Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales is coming to Washington to finalize negotiations with President Trump on a “safe third country agreement” that would be an egregious violation of law and common decency.
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.
The leaders of 17 international NGOs involved in humanitarian operations and advocacy today appealed to the U.S. Congress to restore the Trump administration’s complete cut-off of assistance to Palestinian civilians in need in the Middle East. The letter urges that Members “ensure that Congress, through the appropriations process, protects humanitarian funding to meet the needs of the most vulnerable Palestinians, commensurate with prior years.”
Today, some two million people are effectively trapped in a space of 140 square miles without reliable access to clean water, sufficient food, adequate medical care, or the ability to make a living. Living conditions in Gaza are the worst they have ever been, and Daryl Grisgraber presents a sobering picture of a humanitarian crisis that is worsening.
The Trump administration is engaged in a sustained campaign against vulnerable women, men, and children seeking asylum in the United States. It is an effort waged through policies and actions designed to deter individuals from seeking protection, and to close off avenues for asylum that are well grounded in international and domestic law and established practice. In a new report, Refugees International provides recommendations for ending abuses against vulnerable people seeking protection from persecution at the U.S. southern border.
The Trump administration’s current policies in the area of so-called “zero tolerance” are far from clear. Criminal prosecution and detention of migrants continue to be key administration tools in a policy of deterrence, and until recently, family separation has been a common and abhorrent practice. There are clear indications that the administration is still pursuing a family detention option, which could also apply to families that seek asylum at ports of entry. The zero tolerance policy is decidedly cruel. This RI issue brief explores alternatives to detention.
In June, the President signed an Executive Order (EO) in response to widespread concerns about the administration’s practice of separating adult asylum seekers from their children at the U.S. border. The EO is designed to replace a family separation policy with a family detention policy, but there is considerable uncertainty about how this will operate in practice. At the heart of this issue is the Flores Settlement, which regulates the treatment of children in the custody of federal immigration authorities. We took a close look at the settlement and what’s next.
Refugees International is disappointed by the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a broad Presidential ban that was imposed in September 2017 on entry of individuals from eight countries, most of which are have Muslim majorities. We believe the ban was motivated by religious bias, as reflected in repeated statements by the President prior to and subsequent to the presidential election, and that the government has failed to demonstrate that the measure was reasonably grounded in national security concerns.