Human Rights Campaign Calls for Asylum Laws to Be Upheld During Ongoing Negotiations

by Brandon Wolf

Dismantling Asylum Laws Would Have Dire Consequences for LGBTQ+ Asylum Seekers

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, voiced significant concern about the reporting on the ongoing negotiations tying changes to asylum laws in the United States to funding for Ukraine. LGBTQ+ asylum seekers already face barriers to accessing lifesaving asylum and attempts to further restrict these protections will leave LGBTQ+ lives in danger.

“We are alarmed by the reported changes to asylum law under consideration, which would disproportionately harm LGBTQ+ asylum seekers fleeing for their lives and seeking safety in the United States,” said David Stacy, Human Rights Campaign’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “If instituted, these policies would force LGBTQ+ people back to their countries of persecution or leave them at increased risk of violence along our southern border. The United States must not backtrack on our long history as a beacon of safety for so many around the world. Rather than using asylum seekers’ lives as bargaining chips, Congress should be engaging in real, bipartisan discussions to achieve long-awaited comprehensive immigration reform that protects the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and provides protections to Dreamers around our country.”

Reporting has indicated that among the policies under consideration during the ongoing negotiations are heightening the credible fear standard, expanding expedited removal and the detention of migrants, and enacting a “transit bans.” Raising the standard for credible fear interviews - the preliminary interview to begin an asylum claim - can result in increased deportations of individuals who may be returned to their country of persecution and, given the quick nature, may prevent LGBTQ+ asylum seekers from procuring legal representation or allowing time to address trauma. Negotiations have also reportedly included implementing some form of transit ban that would prevent individuals who travel through any third country from applying for asylum within our borders. The majority of LGBTQ+ people seeking asylum in the United States come from the Northern Triangle, and due to economic disparities, often make the dangerous trip through Mexico, where they are at continued risk of violence during displacement.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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