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March 6, 2023 — Leaders from three national Jesuit organizations are urging the Biden Administration to withdraw a proposed rule that, if implemented, would significantly limit access to asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. In a public comment published this week, the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and the Ignatian Solidarity Network criticized the proposal, arguing that it creates unnecessary new obstacles for vulnerable migrants seeking protection.

While the backlog of pending asylum cases in the U.S. and the recent high number of encounters at the US-Mexico border pose significant challenges for our immigration system, the Jesuit statement asserts that the proposed rule is an unacceptable response. As organizations rooted in the Catholic faith, we are guided by the social teaching of our Church and the example of Jesus Christ, who called us to care for people on the margins of society. Instead of prioritizing those migrants who are in greatest need, this policy would create significant new barriers for those who seek asylum, especially those who are most vulnerable.

“Rather than designing policy to keep as many people as possible out of the U.S., our faith calls us to design policy to ensure that we as a country can offer protection to those in genuine need,” the comment concludes. “The proposed rule creates unnecessary new obstacles for those urgently seeking protection, especially the most vulnerable. Its likely impacts would include sending many people back into danger. For these reasons, we ask that you withdraw the rule.