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Statement by American Gateways co-Executive Director Edna Yang

Infuriating stories about certain governors tricking asylum-seekers and sending them across the country as political props have shaken us to the core.

For 35 years, we have compassionately served people – human beings fleeing persecution in their home countries and lawfully seeking asylum in the United States. We work inside immigrant detention centers, assist immigrant victims of domestic violence and immigrants who are victims of crimes.

In recent months, governors from certain states including Texas have been sending migrants to different parts of the country by coaxing them to get on flights and buses under false pretenses. People fleeing their countries deserve better than being used as pawns by state leaders for their own benefit; they have already suffered enough by the time they arrive at the border.

These political stunts also do nothing to help those border communities that are most affected. If these governors truly want to assist those communities, then they should provide the additional resources that these communities can use to respond to migrants in need with humanity and dignity. Migrants need food, shelter, medical care,  and the accurate and necessary information about their rights in the United States. These governors should advocate for effective and comprehensive immigration reform and work together with the federal government to ensure a coordinated and sustainable response. 

At American Gateways, we make sure migrants know their rights and ensure they can convey their situation to an immigration judge. We provide trusted assistance through our Immigration Court Helpdesk program, where we guide people in court proceedings and support immigrants who have been detained.

Migrants escaping a bad situation are guaranteed the opportunity , under law, to make their case to immigration officials. Let’s stop abducting migrants and using them as political props; instead use those resources to welcome people seeking a better life so they can safely and lawfully live their lives and become productive members of our communities.

About American Gateways

At American Gateways, we champion the dignity and human rights of immigrants, refugees and survivors of persecution, torture, conflict and human trafficking through exceptional immigration legal services at no or low cost, education and advocacy.

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