Briefing: Seeking Asylum at the U.S. Border: Challenges, Gaps and Solutions

Receiving asylum in the United States can be a lifeline for refugees and survivors of torture. However, asylum seekers arriving at a U.S. border or port of entry are frequently shocked at the treatment they endure upon reaching a perceived destination of safety and protection, as they are arrested, shackled, and held in detention, often for weeks or months.

Please join us for a discussion on U.S. asylum policies and practices, including an overview of the “expedited removal,” “credible fear,” and “parole” processes, as well as conditions faced by asylum seekers at the border and in U.S. immigration detention centers.

Panelists will provide an overview of current policies and share first-hand accounts of the detention and asylum experience. They will also offer several recommendations for Congress, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to improve the overall immigration detention and asylum systems.


Royce Bernstein Murray, National Immigrant Justice Center (moderator)
Katharina Obser, Human Rights First
Annie Sovcik, Center for Victims of Torture
Yohannes Birhane, Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC International) and RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services)
Liz Sweet, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

This event is co-sponsored by the Bipartisan Congressional Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform.

NGO Sponsors:
Center for Victims of Torture
Human Rights First
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
National Immigrant Justice Center
Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC International)
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Women’s Refugee Commission


Wed, Dec 11 at 11:30am

Rayburn House Office Building Room 2456
Washington, DC

Annie Sovcik 202-822-0188


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