Signatures needed: Protect asylum seekers
Donald Trump's cruel administration is slamming the door on asylum seekers and locking them up. This needs to stop now.
A caravan of women, children and families escaping political persecution and gang violence in Central America who are seeking asylum in the United States just arrived at the southern border, and Trump is treating them like military combatants. He has threatened to lock them up upon arrival and even deployed the National Guard to defend the border.1 This is a blatant xenophobic attempt by Trump to manufacture a state of emergency on immigration to militarize the border and rally support for his wall.
We cannot sit by while his cruel administration threatens and imprisons people seeking asylum to advance its racist agenda.
Tell Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen: Stop detaining asylum seekers.
The United States once welcomed the "tired, poor and huddled masses yearning to breathe free." In Trump's America, people could lose their families and freedom for seeking refuge in the United States. From 2010 to 2013, DHS granted parole to asylum seekers in the Detroit, El Paso, Los Angeles, Newark and Philadelphia regions 89 percent of the time. Since Trump took office, that number has plummeted to four percent.2
Trump's Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection agents have:
- Jailed a mother and her 7-year-old daughter seeking asylum and fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. ICE held the daughter in a youth shelter thousands of miles away from where it detained her mother for months.3
- Locked up a mother and her 11 and 3-year-old children fleeing gang violence in El Salvador. ICE refused to give the mother any information about her children's' whereabouts for more than a month.4
- Imprisoned a father and his infant son seeking asylum from El Salvador. ICE detained the infant son hundreds of miles away from his father.5
The right-wing Roberts Supreme Court recently ruled to allow the federal government to detain immigrants indefinitely. That ruling means DHS could keep asylum seekers behind bars for months and even years as their cases move forward in court.6 And it's already happening.
The Salvadoran infant asylum seeker is now with his mother. His father is still locked up in the United States despite following all procedures for seeking asylum. That is unacceptable.
The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for illegally detaining asylum seekers with credible cases in order to deter others from seeking asylum.7 Now, it's up to us to keep the pressure on.
The more signatures we gather, the brighter the light we shine on the Trump administration's attacks on asylum seekers and its blatant attempt to exploit a caravan of refugees to militarize and wall off the border.
Tell DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen: Stop detaining asylum seekers.
Thank you for speaking out to protect asylum seekers.
- Elliot Spagat, "Central American asylum seeking caravan reaches US border," The Washington Post, April 26, 2018.
- Alan Gomez, "Asylum seekers sue Trump administration over prolonged detention," USA Today, March 15, 2018.
- John Burnett, "To Curb Illegal Immigration, DHS Separating Families At The Border," NPR, Feb. 27, 2018.
- Michael E. Miller and Jon Gerberg, "l‘Where’s Mommy?’: A family fled death threats, only to face separation at the border." The Washington Post, March 18, 2018.
- Kate Morrissey, "Asylum-seeking fathers separated from children by ICE," San Diego Tribune, Dec. 4, 2017.
- Domenico Montanaro, Richard Gonzales and Nina Totenberg, "Supreme Court Ruling Means Immigrants Could Continue To Be Detained Indefinitely," NPR, Feb. 27, 2018.
- Maria Sacchetti, "ACLU sues Trump administration over detaining asylum seekers," The Washington Post, March 15, 2018.