Organization Does Not Believe Senate’s Anti-Immigrant Proposals Will Increase Safety at the Border or Across U.S.

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Vera Institute Calls on Senators to Reject Extreme Anti-Immigrant Proposals in Negotiations

New York, NY – On Monday Senate negotiators released the “Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024.” The bill would impose arbitrary restrictions on the ability of people to claim asylum at the border and increase detention and surveillance.

These enforcement-only policies will not address the challenges at the border but will harm families and communities.

According to a release, “The Vera Institute of Justice joins a broad coalition urging Senate lawmakers to reject this deal, which uses immigration as a bargaining chip for other spending proposals. Immigration is too serious of an issue—with real implications for our country’s economy, families, and safety—to wield in this dangerous way.”

Annie Chen, director of the Vera Institute of Justice’s Advancing Universal Representation initiative writes:

“The Senate must reject this bill and instead insist upon immigration policy advancements that improve our ability to welcome people seeking safety with dignity and address challenges at the border.

“We must increase avenues for legal status, ensure asylum seekers have a chance to make their claim for safety, and expand universal representation for people at risk of deportation. These measures would promote order at the border and advance strength and stability for immigrants nationwide.

“Yet, the immigration provisions in this proposal are inhumane and ineffective. Undoubtedly, there is a need to address this nation’s outdated immigration system. President Biden claims he wants to fix it, yet this bill will increase suffering and disorder at the border without addressing the root causes of migration or improving fairness or due process in our system.

“The inclusion of small measures, such as aid to cities receiving newly arrived migrants, added processing capacity at the border, funding for legal services for unaccompanied children, and additional visas over five years do not outweigh the harms of increased enforcement, detention, and surveillance.

“We need another way. We call on the Biden administration and Congress to improve and modernize the immigration system by expanding pathways to permanent settlement in the United States, improving immigration case processing—including at the border — and investing in federally funded universal representation and social services to ensure that all children, families, and adults alike are treated humanely and can access due process.”

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