CWS Denounces Trump’s Plan to Dismantle Asylum Protections for Families Seeking Safety

April 30, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 30th, 2019 

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CWS Denounces Trump’s Plan to Dismantle Asylum Protections for Families Seeking Safety

Decimating access to protection, charging a fee for asylum protection, and restricting asylum seekers’ ability to provide for their families is heartless and un-American

Washington, D.C.  –  In an April 29th memorandum, President Trump ordered the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to issue new regulations that would decimate the asylum system by rushing cases through the system without regard for due process and special protection needs,  immorally charge a fee to people seeking safety from violence and persecution at the U.S. southern border and severely restrict their ability to work. Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service issued the following statement in response:

“Asylum saves lives. President Trump will stop at nothing to block families fleeing violence from their right to rebuild their lives in safety. A great nation, the most generous nation in the world, does not punish or charge families who have lost everything for life-saving protection. The president’s proposed restrictions are heartless and un-American.

“The facts are clear: the administration is manipulating people in harm’s way in order to undermine the system that generations of American families are indebted to. CWS calls on Congress to hold the administration accountable to U.S. law, which clearly states that people have a right to seek asylum.”

The order asks for new regulations to be issued within 90 days that would charge asylum seekers a fee for seeking safety and limit their ability to work. The order also supports changes that would undermine the systems in place to ensure that people who have a credible fear of persecution or violence in their home countries have access to protection by rushing cases through, authorizing border patrol agents to conduct credible fear interviews instead of trained asylum officers, and denying special protection to victims of serious crimes and abused or neglected children. Instead of more policies and politics of cruelty and chaos, the administration should welcome and process all asylum seekers and others seeking protection in an equitable, timely, and compassionate manner – and implement meaningful solutions that address root causes of displacement.

Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at