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Home / Press Release / Administrative Holds DACA Hostage to Undermine Asylum, Refugee System 
January 26, 2018

Administrative Holds DACA Hostage to Undermine Asylum, Refugee System 

New York City—Human Rights First today denounced the Trump Administration's immigration framework—billed as a "legislative fix" for protecting DACA recipients—as a shameful and dishonest ploy to hold Dreamers hostage to extreme demands that have long failed to pass Congress. 

“The administration’s catering to immigration extremists goes against everything we stand for as Americans. Their decision to hold Dreamers hostage in exchange for undermining the refugee and asylum systems is cowardly, cruel, and short-sighted,” said Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer. “And let us be clear: when the administration refers to ‘loopholes’ in the immigration system, what they are so casually dismissing is our asylum system, part of our nation’s long tradition of protecting the persecuted. This country was built by families who fled violence and persecution; to spread the falsehood that by seeking refugee protection these individuals are using some kind of ‘loophole’ is not only dishonest but a betrayal of what truly makes America great.” 

If enacted into law or otherwise implemented, the provisions proposed by the administration would block access to refugee protection in the United States, penalize asylum seekers, send children and other vulnerable asylum seekers back to danger, and severely damage the integrity of the U.S. immigration and asylum systems, undermining U.S. global leadership and interests.  

Human Rights First is concerned that the administration’s proposals relating to the immigration courts and the use of expedited removal are aimed at curtailing access to asylum, legal counsel, and the essential due process safeguard of a fair immigration court hearing.    

“The United States is more than capable of addressing requests for asylum or other protection fairly and managing the border without violating U.S. treaty obligations and asking Congress to authorize rights-violating policies,” added Acer. 

Human Rights First calls on Congress to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act and not give in to anti-refugee voices who want to abandon this country’s leadership and ideals. The Trump Administration should stop targeting refugees, asylum seekers, and vulnerable children for harsh treatment. 

For more information on the proposals put forth yesterday, see Human Rights First’s October fact sheet on the administration’s immigration policy priorities. To speak with Acer contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.