After spending years as a wartime intelligence agency called the Office of Strategic Services, the agency was solidified as a key player in the federal government’s operations with then-President Harry Truman’s authorization. Continue reading
ACLU had planned to drill officials on immigration, DAPL, and Muslim ban, but representatives from various departments never showed
The U.S. failed to show up to a human rights hearing in an “unprecedented show of disrespect to the international community,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Tuesday.
In a surprise move, the government ditched a hearing with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an arm of the Organization of American States, where the ACLU had planned to drill officials on the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration; its ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries; and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), among other issues. Continue reading
A UK judgement on Shell’s operations in Nigeria yet again shows the need to prevent powerful multinationals hiding behind their subsidiaries to dodge accountability for human rights abuses.
By Joe Westby. Published 2-14-2017 by openDemocracy
Recently, the UK High Court threw out a case brought against oil giant Shell by two impoverished communities in the Niger Delta. It is a blow to the communities in their struggle for justice after suffering years of devastating oil spills.
But the judgement also has wider implications for corporate accountability, making it more difficult to bring future legal cases against UK companies that abuse human rights abroad. As such, the ruling goes to the heart of a situation in which multinational corporations enjoy an impunity that is sharply at odds with their enormous profits and power. It further demonstrates the need for legal reforms that actually improve access of victims of corporate abuse to courts in jurisdictions where large corporations are based (the ‘home’ state). Continue reading
More than 5,400 minors from Central America applied to get in to US as refugees. All of them are still waiting.
A year after President Barack Obama launched a program to grant asylum to Central American children fleeing violence or seeking to reunite with family members, the statistics are in: not one child has made it to the U.S. through that initiative.
New analysis by the New York Times published Thursday reveals that the Central American Minors Program, established last December, received asylum applications from more than 5,400 children in countries like El Salvador and Honduras, most of whom are seeking to escape street gangs or sexual assault—but none of them have been accepted.
In fact, only 90 children total were even interviewed by the Department of Homeland Security, and only 85 qualified for any sort of refugee status and even they remain languishing because their paperwork has not been filed.
“Really, it’s pathetic that no child has come through this program,” Lavinia Limón, the president and chief executive of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants nonprofit, told the Times. Referring to administrative officials, she added, “I wonder if it were their child living in the murder capital of the world, whether they would have more sense of urgency.”
The Times writes:
The Central American Minors program also allows the Department of Homeland Security to grant a two-year temporary entry into the United States for children who do not qualify as refugees. Those immigrants must apply to renew their entry status every two years and are not eligible to pursue American citizenship.
Obama announced his plan in response to the groundswell of young refugees making the dangerous and often-deadly trek across the U.S. border in massive numbers last year. But as immigration and human rights experts noted at the time, the program’s heartening promises of assisting vulnerable children did nothing to address sluggish bureaucratic roadblocks and ignored the U.S.’s own role in fueling the refugee crisis.
As Ivy Suriyopas, co-chair of the anti-trafficking group Freedom Network, explained in an op-ed last year:
[A]lthough the number of unaccompanied minors dropped in August, the 4,000 slots allocated for refugees from Latin America and the Caribbean for fiscal year 2015 is grossly insufficient.
In June alone, more than 10,000 unaccompanied minors crossed the U.S. border and in the ten months since October 2013, nearly 63,000 children have been identified at the border.
With so few spots and so many refugees, the Times wrote on Thursday, it’s little wonder the program has failed so completely.
“We need to fix the program so that it works and so that children have a real opportunity to get protection,” said Kevin Appleby, the director of migration policy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “They have to make the program workable. Right now, it’s not workable.”
State Department officials defended the delays, saying it was important to move slowly to avoid making mistakes. And principal deputy assistant secretary of state Simon Henshaw said the department was preparing to interview more than 400 children next month.
But that means little to children who are stuck in a violent limbo while their applications wait for processing.
“They have set up an elaborate, bureaucratic, step-by-step system,” said Limón. “The children are in danger, and they can’t wait. It’s just sad, and, I think, indefensible.”
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.