CT immigrant advocates send letter opposing House border bill
Thursday, December 7, 2023
More than 60 Connecticut immigrant advocate groups sent a letter to Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., to safeguard asylum rights.
Murphy is the lead negotiator for the supplemental funding request for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Congressional Republicans asked for border protection funding to accompany the foreign aid package, which Democrats have agreed to. However, the final version of the bill would have severe consequences for asylum seekers.
Constanza Segovia, organizer for the group Hartford Deportation Defense, said the right to declare asylum should not be negotiable.
"They would be backtracking on decades of work and protections that really are non-controversial in terms of anyone concerned with human rights and the human right to seek refuge," Segovia asserted.
Segovia and other Connecticut groups are offering other suggestions for border security, such as increasing funding for asylum processing, reducing work permit waiting times and providing better resources for municipal and state governments to provide better services. Senate Republicans blocked the funding package in an initial procedural vote, to express their intent on passing the border bill as it is.
Connecticut and other states have found the number of migrants arriving is too much to handle. Although they have called on the federal government for funding assistance, their cries have fallen on deaf ears.
Segovia noted there is a disconnect between the number of people seeking asylum in the U.S., and those to whom it is granted.
"I've talked to people who are experiencing serious violence and still are not able to have a successful asylum case," Segovia pointed out. "To me what that means is the law could be less restrictive to include some other forms of violence."
Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse reported in the past 20 years, asylum grants are only around 46% of all grants of relief the court awarded.
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