Grassroots Action Center

Tell Congress: Do Not Condition Government Funding on Harmful Asylum Restrictions
Government funding should not be conditioned on policies that target asylum seekers and migrant families. But some members of Congress are discussing pairing the legislation needed to keep the government open with the provisions in H.R. 2, a harmful bill that would gut protections for people seeking safety in the United States. Congress should reject anti-asylum policies and instead fund the government, including funding shelters and other services for asylum seekers in the U.S.

Some of the most concerning provisions in H.R. 2 would subject children and their families to deportation and detention. The bill would require the Department of Homeland Security to detain children and their parents who cross the border between ports of entry together. It would remove current restrictions that limit the time that children can spend in immigration detention. Instead, children and families who came to the United States because their lives were in danger would be indefinitely subjected to cruel and traumatic detention.   

The bill would also strip away protections for unaccompanied children seeking asylum. It would require DHS to deport unaccompanied children, who are extremely vulnerable and may have extra difficulties asserting their claims to asylum in rushed proceedings. These provisions would therefore expose children and families to dangerous conditions in detention and make it exceedingly likely that children are deported to unsafe conditions. 

But H.R. 2 would harm all asylum seekers, not just children. Migrants would be forced to wait dangerous conditions in Northern Mexico before entering the U.S.  In the U.S., immigrants would need to meet a heightened legal standard to win their asylum cases and receive permanent protection. Both of these changes would subject countless asylum seekers to unnecessary danger and death. 

Finally, the bill would create difficulties for people of faith seeking to welcome their neighbors. If someone needs assistance to meet their basic needs, their legal status in the U.S. should not matter. People who feel called to welcome the stranger rely on government funding to support their ministries of welcome, comfort and healing. If this bill passes, the required cuts to shelters would likely make more migrant families homeless, without access to social services.

Christians have a moral duty to oppose injustice. If this bill passes, protections for vulnerable people would be further stripped away. The 225th General Assembly declared that the Presbyterian Church (USA) is a Sanctuary and Accompaniment Church, answering Christ’s call to welcome all of God’s children. Therefore, tell your representatives to oppose H.R. 2 and to refuse to attach it to essential government funding.

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