For Immediate Release: May 10, 2023
Catholic Lobby Opposes Administration’s Asylum Ban Rule and House Border Bill
Ronnate Asirwatham: “We call on both the Administration and Congress to focus on policies that welcome immigrants to safety and protection rather than cause harm and promote militarization.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Biden Administration issued a rule today which bans refugees from legal asylum protections in the U.S. if they don’t meet strict standards of entry. This rule is harmful and is contrary to U.S. values, laws and international law and has been issued despite more than 50,000 comments against it. This ban follows on the heels of House Republicans unveiling a bill which would create similar cruel policies that would hurt people seeking safety.
Ronnate Asirwatham, NETWORK Director of Government Relations, said:
“Both the Asylum Ban Rule and the House bill are failures of courage and justice. The recent tragedies including the killing of asylum seekers in Brownsville, Texas and the deadly fire in Ciudad Juarez remind us that U.S. immigration policies lead to the death of our immigrant siblings and stoke fear in our communities. We call on both the Administration and Congress to focus on policies that welcome immigrants to safety and protection rather than cause harm and promote militarization.”
This rule will take effect on May 11 in place of Title 42 expulsion policy. NETWORK, together with more than 800 of its members submitted a public comment back in March opposing this rule, citing that it attempts to cut off access to asylum for many refugees at the southern border, discriminates against Black, Brown, and Indigenous asylum seekers, and seeks to circumvent U.S. law and treaty obligations to refugees. Yet the Administration proceeded to take today’s action, disregarding the concerns of many people.
NETWORK also opposed H.R. 2 Secure the Border Act of 2023 in a vote recommendation on May 10, citing that the bill criminalizes immigrant children and their families and harms faith-based organizations in their ability to serve their communities. A coalition of 13 other Catholic social justice organizations joined NETWORK in opposing the bill, including Kino Border Initiative, Hope Border Institute, Franciscan Action Network, Jesuit Refugee Services USA, Pax Christi USA, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team.
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic Sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. With a 50-year record of accomplishment and more than 100,000 supporters across the country, NETWORK advocates for federal policies that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good. www.networklobby.org