In response to newly proposed restrictions on asylum – including charging an application fee and denying work permits – Vicki Gass, Oxfam America Senior Policy Advisor for Central America and Mexico, made the following statement:
“Yet again, the Trump administration shows it is willing to turn its back on standards of moral decency in order to advance its heartless, racist, anti-immigrant policy agenda.
Charging asylum-seekers and denying them work permits only further limits the ability of innocent women, men, and children fleeing hardship and violence to seek safety and a better life in the US. Without work permits, asylum-seekers will be forced to work in the underground economy, putting them at risk of labor and human rights violations.
While we welcome genuine efforts to address the asylum backlog, there is no indication more resources will be provided to the courts, raising questions of whether asylum-seekers will be railroaded through the adjudication process and have their right to due process violated.
Rather than continue to chip away at the internationally recognized and moral right to asylum, Congress and the administration should refocus efforts on humane, sensible policies at the border and at the root causes of forced migration from Central America.”