Wyden, Merkley and Colleagues issue Joint Statement on Proposed Threats to Asylum System in Supplemental Aid Package Negotiations
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley along with Senate colleagues today issued the following joint statement in response to reports of potentially harmful changes to the U.S. asylum system being considered in the ongoing bipartisan negotiations around the supplemental aid package:
“As negotiations surrounding the supplemental aid package progress, we are concerned about reports of harmful changes to our asylum system that will potentially deny lifesaving humanitarian protection for vulnerable people, including children, and fail to deliver any meaningful improvement to the situation at the border. Using a one-time spending package to enact these unrelated permanent policy changes sets a dangerous precedent and risks assistance to our international partners. Any proposal considering permanent changes to our asylum and immigration system needs to include a clear path to legalization for long-standing undocumented immigrants.
“We remain committed to working in good faith to modernize our outdated immigration system on a bipartisan basis and through a deliberative process. We cannot truly secure our border and help American communities without increasing lawful pathways for migration and legalizing long-time undocumented immigrants who put food on our tables, care for our elderly, and form the fabric of our communities.”
The joint statement was led by Senator Alex Padilla, D-Calif.. Along with Wyden and Merkley, the letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.
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