The withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeast Syria could open new fronts in the conflict and newly displace hundreds of thousands of civilians across an area already in the grip of a humanitarian crisis.
“This is yet another attempt by the Trump administration to bar people, especially from Central America, from seeking protection in the United States from violence and persecution. It is also another attempt by the administration to brazenly circumvent existing law. We hope this asylum ban will last only as long as the legal fight against it continues in the courts.”
Just ahead of August 25, the day that marks two years since the Myanmar military launched a brutal and cruel campaign of violence against the Rohingya people, forcing more than 700,000 to flee, the government of Bangladesh planned to repatriate 3,450 Rohingya refugees back to Myanmar. However, this exercise fell apart when Rohingya refugees refused to participate.
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.
In response to the passage by the Senate Judiciary Committee of the so-called Secure and Protect Act of 2019, Refugees International's Senior U.S. Advocate Yael Schacher condemns it. She goes on to describe how it weakens protections for asylum seekers and flouts the United States’ national refugee and immigration legislation.
Today's announcement that the Trump Administration has reached a “safe third country” agreement with Guatemala is very alarming. As Refugees International has previously stated, Guatemala is in no way safe for refugees and asylum seekers, and all the strong-arming in the world won’t make it so.
Refugees International is gravely concerned by credible reports of Turkey’s deportation of Syrians in Istanbul to Idlib in northwest Syria and calls for the immediate halt to any such forcible returns.
Sanctioning the highest levels of Myanmar’s military is an incredibly important if belated step. Although the sanctions are limited to travel restrictions, the move signifies that Washington is finally getting serious about accountability. It also acknowledges what the State Department itself has documented – that ethnic cleansing has taken place in Myanmar with virtual impunity.
The Trump administration’s decision to withhold funds from the UN Population Fund will affect some of the world’s most vulnerable people, including survivors of sexual violence who have fled from conflict or have been displaced by natural disasters.
We welcome this development, as the proposed agreement is contrary to U.S. law and international refugee law and risks trapping thousands of Central American children, women, and men in dangerous situations.
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.
Like many around the world and in the United States, Refugees International is shocked and gravely concerned by numerous recent revelations of inhumane detention conditions for asylum seekers, including children.
Countries throughout the Americas are facing significant migration and refugee challenges. As human mobility increases, governments must commit to respond. Together with organizations from throughout the region, Refugees International has formed the Coalition on Human Mobility in the Americas, to elevate the matter before the Organization of American States 49th General Assembly. In its statement, presented on June 26, 2019, the Coalition highlighted four key priorities.
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 stories we are publishing today in observance of World Refugee Day are powerful examples of individuals who have overcome obstacles thrust upon them through no fault of their own. They arrived in their places of refuge or resettlement unsure and often alone, and have thrived as writers, musicians, social workers, advocates, and more. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, sons, friends—and neighbors.
It is unconscionable and inhumane for the United States of America to force Guatemala to agree to being a ‘safe third country,’ and, thus, a haven for Central American asylum seekers when, in truth, it is nothing of the sort.
Following the registration period for Venezuelan refugees in Trinidad and Tobago, thousands remain unregistered. Refugees International is gravely concerned about the possibility that arrests and deportations may follow and urges the government of Trinidad and Tobago to extend the registration period.
Refugees International has observed with concern the inhumane handling of asylum seekers from Central America, particularly through the “Remain in Mexico” policy. In a statement for the record, we offer clear legislative options that would help address the crisis.
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.”
As Mozambique prepares to host an international pledging conference May 31-June 1 for reconstruction following cyclones Idai and Kenneth, Refugees International urges donor governments, UN agencies, and most importantly, the Mozambican government to prioritize support for cyclone-affected communities in three ways: boost funding for immediate lifesaving assistance, invest in work opportunities for displaced people, and prepare for a looming food crisis.
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.