FWD.us Statement on Senate Immigration Proposal

WASHINGTON D.C. – FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement on tonight’s release of a Senate immigration proposal:

“The immigration proposal released tonight is not the right approach to forced migration or immigration reform. While there are some important, positive proposed changes, this hostage-taking exercise has resulted in policies that would fail to truly relieve pressure at the border and is a missed opportunity to create new legal, safe, and orderly migration pathways; as important, it also offers nothing to the millions of people in our communities who have waited decades for a pathway to citizenship from Congress.

“Our asylum system has long needed serious improvements and the status quo of each claim taking many years to resolve is unsustainable. Some of the proposed reforms are important changes to the current process, like a statutory requirement that asylum claims must be accepted at ports of entry, a faster timeline for asylum cases, and granting people timely work authorizations.

“It is also critical and positive news that the result of this proposal is a clear, bipartisan affirmation from Senate Republican, Independent and Democratic negotiators as well as Senate Leaders on both sides of the aisle, of the legality and importance of safeguarding President Biden’s CHNV and other similar parole programs. These critical pathways will continue to allow more than 30,000 people to seek refuge in the U.S. in an orderly and safe process each month.

“Many of the most extreme policies initially demanded by some were rightly excluded from this proposal. That is of course better than the alternative, but they should have no place in any bipartisan discussion. Moreover, there are positive provisions like the Afghan Adjustment Act, increases to green cards, and protections for children of people who came on certain employment-based visas.

“However, the proposal of a new mass expulsion trigger and new categorical asylum bars that will impact people seeking refuge who are not guaranteed counsel are the wrong approach. For the past decade in border policy, such strong reliance on asylum restrictions–rather than building working legal pathways–has never been an effective, sustainable solution to forced migration. This expulsion trigger replicates failed policies like Title 42, drives up incentives for unauthorized migration between ports of entry, cedes substantial control over U.S. immigration policy to the cartels, and creates more chaos and operational problems at the border and in cities.

“As long as our elected leaders keep trying to influence global migration patterns solely by relying on restrictions on how we process people once they show up at the border, rather than affirmatively build alternatives, we will keep repeating the same policy mistakes.

“Given the high likelihood of this legislation never coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives, we will continue advocating for Congress and the President to act, including through immediate administrative actions President Biden can take today to improve conditions at the border and help immigrants in our communities.”

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