For Immediate Release
Statement on Sessions’ Unconscionable Move to Put Asylum Further Out of Reach of Those Who Desperately Need It
Sara McElmurry: 312-351-3890 or email@example.com
“Asylum is an internationally-protected human right recognized by governments across the globe. Yet today’s announcement demonstrates the Trump Administration’s repeated disregard for the United States’ responsibilities to individuals—especially women, families, and children— seeking refuge from horrific violence.
People who arrive at our border to seek safety break no laws. Yet over the course of the last month, this administration has criminalized them, torn apart families, and now, with today’s decision, put asylum even further out of reach of those who desperately need it. US taxpayers are bankrolling this entire cruel operation, played out in for-profit detention centers, at the cost of $2 billion annually.
This course of events is utterly unconscionable and wholly un-American—and has been largely waged as a misguided response to a troubling reality: An uptick in people, mostly children and families from Central America, arriving at our border citing a “credible fear” of returning to their home countries. It is no coincidence that the “Matter of A-B-” case was based on the asylum claim of a woman from El Salvador who had been raped and abused by her husband.
Mr. Sessions’ assertion that the increase in asylum claims is an “abuse” of the US immigration system is yet another example of this administration’s continuous disregard for the truth. Instead, the growing numbers are driven by the horrific on-the-ground realities—including shocking femicide rates and levels of homicide that rival those in war zones —documented by numerous organizations, including Alianza Americas.
While this administration is focused on punishing people fleeing for their lives, it is missing an important opportunity to responsibly and humanely address migration: Turn the $2 billion currently spent on immigration detention into investments in infrastructure, democratic institutions, economic equity, and access to justice in Central America. Alianza Americas echoes the growing call for the US government to keep families together, respect the rights of people to seek asylum, and invest taxpayers’ money in programs that benefit our communities. We will also continue the struggle to enable families to live safely and with dignity in their countries of origin.”
Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more