May 11, 2023

Rep. Watson Coleman Statement on Proposed Changes to Border Policy

"Our immigration policy must be based on recognizing the humanity of all people."

Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) released the following statement regarding proposed changes to our border policy:

“Most Americans agree the United States is at its best when it comes to the aid of those fleeing violence, persecution, and environmental degradation. It is a part of our shared identity as a nation of immigrants. I will not back down until we uphold our values of welcoming people, providing them dignity and showing them compassion.

“The Biden administration inherited a broken immigration system made worse by former President Trump's inhumane border policy. We must not continue Trump's legacy by cutting access to asylum. Doing so would only lead to more harm and put more innocent people at risk of violence.

“Asylum is part of U.S. law and treaty commitments. We need immigration legislation that provides A pathway to citizenship to those who are here working and contributing to our country while continuing to be forced to remain in the shadows. Our immigration policy must be based on recognizing the humanity of all people.

“For decades Republicans have refused to work with Democrats to create a sensible border policy that improves security for Americans and safety for those fleeing to our nation which has prided itself on being a beacon of freedom in the world. Instead, they've used the border as a wedge issue to divide and scare Americans in order to win elections.

“We can see this again with their latest bill: H.R.2. This bill would create a new mass deportation regime without precedent, targeting all 11 million undocumented immigrants including DACA recipients and others who have been here for decades. H.R. 2 would strip protections for unaccompanied minors, putting them in further danger. It is a harmful anti-family, anti-children policy proposal with no other goal than feeding into the xenophobia that Republicans have fostered for years.

"This xenophobic bill also impedes non-governmental organizations, like religious non-profit organizations, who provide shelter, transportation, and legal assistance to children and families fleeing horrific conditions. It will create chaos by requiring the Red Cross, Catholic Charities, and other groups to verify each and every individual’s immigration status before providing critical, often live-saving assistance.

“Americans support immigration. Defending the right to asylum and passing permanent protections for undocumented immigrants already in the United States is a far more humane approach, allowing us to keep families together as well as honor our shared values.”