More than 70 million people have been forced to flee their homes, the largest number ever recorded. This global refugee crisis is made worse by countries closing their borders and turning their backs on the most vulnerable people. This is a humanitarian crisis, and it demands a more humane response.
At Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), we treat displaced people around the world for the physical and psychological scars of war and extreme violence, for hardships suffered along the journey, and for other essential medical needs. We hear their stories of suffering and survival, and want to make sure they get the support they deserve.
At a time when the global needs are greater than ever, the United States has slashed the number of refugee admissions to a historic low and threatened the asylum system.
The US government has imposed a series of harsh migration policies which treat people seeking safety as if they are criminals. People fleeing violence have been prosecuted, detained, abused, and deported for the legal act of seeking asylum. Under the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols, vulnerable people applying for asylum in the US are instead being sent back to dangerous places in Mexico and Central America to await their court hearings. These asylum seekers are often targeted by criminal groups for kidnapping and extortion.
Blocking safe routes to asylum only causes further harm to people whose lives are at risk.
How to help refugees and asylum seekers
MAKE A CALL
Call on your Congressional representatives to help protect refugees and asylum seekers
Here’s what you can say:
This is [MY NAME] and I’m calling from [CITY, STATE].
I’m calling because thousands of people fleeing extreme violence and seeking safety in the United States are being sent back into danger. Asylum seekers are being turned away, detained, and treated like criminals.
I’m calling to ask you to do everything in your power to end the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols. This inhumane policy does not offer "protection," but instead sends vulnerable people applying for asylum in the US back to violent parts of Mexico and Central America. Asylum seekers are often targeted by criminal groups there.
Seeking safety is not a crime. The US must not send people back to places where their lives are at risk.
People fleeing violence need protection. As your constituent, I expect that you will work to ensure that the US upholds its national and international legal obligations to guarantee the right to seek asylum. We must ensure that asylum seekers are safe and treated with dignity throughout the legal process.
Can I count on you to work to end migration policies that criminalize asylum seekers and further harm victims of violence and abuse? The US must end the Migrant Protection Protocols now.
RAISE YOUR VOICE
Explore volunteer opportunities with local organizations in your community to help refugees and asylum seekers.
Here are some of the many organizations* involved with refugee resettlement in the US:
- Church World Service
- Ethiopian Community Development Council
- Episcopal Migration Ministries
- International Refugee Assistance Project
- International Rescue Committee
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
- U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
These are some of the organizations* that provide aid to migrants and asylum seekers in the US:
*Note: Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières.
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