We, the #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign, believe everyone has the right to be safe and to seek safety. An already insufficient asylum system was decimated by the Trump administration. Rather than restoring a system that did not fully live up to our nation’s values or meet the needs of the 21st century, we call for a transformed and re-envisioned asylum system that centers the wellbeing and dignity of all who seek protection in the United States. To achieve this vision we must:
- Protect people seeking safety at the U.S. border by restarting asylum processing and ending misguided, cruel, and illegal deterrence policies that turn them back to danger, punish them for seeking protection, and separate them from their families.
- Launch and support a humane reception system overseen by humanitarian specialists that safely and quickly registers people seeking protection at the U.S. border, rejects the use of immigration jail, and provides community-based support so people understand their legal rights and obligations, as they wait in safety for their cases to be decided.
- Build a more fair, effective, and timely immigration system that includes initial asylum office adjudications for all asylum seekers, funded legal counsel, independent immigration court hearings and appeals, strengthened rules and laws that ensure protection consistent with refugee and human rights treaties, and an opportunity for asylum seekers to support themselves and their families while they wait for a decision.
- Strengthen U.S. leadership on protecting refugees by supporting aid and foreign policies that respect human rights and address the reasons people are forced to flee their countries and by developing new protections that respond to emerging challenges like displacement caused by climate change.