Grassroots Action Center

Tell Congress to Save Asylum

Congress and President Biden are considering new asylum policies that would make it extremely difficult to seek asylum in the United States. These regulations would severely curtail the human rights of migrants arriving in the U.S. 

The proposed changes include:

  • Raising the Credible Fear Standard: Migrants detained at the border have the right to a credible fear interview (CFI). The CFI was implemented when Congress expanded immigration enforcement. It was intended to prevent deporting people who may be eligible for asylum, but it is already a flawed screening tool that forces asylum seekers to demonstrate their fear of persecution in stressful conditions. Most asylum seekers’ credible fear interviews take place quickly and while they are detained, often without legal counsel. Because of these factors, the credible fear standard must be low. Otherwise, people in genuine danger would be unjustly deported. But current proposals involve raising this standard to a level that would be unrealistic for most asylum seekers. 
  • Asylum Transit Bans: A transit ban would require asylum seekers who passed through a third country on the way to the U.S. to apply for and be denied asylum in that country before they can seek asylum in the U.S. Such a rule would affect all non-Mexicans who attempt to enter at the U.S.-Mexico border. It would offload the U.S.’s obligations to protect asylum on to Central American countries with overwhelmed asylum systems. Most of these countries are not safe for asylum seekers. Forcing someone to seek asylum in an unsafe country denies them the protection that they deserve.  
  • Expanding Expedited Removal: Expedited removal is a fast-track deportation program without appeal. Currently, DHS can only place people apprehended within 100 miles of a border in expedited removal. This proposal would expand expedited removal to the entire U.S. It would allow immigration agents wide authority to deport people away from their families and communities. It would be particularly harmful if the credible fear standard is raised, because immigrants who express a fear of persecution in their home country and “pass” their credible fear interviews cannot be placed in expedited removal. 


As people of faith, we know that asylum seekers’ lives should not be used as political bargaining chips. But these changes could deny people the right to seek safety for years to come.  Tell Congress and President Biden not to impose these restrictions. 

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