|New York, NY—Today, elected officials from New York City are standing united in their call for the White House to support immigrant communities by trading away our humanitarian values for foreign aid. Our elected representatives in Washington must reject the cynical attacks on asylum from extremist MAGA Republicans who are trying to use budget negotiations to extract harmful permanent changes to our immigration system and threatening a government shutdown.
President Joe Biden, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Congress must reject the extremist proposals that would result in the gutting of our asylum system, mandate family separation, expand nationwide enforcement and send vulnerable community members back to danger. Congress must work together to advance action on immigration that prioritizes support for cities and states like New York that are welcoming asylum seekers, fund more humane border management policies, and foster a well-resourced, fair and efficient asylum process.
Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:
“MAGA Republicans continue to hold our country captive for an extremist agenda that will gut our asylum system in exchange for aid to Ukraine. These callous Washington politicians are not interested in negotiating, but are simply playing politics at the expense of the American people. President Biden, Majority Leader Schumer and Congress must reject these Trump-era policies that will cause untold suffering, the loss of human life and even more confusion and disorder at the border. This hostage-taking by extremist elements threatens a government shutdown, which would ultimately hurt ordinary working people. Cities like ours are in need of funding to support our continued efforts to meet our legal and humanitarian commitment to welcome and integrate asylum seekers. Our leaders in Washington must work towards developing real solutions that advance the values of our country and recognize America’s legal and humanitarian commitments, while supporting every locality to do the same. The outcome of this supplemental budget negotiation will be part of their legacy—so we urge them to join us on the right side of history. Do not gut asylum.”
“As the White House and Congress negotiate a federal spending deal, it is critical that our nation’s humanitarian and legal obligations are upheld, and cities caring for asylum seekers are provided with necessary resources,” said NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. “The health and safety of our communities depend on our ability to care for long-term residents and new ones. We are a city of immigrants with a significant Ukrainian community, and it is appalling to pit asylum seekers escaping dire humanitarian conditions, including people from Ukraine, against aid for the country, presenting a manufactured and false dichotomy. We urge our federal partners to take constructive steps to make our immigration process more effective and efficient, while ensuring cities like ours have the resources needed to support our residents. We have a shared national responsibility to respond to international humanitarian crisis, which additional aid and funding will help us fulfill.
“People who come to our city and country seeking asylum are not bargaining chips — they are people who have come through horrific struggles and need our support. The federal government should be focused on providing aid to municipalities and coordinating a decompression strategy, and refuse to trade away the rights of people most in need or the values that guide us to provide safety and support. We are doing all we can in New York City, but federal support is the only way to truly address this national issue,” said NYC Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams.