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    Trump administration blocks most asylum seekers in ‘profound’ change to system as legal fights continue

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    A U.S. Supreme Court decision this week allowing President Donald Trump's administration to proceed with a near complete ban on asylum across the southern border while the policy is litigated will dramatically slash how many migrants can access the protection.

    “Because of this decision, thousands of women, children, and families — seeking safety and fleeing violence and persecution — will be returned either to the danger they fled or into the hands of cartels and traffickers at the Mexican border,” Michelle Brané, senior director for migrants’ rights and justice at the Women’s Refugee Commission, said in a statement.

    Fear and Loathing on the Border: A First-Hand Look at the Travesty

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    I traveled recently with the Women’s Refugee Commission to the California-Mexico border, where we toured the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Otay Mesa Detention Center. We also rode along the border with the Border Patrol, visited the San Ysidro Port of Entry, attended U.S. Immigration Court hearings, and visited migrant shelters on both sides of the border.

    The Lantern Tour II: Concerts for Migrant and Refugee Families Announce Award-Winning Lineup

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    On the heels of a summer that saw the Trump administration ramp up its attacks against families seeking safety at the southern U.S. border, the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC) today announced "The Lantern Tour II: Concerts for Migrant and Refugee Families," with the first two concerts taking place on Tuesday, November 5 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., and on Wednesday, November 6 at The Town Hall in Manhattan.

    Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne to Support Migrant Families With Lantern Tour II

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    As migrants and asylum-seekers at the United States’ southern border continue to have their entry into the country stymied by the Trump administration, a group of acclaimed musicians, including Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Steve Earle, and Patty Griffin, are preparing a nationwide tour in support of those affected at the border.

    “I am thrilled to be teaming up again with the Women’s Refugee Commission,” Emmylou Harris said in a statement.

    Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne & more touring to benefit migrant & refugee families

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    Last year, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne and more went on “The Lantern Tour” which benefited the Women’s Refugee Commission. They’re going to do it again with dates in 2019 and 2020, featuring Harris, Browne, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, The Mastersons, Thao Nguyen, and David Pulkingham.

    Male rape survivors go uncounted in Rohingya camps

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    Researchers who study sexual violence in crises say the needs of male survivors have largely been overlooked and neglected by humanitarian programmes in Bangladesh’s refugee camps.

    “There’s a striking division between aid workers and the refugees,” said Sarah Chynoweth, a researcher who has studied male survivors of sexual violence in emergencies around the world, including the Rohingya camps. “Many aid workers say we haven’t heard about it, but the refugees are well aware of it.”

    A report she authored for the Women’s Refugee Commission, a research organisation that advocates for improvements on gender issues in humanitarian responses, calls for aid groups in Bangladesh to boost services for all survivors of sexual violence – recognising that men and boys need help, in addition to women and girls.

     

    What Happened to the Migrant Baby CBP Called a 'Potential Death'

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    Four days ago, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a stunning announcement notifying the public of the 'potential death in custody' of a 6-month-old baby girl.

    Since then, the agency tasked with enforcing immigration laws on the U.S. border hasn't released a single word about the infant's condition, location, or custodial status'a silence that immigration advocates and lawmakers consider deafening.

    What Happened to the Migrant Baby CBP Called a ‘Potential Death’?

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    Four days ago, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a stunning announcement notifying the public of the “potential death in custody” of a 6-month-old baby girl.

    Since then, the agency tasked with enforcing immigration laws on the U.S. border hasn’t released a single word about the infant’s condition, location, or custodial status—a silence that immigration advocates and lawmakers consider deafening.

    Others warned that the agency’s initial statement was indicative of broader mismanagement of the crisis at the nation’s southern border—or, even worse, amounted to a maladroit attempt to get out in front of yet another in-custody death of a migrant child.

    “It's really a symptom of the main issue, which is just persistent mismanagement of the border, resulting in more and more deaths,” said Ursela Ojeda, a policy adviser with the Women’s Refugee Commission’s migrant rights and justice program.

    What Happened to the Migrant Baby CBP Called a ‘Potential Death’?

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    After an alarming announcement about a “potential death in custody” of a 6-month-old baby girl, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s silence on the matter is suddenly deafening.

    Others warned that the agency’s initial statement was indicative of broader mismanagement of the crisis at the nation’s southern border—or, even worse, amounted to a maladroit attempt to get out in front of yet another in-custody death of a migrant child.

    “It's really a symptom of the main issue, which is just persistent mismanagement of the border, resulting in more and more deaths,” said Ursela Ojeda, a policy adviser with the Women’s Refugee Commission’s migrant rights and justice program. “I’m quite worried that the agency that’s making this sort of press release is also in charge of the health and safety of migrant children and families.”

    States Sue Trump Administration Over Indefinite Detention for Immigrant Children

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    Nineteen U.S. states and the District of Columbia, led by California, filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to stop a new policy the Trump administration announced last week, under which migrant families that crossed the U.S. border illegally would face indefinite detention.

    Last year, Kirstjen Nielsen, who was then U.S. President Donald Trump’s secretary of homeland security, called the 20-day parameter a “legal loophole” that has allowed undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States illegally.

    “Efforts to weaken or eliminate basic child protection standards by calling them a burden or loopholes, and eliminating their obligations for the basic care of children, is just another example of the administration’s abdication of human rights,” Michelle Brané, the director of the migrant rights and justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, told The New York Times.

