Tag Archives: asylum

Yes, Republican states are now starting to emulate the Civil War-era south

The Texas governor rejecting federal immigration laws has echoes of the Confederate states

By Chrissy Stroop. Published 2-1-2024 by openDemocracy

A “border security” rally in Eagle Pass, Texas on February 3, 2024. Screenshot: KENS5

We’re not even a full month into a crucial election year in the United States, and it already feels like the country is coming apart at the seams.

In a standoff that has dragged on for weeks now, Texas governor Greg Abbott, a right-wing Catholic, has refused to allow federal Border Patrol agents to enter a public park along the Rio Grande where refugees and asylum seekers are known to cross. As summarised by Camilo Montoya-Galvez, reporting for CBS: “Federal law requires Border Patrol to process migrants who enter the US illegally to determine whether they should be deported, transferred to another federal agency, sent to a long-term immigration detention centre or released pending a review of their asylum claims.”

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Human Rights Watch to Mexico: Don’t Help US ‘Tear Apart’ Its Asylum System

The group sent a letter to the Mexican president Thursday asking him not to agree to any deal that would see more asylum seekers expelled to Mexico without having their cases considered.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 1-19-2024 by Common Dreams

Asylum seekers arrive in Tijuana, Mexico in 2018. Photo: Daniel Arauz/flickr/CC

Human Rights Watch sent a letter to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Thursday asking him not to broker any deal with the United States that would allow more asylum seekers to be sent to Mexico without due process.

The letter, also addressed to Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, was sent one day before the pair were set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, D.C.

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Win for ‘Hateful Far-Right Islamophobe’ Geert Wilders Sends Shockwaves

The outspoken Dutch xenophobe often compared to Donald Trump is poised to become the next prime minister of the Netherlands if he can cobble together enough support to form a coalition government.

By Jon Queally. Published 11-23-2023 by Common Dreams

Geert Wilders, Dutch right-wing politician and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV). Photo: uair01/flickr/CC

National election results in the Netherlands on Wednesday sent shockwaves across Europe as “hateful far-right Islamophobe” Geert Wilders and his party have won the most seats in parliament and positioned Wilders himself to become the nation’s next prime minister.

Wilders, a xenophobic nationalist who is regarded as the “Dutch Donald Trump—but worse” by many of his critics, has for years spewed anti-immigrant rhetoric and speaks openly about making the Netherlands a home only for those he considers pure Dutchmen.

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A Trump-era law used to restrict immigration is nearing its end despite GOP warnings of a looming crisis at the Southern border

Hundreds of asylum-seekers gather on the banks of the Rio Grande to enter the U.S. on Dec. 12, 2022.
Jose Zamora/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

 

Ernesto Castañeda, American University

A key component of the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policies is currently set to expire on Dec. 21, 2022.

Officially called Title 42 of the U.S. Code, the little-known law was established initially in 1944 to prevent the spread of influenza and allow authorities to bar entry to foreigners deemed to be at risk of spreading the disease.

In March 2020, on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, then-President Donald Trump invoked the law to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading

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Rights Groups Herald Reported End to Cruel Title 42 Expulsions

“Title 42 was never about public health and safety,” said Rep. Juan Vargas. “It was implemented to deny due process to people seeking refuge and protection.”

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 3-30-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: BanderasNews

Human rights defenders on Wednesday welcomed the White House’s reported plans to soon end the use of Title 42, a public health measure both the Biden and Trump administrations used to turn away asylum-seekers at the southern border for the past two years.

The Wall Street Journal, which obtained a draft of the order that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to issue later this week, reported Wednesday that the agency “is taking the step because ‘there is no longer a serious danger’ that migrants would introduce or spread Covid-19 inside immigration detention facilities.” Continue reading

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Abdulrazak Gurnah: the truth-teller’s tale

Winning the Nobel Prize in literature means his work could add essential nuance to the global conversation about identity and belonging

By Rashmee Roshan Lall  Published 10-31-2021 by openDemocracy

Abdulrazak Gurnah, winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature. Screenshot: The Hindu

Until recently, Abdulrazak Gurnah, a professor of English and postcolonial literatures at the University of Kent in Canterbury, had little media attention other than a brief mention in stories about refugees.

As a refugee who arrived in England from Zanzibar in 1968, and as a novelist who wrote about refugees and immigrants from east Africa, Gurnah would sometimes be mentioned in newspaper stories on asylum and migration. After the 2016 Brexit referendum and that notorious anti-immigrant UK Independence Party poster, his name was mentioned among other writers who championed a less insular worldview. And after the Windrush scandal, when the children of Caribbean migrants who had come to the UK decades ago were asked for paperwork to prove their right to live in Britain, Gurnah’s opinion was sought. He was, after all, a refugee himself. Continue reading

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Leaving Post, Top Official Blasts Biden Over Use of ‘Inhumane’ Trump-Era Deportation Policy

The current administration is using Title 42 “to rebuff the pleas of thousands of Haitians and myriad others arriving at the Southern Border who are fleeing violence, persecution, or torture.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams.  Published 10-5-2021

Photo: Robert Brown/Twitter

A senior official departing the Biden State Department has issued a blistering critique of the administration’s ongoing use of a Trump-era policy “to rebuff the pleas of thousands of Haitians and myriad others arriving at the Southern Border who are fleeing violence, persecution, or torture” and urged his remaining colleagues “to do everything in your power to revise this policy.”

