toczylowski, Executive Director, Immigrant Defenders Law Center. 


“Instead of turning our backs on the most vulnerable—including families and children—we should restore humanity to our immigration and asylum system. Our representatives must stand up for immigrants and refugees and soundly reject draconian border enforcement policies that have proven, time and again, not to work. Lest we forget, policies like those being proposed now would send people back to danger. We are talking about human beings.” said Margaret Cargioli, Directing Attorney for Policy and Advocacy, Immigrant Defenders Law Center.


Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef) is a next-generation social justice law firm that defends immigrant communities against an unjust immigration system. ImmDef is Southern California’s largest non-profit deportation defense organization and works under a universal representation model. ImmDef has several removal defense programs including the Cross Border Initiative program based in San Diego, California, where it provides services to people in need of asylum.

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