As the U.S. government scrambles to agree on a 2024 budget to avoid another “shutdown” on November 17, Republican leaders of the U.S. Senate have laid down a set of border and migration demands as their top condition for agreeing to any new spending deal. If the Biden administration wants aid to Ukraine, for example, these are the GOP demands. Republicans in the House have similar—or perhaps harsher—demands.
Using the one-pager that Senate Republicans shared yesterday, here’s a graphic that shows how thoroughly their proposal would obliterate threatened people’s right to seek asylum in the United States.
This is a right that most of the world adopted after World War II. The congressional Republican proposal would send us back to the 1930s. And the Biden administration is already indicating to Democratic allies that they might have to adopt some of it.
If this ever became law, someone fleeing likely death or imprisonment would only be able to access the U.S. asylum system if:
- They tried, and failed, to seek asylum in every country through which they passed on the way—no matter how impoverished, dangerous, or ill-governed the country.
- They came to a port of entry (official border crossing), even though Customs and Border Protection, through a practice called “metering,” allows only a bare trickle of asylum seekers to access these facilities.
- They could not be shipped off to a third country to seek asylum there (the Trump administration made agreements with Guatemala and Honduras to be “third countries” for asylum seekers).
- They were able to meet a higher standard of “credible fear of persecution” in screening interviews performed shortly after arrival at the U.S. border.
- They awaited their U.S. immigration court hearing dates while “remaining” in northern Mexico, or while sitting in ICE detention centers—even if they are families with children.