Go to Press Releases library
Press Releases

Women’s Refugee Commission Condemns Senate Attempt to Trade Away Refugee Rights

Washington, D.C. – As congressional funding negotiations continue today, a small group of U.S. Senators are demanding permanent changes to the U.S. asylum system and immigration laws in exchange for supplemental funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. While U.S. Senators continue to negotiate a potential deal that would permanently dismantle refugee protections in exchange for supplemental funding, Katharina Obser, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, issued the following statement:

“It is unconscionable that lawmakers are considering trading away refugee protections long enshrined in U.S. law. Despite what lawmakers suggest, restrictions to asylum and parole do not deter migration and will only increase chaos at the southern border. Today, with an asylum ban in place and nearly 40,000 people jailed in immigration detention, people still come to the United States in search of safety because they have no other choice. Foreign aid cannot come at the expense of dismantling the U.S. asylum system. Instead of such deals, lawmakers should turn to proven measures — such as resourcing asylum processing and the communities that work with those seeking asylum — that ensure that our asylum system is resourced, fair, and humane.

“We thank the 11 Senators, led by U.S. Senators Alex Padilla and Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who reiterated today that these extreme proposed changes to the U.S. asylum system would harm vulnerable people, including children, who reach our shores desperate for safety. No lawmaker should consider lifesaving humanitarian protection a bargaining chip.”


Learn more about WRC’s work on asylum, legal, and human rights.