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Faith-based organizations write letter to Biden to prevent the enactment of ‘asylum ban’

Several faith-based organizations have joined hands in order to urge the Biden administration to not enact new restrictions concerning immigration. They presented their appeal in a letter to President Joe Biden as well as other leaders. The letter contains the signatures of 165 faith-based groups including local, national and international congregations and organizations. The new immigration restrictions include a proposal to prohibit people from getting asylum if they enter U.S. territories without inspection and also if they do not look for protection in other nations along the way.

(RNS) — A number of faith-based organizations and congregations are pleading with the Biden administration, in a letter sent Monday (Jan. 23) to President Joe Biden and other leaders, not to enact new immigration restrictions.

The letter — signed by 165 faith-based local, national and international organizations and congregations — expresses “grave concern” with policies Biden announced earlier this month.

While those policies expand a program offering humanitarian parole to Venezuelans to include individuals from Nicaragua, Haiti and Cuba, they also include a proposal to bar people from seeking asylum if they enter the U.S. without inspection or do not seek protection in other countries along the way, the letter said.

The administration has said it plans to launch an app that individuals can use to schedule an appointment for inspection instead of coming directly to a U.S. port of entry in order to reduce wait times and crowds at the border.

Among those who have signed the letter include Church World Service, HIAS, Refugee Service and Lutheran Immigration. These are some of the faith-based agencies that collaborate with the government to resettle immigrants.

Signers include three of the six faith-based agencies that partner with the U.S. government to resettle refugees: Church World Service, HIAS (formerly the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

Several denominations also signed on to the letter, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (USA) and United Church of Christ. Other signers are the American Friends Service Committee; General Board of Global Ministries and General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church; Hindus for Human Rights; Anti-Defamation League; Christian Reformed Church Office of Social Justice; Mennonite Central Committee U.S.; National Council of Churches; NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice; Union for Reform Judaism; and Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice.

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