Republican legislators have dug in and have given the Biden administration a list of demands. Aid for Ukraine and other items in the White House’s supplemental budget request will not get their approval, they say, unless the law is changed in ways that all but eliminate the right to seek asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Here, at WOLA’s site, is an analysis of this proposal and the unspeakable harm that it would do. We urge the administration and congressional Democrats to stand strong and reject it.
From the conclusion:
If the Senate Republicans’ November 6 proposal were to become law, it would deny asylum to almost all protection-seeking migrants, unless:
- That migrant sought asylum and received rejections in every country through which they passed en route to the United States.
- That migrant presented at a land-border port of entry (official border crossing), even though CBP strictly limits asylum seekers’ access to these facilities.
- The U.S. government could not send that migrant to a third country to seek asylum there.
- In an initial “credible fear” interview within days of apprehension, that migrant met a higher screening standard.
If an asylum seeker clears those hurdles, the Republican proposal would require them to await their court hearings in ICE detention—even if they are a parent with children—or while “remaining in Mexico.”
This proposal is extraordinarily radical. Congressional Republicans’ demands to attach it to 2024 spending put the Biden administration in a tough position. It is a terrible choice to have to secure funding for Ukraine and other priorities by ending the United States’ historic role as a country of refuge, breaking international commitments dating back to the years after World War II.