June 04, 2024

Statement from Congressman Castro on New Asylum Restrictions

WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, released the following statement in response to a new executive order that will substantially limit access to asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border:

“The United States of America became the strongest, most prosperous nation on earth because of - not despite - immigration. The ‘daily threshold’ in this executive order would amount to a functional ban on asylum for many families escaping persecution and violence. It would fundamentally change our asylum laws without any new protections for Dreamers or other immigrants who have paid taxes, raised families, and contributed to our nation’s prosperity.

Immigration and the border are perhaps the thorniest issues in American politics. Republicans use them to fearmonger; they use immigrants as political scarecrows to frighten voters. If this executive order goes into effect, it’s likely that every future president, especially Republicans, will use and expand it to choke off immigration and the right to asylum. The political pressure to keep the ban in effect will be too overwhelming.

President Biden has worked hard to build a better future for America and has succeeded remarkably across many areas of public policy – making historic progress to lower health care costs, launch a new age of American manufacturing, and create millions of well-paying jobs. But this executive order is the wrong approach and goes too far."