Expand Options for Asylum Seekers in Urgent Need

Target: Zoe Lofgren, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship

Goal: Allow asylum seekers to apply in their own countries.

The “crisis at the border” has been a political volleyball for months, if not years. Unaccompanied minors in particular have drawn a great deal of attention. A sizeable percentage of border crossings, which balloon every year in the leadup to spring and summer, consist not of illegal crossings but of asylum seekers fleeing instability, poverty, hunger, and violence in their home countries. If the broken system for seeking asylum could be remedied, the number of desperate people at the U.S.-Mexico border could ease exponentially.

In the United States, individuals and families can apply for affirmative or defensive asylum, depending on if they are embroiled in deportation proceedings. Despite which process the seeker uses, however, he or she must actually be physically in the U.S. to apply. Of course, this dictate creates countless situations wherein people in crisis travel hundreds or thousands of miles for the mere chance of a better life.  They are often so in need of aid and protection for their families that they are willing to sacrifice relationships with their children so that the kids can be safe. These asylum seekers, perhaps more than any other group, are the individuals filling holding facilities and risking their health for an opportunity.

If asylum seekers could begin the application process at home, as has been suggested, they could avoid making an often-dangerous trek with no certain payoff while ensuring they and their families receive that crucial opportunity. Sign the petition below to urge essential reform in the asylum process.


Dear Congresswoman Lofgren,

Asylum seekers routinely risk their health and their lives for little reward and much scorn. They have been demonized, excluded, and unfairly blamed for every societal ill from drugs to COVID-19 infections. Despite the unbalanced scales, they will continue to show up at the border in large numbers. The chance for safety, security, and freedom means that much.

This process can take months or years, however. In order to even begin the process, asylum seekers must be present in the United States, and they must stay for the duration of their proceedings. Naturally, these circumstances lead to overflows at the border. One small change could at least be a step forward and a start. Allow individuals and families to apply for asylum from their home countries. Empower them and give them needed hope without asking them to risk their lives. Such a step could also expedite the too-long asylum process. More importantly still, a greater number of families may not have to endure painful separations.

The administration has shown a commitment to addressing the root causes of mass migration and providing essential aid to the Central American countries that a sizeable percentage of asylum seekers call home. Please consider adding this change to improve asylum reforms even further. For thousands of individuals seeking stability, it would literally mean the world.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ahmed Akacha

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271 Signatures

  • Brenda Dumont
  • Gertie Hunt
  • patricia calebrese
  • Evan Mehrman
  • Mary and Roger Stephens
  • Dorothy Cross
  • Cecille Alexander
  • Holly Martinell
  • Caroline de Ville de Goyet
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