February 6, 2024
Los Angeles (Feb. 6, 2024) – The California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) today called on Congress to reject an immigration bill negotiated behind closed doors by a small group of U.S. Senators that uses immigration and access to asylum as a bargaining chip for war funding in Israel and Ukraine.
The “Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024” would impose arbitrary and unjust restrictions on people’s ability to claim asylum at the border, provide funding for wall construction and increase immigration detention and deportations. The proposal would do virtually nothing to alleviate the humanitarian emergency at the border but it will put more migrants’ lives in danger.
“People’s ability to seek refuge from violence and danger is a human right enshrined in federal and international law,” said CIPC Executive Director Masih Fouladi. “As a Muslim and an immigrant, it is agonizing to hear President Biden and a small group of senators proposing such a misguided, reactionary policy that violates the law and brazenly ignores the promises the president made as a candidate to create a more humane immigration system and rebuild the asylum system his predecessor tried to destroy.
“The bill would allow the Department of Homeland Security to ‘shut down’ the border, under certain conditions, and deny peoples’ right to access our asylum system. This would exacerbate the humanitarian emergency at the border, not fix it. Closing down the border to people seeking refuge not only violates our laws, it would put some of the most vulnerable people at risk of further harm.
“Spending billions of dollars on wars, walls, detention and deportation does not serve the American public, it only serves to increase the profits of pro-war and private prison special interest groups. The proposal would also perpetuate decades of U.S. foreign policies that have destabilized vast regions of the world and lead to more people seeking refuge.
“Instead of caving to far-right hysteria and scapegoating of immigrants for the sake of political expediency, the president and Congress should focus on building a humane and efficient immigration system and supporting state and local governments and community-based organizations that have been doing for years the hard work of welcoming migrants with dignity.
“The president and Congress should also work together to provide permanent protections to immigrants, such as those who hold DACA, TPS, humanitarian parole, and other forms of temporary protected status.
“We call on President Biden and all our elected representatives to reject the senate bill because it’s bad immigration policy, it harms vulnerable people and it violates our values of justice and compassion.”