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Statement on the Bipartisan National Security Supplemental

For Immediate Release:

Community Change Action Co-President Lorella Praeli issued the following statement in response to the Border Act released on Sunday as part of the Bipartisan National Security Supplemental:

“Our immigration system is in need of a serious overhaul. Congress should modernize the way we welcome new immigrants, including by creating new legal pathways to the U.S., and provide a path to citizenship for the millions of people who have built their lives here. Instead of offering a framework for the reforms we need, the Border Act does the opposite.

The bill not only lacks desperately needed new legal pathways. It also makes it harder to access asylum, the one remaining pathway available to many migrants, including by granting new powers to DHS and the President to summarily deport newcomers. This plan will lead to more chaos and confusion at the border, not less – it will empower cartels and increase the danger for migrants on the Mexico side of the border. The bill also expands detention and limits the use of parole, which for decades has been used by both Democratic and Republican administrations to welcome migrants to the U.S. Such drastic changes undermine our nation’s long standing asylum and refugee commitments.

For too long Congress has punted on immigration policy because Republicans have used the issue as a political punching bag, creating an intractable dynamic with real human consequences. Undocumented people, DACA recipients and TPS holders – our friends, family, and community members – have suffered from this chaos and insecurity. Instead of using immigrants as pawns on a political chessboard, Congress must focus on solutions – legal pathways for newcomers and a path to citizenship for people already here. That is what leadership looks like in this time of historic levels of forced migration due to climate change, violence, political instability, and conflict around the world.

The bill includes some bright spots, including limited resources for cities that are supporting migrants and preservation of the existing parole authority used to protect migrants from Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. But on balance, the bill does more harm than good.

We urge the Senate to reject this deal. Our communities will continue to organize and fight until all immigrants are treated with dignity and respect, and until our country reflects our values of being welcoming and compassionate.”