Although the president’s comments on refugees and asylum were short on details, they foreshadow a parade of horribles that will perpetuate his administration’s unmitigated hostility toward asylum seekers.
Since the Syrian regime and its Russian ally stepped up their bombardment of Idlib province in February, more than 140,000 civilian men, women, and children have been forced to flee for their lives. It is difficult to overstate the urgency of this looming humanitarian disaster if nothing is done to protect these people who often have lost everything.
Refugees International is deeply concerned about plans announced by the government of Bangladesh to begin relocating Rohingya refugees to Bhashan Char, an isolated island more than 30 miles off the coast of Bangladesh.
The efforts of individuals to seek asylum in the United States does not constitute a national security crisis. In manufacturing this so-called crisis, the administration seeks to justify its efforts to close off asylum in violation of American law and tradition.
Refugees International welcomes the comments by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago this week that his government is working to grant Venezuelans on the islands the right to work and to an education.
Refugees International is deeply alarmed by a new policy from the Trump administration that prevents Central Americans from seeking asylum along the U.S. southern border. Under the policy, asylum seekers will now be forced to wait in Mexico while their cases are processed. This is a stark violation of U.S. and international law.
Refugees International today strongly urges the Congress to reject the End the Shutdown and Secure the Border Act of 2019 in its current form due to measures it would impose that violate U.S. commitments to refugee protection and abuse human rights.
Refugees International warns that an abrupt withdrawal of American troops from northern Syria will create a power vacuum that will likely lead to a new round of conflict. Renewed fighting will disrupt communities, displace additional populations, and could trigger another humanitarian crisis.
Refugees International applauds today’s broad endorsement of the Global Compact on Refugees by the UN General Assembly. This represents a critical step toward improving the lives of some 25 million refugees around the world who have fled their home countries in search of safety.
In a letter addressed to Mexican President-Elect López Obrador and U.S. Vice President Pence, 19 former senior U.S. officials involved in national security, refugees and asylum, and Western hemispheric affairs urged the governments of Mexico and the United States to emphasize that the issue of migration from Central America is primarily a humanitarian issue.
Refugees International urges the governments of Mexico and the United States to suspend any discussion of an agreement that would force asylum seekers to remain in Mexico pending a determination of their U.S. asylum claims.
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.
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.
Refugees International welcomes the co-hosting of the second Conference for Prosperity and Security in Central America. But in the context of a conference addressing security, it is appalling that the Administration’s public statements about the conference have not specifically addressed the critical need to protect the lives of women, men, and children being returned to Central America.
Refugees International is deeply alarmed by the findings of a new scientific report concluding that – absent immediate and ambitious action by governments – climate change will have severe and irreversible real life impacts on hundreds of millions of people, especially those living in the poorest regions of the globe.
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.
Refugees International welcomes the public release of the U.S. State Department’s report on its investigation into atrocities committed by the Myanmar government against the Rohingya minority. But the findings of the report must lead to actions necessary for holding the perpetrators of the violence responsible.
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.
Refugees International is deeply concerned by indications that the Assad regime and its international partners are preparing to launch a major military operation to capture Idlib province. An offensive in Idlib would likely result in a humanitarian catastrophe.
Refugees International is saddened by the death of Ambassador Princeton Lyman. The United States – and the world – has lost someone who dedicated his life to peace, diplomacy, and to helping vulnerable communities around the world.
Refugees International welcomes the announcement by the U.S. Treasury Department of new targeted sanctions on four Myanmar security officials and two military units directly involved in the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya minority. However, the new sanctions must be part of sustained efforts by the U.S. government at its highest levels in order to have real impact.
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.