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Yesterday, we highlighted how the independent and highly-reputable TRAC (Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse) released a new report based on the government’s own data that finds that 99% of asylum-seekers who were released into America to pursue their cases attended all of their immigration court hearings.
As we noted, the finding eviscerates the GOP’s Big Lie. They call it “catch and release” — a fishing term intended to dehumanize asylum-seekers and paint them as people who abuse the system. As the below examples of the Big Lie being used demonstrate, the “catch and release” falsehood is the justification used to advance their cruel and relentless policy agenda to dismantle asylum:
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
In the name of ending ‘catch and release,’ this administration has mounted a cruel and relentless campaign to deter asylum-seekers and deny access to due process. But it’s all based on a falsehood. Instead of absconding, asylum seekers attend court hearings at a rate of 99%.
We don’t need to gut asylum, keep vulnerable people in detention, and subvert due process. We don’t need to keep people in life-threatening conditions. Instead, we need to respect our law that views asylum as a legal right. We need to ensure a fair and efficient process, complete with family support, legal assistance and case management systems. We need to work with, rather than bully our neighbors to devise a regional strategy for safe haven and resettlement opportunities. And we need to invest in the source countries in order to mitigate, over time, the violence and societal breakdown that spurs out-migration.
For many, asylum is a matter of life and death. They deserve a fair chance to make their case, not cruelty based on the Big Lie of ‘catch and release.’