US House Border Bill Would Gut US Asylum System: Border Proposal Would Cause Grave Harm to Families, Children

On April 19, the House Judiciary Committee will mark up the Border Security and Enforcement Act of 2023, a bill that, if passed, would  gut the US asylum process and put families and children seeking protection into harm’s way. 

Among its provisions, the bill would: (1) restart the failed and rights-abusive Remain in Mexico program for all migrants, including for unaccompanied children, (2) require detaining some families, (3) subject all unaccompanied children to an expedited removal process, and (4) eliminate the parole power that presidents historically use in response to humanitarian emergencies.

The parole process is currently in effect for people from Ukraine, Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela who qualify to live in the US temporarily based on urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. 

In response, Vicki B. Gaubeca, associate director for US immigration and border policy at Human Rights Watch, said: 

“Yet again, members of Congress are proposing policies that do not work, waste billions of taxpayer dollars, and harm families and children arriving at US borders to seek protection, reunite with their family members, or find a better life. Instead of backing sinister measures that promote harm, congress should create policies that offer rights-respecting solutions that welcome families and children seeking protection with humanity and dignity.”