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Our Migrant and Asylum-Seeking Sisters and Brothers Are Not Political Pawns

Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice delegates call for the protection of asylum in front of the White House in October 2021.

BY ISN STAFF | June 6, 2024

On June 4, 2024, the Biden Administration took executive action to limit asylum seekers at the southern U.S. border after Congress failed to pass immigration reforms earlier this year. This action effectively halts the majority of asylum cases from being heard.

Our migrant and asylum-seeking sisters and brothers are not political pawns. The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) reaffirms that every person has a right to a life with dignity and, therefore, has a right to migrate toward that end. Additionally, ISN believes that people have the right to seek asylum in the United States when returning to their home countries would put them in danger.

Under this executive action, whenever daily apprehensions of migrants reach more than 2,500 per day, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), the border would effectively be closed, and no new asylum cases would be heard until the rate of apprehensions falls beneath 1,500 per day for at least two consecutive weeks. These numbers are not based on the processing capacity of CBP, but are an arbitrary number set by the administration. As WOLA has reported, the daily apprehension rate has been above 2,500 for 37% of the months since 2000, and rates have not dropped below that since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice delegates call for the protection of asylum in front of the White House in October 2021.

Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice delegates call for the protection of asylum in front of the White House in October 2021.

Rooted in our work with undocumented students, our collaborations with integral partners like Kino Border Initiative, and our consistent advocacy over the years on behalf of migrants, we oppose any efforts by our government to limit people’s right to migrate, which deny people arriving at our southern border the human dignity which our Catholic faith declares is inherent in all people.

“Today’s decision from the Biden administration sends a clear message that, rather than work to find ways to change our immigration system to serve better the needs of those who are migrating, our elected officials continue to use our migrant and asylum-seeking sisters and brothers as political pawns,” said Jorge Palacios Jr, migration coordinator for youth engagement at ISN. “Those who show up at our southern border are fleeing persecution, threats of violence and death, famine, economic failure, and lack of what is needed for human beings to thrive in their home countries. Of course, it is easier for the administration to make vague claims of wanting to fix a broken system and then turn around and shut the door to thousands rather than attempt meaningful changes that mutually benefit our newly arrived neighbors and ourselves.”

We stand in solidarity with our partner organizations at the southern border providing direct assistance to migrants, we echo the stance and sentiments expressed by Bishop Mark J. Seitz of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and we invite the Ignatian family to advocate with us as we demand that Biden restore access to asylum

1 reply
  1. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    History shows that migrants are nation builders. They bring energies, skills, tons of patience, goodwill, a burning desire to work and rebuild the Planet as they rebuild their lives.

    Reply

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