    Migrant children face more serious health risks with longer detentions, groups warn

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    Families, especially children, will likely face more health risks if a new Trump administration plan to hold migrants in detention facilities for longer periods of time goes into effect in 60 days, when flu season will be in full swing, health experts and immigrant rights advocates warn.

    Leah Chavla, an international human rights lawyer and policy adviser at the Women's Refugee Commission, works with families who have raised many concerns over CBP facilities being “inadequate.”

    Trump administration announces plan that would let it detain undocumented children indefinitely

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    The Trump administration said Wednesday it was taking steps that would allow it to indefinitely detain undocumented children with their families while their immigration cases are pending.

    The move, which Department of Homeland Security officials expect to be challenged in federal court, would end a 20-day limit on detaining children and families.

    Organisations including the American Academy of Pediatrics have said detaining children for long periods of time even in the best conditions can be harmful to their physical and mental well-being, said Michelle Brané, senior director for migration rights and justice at the Women's Refugee Commission.

    Trump administration announces plan that would let it detain undocumented children indefinitely

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    WASHINGTON – The Trump administration said Wednesday it was taking steps that would allow it to indefinitely detain undocumented children with their families while their immigration cases are pending.

    The move, which Department of Homeland Security officials expect to be challenged in federal court, would end a 20-day limit on detaining children and families. The deadline grew out of a settlement of a class-action lawsuit in 1997, and the administration said it led to a boom in adults bringing children when entering the U.S. illegally.

    Advocates voiced concerns that longer detention could harm children.

    “We are talking about an agency that required a court order just to provide soap to children in their custody,” said Michelle Brané, senior director for migration rights and justice at the Women’s Refugee Commission, an advocacy group.

    Trump administration moves to hold migrant children and parents longer

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    The Trump administration is moving to terminate a federal court settlement restricting how long U.S. officials can detain migrant children with their parents and replace it with a rule that could expand family detention and dramatically increase the time children spend in custody.

    The Women’s Refugee Commission said the Trump administration “is intentionally harming children,” and the American Civil Liberties Union called the proposal “yet another cruel attack on children.”

    Trump administration moves to terminate court agreement, hold migrant children and parents longer

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    The Trump administration is moving to terminate a federal court settlement restricting how long U.S. officials can detain migrant children with their parents and replace it with a rule that could expand family detention and dramatically increase the time children spend in custody.

    The Women’s Refugee Commission said the Trump administration “is intentionally harming children,” and the American Civil Liberties Union called the proposal “yet another cruel attack on children.”

    Trump administration moves to hold migrant children and parents longer

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    The Trump administration is moving to terminate a federal court settlement restricting how long U.S. officials can detain migrant children with their parents and replace it with a rule that could expand family detention and dramatically increase the time children spend in custody.

    The Women’s Refugee Commission said the Trump administration “is intentionally harming children,” and the American Civil Liberties Union called the proposal “yet another cruel attack on children.”

    Trump administration moves to terminate court agreement, hold migrant children and parents longer

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    The Trump administration is moving to terminate a federal court settlement restricting how long U.S. officials can detain migrant children with their parents and replace it with a rule that could expand family detention and dramatically increase the time children spend in custody.

    The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services will issue a rule Friday to withdraw from the Flores Settlement Agreement, the federal consent decree that has set basic standards for the detention of migrant children and teenagers by the United States since 1997.

    The Women’s Refugee Commission said the Trump administration “is intentionally harming children,” and the American Civil Liberties Union called the proposal “yet another cruel attack on children.”

    Migrant families are being separated under remain-in-Mexico policy, complaint alleges

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    After Marcelo, a Guatemalan migrant, crossed the border with his 15-year-old son, Byron, in May, he was accused of lying about being the boy’s father and was sent back to Mexico, according to a complaint to government watchdogs announced on Tuesday.

    His son was sent to a shelter for unaccompanied migrant children in Florida, the complaint said.

    Immigration officials also "humiliated" Marcelo and threw Byron's birth certificate in the garbage, according to the complaint, which was announced Tuesday by the Women’s Refugee Commission.

    Trump’s Human Trafficking Record Is Fake News

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    Since taking office in 2017, the Trump administration has claimed that its human rights agenda centers on human trafficking. 

    But when it comes to identifying the reality of trafficking inside the United States and fighting it, these claims are contradicted by many of the administration’s policies and much of its rhetoric. In many key ways, the Trump administration’s approach to trafficking in the United States has made matters worse for the most vulnerable communities.

    Family separation at the border creates ideal circumstances for traffickers. “We are seeing many of [the] exact situations that TVPA and other policy changes were supposed to address,” said Michelle Brané, the senior director of migrant rights and justice at the Women’s Refugee Commission.

    The whole child separation travesty is pointless

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    Over the course of this summer, the American people -- across party lines -- have shown that they reject the hate and dehumanization of immigrants that appears to have motivated last weekend's mass shooting in El Paso. Many are outraged over the cruel neglect of children in custody along the border -- child abuse as immigration policy -- and this has spurred Congress to exercise some much-needed oversight. ...

    It cost $38 a day for a family to participate in the ICE Family Case Management Program, according to the Women's Refugee Commission, an advocacy group, compared with $319 a day per bed at a family detention center or $775 a day per child detained at the secure for-profit facility in Homestead, Florida.