American Immigration Council Condemns President Trump’s Plan to Block and Detain Asylum Seekers

November 1, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump announced a plan today to block asylum seekers who enter the country between ports of entry and to massively expand detention in tent cities for all individuals seeking asylum, including children. He promised a “comprehensive” executive order next week.

The following statement is from Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council: 

“The United States has long stood as a beacon of hope for individuals seeking safety. Our asylum laws and practices must continue to reflect this. Locking up thousands of asylum-seeking parents and children in ‘massive tent cities’ does not make America safer.

“Through our work on the Dilley Pro Bono Project, we know that family detention traumatizes children and limits access to attorneys. There are proven alternatives to detention in use by the government and studies show that 96 percent of released families who applied for asylum attend their immigration court hearings.

“The law is clear and unambiguous. Any person inside the United States, regardless how he or she entered, may apply for asylum. Today’s announcement is a dangerous political stunt which takes a vital lifeline away from individuals fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries. Our asylum system is strong enough to handle the arrival of families fleeing horrific conditions without compromising our national security.”

Our experts are available for comment and our research on asylum and refugee policy and a current lawsuit challenging Customs and Border Protections’ practice of turning away asylum seekers at ports of entry can be found on our website,


For more information, contact: 

Maria Frausto at the American Immigration Council, [email protected] or 202-507-7526. 

Media Contact

Elyssa Pachico
[email protected]

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