Daniel Berlin, IRC’s Policy Director for Protection Pathways, stated, “We are concerned the Senate leadership will reintroduce the Lankford-Murphy border bill for a vote. If passed, this bill would constitute some of the harshest changes to US asylum law in history and would worsen the humanitarian challenges at the Southern border. We can all agree that bipartisan congressional action is needed to address the challenges with the current asylum system; however, recycling demonstrably harmful policies like closing the border to asylum seekers is not a solution. 

“When the US implemented measures under Title 42, similar to what this bill would do, it created chaos, harmed asylum seekers, and enriched criminal networks that benefited from these restrictive and inhumane policies, all while leading to increased encounters. Even though the Lankford-Murphy bill has some positive aspects, including temporary funding increases for asylum officers and immigration judges, and support for our Afghan allies, the permanent harm it would cause to the asylum system outweighs the positives.

“The US Congress should not make changes to asylum law that would undermine refugee protections and miss the mark on the needs of people fleeing danger. The IRC’s programming at the border and inside the US has demonstrated that humane, orderly solutions exist. By investing in dignified, coordinated reception models, case management for asylum seekers, and information-sharing systems to combat misinformation, we can welcome those fleeing safety without compromising our values.”