May 8, 2023
Contact: J.K. Granberg Michaelson | 

Safety and Compassion Can Exist Without Extreme Measures. Sojourners Urges Representatives To Vote No on H.R.2., the Secure the Border Act of 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In response to H.R.2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, Sojourners released the following statement:

On May 11, 2023, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on H.R.2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023. If passed, the bill will harm millions of migrants fleeing violence from their home countries by effectively dismantling the asylum system. The bill would also have a negative economic impact on local communities by denying work authorization to asylum seekers who traveled through a third country or who cross between ports of entry. Unaccompanied minors will be at risk of further danger as the bill seeks to end the Department of Health and Human Services’ funding for legal representation. 

At Sojourners we have long embraced a consistent ethic of life, seeking to protect the dignity and sanctity of life; our migrant family around the globe must be included in this commitment. Ending asylum will mean certain death for many of our most vulnerable siblings seeking protection; including women and children who have already faced a traumatic journey as they seek safety in the U. S. We urge representatives to oppose H.R.2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, as it is an assault on the inherent dignity and worth of human beings seeking refuge and it violates current U.S. immigration law and international treaties. 

“We take the word of God seriously, so when Jesus’ words in Matthew 25 tell us to ‘welcome the stranger,’ we cannot sit idly by as Christians and allow injustice in our nation by ending asylum and denying welcome to our migrant family,” said Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, President of Sojourners.  

“As someone who has accompanied and become legal guardian of unaccompanied minors fleeing for their lives, the negative impact this bill will have would not only endanger the physical lives of migrants but also risk the soul of our nation–it is up to us as followers of Jesus to embody his teachings and speak up and take action against this inhumane bill,” said Vanessa Martinez Soltero, Immigration Narrative and Power-Building Organizer at Sojourners.

“To seek asylum is a human right guaranteed by U.S. immigration laws and enshrined in the U.N. declaration of Human Rights and the Refugee Convention of 1951. Decades of humanitarian migration give witness to the horrors that people seeking asylum experience. The U.S. inspection protocols, thorough background checks, and rigorous screenings have consistently proven that safety and compassion can go hand in hand. Instead, leaders of the Republican Party are instilling fear and capitalizing on the end of Title 42, the health policy that prevented asylum seekers from presenting themselves at the border, to wield an anti-immigrant agenda through the introduction of H.R.2.” said Sandra Ovalle, Director of Campaigns and Mobilizing, Sojourners.