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Stand with asylum seekers

Tell Congress: seeking asylum isn’t a crime

Despite fleeing violence and persecution in Central America, asylum seekers in search of safe haven are not being welcomed in the U.S. Instead, many are being released without food, water, shelter or guidance regarding the asylum process. Many of those abandoned have small children or infants and are unable to reunite with their families. This policy is just the latest in a series of attacks on asylum seekers that is fueling a manufactured crisis at the border that local communities, with support from organizations like the IRC, are being left to manage. These policies will do nothing to address the real crisis in Central America that has caused these vulnerable populations to flee in search of safe haven.

Call your Senator now and tell them it is time for Congress to put a stop to the Trump Administration’s attacks on asylum seekers.

Seeking asylum is legal. Turning away asylum seekers is not. Asylum seekers want to follow the legal process, but they are often set up for failure. Many families lack basic information on how to navigate the asylum system and follow the correct procedures. As a result, people will receive removal orders in absentia for failing to appear in court. To make matters worse, the administration’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy robs asylum seekers of their due process rights, including access to legal counsel. Having legal representation significantly increases the likelihood of being granted asylum.

From the IRC’s experience in the region, the fears of persecution among those fleeing the Northern Triangle are very real. Current levels of violence there are akin to those in the world’s deadliest war zones—and continue to increase. Our teams in El Salvador are delivering emergency relief services and initiating recovery programming. In the U.S. the IRC will continue to help asylum seekers meet their basic needs, facilitate family reunifications, and connect them with critical legal and psychosocial services. But more needs to be done – which is why we are asking you to call your Senators today.

Congress has already rejected the president’s national emergency declaration, through which he sought funding to build a wall. But Congress has to do more to stand up to this administration’s attacks on and criminalization of asylum seekers.

Call your Senators today.

Here’s what to say: 

My name is _____ and I am a constituent from _____. I’m calling to let the Senator know that I am outraged by this administration’s treatment of asylum seekers and want Congress to do more to ensure our country is abiding by U.S. and international law. The Trump Administration’s current policies of criminalizing asylum seekers, turning them away, and separating them from their families are harming already vulnerable people while doing nothing to address the reasons that they are fleeing in the first place. I hope the Senator will ensure the United States stops criminalizing asylum seekers and instead does more to protect them in line with our legal and moral obligations. I stand with asylum seekers and I ask the Senator to stand with me.