A DHS and HHS rule that allows for detaining asylum-seeking families for longer periods and under different standards than currently required under the Flores settlement is not only unnecessary but also harmful.
Since taking office the Trump administration has taken unprecedented steps to sharply reduce both the number of refugees who are resettled in the United States and also the number of people who can claim asylum.
This has included significantly lowering what is known as the “ceiling” on refugee admissions to the smallest number ever and placing onerous restrictions on exactly who can be admitted as a refugee. Meanwhile, the administration is implementing several policies of dubious legality that would effectively make it impossible for people entering the southern US border to claim asylum.
The Trump administration’s restrictive policies toward refugees and asylum seekers are reaching a new phase.
In this episode one of the world’s leading experts on refugee and asylum policies is on the line to both discuss the mechanics of what the Trump administration is doing.
Eric Schwartz is the president of Refugees International and also served as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration in the Obama administration. He has deep experience working on humanitarian and refugee issues, which he summons in our conversation to help put this administration’s assault on refugees and asylum seekers in context.
We also discuss the very real global implications of the fact that the United States can not be meaningfully relied on to advocate for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers around the world.
If you have 20 minutes and want to learn the implications of the Trump administration’s increasingly hostile approach to refugees and asylum, have a listen.
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.
The Trump administration asserts that its policies at the U.S. southern border are designed to protect women and children from traffickers. However, its actions tell a very different story. Yael Schacher paints a scathing picture of how the administration is rolling back protections for victims of trafficking that have been established over the last decade.
Refugees International’s primer for members of the 116th Congress on international humanitarian assistance provides background on the proud, bipartisan tradition of U.S. leadership in humanitarian affairs, the value of U.S. investment in humanitarian and development funding, and the humanitarian imperative of the U.S. refugee resettlement program, and outlines several key priority areas for policymakers.
Refugees International joins 30 other international, implementing, and advocacy nonprofit organizations in respectfully request that in FY 2020 Congress prioritizes funding for the State, Foreign Operations bill and provide a 302(b) allocation of at least $57.4 billion. Within this increase, we ask that Congress appropriates meaningful increases for good governance programs and poverty-focused development and humanitarian programs.
Refugees International and 76 other organizations call on Congress in an advocacy letter to oppose any legislation that would expand the scale or length of immigrant family detention, overturn the child protection policies and laws currently governing the treatment of migrant children in custody, or undermine asylum protections.