Take Action on the Refugee and Asylum Crisis at the U.S.-Mexico Border
The arrival of a large group of migrants and asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border has brought fierce debate. President Trump has sought two significant immigration policy shifts. These changes would only allow applications for asylum at official ports of entry along the southern border, and also only grant asylum-applicants entrance upon approval. Read below to learn more and take action to let your representatives know where you stand.
The difference between asylum seekers and refugees
While both seek protection from violence or persecution, individuals apply for asylum only after they are on U.S. soil. Refugee status can only be gained while still outside of the U.S. The proposed shifts to policy stray from the definition of asylum as used by the U.N. and the U.S. To date, these changes have been stalled by U.S. courts.
How to support the groups working with asylum-seekers and refugees
Throughout the United States, organizations are working to ensure that refugees, asylum seekers, and new immigrants have a smooth transition into American life. This includes unaccompanied minors. The Migration Policy Institute estimates unaccompanied minor crossings into the U.S. increased by at least 90% between 2013 and 2014.
Several organizations are working to protect the rights of asylum-seekers:
- The International Rescue Committee, founded in 1933, helped resettle over 10,665 individuals in the U.S. during 2017. They work in the U.S., and also internationally in war or disaster-stricken regions like Yemen.
- RAICES and The Florence Project work regionally in Texas and Arizona, helping those in the U.S. immigration system find legal representation.
- Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) was founded by Angelina Jolie and Microsoft a decade ago, training over 40,000 attorneys, paralegals, and law students to help unaccompanied children in the U.S. immigration system.