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Home / Press Release / Closure of Overseas Immigration Offices Won't Address Asylum Backlog, Will Undermine Immigration System
March 12, 2019

Closure of Overseas Immigration Offices Won't Address Asylum Backlog, Will Undermine Immigration System

Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the Trump Administration plans to close 21 international immigration offices, a move that will seriously undermine and permanently damage the U.S. immigration system, Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley released the following statement:

The president is robbing Peter to pay Paul by saying that in order to deal with the asylum backlog we need to shutter offices elsewhere. The backlog in our asylum system should not be used to justify an attack on refugee family reunification efforts. This administration seems hell bent on keeping refugee families separated. 

The protection offered by the United States is not a zero-sum game; one program need not come at the expense of the other. The offices that the administration plans to close provide services to myriad of people, including refugees and asylees seeking to reunite with their families in the United States, members of the military, and Americans adopting children internationally. The administration’s purported motive is disingenuous; President Trump and his allies have taken multiple steps to prevent asylum seekers from entering the United States at our southern border. This latest move would greatly delay and place in danger the family members of those already granted asylum in the United States. This plan will not address the root causes of why there is a backlog at the southern border and it will wreak havoc overseas.

For more information on the Trump Administration’s failed policies, see Human Rights First’s fact sheet based on research on the policy's implementation at the border, or click here to learn why Mexico is not safe for refugees and asylum seekers. To speak with Quigley contact Christopher Plummer at PlummerC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3310.