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  • The Department of Homeland Security’s Family Separation Policy: Perspectives from the Border

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    Written Testimony of Michelle Brané

    Michelle Brané, Director, Migrant Rights and Justice Program, testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security: Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation and Operations at a hearing entitled: “The Department of Homeland Security’s Family Separation Policy: Perspectives from the Border.”

    March 26, 2019

    New Research Shows Widespread Sexual Violence, Torture Against Refugee and Migrant Men and Boys in Libya and Along the Central Mediterranean Route to Italy

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    GENEVA, Switzerland – The Women's Refugee Commission (WRC) today released the second in a series of groundbreaking studies looking into sexual violence against men and boys affected by conflict. The report launched today, “‘More Than One Million Pains’: Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys on the Central Mediterranean Route to Italy,” explores one of the most dangerous migration passageways in the world and the nature and characteristics of sexual violence perpetrated against men and boys along this route and when they reach Italy.

    Reviewing the Administration’s Unaccompanied Children Program

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    Michelle Brané, Director, Migrant Rights and Justice Program, testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies at a hearing entitled: “Reviewing the Administration’s Unaccompanied Children Program”

    Washington, DC, February 27, 2019


    Spending Bill Includes Measure That Would Expand ICE Detention Capacity

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress has released the text of its spending bill to avert another government shutdown. The measure, which was passed by the Senate late this afternoon and is now on its way to the House for a vote, would fund nine federal departments, keep the government open through at least September 30, and allow 800,000 federal workers to stay employed. However, among many controversial provisions, it would fund the expansion of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immigration detention capacity to an unprecedented average of approximately 45,000 people.

    Trump Administration Begins Turning Away Families Seeking Safety at U.S. Southern Border

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – After weeks of concern over the Trump administration’s implementation of its “Remain in Mexico” policy, it was confirmed today that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have extended the practice to include children and have returned to Mexico asylum-seeking families at the San Ysidro port of entry.

    “The Trump administration’s disdain of asylum-seekers knows no bounds,” said Michelle Brané, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC).

    Women’s Refugee Commission Statement in Advance of Tonight’s State of the Union

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    Washington, DC – With a temporary break in the nation’s longest-ever federal government shutdown, President Donald J. Trump tonight will deliver his second State of the Union Address, during which he is expected to continue his demand for a wall at the border. A major campaign promise during his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump’s wall is part of a broader immigration policy that has seen families separated, unaccompanied minors denied entry to the U.S., and asylum-seeking and migrant children lost within the U.S. immigration system.

    Women’s Refugee Commission Responds to the Department of Homeland Security’s Action to Return Asylum-Seekers to Mexico

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    Washington, D.C.—Today, Customs and Border Protection officers will begin returning asylum-seekers at the San Ysidro port of entry to Mexico. The “Remain in Mexico Plan” was first publicized in December 2018 when Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced that the United States would begin the process of invoking 235(b)(2)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and require asylum-seekers at the US-Mexico border to wait in Mexico while their asylum cases are processed.

    Michelle Brané, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, released the following statement regarding DHS’s most recent action concerning asylum-seekers:

    New Documents Reveal Trump Administration Failed to Keep Track of Separated Children Despite Deliberately Crafting Plan That Tore Families Apart

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    Washington, D.C. Two new documents reveal that the Trump administration both deliberately crafted a plan to separate families seeking safety at the U.S. border and then failed to keep track of how many children were taken from their parents.

    Trump Expected to Defend Campaign of Chaos at Border Tonight

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    Washington, D.C. — Marking day 18 of the government shutdown, President Donald J. Trump is expected to speak live from the Oval Office tonight to defend his demand for Congressional funding for a wall along the southern border of the United States.

    Civil society letter to Mexican government regarding concerns over "Remain in Mexico" plan

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    December 21, 2018

    Dear President López Obrador, Secretary Sanchez, and Secretary Ebrard:

    Our organizations – some of which wrote to you earlier this month – are writing now to express concern over yesterday’s announcements regarding the United States’ immediate application of section 235(b)(2)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and Mexico’s cooperation with that plan, as outlined in the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs’ press release. We ask Mexico to end its temporary cooperation with the United States, reaffirm its commitment to the protection of asylum seekers who wish to present claims in Mexico or the United States, and assert its authority to determine who may enter Mexico from the United States.