Skip to main content Accessibility

To make Press Center inquiries, email

SPLC Calls for Just and Humane Immigration System on World Refugee Day

ATLANTA — Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) joins the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in observance of World Refugee Day. For more than two decades, nations around the world, humanitarian aid workers and government officials chose this day to honor the strength, courage and resilient spirit of those who have been forced to flee their homes.

“The moral obligation to honor the deeply held values of our immigrant nation is more important than ever,” said Efrén C. Olivares, deputy legal director for immigrant justice at the SPLC. “We have an opportunity to uphold our nation’s values by supporting refugees on this day — and every day — and to meet the challenges of global migration once and for all.

“The right to seek asylum is protected under U.S. and international law, regardless of the manner of entry. And the majority of Americans strongly support access to asylum for people fleeing persecution. We call upon the Biden administration to honor its promise of building a humane asylum system and rectify the discriminatory, xenophobic and unfair hurdles, particularly impacting Black and Brown migrants. No one should be sent to a place where they will face harm.

“As we commemorate World Refugee Day, the SPLC remains committed to defending the rights of all migrants to receive a just, humane and welcoming immigration system honoring our nation’s values and aspirations.”