Advocates call on NJ’s Congressional delegation to reject the deal, pressure Senate leadership to deny vote

Newark, New Jersey [02.05.24] - This weekend, the US Senate released details of a negotiation on proposed changes to federal border, asylum, and immigration policy. While NJAIJ is still reviewing the full text of the release, it is already clear that the basis of the deal presents a false tradeoff between half-measures that only partially relieve the cracks and backlogs in the asylum system in exchange for permanent, dangerous changes to the foundations of US asylum, border, and immigration law.

In the strongest terms, NJAIJ condemns the provisions of this deal that erode our nation’s basic values and principles. NJAIJ calls on our US Senators and every member of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation to pressure leadership and the administration to block the deal from coming for a vote. Further, NJAIJ calls on our federal representatives to reject the false equivalency between a stricter, deadlier US border and the scant, inadequate relief measures outlined in the deal.

The negotiation is a shocking departure from the fundamental principles of liberty and justice that our nation stands for and follows a worrying rise in nativist proposals coming from both the Democratic and Republican parties. Among the changes in the negotiation are daily caps on new arrivals, increases in detention capacity, stricter credible fear criteria, and pouring over $20 billion into increased enforcement, detention, and surveillance. In exchange, the package offers measly increases in green card eligible visas and legal representation for children under 13. The deal is also tied to military and security aid to war efforts in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, further exacerbating migration pressures, trends, and crises that already exist around the world.

If passed, the new policies will result in increased detention, deportation, and expose the individuals and families seeking safety to increased risk for trafficking, exploitation, and violence. Contrary to making the process safer or more efficient, migrating and declaring asylum will become deadlier – especially as people are turned away when the border is “shut down” or when they are removed or deported because credible fear claims of persecution are denied.

New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) is the state’s largest immigration coalition. Together with 55+ member organizations, NJAIJ fights for policies that empower and protect immigrants.