Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined a letter led by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representative Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.) condemning the Trump Administration for its harmful policies that have dismantled the United States’ asylum system and demanded the reversal of these harmful measures. The lawmakers listed nearly a dozen various Trump administration policies implemented over the past three years which have chipped away at the laws governing asylum, including denying parole for asylum seekers, imposing severe and arbitrary restrictions to qualify for asylum, and expediting deportations which prevent asylum seekers from consulting legal representatives.
“For the past three years, Administration officials have systematically disregarded the laws and implemented new rules governing asylum that have prevented tens of thousands of asylum seekers from accessing a fair and safe adjudication process,” wrote the Senators in a letter to President Donald Trump, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf, Attorney General William Barr, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Matthew Albence, Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan, and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. A similar letter was sent by House Members. “As a result, transgender people fleeing death threats in Central America, ethnic minorities fleeing conflict in Cameroon, families fleeing political persecution in Venezuela, and myriad other vulnerable people have been forced to remain in unsafe environments where their lives are at risk. As lawmakers, we are troubled by the blatant disregard for Congress’ explicit directions for how the federal government should process and adjudicate the cases of asylum seekers.”
Full text of the letter can be found here.