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Congress must support asylum seekers over GOP moves to dismantle system

Updated: Nov 30, 2023


November 29, 2023 


CONTACT: Alicia Vargas 



WASHINGTON – Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef) joins hundreds of immigrants’ rights and human rights organizations to urge lawmakers to safeguard critical asylum protections. Senate Republicans are using supplemental funding requests to demand harmful changes, including gutting our asylum system and leaving asylum seekers with little to no access to protection in the United States. 


The cruel measures under consideration create insurmountable legal barriers to apply for asylum and undermine access to humanitarian parole. These permanent changes to our asylum system would have devastating consequences at the border while preventing vulnerable individuals and families from seeking safety. 


ImmDef’s work at the U.S.-Mexico border daily confirms the peril that asylum seekers face while seeking protection. These rushed and drastic changes to our asylum system—proposed without a thorough assessment of how they will damage existing asylum law—are recycled, ineffective policies of deterrence from the darkest days of the Trump administration. ImmDef calls on all lawmakers to reject any effort that uses the decimation of our asylum system as a bargaining chip in negotiations over supplemental funding. Immigrants are not political pawns. Their rights should not be used as ransom in exchange for aid.  


“Republicans are using bullying tactics in an attempt to dismantle humanitarian programs that protect the most vulnerable among us. Democrats must stand with asylum seekers, immigrants, and their loved ones in the United States by rejecting these cruel and inhumane Senate GOP demands,” said Margaret Cargioli, Directing Attorney of Policy and Advocacy at Immigrant Defenders Law Center. “We need Congress to stop the evisceration of our asylum system and instead work to pass immigration reform that provides protection to vulnerable asylum seekers, including thousands of children.”     



Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef) is a next-generation social justice law firm that defends our immigrant communities against injustices in the legal system. Our programs are a first step towards the long-term goal of providing universal representation to all immigrants facing deportation. We envision a future where no immigrant will be forced to face immigration court alone. ImmDef is now the largest non‐profit, pro bono provider of deportation legal defense in California, with offices in Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Ana, and San Diego.   

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