PRESS RELEASE: 100+ LGBTQ Asylees Call on Senators to Reject Anti-Asylum Amendments to Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

New York, NY (August 4, 2022)—More than 100 LGBTQ and HIV-positive asylees sent a letter to U.S. senators today urging them to reject any amendments to the Inflation Reduction Act that extend the use of Title 42 to expel and block asylum seekers. Citing their own experiences fleeing persecution, they call on Congress to uphold its legal and moral obligation to protect other individuals who cannot return to their countries of origin for fear of violence and death.

“We came to the U.S. seeking safe haven, and as asylum winners, we are now protected from having to return to harm,” the letter states. “We are deeply saddened that our LGBTQ and HIV-positive siblings at the U.S.-Mexico border no longer have the same opportunities we did to survive and thrive here. Under Title 42, people fleeing persecution cannot even ask for asylum—a blatant violation of their human rights and our laws.”

This week, the Senate will take up the Inflation Reduction Act, which works to reduce the deficit, fight inflation, invest in both energy and the environment, and lower health care costs for working families. Some senators are expected to advance their anti-immigrant agendas and imperil passage of the bill by including amendments that: further bloat or militarize the border; harm immigrants’ health, economic well-being, or education; or codify and indefinitely expand Title 42 expulsions.

“It is against every principle of human decency to continue the onslaught of attacks against asylum seekers under Title 42,” said Ilon Rincon Portas, Immigration Equality board member. “To embed this extreme anti-asylum policy into legislation would codify cruelty against those seeking protection from violence and torture. As a queer asylee and U.S. citizen, I call on policymakers to hold fast to this country’s values of liberty and justice by defending asylum.”

For more than two years, the Trump and Biden administrations have used a public health order under Title 42 as a pretext to expel migrants and asylum seekers. During the Biden administration, nearly 10,000 people have been kidnapped, tortured, raped, or subjected to other violent attacks in Mexico after being blocked from entering the U.S. under Title 42. This staggering number includes LGBTQ refugees who face violence, torture, and death if expelled to their countries of origin.

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Immigration Equality is the nation’s leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization. We represent and advocate for people from around the world fleeing violence, abuse, and persecution because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status.

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