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MEDIA CONTACT Romelo Wilson;; 202-714-4178

WASHINGTON – Faith and immigrant justice leaders from across the country are collectively condemning the Senate’s political gamesmanship and likely failed proposal that fundamentally changes the United States’ immigration policies and undermines the bedrock of U.S. asylum law.

The new bill, which is not expected to pass out of the Senate, includes a series of provisions aimed at reducing migrant crossings at the southern border and tightening an asylum system that is dealing with a crippling backlog as migrants flee their homes to seek refuge. In statements, leaders from Faith in Action as well as their federations in Florida and New York, urged senators to stop playing games with people’s lives and reject the legislation that ultimately runs counter to common values of welcoming the stranger and caring for one’s neighbor.

Omar Perez, immigrant justice director at Faith in Action, said: “The proposed legislation doubles down on the inhumane, racist policies of past administrations. It’s egregious that our migrant siblings aren’t able to move comfortably and freely, with dignity and respect. Proposing to repatriate asylum-seekers to the very locations they are fleeing is not just immoral but also undermines their guaranteed rights under the U.S. asylum law. This bill proposal only creates tension, worry, and fear for immigrant families and keeps us in this endless cycle of desperately seeking true immigration reform. The fact that so much time and effort has been spent by both parties on a bill that appears to only ultimately be about scoring political points is just cruel. People are dying at the border, while men in power try to score political points and one-up each other.”

Nanci Palacios, deputy director of Faith in Florida said: “America positioned itself as a nation that welcomes those who want to build a better life for themselves and their children. However, political leaders like Joe Biden, Greg Abbott, and Ron DeSantis are using immigrant families as political pawns by threatening to limit the rights of immigrants to seek asylum. We all know how it feels to be in a difficult situation and look for a way out. Instead of punishing people who seek a better life, Congress and political leaders should show compassion to immigrant families who are fleeing violence and persecution and provide them with the necessary resources and a clear path to citizenship.”

Crystal Walthall, executive director of Faith in New York said: “Once again, our Congressional leaders have failed to put forth an immigration proposal that offers a pathway to citizenship for our Dreamers, long-term undocumented families, and farm workers. To suggest border deals that keep our communities in limbo grossly falls short of what our people need for real immigration reform. Those whom we once touted as being vitally necessary during the pandemic are now being thrown by the wayside yet again, once they are no longer seen as critical to the lifeblood of our communities. That cannot be farther from the truth. Our immigrant families contribute billions to our economy, to say nothing of their contributions to our culture, and do not deserve to be exploited  by our legislators.