January 30, 2018
Washington, D.C.—The Latin America Working Group denounces the White House Framework on Immigration Reform and Border Security released last week as more of the same hateful, anti-immigrant rhetoric attacking border and immigrant communities and asylum seekers fleeing violence in their home countries. It goes against the family values that our immigration system is built on and proposes an exorbitant $25 billion for border militarization without justification or consultation with border communities. The administration proposes to trade citizenship for Dreamers with border security funding and limitations on family reunification.
“Dreamers are not bargaining chips to be traded for the Administration’s wishlist of border militarization and other extreme, anti-immigrant proposals. This reduces hard-working members of our communities to line items instead of recognizing their important contributions to our economy and society. Terms like closing “loopholes” and “fraud” are code for restricting access to protections for the most vulnerable families and children and go against our long tradition of welcoming those fleeing harm. It will not make us safer,” states Daniella Burgi-Palomino, LAWG’s Senior Associate for Mexico, Migrant Rights, and Border Issues.
LAWG has documented that the conditions that propel children, teenagers, women, and men from the Northern Triangle countries of Central America to seek refuge in the United States, Mexico, and elsewhere have not ended. Expediting the removal of people, some who may have valid asylum claims, back to this danger without access to due process and a chance to seek protection will only place them in direct harm and could lead to increased displacement and out-migration from the region. Returning asylum seekers back to Mexico regardless of country of origin could drive these families, children, and individuals further into the hands of smugglers and to dangerous conditions along the Mexican side of the border. Border security funding for a wall, infrastructure, technology, and more CBP agents without consultation with border communities and measures to hold agents accountable is unjustified and detrimental to communities and the environment.
The Latin America Working Group strongly condemns this administration’s ongoing attacks against immigrants, refugees, and border communities. We urge all members of Congress to reject this framework as a non-starter for negotiations and, instead, to move quickly to pass a clean Dream Act that is not tied to wasteful border security funding and to uphold due process and a chance to access international protection for those seeking safety at our border.