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Oppose the Secure the Border Act of 2023

The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) stands in strong opposition to the Secure the Border Act of 2023 (H.R. 2), scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives on May 11. The bill is a patchwork of extreme anti-immigrant proposals that would only add to more chaos at the border. It brings together a variety of illogical measures that would shut down the U.S. asylum system and target families and children for the cruelest forms of treatment. This legislation would subject asylum-seeking families and children to prolonged incarceration, and further criminalize and destabilize immigrant communities in the United States. 

The end of the Title 42 mass expulsion program represents a new opportunity for the United States to abide by its moral and legal obligation to ensure asylum access to those arriving at U.S. borders and ports. The Secure the Border Act of 2023, however, fails to provide any reasonable or logical solutions or provide any tangible plan for efficient management in U.S. border regions. Further, it follows a problematic trend where some members of the 118th Congress are using committee hearings and legislative proposals as a platform to advance anti-immigrant hatred and white supremacist ideas. 

The bill would prevent the U.S. from adhering to its obligations to process asylum seekers, and install a draconian, restrictionist framework for immigration law. Many of the provisions in this bill recycle or copy the barrage of anti-asylum policies and regulations proposed or implemented by the Trump administration – and some of them enjoined in court given their blatant violation of U.S. domestic and international obligations. 

NIJC urges members of Congress to vote no on this hate-based legislative package. The United States must shift away from punishing migrants arriving at the U.S. southern border and Congress must ensure that resources are allocated towards processing and humanitarian needs.

Read NIJC's full statement opposing the Secure the Border Act of 2023.


Jesse Franzblau is senior policy analyst at NIJC.