Tell Congress: Seeking Asylum is a Legal Right | Physicians for Human Rights

Tell Congress: Seeking Asylum is a Legal Right

Don’t let Trump put asylum seekers’ lives in danger.

Advocacy Image: 

Don’t let Trump put asylum seekers’ lives in danger.

From “metering” to “Migrant Protection Protocols” – President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security have thrown every possible obstacle in front of the legal right to seek asylum in the United States.

Contact Congress today and demand that the United States government uphold its legal and moral responsibility to process asylum seekers in safety and dignity.


Your Message
Seeking Asylum is Legal
Dear Members of Congress,

Dear Member of Congress,

I write to express my grave concern over the Trump administration’s increasingly complex network of cruel policies and legal barriers that trap asylum seekers in places where they are at greatest risk of further trauma, including by forcing asylum seekers to remain in Mexico throughout their process to obtain asylum in the United States. I am further troubled by additional efforts, such as “metering” access to the border and new policy announcements meant to further limit the parameters of grounds for asylum, which the administration has adopted in order to restrict access to asylum protection in the United States. These policies place asylum seekers who are already in vulnerable situations at additional risk of irreparable harm as they wait in unsafe conditions in Mexico or other Central American countries.

Over the past several months, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented the disastrous “Migrant Protection Protocols” policy all across the U.S.-Mexico border, returning asylum seekers to dangerous communities in Mexico to await their U.S. immigration court hearings and putting thousands at risk. This practice is clearly inhumane and inconsistent with U.S. legal obligations.

DHS has also sought to establish a network of bilateral agreements with Central American governments known as “Safe Third Country Agreements” to create additional legal and procedural barriers meant to ensnare asylum seekers further away from the U.S. border, yet tie them more closely to their sources of trauma. These agreements do not reflect the dangerous conditions in these countries, and fundamentally betray the United States’ responsibility to protect asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution.

According to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) medical experts who have worked with asylum seekers in both the United States and Mexico, these policies will only increase the humanitarian crisis unfolding along the border. PHR’s latest report – “If I went back, I would not survive”: Asylum Seekers Fleeing Violence in Mexico and Central America – adds to the mounting evidence that asylum seekers trapped south of the U.S. border will now be exposed to dangerous conditions with no promise of safety. Forcing asylum seekers to return to Mexico violates the United States’ constitutional obligations to due process protections, and is effectively a step toward refoulement, which is prohibited under international refugee law.

Border protection and immigration agencies under the Trump administration are failing to fulfill their legal responsibility to process asylum seekers in safety and dignity. Blocking asylum seekers’ entry is not a legitimate policy solution to this humanitarian crisis.

I urge you to assert the constitutional powers of Congress for oversight to investigate these rights-denying policies. And I ask that you act urgently to implement protections for asylum seekers, provide medical and humanitarian response capacity along the border, and ensure access to the physical and legal protections that asylum seekers are afforded under U.S. and international law.

[First Name] [Last Name]