Trafficking Survivors Lost in the Funding Debate’s Asylum Stipulations

By USCRI January 30, 2024

In October 2023, the Biden Administration requested emergency supplemental funding for short-term foreign aid, including support to Ukraine. This request came near the end of the month, as budget talks to fund the federal government and avoid a government shutdown recommenced with the first funding bill, or continuing resolution (CR), of Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 expiring on November 17, 2023. The two funding packages, while separate entities until this point, overlap as part of the larger border debate.

Negotiations over FY 24’s federal budget in September and again in November included a patchwork of anti-asylum and anti-immigrant proposals taken from H.R.2 – Secure the Border Act of 2023. While they were not included in the continuing resolutions, they made their way into negotiations over the seemingly unrelated supplemental funding request.

In December, with the supplemental funding stagnating in Congress, the White House indicated its willingness to accept some of the anti-immigrant proposals in H.R.2 in exchange for the emergency funding. President Biden again signaled his direct support in a statement released in late January 2024. For two months, Democratic leadership in the Senate has attempted to broker a deal to secure foreign aid while accepting significant changes to the asylum and immigration system. Some of the proposed changes include: (1) expanding expedited removal; (2) raising the credible fear standard; (3) implementing a border expulsion authority similar to Title 42; and (4) instituting mandatory detention.

This brief aims to highlight a perspective that is overlooked in these discussions – the situation for human trafficking survivors.

Click here to read the report.

USCRI, founded in 1911, is a non-governmental, not-for-profit international organization committed to working on behalf of refugees and immigrants and their transition to a dignified life.

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