For Immediate Release:
February 15, 2019
The U. S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) is stunned to see that the United States, a leader and key drafting participant in creating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, has made such a reversal on the fundamental principles of this historic Declaration. Article 14 of the Declaration states that, “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” This Declaration was envisioned in response to the aftermath of WWII.
USCRI is cognizant of the variety of individuals and asylum claims made at the southern border, and also the significant decline in the numbers of individuals coming across the southern border over the past decades.
For months we have watched with trepidation the desertions of our values by: separating families at the border, detaining children, increasing the number of people in detention, blocking asylum seekers through metering at ports of entry and launching the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy.
As previously stated, USCRI supports any individual who is present in the United States or who arrives in the United States, whether or not at a designated port of entry, in their right to apply for asylum here. Our position is grounded in U.S. law, which supports the same in section 208 (a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
President/CEO of USCRI Eskinder Negash said, “We cannot deny access to an asylum and due process that we expect other countries to follow. We must demonstrate the moral leadership we have always valued.”
The world is not comprised of isolated islands. When we ignore our basic values at home, they begin to erode abroad.
For over 100 years USCRI has protected the rights and addressed the needs of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide and supports their transition to a dignified life.