Raskin, Cardin and Colleagues Urge DHS Secretary to Expedite Actions to Protect Stateless Persons in the U.S.

Letter calls on DHS to fulfill its commitment to protect stateless individuals

June 21, 2024

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-Md.-8) and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, and Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-Va.-11), of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and colleagues from the Senate and House of Representatives, have written to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recommending actions to fully implement enhanced protections for stateless individuals present in the United States.

Stateless persons do not have nationality or citizenship in any country of the world and so are particularly vulnerable. This circumstance typically is created by events well outside of any individual’s control. This lack of status can result in significant financial hardship, separation from relatives, and lengthy or sometimes even indefinite immigration detention.

“As the sponsors of bicameral legislation to protect stateless individuals and their families in the United States, we deeply appreciate the actions that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken to address statelessness, including enhancing protections,” the lawmakers wrote. They added: “ To ensure consistency and to leverage the substantial subject matter expertise that USCIS has already developed, we recommend consolidating adjudication of all parole in place and deferred action requests from stateless noncitizens within a single unit at USCIS…We urge ICE to consider statelessness as a mitigating factor in favor of declining enforcement action when making determinations regarding arrests, detainers, removal proceedings, and the execution of removal orders.”

The full letter can be found here.