• Women’s Refugee Commission Supports World Refugee Day Resolutions Reaffirming U.S. Commitment to Displaced Men, Women, and Children

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    Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced resolutions in honor of World Refugee Day. These resolutions shine a light on the challenges – often life threatening – that refugees and displaced individuals face every day, and urge Congress to reaffirm the bipartisan commitment of the United States to promoting the health, safety, and well-being of the 65.6 million individuals fleeing persecution, conflict, and human rights violations around the world. Women’s Refugee Commission applauds these lawmakers for acknowledging the courage, strength, and determination of women, men, and children forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence, and persecution, and for recognizing the vital benefits provided by the United States refugee resettlement program to millions of vulnerable individuals.

    Women’s Refugee Commission Calls on the Trump Administration to Reassess Northern Triangle Policy

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    U.S. policy needs to address root causes of forced displacement
    and migration in the Northern Triangle 
    and to guarantee the right
    of all individuals to seek asylum in the United States and other
    countries in the region

    Washington, DC and Miami, FL – Tomorrow, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) will participate in a panel briefing on the Causes of Central American Migration and the United States’ Response, to be held at the Florida International University College of Law in Miami. This briefing comes a day before the Conference on Security and Prosperity in Central America, also to be held in Miami, which is co-hosted by the United States and Mexico regarding security, governance, and economic issues that affect the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.  WRC will express its concern that this conference aims to discuss U.S. policy towards the region solely from a security and economic lens, as opposed to one that considers the multiple causes to forced displacement and migration and incorporates human rights and humanitarian needs. WRC is further concerned by the absence of civil society and the voices of communities that are marginalized and/or affected by development policies in the lead up to and at this conference.

    Women’s Refugee Commission Condemns Termination of Family Case Management Program

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    Program provided vital support for refugee families and cost much less than detention

    Washington, DC – Yesterday, the Trump administration officially terminated the Family Case Management Program (FCMP).  Since its inception in 2016, the program provided a method of compliance enforcement for vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, families with very young children, and families with other special needs that was a viable and cost-effective alternative to detention. 

    Women’s Refugee Commission Expresses Concern Over Mistreatment of Asylum Seekers

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    Washington, DC - As President Donald Trump’s hasty and indiscriminate deportation force continues to affect men and women throughout the United States, claims of asylum appear to be increasingly ignored or outright rejected, as corroborated by a New York Times report last month. In other cases, asylum seekers are treated as prisoners and held for months in detention centers.

    The following are just two incidents in which the mishandling of asylum cases has put lives in danger, and signals a worrisome pattern for those fleeing violence.

    Statement of Sarah Costa, Executive Director of the Women’s Refugee Commission, on the passing of UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin

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    NEW YORK – In response to today’s announcement of UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin’s passing, Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) Executive Director Sarah Costa issued the following statement:

    “On behalf of the Women’s Refugee Commission, I want to express our deepest condolences to Dr. Osotimehin’s family, friends, and UNFPA staff during this difficult time. He brought to UNFPA significant service experience and a deep understanding of family planning and adolescent girls’ needs including in humanitarian settings. He will be sorely missed.

    PRESIDENT’S PROPOSED BUDGET BETRAYS WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD, PUTS LIVES AT RISK

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    NEW YORK – The White House delivered to Congress today President Donald J. Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget request. Titled, “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” the president’s budget request includes drastic cuts to U.S. foreign assistance including a 31 percent cut to the U.S. Department of State and USAID, and significant increases in funding for immigration enforcement, detention, and the militarization of the border in the United States. 

    Women’s Refugee Commission Stands for Strong Customs and Border Protection Hiring Standards

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    Washington, DC - Women’s Refugee Commission, today, expressed opposition for proposed legislation that would weaken Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hiring standards by waiving the use of polygraph for certain applicants. The bill was introduced last month by U.S. Representative Martha McSally (AZ-02). The use of polygraphs has identified countless cases of criminal activity by applicants that might otherwise have been entrusted with the safety of our nation’s borders. This elimination would leave holes for widespread corruption within the agency and endanger the lives of migrant children and in fact anyone traveling across borders. 

    WOMEN’S REFUGEE COMMISSION CONDEMNS GLOBAL GAG RULE EXPANSION

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    NEW YORK, NY – Continuing its attack on women’s health and rights, the Trump administration today issued – via the United States State Department – full guidance on implementation of the global gag rule, also known as the “Mexico City Policy.”

    MORE THAN 250 IMMIGRANT AND CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS CALL ON DHS TO HALT EXPANSION OF DEADLY DETENTION SYSTEM

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    Following Congress’s Vote to Fund Massive Increase in Deportation Apparatus, Letter Calls for Less Detention, More Accountability

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the wake of Congress’s vote to approve a budget significantly expanding funding for the Trump administration’s federal deportation apparatus, 271 immigrant and civil rights organizations sent a letter today to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly opposing the proposed expansion of the immigration detention system and elimination of minimal detention conditions standards.

    ICYMI: Dora Schriro: Don't make immigration custody part of the criminal justice system

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    Washington, DC - In her Op-Ed published in The Hill today entitled “Don't make immigration custody part of the criminal justice system,” founding director of the Office of Detention Policy and Planning (ODPP) and Commissioner of the Women’s Refugee Commission Dora Schriro writes a comprehensive critique of the news that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will roll back detention standards and close the Office of Detention Policy and Planning (ODPP)