LIRS: Supreme Court Decision to Allow Asylum Ban During Continued Legal Challenges Will Endanger Thousands of Lives | Global Refuge

New name, same mission! LIRS is now Global Refuge. Learn more.

New name.
Same mission.

LIRS is now Global Refuge.

Welcoming newcomers since 1939.

See Our Evolution

The browser you are using is not supported. Please consider using a modern browser.

Skip Navigation
Donate
Start of main content.

Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

LIRS: Supreme Court Decision to Allow Asylum Ban During Continued Legal Challenges Will Endanger Thousands of Lives

Global Refuge logo

Global Refuge Staff

September 13, 2019

Contact: Tim Young | timothy.young@globalrefuge.org | 443-257-6310

Baltimore, MD – The Supreme Court decided yesterday that the Trump administration’s new policy barring asylum for those who travel through Mexico to reach the border can be enforced while legal challenges continue against the ban.

“At a time of unprecedented need, the abdication of moral leadership is inexcusable. Frankly, lives will be lost as a direct result of this reckless policy,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President & CEO of Global Refuge. “It abandons our values as a nation and our obligations, under both domestic and international law, to offer protection to asylum seekers with a well-founded fear of persecution.”

Turning sharply from decades-old protocol, under the newly implemented rules, Hondurans and Salvadorans must seek asylum in Guatemala or Mexico first before they can apply in the United States. Guatemalans will be required to seek and be denied asylum in Mexico before applying at the southern border.

“The decision is unfortunately based on the false premise that Mexico and Guatemala are safe countries,” noted Vignarajah, whose organization coordinates transitional shelters along the border for recently released asylum seekers. “We have heard report after report demonstrating that migrants in these countries are vulnerable to extreme squalor, violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.”

The Supreme Court’s decision comes during a year of unprecedented migration to the United States as a result of instability in South and Central America. “Venezuelans fleeing Maduro’s regime, Nicaraguans escaping authoritarian crackdowns, transgender women running from deadly persecution – all of these people will find America’s golden doors closed to them,” lamented Vignarajah.

The new asylum ban will remain in effect at least until legal challenges resume in December 2019. Given the level of contention in this case, also known as East Bay Sanctuary v. Barr, a final ruling may not be delivered for months or years.

“For thousands of people fleeing for their lives, a wait of even months is too long” noted Vignarajah. “America is, and always has been, a bastion of opportunity for all. Why would we possibly turn away from our long legacy of welcome when we are needed the most?”

Founded in 1939, Global Refuge (LIRS) is one of the largest immigration and refugee resettlement agencies in the United States. Global Refuge is nationally recognized for its leadership working with and advocating for refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations. Through 80 years of service and advocacy, Global Refuge has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.

The Latest

  • Press Release

    May 23, 2024

    U.S. Senate renews push for immigration reform

    The United States Senate is poised to vote on immigration legislation this Thursday in an effort to revive reforms previously negotiated by Democratic and Republican senators.

    Read More
  • News

    May 15, 2024

    Empowering our new neighbors on the journey to healing

    Global Refuge supports refugee and immigrant mental health through holistic programming.

    Read More
  • News · Empowering Refugees

    May 14, 2024

    Breaking Barriers to Mental Healthcare

    In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, we are spotlighting Margie Hartman LMSW, one of our dedicated clinicians who play a vital role in Global Refuge’s Mental Health Services program.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    April 9, 2024

    U.S. Refugee Admissions Program finds new life in FY 2024

    The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is on track to resettle the most refugees in three decades, and potentially meet the Biden administration’s goal of resettling 125,000 refugees this year.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    April 8, 2024

    A Global Refuge in Guatemala: new program serves repatriated youth

    Global Refuge's “Camino a Casa” program provides educational, vocational, and mental health support to youth returned to Guatemala.

    Read More

Share