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Mobile Billboards Circling Capitol Hill Urge Congress To Stand Firm And Protect Asylum

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Mobile billboards circling Capitol Hill this week are urging Congress to reject a GOP proposal that threatens decades of established U.S. asylum law in exchange for funding our allies in Ukraine. “Don’t Trade Trump’s Immigration Agenda for Ukraine Aid,” reads one of the billboards from Casa in Action, The Immigration Hub, NYIC Action, and America’s Voice. “Protect Refugees, Resist Trumpism.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

These chaotic and unrealistic immigration demands include permanent changes to the asylum threshold, mass detention camps on U.S. military bases, the prolonged detention of children and families, and “unworkable and impossible to implement nationwide mandatory detention,” Politico’s Burgess Everett said. The changes would overturn immigration law put in place to respond to refugees fleeing war-torn Europe seven decades ago, and lead to sending people with valid asylum claims “back to face torture or death,” America’s Voice Executive Director Vanessa Cárdenas warned this week.

Nor would these demands address so-called “border security” or take any real action to address our long-broken immigration system, either. They would in fact make things worse, by eviscerating the asylum system, narrowing legal channels for migration, and creating more incentives to go around or between ports of entry rather than through them, thereby creating more chaos while giving the U.S. less control.

The proposal also threatens to harm our allies in Ukraine as it fights back against Russia’s unprovoked invasion. Despite Texas Senator John Cornyn admitting that “a supermajority” wants funding for our allies to go forward, GOP demands threaten passage of this very aid. “Cutting off the flow of U.S. weapons and equipment will kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield, not only putting at risk the gains Ukraine has made, but increasing the likelihood of Russian military victories,” White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young told lawmakers.

“By their own admission, mass detention camps and incarcerating kids and families are Republicans’ price to stop Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine,” Cárdenas continued. “There are important border and asylum issues Congress can and should address in the supplemental that would not permanently gut asylum or incarcerate kids. Democrats should stand strong against Republicans’ extremism, bad faith, and their stated refusal to engage in real bipartisan compromise.” 

Click here to send your own tweet urging Congress to reject Trump and Stephen Miller’s immigration agenda and stand firm on protecting asylum amid funding negotiations.