President Trump

President Trump’s State of the Union Address Disregards U.S. Legal Obligations Toward Refugees and Asylum Seekers

President Trump’s State of the Union Address Disregards U.S. Legal Obligations Toward Refugees and Asylum Seekers

What the president cast as a national security crisis at the U.S. southern border is instead a humanitarian crisis exacerbated by his administration’s own policies. 

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RI Response to President Trump’s Remarks on Immigration

RI Response to President Trump’s Remarks on Immigration

The efforts of individuals to seek asylum in the United States represent a policy challenge but not a national security crisis. The president has willfully and cynically vilified an asylum seeker population composed of vulnerable children, women, and men.

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At UNGA, President Trump Fails to Demonstrate U.S. Leadership on Global Humanitarian Assistance

At UNGA, President Trump Fails to Demonstrate U.S. Leadership on Global Humanitarian Assistance

Refugees International is deeply disappointed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s failure to credibly demonstrate U.S. leadership of global humanitarian assistance in his speech to the UN General Assembly. The president’s comments were concerning in at least five key areas. But ultimately, what we heard today was a fundamental misunderstanding of what leadership means.

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President Trump Must End Human Rights Abuses against Vulnerable Asylum Seekers at the U.S. Southern Border

President Trump Must End Human Rights Abuses against Vulnerable Asylum Seekers at the U.S. Southern Border

Upon return from a field mission to the border between the United States and Mexico, Refugees International President Eric Schwartz decried human rights abuses against highly vulnerable asylum seekers from the Northern Triangle of Central America.

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The Trump-Turnbull Meeting and Australia’s “Pacific Solution” for Refugees

Credit: Reuters. Asylum-seekers at Manus Island detention center, Papua New Guinea, 2014.

Credit: Reuters. Asylum-seekers at Manus Island detention center, Papua New Guinea, 2014.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C. (February 22, 2018) – On the eve of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, Refugees International welcomes the decision of the Trump Administration to resettle refugees transferred by the Australian Government into detention in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Under the current arrangement, the U.S. has reportedly agreed to take up to 1,250 of the refugees. To date, more than 100 have arrived in the United States.

We encourage the Trump administration to expand this important humanitarian resettlement program, as permitted in the agreement between Australia and the United States, so that the nearly 2400 asylum-seekers currently impacted by Australia’s transfer policy could obtain the durable solution of U.S. resettlement.

At the same time, we are deeply disturbed by Australian practices regarding asylum seekers arriving by sea. Under these practices, asylum-seekers have either been interdicted at sea and summarily returned, often to countries of origin, or transferred into detention in Nauru and Papua New Guinea pursuant to Australia’s so-called “Pacific Solution” policy.

As refugee protections erode around the world, the Government of Australia should not become a leader in the international race to the bottom. But recent practices raise serious concerns that this is precisely what is occurring. 

Asylum-seekers approaching Australia by sea are denied proper screening procedures that would ensure against return to countries of origin or other countries that may not guarantee necessary protection.  And in the so-called off-shore processing centers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, asylum-seekers have suffered arbitrary and indefinite detention, risks to their personal security, inadequate healthcare - including the failure to address  trauma and other mental health concerns - and inadequate sanitary facilities. These and other concerns have been identified and documented by a range of credible international observers.

For these reasons, Refugees International strongly encourages the Trump Administration to expand its current resettlement arrangements with Australia – to ensure durable solutions that end the suffering of the affected populations. 

In the absence of such action by the United States government, the government of Australia cannot in good conscience – or consistent with its obligations under international refugee law – continue with this off-shore arrangement, and must itself provide resettlement for those who have suffered so significantly.

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For interviews with RI President Eric Schwartz please contact Hardin Lang, Vice President for Programs and Policy, at (202) 378-8995 or at hardin@refugeesinternational.org.

Refugees International (RI) advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises. We are an independent organization, and do not accept any government or UN funding. For more information, visit www.refugeesinternational.org.

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