Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) was hopeful to see a bipartisan border bill finally presented - recognizing that the modernization of our immigration system is long overdue.
The supplemental package containing immigration provisions, which was ultimately voted down, raised concerns for LSSNCA as it posed a threat to the legal and human right to seek asylum. The proposed measures, if implemented, would have effectively redirect individuals seeking safety and protection back into harm's way. In addition to being inhumane, many of the measures proposed have been tried and tested in recent years and have been proven to be ineffective at decreasing migration.
LSSNCA supports the United States’ right to increase security measures at the border, yet, not at the expense of vulnerable individuals fleeing persecution. Provisions, including mass expulsions, broadening the executive branch’s expedited removal authority, and setting a higher threshold for meeting the credible fear standard threaten access to due process, exacerbating the already precarious situation for those seeking safety on U.S. soil.
The originally proposed immigration deal did include measures LSSNCA supports, such as increasing legal representation for unaccompanied children and extending lawful permanent residency to tens of thousands of Afghans evacuated to the U.S.
As the nation navigates the complexities of immigration, it is crucial to strike a balance between security measures and the humanitarian imperative of safeguarding vulnerable individuals fleeing persecution.