Support Asylum Seekers and Refugees: Join ADL in Taking Action

  • July 1, 2019

ADL is an organization that works to secure justice and fair treatment for everyone. ADL has always stood with asylum seekers and refugees. Immigration policy should not be based on spreading fear and intimidation throughout communities. Government officials, law enforcement, faith leaders and community members should come together to uphold community and American values in supporting immigrants and a create a climate where everyone in our communities is made to feel welcome and safe.

ADL supports effective policies that promote border safety to combat terrorism, and other real and potential threats. At the same time, we recognize that U.S. asylum and refugee systems, as well as individuals and families, face insurmountable obstacles. As a result, we thought it important to share the information below about what ADL is doing and what you can do to support asylum seekers and refugees.

Please join us in fighting hate for good.

Detention Practices

ADL continues to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis at the border, which in many ways has worsened for migrants in the past year.  The issues now go well beyond the forced family separations.  Migrant children are being held in overcrowded, unsanitary and dangerous detention facilities in violation of the Flores settlement agreement that requires children to be housed in safe and sanitary conditions.

We are outraged when children are being held for weeks and months in prison-like facilities and conditions, and when toddlers are being hospitalized because of neglect within the facilities. The deaths of children in Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) custody are inexcusable.  ADL continues to call for oversight of the detention facilities, that families be reunified, that Congress encourage use of alternatives to detention and that the government immediately act to improve conditions in these facilities and comply with U.S. law.

ICE Raids

President Trump recently announced that ICE would conduct large scale immigration raids targeting parents and children in multiple cities across the country and then delayed those raids.  Regardless of when ICE raids begin, we are concerned that the threat of such raids has already generated significant fear and intimidation among immigrants, immigration advocates and immigrant communities. We condemn

the use of raids by immigration enforcement officers, which not only spread fear but also undermine public safety for all.  Immigrant communities that are deeply fearful of law enforcement and government authorities prevent law enforcement from doing their jobs to protect their communities.

ADL thanks the New York City Mayor’s Office and the New York Attorney General as well as the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association, which have all clarified that they will not be using local resources to assist ICE with federal immigration enforcement and are encouraging those that have not done so to release statements and take action to support immigrants. This is consistent with our longstanding support for welcoming cities and community policing policies.

ADL Immigration Policy

ADL’s advocacy for Dreamers continues in Congress and in the courts.  We are calling on the Senate to take action on the Dream and Promise Act as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether or not to grant the government’s petition to reconsider lower court decisions blocking President Trump’s decision to end DACA. ADL is heartened by the decision of the Supreme Court denying the use of a citizenship question in the US census, and is proud to have joined an amicus brief that opposed the question. ADL will continue to file amicus briefs challenging Department of Justice efforts to link the receipt of federal public safety grants to immigration-related conditions. ADL continues to monitor and expose the role that extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies play in today’s debate.


ADL strongly supports the New York “Protect Our Courts Act” as a proud member of the “ICE Out of Courts Coalition” – a statewide coalition of advocates, public defenders, civil legal services providers, labor unions, and membership organizations calling on the New York State government to stop ICE from targeting immigrant New Yorkers in the courts. The bill aims to ensure that all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, can access our judicial system without fear of deportation.

On April 10, our Regional Director, Evan Bernstein, testified before of New York City Council in support of the Protect Our Courts Act. Evan brought attention to the escalation of ICE arrests in and around New York courthouses, which has had a chilling effect on the reporting of crime and the ability of victims and witnesses to access our justice system. Although ADL is deeply disappointed by the New York State Senate’s failure to vote on this bill during the 2019 legislative session, it is working hard to ensure it is brought up for a vote in the next session.

Five Things You Can Do to Support Asylum Seekers and Refugees

  1. Sign ADL’s petition: 
  2. Urge your members of Congress to support the Keep Families Together Act, which prevents families from being separated at the border, and to support the NO BAN Act, which eliminates the Muslim Ban, as well as other asylum and refugee bans. Find your representative here.
  3. Contact your NY State Assembly member and your New York State Senator to ask them to support the Protect Our Courts Act.
  4. Learn about local immigrants’ rights groups such as the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) or the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) and how you can get involved.
  5. Share the letter signed by thousands of Jewish clergy expressing moral outrage to our nation’s treatment of asylum seekers. Encourage Jewish clergy in your community to join.