HOUSTON — Today, the ACLU of Texas and ACLU affiliates from the southern border region launched the ACLU Border Humanity Project. The campaign advocates for rebuilding the asylum process and demanding an end to indiscriminate immigration detention and abuses of people at the border. It also seeks to educate the public about unjust asylum policies that deny people their legal and human right to seek asylum in the United States.
The campaign features a new website with information for immigration advocates, know your rights and other resources for people seeking asylum, an advocacy component with soon-to-be-launched digital ads, social media content, and a petition demanding that the Biden administration rebuild the asylum system and end immigration detention abuses.
The previous administration used various policies, such as Title 42 and the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), to close the U.S.-Mexico border to migrants seeking asylum. Although the Biden administration promised to adopt a fairer and more humane approach to asylum, some of the worst policies, including Title 42, remain in effect and continue to force thousands of people to live in dangerous circumstances in Mexico or their home countries. Between Feb. 16, 2021 and Oct. 21, 2021, more than 7,647 people stuck in Mexico due to these policies were threatened, robbed, assaulted, kidnapped, raped, trafficked, or tortured.
“The ACLU Border Humanity Project gives the public and lawmakers insight into what is happening at the border,” said Jonathan Blazer, ACLU’s Director of Border Strategies. “By understanding the experiences of people affected by harmful immigration and asylum policies, we open the door to creating fair policies that treat people humanely and with dignity and reaffirm our nation’s commitment to welcoming those who come to the U.S. seeking safety and freedom.”
Visitors to the site can view and share stories told by people seeking asylum, faith-based leaders, advocates, and many others.
The site also features:
- Ways to get involved in the campaign by signing a petition, sharing a video testimonial, and elevating calls for action on social media.
- Infographics, FAQs, and articles giving visitors a better understanding of the difficult journey people fleeing persecution in their home countries undergo to secure safety in the United States.
- Recommendations for new policies and approaches that would welcome immigrants in a way that enhances our security, economy, and humanity.
- “Know Your Rights” information on immigration, detention, and deportation proceedings for people seeking asylum.
“People seeking asylum should be received with compassion and dignity,” said Shaw Drake, attorney at the ACLU of Texas. “The U.S. government must recognize the humanity of people arriving at our borders. Yet the Biden administration has so far maintained too many of the prior administration’s cruel policies. It is far past time to end the malice of our border policy and rebuild access to asylum at our border.”
The ACLU Border Humanity Project was formed by the American Civil Liberties Union with the ACLU of Arizona, ACLU of New Mexico, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, and the ACLU of Texas to advocate for rebuilding the asylum process and demanding an end to indiscriminate immigration detention and abuses of people at the border. The team consists of advocates, litigators, community leaders, and experts who are deeply engaged in working towards humane reforms along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.