CGRS Calls on Congress to Reject Draconian Bill Against Asylum Seekers and Immigrant Communities

Thursday, May 18, 2017

CGRS joined dozens of refugee advocate organizations in calling on Congress to reject H.R. 2431 (The Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act). The bill, the group’s statement cautions, “undermines our nation’s legal obligations to refugees,” causing undo “harm refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless people fleeing persecution.”

The group’s statement was presented to the House Judiciary Committee in advance of its markup of the bill on Thursday, May 18th. It highlighted the bill’s planned expansion of the United States immigration detention system that currently detains thousands of torture survivors, asylum seekers, families with children, and others seeking protection from persecution in their home countries—many of these facilities are run by private corporations profiting off human misery. Just this week there have been two reported deaths of individuals in immigration detention. H.R. 2431 would also directly result in the detention of asylum seeking children and their families, a practice found by many doctors, psychologists, including the American Academy of Pediatrics to expose children “to additional risk, fear and trauma.” The Department of Homeland Security’s own Advisory Committee (officially named the Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers) recommended, after months of reporting and site visits to detention centers, that is it “neither appropriate nor necessary for families – and that detention or the separation of families for purposes of immigration enforcement or management, or detention is never in the best interest of children.”

As Congress considers reforms to our immigration system, CGRS urges members to reject H.R. 2431 and to instead consider changes that will improve the efficacy of the immigration system without undermining fundamental protections for refugees and immigrants.