For Immediate Release: February 22, 2023
Contact: Colleen Ross, email@example.com, 202-601-7877
Catholic Lobby Lobby Urges President to Rescind Proposed Rule Banning Asylum
Mary J. Novak: “The fact that this new rule would to add to the suffering of asylum seekers is a moral tragedy. We urge President Biden to reverse course and instead work to build a more welcoming and inclusive immigration system.“
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the Biden administration announced a proposed federal rule that would severely limit access to asylum at the southern Border. The proposed rule would prevent anyone from seeking asylum in the United States unless they have first applied for asylum from an unsafe third country through which they travelled or used the CBPOne app to make an appointment to present themselves at the border, with few exceptions.
This rule will only apply to the U.S. southern border and, if enacted, is set to last for two years and can be renewed easily. The proposed rule lays out processes (“pathways”), which are functionally impossible for most people fleeing persecution to access. According to the proposed rule, asylum seekers who travel through other countries on their way to the U.S. southern border would need to first seek asylum and be denied it, however, most countries asylum seekers pass through are unsafe or lack functioning asylum systems. Once at the border, asylum seekers must use the CBPOne app to make an appointment at the port of entry, however, the CBPOne app the Administration rolled out a month ago has not been reliable and, like most facial recognition software, has difficulty recognizing Black and darker skinned faces.
Mary J. Novak, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, said:
“The Biden administration has the power to decide how to respond to the urgent needs and devastating situations of our siblings who are seeking safety at our border. The fact that this new proposed rule would add to the suffering of asylum seekers is a moral tragedy. We urge President Biden to reverse course and instead work to build a more welcoming and inclusive immigration system, one that our immigrant forebears would be proud of.”
Ronnate Asirwatham, Director of Government Relations at NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, said:
“As people of faith, we hear Pope Francis’ call to respond to migrants in search of a dignified life with acceptance and assistance. It is shameful the Biden administration has proposed this new rule, essentially ending the right to seek asylum our southern border. The southern border is where the most vulnerable Black and Brown immigrants come to seek safety and the success of our border policies should not be measured by the number of people we turn away, sending them back to death and persecution, but by the number of people we welcome.”
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 lobbies for federal programs and policies that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good. www.networklobby.org
Mr. President, I respectfully urge you to revoke the proposed asylum ban. About 100 million immigrants across world have been forced to leave their homes to seek asylum because of manmade or natural disasters. Surely we can use our resources to welcome a proportionate number of these vulnerable people into our midst. We have the land, resources and the need for good workers. Most importantly our faith expressed in the Bible demands that we accept suffering aliens since we are all sisters and brothers, children of the same God. We will be blessed for our just and merciful action. Blessings!