Two Steps for Immigration Justice

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Two Steps for Immigration Justice: for Asylum; for Afghans and Vets

Immigrant communities, both those who have arrived in the U.S. and those that are arriving at our borders are being let down by our federal legislators.

  • On the one hand, proposals are being circulated that would virtually eliminate pathways to humanitarian protection or extend Title 42-style expulsions for two years – except with even fewer protections and no exemption for unaccompanied children. Together these render an asylum system out of alignment with our Unitarian Universalist values.
  • On the other hand, negotiations for bi-partisan, bi-cameral legislation are languishing despite urgency as Afghan parole status will expire during the Summer of 2023.

But we can help our legislators meet the moment and overcome the challenge.

The current meta-narrative on immigration seems designed to scare Americans with notions of crisis beyond our control and being overrun, rather than sober facts about systemic dysfunction that is well within our capacity to remedy. All we need to do is place human dignity and welcome at the center of our approach and place a firm implacable love at the heart of our policies.

In such moments our system of government requires us to speak up. UUSJ’s mission requires that we interrupt the interlocking injustices in federal policy. Together we have the best chance to make a positive difference.

Let’s lift our voices to show Congress, we want to welcome asylum seekers and we want to complete the mission.

Tell Our Legislators the U.S. Can Do Better, Let’s Welcome in The Spirit of Inherent Worth and Dignity

Reintroduce the Afghan Adjustment Act for 2023, It’s Time to Complete the Mission and Achieve Stability

Urge Congress Towards Welcoming Policies for Asylum Seekers

On May 11, 2023, the public health emergency associated with COVID-19 ended, and this also ended the cruel and unlawful use of Title 42 at the border. Yet advocacy work remains to be done.

Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security has already published a new rule (DHS Final Rule) that replaces Title 42 with policies that would seem to make it nearly impossible for non-Mexican migrants who arrive at the border to access asylum. “[It] is too close to systemic curtailment of legal pathways. We can, and must, do better. The United States can do better.”

While the new rule contains positive steps, they are coupled with unacceptable limitations on asylum that threaten to return people to dangerous situations without full consideration of their claims.

Now is the time to call on our national leaders to reject anti-immigrant, anti-asylum, and anti-family legislation and instead invest in concrete solutions that expand our capacity to welcome.

Let’s Welcome Asylum Seekers

Tell Congress to Reintroduce and Pass the Afghan Adjustment Act

Since 2021 the United States has welcomed Afghans who aided the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and their family members, among others so that they could restart their lives here in safety after helping our troops during the 20-year war, the U.S. military withdrawal, and the fall of their country back to the Taliban.

In the last Session of Congress, the bi-cameral, bi-partisan Afghan Adjustment Act of 2022 nearly passed as part of the December 2022 Omnibus negotiations. Yet now the measure seems at risk.

This legislation will be important to:

  • Help veterans keep their promises to their Afghan allies
  • Provide the gold standard in the vetting of Afghans
  • Demonstrate support for Afghans who aided the U.S. mission
  • Provide stability and protection for Afghan refugees and asylees

Congress must now reintroduce and pass this bill so that Afghans who only have temporary protection gain the security and stability they need to rebuild their lives and thrive.

Let’s Complete the Mission