Today CGRS joined 154 organizations in a letter expressing strong opposition to S. 1494, the Secure and Protect Act of 2019, which the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to mark up tomorrow. Introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham earlier this year, S. 1494 would effectively dismantle the U.S. asylum system and punish those who turn to us for safe haven.

On Monday, Attorney General William Barr issued a precedent decision in the case Matter of L-E-A- in a shameful attempt to eliminate asylum for families fleeing harrowing violence. Though Barr’s decision pays lip service to the requirement under U.S. law that asylum claims be judged on an individualized, case-by-case basis, he clearly attempts to impose a general rule that persecution motivated by family group membership will no longer be grounds for asylum.

CGRS decries the so-called “safe third country” agreement signed by the United States and Guatemala on Friday, July 26. This move marks yet another illegal attempt by the Trump Administration to turn its back on refugees and outsource its moral and legal responsibilities, at the expense of asylum seekers’ lives. The agreement violates our immigration laws and, if implemented, could endanger thousands of refugees.