Eric Schwartz

The White House Wants To Send Asylum Seekers To Guatemala. This is Probably Illegal

The White House Wants To Send Asylum Seekers To Guatemala. This is Probably Illegal

In a particularly egregious violation of law and common decency, the Trump White House is pressing U.S. diplomats to negotiate a “safe third country agreement” with Guatemala. If implemented, it will put the lives of thousands of Central Americans at great risk. Alarmed, Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International, took the unusual step of writing a letter to the State Department’s top acting lawyer, urging he and his office cease involvement in efforts to secure the agreement. 

Deaths of Father, Daughter in Rio Grande the Result of Inhumane Border Policies

Deaths of Father, Daughter in Rio Grande the Result of Inhumane Border Policies

Refugees International President Eric Schwartz comments on the tragic image of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria from El Salvador whose deaths are the inevitable result of inhumane and unconscionable policies that prevent people from seeking asylum in safety and dignity.

Refugees International President Eric Schwartz: Deaths of Father, Daughter in Rio Grande Result of Inhumane Border Policies

Refugees International President Eric Schwartz: Deaths of Father, Daughter in Rio Grande Result of Inhumane Border Policies

In a video message, Refugees International President Eric Schwartz shares thoughts on the tragic image of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria from El Salvador whose deaths are the inevitable result of policies that prevent people from seeking asylum in safety and dignity.

Refugee Fatigue?

The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide increased by more than 2 million in 2018 reaching a record 70.8 million, according to the UNHCR. The world took notice of the plight of refugees after Syrians began streaming into Europe in 2015. But while refugees are no longer appearing in the headlines, their plight endures. Are the global powers taking notice? What can they do to lessen the load on developing nations? Guests: Eric Schwartz- President of Refugees International and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration Chris Boian- Spokesperson for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency Samuel Witten- Acting Asst. Secretary of State, Population Refugees & Migration (2007-2009) and former State Department deputy Legal Advisor

Refugees International President Slams Expansion of "Remain in Mexico" Policy

Refugees International President Slams Expansion of "Remain in Mexico" Policy

Refugees International President Eric Schwartz says agreement extending the “Remain in Mexico” policy “is wicked and immoral because it deliberately imposes grave risks upon highly vulnerable children, women, and men in violation of the most fundamental principles of decency.”

Forced Migration and the U.S. Southern Border

Forced Migration and the U.S. Southern Border

In remarks at Saint John’s Church, Refugees International President Eric Schwartz explains that for many tens of thousands of Central Americans—and even hundreds of thousands—forced migration is fueled by well-founded fears of women, men, and children about serious and striking abuses of their human rights.

A Global Crisis: Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers

A Global Crisis: Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers

Refugees International President Eric Schwartz testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations in a hearing on “A Global Crisis: Refugees, Migrants, and Asylum Seekers.”

Talk Media News: Cooperation is key to preventing the Venezuelan refugee crisis from getting worse, new report says

The U.N. estimates that 2019 could see the exodus of some 2.1 million Venezuelans, adding to the 3.3 million who have already fled political and economic turmoil under President Nicolás Maduro.

If those projections hold true, neighboring Colombia will likely receive the lion’s share of refugees, solidifying the country’s role at the front line of the crisis.

Eric Schwartz is the president of Refugees International, and commends Colombia for keeping its borders open and allowing those fleeing Venezuela to access basic services.

“In an awful situation, Colombia is standing up and doing pretty much the right thing.”

But Refugees International warns in a new report that that could change if Colombia fails to get more international support.

Remember, 7 million Colombians remain internally displaced by fighting between the government and FARC rebels. And even though the two sides signed a peace deal in 2017, Colombia has a long way to go to help those whose livelihoods were destroyed by decades of war.

If the Venezuelan refugee issue distracts from that effort, attitudes toward refugees could change.

“In any situation where there are large numbers of people fleeing and trying to seek refuge, there are challenges with respect to host communities, and I think the government of Colombia could very much use the financial support of the international community in addressing what some of those host community concerns might be.”

To do that, Schwartz suggests those donating to the refugee response also could help Colombia ensure its domestic peace process is successful.

And crucially, Colombia can’t be left to deal with the refugee crisis by itself, lest a go-it-alone approach to migration prevail.

“We know what the worst case looks like. All you have to do is look in other parts of the world where governments are shutting borders. It means that people who are at risk suffer much more significantly, that more people die and that governments use hate-filled rhetoric to stoke polarization.”

Civil Society Can Move Forward on Statelessness in the United States

Civil Society Can Move Forward on Statelessness in the United States

Eric Schwartz outlines an actionable advocacy campaign that civil society can undertake to move forward on the issue of statelessness in the context of an administration that is unlikely to make progress on the issue and in fact risks exacerbating statelessness in the United States.

RI Statement on Proposed Administration Rule and Anticipated Presidential Proclamation on Asylum

RI Statement on Proposed Administration Rule and Anticipated Presidential Proclamation on Asylum

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security memorandum on limiting access to asylum is appalling, and Refugees International is deeply alarmed about any presidential proclamation that would bar access to asylum to those entering the United States between U.S. ports of entry.

NPR: Trump Escalates Immigration Issue Days Ahead Of Elections With White House Remarks

Trump promised to crack down on what he called the abuse of the asylum process and delivered a stern warning to a group of Central American migrants slowly making their way through Mexico, who have set their sights on the United States.

"The president has willfully and cynically vilified an asylum-seeker population composed of vulnerable children, women, and men," said Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International.

Read the full story here.

NPR: White House To Cap The Number Of Refugees Allowed Into The U.S.

The Trump administration slashed the number of refugees it will permit into the United States next year by 30 percent. The new ceiling is 30,000 — that's 15,000 fewer than this year.

RI president Eric Schwartz joins NPR’s Morning Edition to discuss refugees in the United States.

Refugees International Statement on U.S. FY 2019 Refugee Admissions Ceiling

Refugees International Statement on U.S. FY 2019 Refugee Admissions Ceiling

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement of a refugee ceiling of 30,000 is appalling, and it continues this administration’s rapid flight from the proud U.S. tradition of providing refuge to those fleeing persecution around the world.