The House Oversight & Accountability Committee's first hearing of the 118th Congress is expected to be a platform for some anti-immigrant members to advance white nationalist ideas. NIJC submitted written testimony calling on committee members to reject hateful rhetoric that furthers misinformation regarding migrants and the U.S. immigration system.
The United States has the moral and legal obligation to ensure asylum access to those arriving at U.S. borders and ports. Policies that uphold this obligation are vital to protect the rights of migrants and central to a functioning border processing system. Policies that restrict access to asylum at ports of entry not only violate the law, but force people to seek entry through dangerous terrain, leading to record-high numbers of deaths on the border and fueling criminal networks that prey on migrants in desperate situations.
Closing off asylum access and implementing punitive programs at the border causes widespread harm and is ineffective toward the government’s stated goals. The United States must shift away from punishing migrants arriving at the U.S. southern border and instead allocate resources towards processing and humanitarian needs.