Statement by Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International, on Proposed Administration Rule and Anticipated Presidential Proclamation on Asylum:
“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security memorandum on limiting access to asylum is appalling, and Refugees International is deeply alarmed about any presidential proclamation that would bar access to asylum to those entering the United States between U.S. ports of entry.
Access to asylum represents a post-Holocaust tradition about which Americans should be proud. In the aftermath of the attempt to exterminate the Jewish people—and the failure to protect Jews fleeing Nazi persecution—governments of the world adopted the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. The Convention and its Protocol, ratified by the United States, make abundantly clear that individuals fleeing persecution, even if they have entered a country between ports of entry, have the right to seek asylum—and should not be punished for such entry if they present themselves to authorities and show good cause for their unauthorized presence.
This proposed action comes on the heels of a threat by our Commander-in-Chief on November 1 to use the U.S. military to shoot asylum seekers at the U.S. border. Americans of good faith should rally against assaults on a proud tradition of refuge for those fleeing persecution.”