The rebuke, Politico first reported, came in an Oct. 2 internal memo—which centers on the government’s use of Title 42—from resigning senior adviser Harold Koh. Continue reading

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‘Vile’: Biden DHS to Turn Away Migrant Families Under ‘Expedited Removal’ Policy

“This administration continues to seek efficiency over safety and due process for migrant families.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-27-2021

Photo: Pride Immigration

Immigrant rights advocates are decrying what some called an “appalling” Monday night announcement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security thatunder  the Biden administration will return to the use of an “expedited removal” process to send families seeking asylum back over the U.S.-Mexico border if they can’t convince immigration agents that they need refuge in the United States.

Groups including Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center and the ACLU had hoped the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) would revoke Title 42, under which the federal government has had the authority to send to Mexico any undocumented immigrants who attempt to cross the southern U.S. border.

Instead, DHS on Monday said that some families, many of whom Mexican officials have refused to accept under Title 42, “will be placed in expedited removal proceedings” to provide “a lawful, more accelerated procedure to remove those family units who do not have a basis under U.S. law to be in the United States. ”

“The announcement we had been hoping for was about an end to Title 42,” Linda Rivas, executive director of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, Texas, told the New York Times. “This administration continues to seek efficiency over safety and due process for migrant families.”

Under the policy, immigrant families who are intercepted by immigration agents at the border will be screened promptly to determine if they have a “credible fear” of persecution or violence in their home country which led them to seek asylum.

If an agent determines there is no credible fear, families will be expelled from the country without an immigration judge hearing their case.

The policy has been used by both Democratic and Republican administrations in the past.

Before Monday’s announcement, thousands of families who Mexico would not accept under Title 42 have been sent by U.S. Border Patrol agents to stay in shelters while they wait to appear in immigration court.

The departure from that system “is not due process,” tweeted Camille Mackler, founder and executive director of Immigrant ARC, which provides legal services to immigrants and was formed after legal advocates descended on John F. Kennedy International Airport to provide support to immigrants when the Trump administration announced its travel ban in January 2017.

Robyn Barnard, senior advocacy counsel at Human Rights First, described “how due process is run roughshod by expedited removal.”


“There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to seek asylum,” Barnard tweeted. “It is a legal right to be able to do so however you get here. When you block the ports [under Title 42] and leave people in desperate and dangerous situations, what other options do they have?”

Heidi Altman, policy director at the National Immigrant Justice Center, called the DHS announcement “vile.”

“Expedited removal sends asylum seekers back to harm,” said Altman. “End it.”
This work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).
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‘So, So Cruel’: Rights Advocates, Biden Campaign Sound Alarm About Immigration Agenda Stephen Miller Is Crafting for Trump’s Second Term

According to the Democratic nominee, “This agenda is designed to do one thing only: divide our communities with cheap, xenophobic rhetoric, and demonize those seeking to make legitimate asylum claims.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-31-2020

Stephen Miller. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

Immigrant rights advocates along with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his supporters responded with alarm to reporting this week that Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, is plotting how to “rev up Trump’s restrictive immigration agenda” and is ready to “unleash executive orders deemed too extreme for a president seeking reelection” in the event of a Biden loss next week.

NBC News reported Friday that Miller, speaking as an adviser to the president’s campaign, laid out four top priorities in a 30-minute call Thursday: “limiting asylum grants, punishing and outlawing ‘sanctuary cities,’ expanding the so-called travel ban with tougher screening for visa applicants, and slapping new limits on work visas.” Implementing these policies would require a mix of legislation and executive action. Continue reading

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‘Inhumane’ and ‘Reckless’: Amnesty International Condemns Greece’s Measures to Block Migrants at Turkish Border

“People seeking asylum are once again being used as bargaining chips in a callous political game.”

By for Common Dreams. Published 3-2-2020

Photo: Gizli Muhafiz/Twitter

Amnesty International on Monday condemned “inhumane” measures that Greek authorities have taken toward migrants since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced last week that Turkey would no longer stop refugees and asylum-seekers—many of whom have fled the ongoing war in Syria—from crossing by land and sea into Greece.

Turkey eased restrictions at the western border it shares with Greece in response to thousands of migrants from Syria who have poured into Turkey in recent days amid a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive into Syria’s Idlib province and escalating violence between Syrian and Turkish forces. Continue reading

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