With news reports that the Trump administration is considering a new “travel ban” to block men, women, and children currently traveling together through Mexico as a caravan from seeking asylum in the United States, the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) calls on the White House and Congress to uphold U.S. law and ensure those who reach our border have the opportunity to seek asylum protection.
NIJC Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy issued the following statement:
“People have migrated to the United States across the southern border for hundreds of years in search of safety, freedom, and better lives for themselves and their children. Blocking them, and threatening to close the border, would be a radical move, even for the current administration. It also violates U.S. law, which permits individuals fleeing danger to seek asylum within our borders.
“The United States has a legal obligation to allow people who come to our border and ask for asylum to have the opportunity to have their request heard. NIJC and our pro bono attorneys have represented hundreds of Central American asylum seekers. Through their stories we know too well the persecution and danger people experience in the region every day, and why so many have been forced to leave their homes.
“Americans must once again speak out to support the men, women, and children who still see our country as a beacon of security and hope. We must remind our elected officials that welcoming families and children seeking safety from persecution is part of our American identity, not a threat to it. Americans came together this summer to force the administration to stop taking children from their parents at the border. We must again demand that the White House and Congress uphold our nation’s commitment to welcome those seeking refuge, and to respect human rights.”