Media Contact

Janna Farley,

January 26, 2023

The ACLU of Wyoming opposes Senate File 166, legislation that would send more than $5 million out of state to support harmful and unnecessary immigration policies. Construction of a permanent border between the United States and Mexico and transporting asylum seekers will do nothing to benefit the people of Wyoming.

Senate File 166 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee today.

The following statement can be attributed to Antonio Serrano, ACLU of Wyoming advocacy director:

“Immigrants in Wyoming have always been an important part of our state’s history, culture and economy — but immigrant communities continue to be profiled, harassed, detained and demonized. Bills like Senate File 166 only exacerbate this rhetoric.

“Without thinking through crucial facts of border security — like the fact that many of the people currently arriving at U.S. borders are asylum seekers who turn themselves in and that drugs enter through ports of entry or in the mail, rather than being smuggled through at other locations — the effort by some of our legislators to fund a border wall is doomed to repeat past border security failures.

“Additionally, immigrants and asylum-seekers are people. We should not be treating human beings like cargo, involuntarily flying or busing people and families, based on their perceived immigration status, hundreds or thousands of miles away without telling them their destination.

“Let’s keep it real: Senate File 166 is motivated by anti-immigrant politicians to peddle falsehoods and racist tropes about migrants and asylum-seekers,” Serrano said. “We send people to Cheyenne to solve actual problems in our state, not to find ways to spread discriminatory rhetoric to instill fear and win support for harmful policies. With serious issues like education funding and mental health care, we urge Wyoming lawmakers to focus on the issues that really matter. Senate File 166 amounts to little more than political theater.”

About the ACLU of Wyoming

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Wyoming is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and South Dakota. The team in Wyoming is supported by staff in those states.

The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people.  In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ communities. The ACLU of Wyoming carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of Wyoming.