Tuesday, May 19, 2020

GOOD NEWS: Under Trump Border Rules, Just two people Granted Refuge Status Since Late March

Mike Blake/Reuters
The Trump administration’s emergency coronavirus restrictions have shut the U.S. immigration system so tight that since March 21 just two people seeking humanitarian protection at the southern border have been allowed to stay, according to unpublished U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data obtained by The Washington Post.
Citing the threat to public health from the coronavirus, the Trump administration has suspended most due-process rights for migrants, including children and asylum seekers, while “expelling” more than 20,000 unauthorized border-crossers to Mexico under a provision of U.S. code known as Title 42.
Department of Homeland Security officials say the emergency protocols are needed to protect Americans — and migrants — by reducing the number of detainees in U.S. Border Patrol holding cells and immigration jails where infection spreads easily. But the administration has yet to publish statistics showing the impact of the measures on the thousands of migrants who arrive in the United States each year as they flee religious, political or ethnic persecution, gang violence or other urgent threats.
The statistics show that USCIS conducted just 59 screening interviews between March 21 and Wednesday under the Convention Against Torture, effectively the only category of protection in the United States that is still available to those who express a fear of grave harm if rejected. USCIS rejected 54 applicants and three cases are pending, according to the data, which does not indicate the nationality of those screened or other demographic information.
Lucas Guttentag, an immigration-law scholar who served in the Obama administration and now teaches at Stanford and Yale universities, said the border measures “are designed to pay lip service” to U.S. law and international treaty obligations “without providing any actual protection or screening.”
“The whole purpose of asylum law is to give exhausted, traumatized and uninformed individuals a chance to get to a full hearing in U.S. immigration courts, and this makes that almost impossible,” Guttentag said. “It’s a shameful farce.”
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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