SEARAC Condemns Congressional Efforts to Dismantle Asylum

Lawmakers must reject funding packages that include xenophobic policy changes

Washington, DC – SEARAC strongly denounces recent efforts in Congress to tie one-time funding bills to permanent anti-immigrant policy changes. As lawmakers have debated several funding packages in recent weeks – including foreign assistance for Ukraine – anti-immigrant members of Congress are have weaponized this moment to support cruel and ineffective changes to the immigration and asylum system. These changes include what is effectively a ban on asylum, mass deportations and incarceration of families seeking safety, and severe limits to the number of people who can seek asylum in the United States. This would disproportionately harm refugees of color, LGBTQIA+ refugees, and women refugees.

“As the largest refugee population in the history of the United States, Southeast Asian Americans (SEAAs) know firsthand the life-saving significance of asylum,” said Quyên Đinh, Executive Director at SEARAC. “In the aftermath of war, violence, and persecution in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, the United States welcomed Southeast Asian refugees who risked their lives to seek safety for their families. Our community’s experience was pivotal in the creation of refugee resettlement and asylum policies, and it is because of these policies that millions of SEAAs now call this country home. The United States must uphold our values of freedom and safe haven, rather than turn our backs to – or even incarcerate – individuals, children, and families who simply want relief from violence. SEARAC urges members of Congress and the Biden administration to reject these attacks on asylum, and instead, work to strengthen asylum and our country’s immigration system​​.

SEARAC previously joined over 200 other organizations in a statement opposing the poison-pill changes to asylum. You can read the statement here: