The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition condemns the President’s actions today directing the denial of asylum to those who enter the United States’ southern border at any place other than a port of entry. This order and the accompanying rule from DHS and DOJ are aimed squarely at Central Americans fleeing violence.
Two of our country’s most vital defining characteristics are that we are a nation of immigrants and we are a nation rooted in the rule of law. The President’s action today is an affront to both.
It has long been the law that any adult or child who enters the United States at any place and who is afraid to return to their home country because of fear of persecution is allowed to apply for asylum. To deny someone from seeking refuge via asylum simply because they did not reach a chosen point on a map is as arbitrary as it is mean-spirited.
The current administration’s actions today, and rhetoric since the President took office, reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of the horrific conditions that asylum seekers face and survive. The action also shows a lack of respect for how our country’s laws are changed – through democratic processes and not executive fiat.
According to Claudia Cubas, Litigation Director of the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, “The United States has ratified international treaties and passed federal legislation on asylum. In doing so, we agreed that anyone regardless of their nationality, race, or religion would have the right to seek asylum in our country. We agreed to allow refugees to access our courts and in doing so, to apply for asylum. We agreed to not send people back to places where they would face persecution or torture. The announcement today is a break from our laws, and it should not stand.”
CAIR Coalition is committed to helping all immigrants facing detention and deportation. Our commitment will not waver in the face of these attacks on the humanitarian ideals of the United States.