Yael Schacher, senior U.S. advocate
Yael Schacher is a senior U.S. advocate at Refugees International, where she focuses on U.S. asylum, U.S. refugee admissions, temporary protected status, and immigration practices that have refugee protection implications. Prior to joining Refugees International, Yael spent a decade researching the relationship between immigration and refugee policy for her forthcoming book on the history of asylum in the U.S. since the late nineteenth century. She has taught at the University of Connecticut and lectured on immigration history and refugee policy at Harvard Law School, the University of Minnesota, and numerous academic conferences and public forums. In recent years, Yael has focused on direct legal representation of behalf of those seeking asylum and other humanitarian statuses at the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants. Most recently, Yael was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, where she combined historical research on asylum and advocacy on behalf of asylum seekers (with the law school’s immigration clinic and with the organization Justice for Our Neighbors).
Yael has an M.A. in History and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Harvard University and a B.A. in literature from Columbia University.
Follow her on Twitter: @YaelSchacher
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.
The right to seek asylum has long been enshrined in domestic and international law. And yet a new rule proposed by the Trump administration would make it all but impossible for most people to apply for asylum at the southern border. Despite these attacks on the U.S. asylum system, Carly Goodman, S. Deborah Kang, and Yael Schacher describe how history has shown that advocacy can prevail and protect the rights of asylum seekers.
Ever since Congress denied funding for his border wall, President Trump has blamed Democrats for allowing smugglers to “tape up” women and traffic them over the border. There’s little evidence to support that claim. Yet, a House Homeland Security Advisory Council report suggested that the way to stop exploitation of Central American kids is to adopt a policy of swift repatriation and prolonged detention of children seeking asylum. This is an unserious and inhumane approach to the horrors of exploitation and persecution.
Refugees International Senior U.S. Domestic Advocate Yael Schacher testified before the United States Commission on Civil Rights for a hearing on Immigration Detention Centers & Treatment of Immigrants in Detention.
In a piece for the Fair Observer, Yael Schacher reveals how the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy is failing—and why it is the wrong approach. Her reporting is based on first-hand observation of immigration court hearings involving some of the initial victims of this new policy.
A new report found that visas for victims of human trafficking are currently being denied at higher rates than in previous years. The report released by Refugees International found that the denial rate between February 2017 and April 2019 was almost 50 percent. Yael Schacher, one of the author’s and senior U.S. advocate for the group spoke to UNews.
President Trump claims one of the main points of the agreement reached with Mexico to avoid tariffs on imported goods is an expansion of a program to allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their legal cases proceed in the United States. Critics say that could be a problem because it forces migrants to wait indefinitely in unsafe conditions. Dr. Yael Schacher is one of those critics, and she spoke to UNews.