Policy and Advocacy

The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) is a leading voice in the movement to rebuild the U.S. asylum system and expand access to protection for women, children, LGBTQ+ people, and others seeking refuge. Our Policy & Advocacy team serves as a critical resource on asylum to policymakers, journalists, and the public. We provide rapid analysis of policy developments and offer practical recommendations for decision-makers at all levels of government, advising our leaders on how to ensure the United States lives up to its legal and moral commitments to people fleeing persecution. We place people seeking asylum at the center of our advocacy, amplifying the stories and leadership of courageous survivors of violence.

Following four years of relentless attacks on asylum, CGRS has joined advocates, asylum seekers, and communities around the country urging President Biden to turn the page on the cruelty and chaos of the Trump era – and build our asylum system back better. We have presented a clear policy roadmap for the Biden administration to terminate the inhumane policies of the Trump administration, fully resume asylum processing at the southern border, and treat people seeking refuge fairly, with dignity and respect for their fundamental human rights.

CGRS has special expertise in conditions in the countries from which many asylum seekers hail, including Mexico, Haiti, and Northern Central America. Our researchers document the profound human rights violations that force people to flee these countries, as well as the often harrowing circumstances they face on the treacherous journey to the U.S. border. We partner with civil society organizations in the region, as well as in the United States, to address the root causes of forced migration and to work toward a more robust regional system of refugee protection. We advocate in Congress, with the executive branch, and internationally before the Organization of American States and the United Nations.