Press Release

For Immediate Release: May 22, 2024

Press Contact:;

Immigration Experts, Person Granted Asylum Condemn Federal Actions to End Asylum, Urge Practical, Humane Solutions

Washington, DC – Today national immigration experts and advocates held a virtual press briefing to highlight the harmful impacts of newly implemented and proposed federal actions to end asylum rights – and to point to practical solutions that will safely, efficiently and humanely welcome people seeking asylum to our country.

A full press kit, including a video and audio recording of the call, can be accessed here.

Speakers included:

  • Melina Roche, #WelcomewithDignity Campaign Manager
  • Maribel Hernández Rivera, Director of Policy and Government Affairs for Border and Immigration, ACLU
  • Robyn Barnard, Senior Director of Refugee Advocacy, Human Rights First
  • Blaine Bookey, Legal Director, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies
  • Aida Andrade, asylee and former Center for Gender & Refugee Studies and Pangea Legal Services client

People who seek asylum in our country are already fleeing grave danger, and make arduous, traumatic journeys to our southern border. Once they get here, current U.S. policies – which limit asylum appointments at border crossings, separate families and allow for brutal mistreatment of people in U.S. custody – can often make it incredibly difficult for people to exercise their legal right to asylum.

In recent weeks, an onslaught of new executive and legislative actions have threatened to curtail access to asylum, a form of legal immigration, even more drastically. In a misguided effort to appear “tough” on the border, both Congress and the Biden administration have put forward a number of punitive, politically-motivated measures that would have devastating impacts to the nation as a whole, be counterproductive to border security and only cause more human suffering at the border.

Experts have maintained for years that these tactics will not and have never worked to “deter” refugees fleeing danger or manage operational challenges at the border.

The following federal actions and proposals do nothing to meet the needs of the current moment and only cause more harm:

The vast majority of Americans support a legal, fair asylum system that does not punish vulnerable people for seeking protection in the United States. A 2023 poll from Fox News found that about 73% of voters want to make it easier to immigrate legally, while 73% support increasing the number of immigration judges to process asylum claims faster.

The #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign has put forward four key policy solutions that will help fix our broken immigration system while upholding the rights of people seeking safety. These pragmatic measures would advance the Biden administration’s goals and honor the United States’ historic role as a safe haven for refugees:

  1. Restore access to asylum at our nation’s border.
    Congress needs to properly staff ports of entry along the U.S. border to efficiently and safely process people seeking safety. The Biden administration must immediately increase the number of CBP One asylum appointments available and expand the program to all ports, while ensuring access to a fair process for all.
  2. Support systems to receive and integrate people seeking asylum.
    The White House should establish a centralized office that works with agencies, states, localities, and nonprofits to coordinate and fund humane reception and integration of people seeking asylum as they navigate the legal process.
  3. Create a more fair, effective and timely asylum system.
    The Biden administration and Congress should prioritize funding more immigration court staff, interpreters, judges and asylum officers. Work permit applications also need to be more accessible, with shorter processing times to allow migrants and their families to become independent sooner.
  4. Strengthen refugee resettlement programs and other pathways to the U.S.
    The U.S. government must continue to invest in current and new overseas and domestic refugee programs, allowing people with approved cases to travel to the U.S. safely and reunite swiftly with loved ones already here. These programs should complement – never replace – robust asylum access at the southern border.

To read more visit: 



Join the movement and sign our pledge to #WelcomeWithDignity.


The #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign for asylum rights is composed of more than 100 organizations committed to transforming the way the United States receives and protects people forced to flee their homes to ensure they are treated humanely and fairly. To learn more and join our campaign visit: