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June 18, 2014

TAKE ACTION: Urge Congress to Address the Border Crisis by Properly Funding Immigration Courts

Protecting the persecuted is a core American value. Yet asylum seekers and other immigrants are often detained in jails and jail-like facilities and those who are released wait years for the backlogged immigration courts to schedule a hearing in their case.

The United States is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people crossing the Southern border--many have fled from escalating violence or persecution. This humanitarian crisis makes it more important than ever to address the delays in the immigration courts.

As we celebrate World Refugee Month this month, add your name to our petition urging Congress to properly fund the tools to manage the increase in protection requests at the border.

Last month, we visited key border points, border patrol stations, and immigration detention facilities. We met many asylum seekers apprehended and detained near the border, many without access to legal information or counsel to understand their cases.

We met one asylum seeker who was detained in jail-like conditions in a U.S. immigration detention facility after he told U.S. officials he feared persecution in his Central American country due to his sexual orientation. Most asylum seekers like him will either face continued detention in these conditions or if released will wait years for their court hearing.

That’s why Human Rights First recently released a Blueprint on How to Protect Refugees and Prevent Abuse at the Border, recommending tools both for the administration and for Congress on how to address this crisis.

We can’t do this without you. Help us urge Congress to properly fund the immigration courts, asylum office, and other measures that support appearance. Sign the petition now!

Properly resourcing our immigration system would allow immigration courts to resolve asylum and other immigration applications in a more timely manner, and to create more flexibility to reduce costly detention and use alternatives to detention where needed. These steps can help to protect refugees and maintain the integrity of our system.