Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

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Update: Asylum

June 28, 2013

The following is excerpted from UUSC Associate for Grassroots Mobilization Kara Smith’s e-mail to UUSC supporters in June 2013 about protections for asylum seekers in the immigration bill:

I wanted to let you know that the asylum provisions that you took action to protect were included in the bipartisan immigration bill that passed the U.S. Senate yesterday! Thank you for raising your voice and standing with survivors of torture who seek safety and asylum. Many other provisions of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, were compromised in order to win a 68-32 final passage vote, but the refugee and asylum sections survived intact.

The spotlight for legislative action now moves to the House of Representatives. Please let Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi know that the Senate bill contains important refugee and asylum provisions that need to be included in any final legislation. A few key items include the following:

  • Access to legal support within five days of being detained
  • Streamline procedures for release of asylum seekers
  • Community-based alternatives to detention

Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask to be connected to Minority Leader Pelosi’s office.

Please tell the person who answers the phone that you are pleased that the Senate passed S. 744, a bipartisan immigration bill that included protections for asylum seekers and survivors of torture. Express your desire that these provisions be included and protected in any bill considered by the House.

Then e-mail me at mobilization @ to let me know that you called.

Thank you again for lifting up the needs of these vulnerable populations. We will be looking to you in the weeks to come to ensure that our vision of a humane alternative to detention becomes a reality.

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