170+ Advocacy Organizations Say “No” to Federal Prosecution of Asylum Seekers and Migrants

Federal Immigration CourtroomBY ISN STAFFJuly 28, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Over 170 civil rights, human rights, and faith-based organizations expressed their concern with the ongoing criminal prosecution by U.S. Attorneys of asylum seekers and migrants in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch today. Signatory organizations included the Ignatian Solidarity NetworkJesuit Conference of Canada and the United StatesNETWORK National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Pax Christi USA, and Franciscan Action Network.

Citing a Department of Homeland Security report dated May 2015, the letter notes that Customs and Border Protection is “unable to demonstrate that Border Patrol referrals of apprehended migrants for prosecution by U.S. Attorney’s Office actually deter unauthorized migration.”  It also notes that illegal entry and re-entry are now the most prosecuted federal crimes in the U.S., comprising 48 percent of the growth in total federal convictions over the past two decades according to a Pew Research study.

The letter emphasizes the immorality of criminalizing migration in its closing paragraphs, saying, “Our nation can find far more humane and compassionate ways to respond to people crossing our southern border.”

The full text of the letter and listing of national, regional, and local sign-on organizations can be found here.

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