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    Migrant rights groups sue as US starts sending families back to Mexico

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    "Both the US and Mexican governments know that the border area is unsafe for women and children," said Migrants' Rights and Justice Program Director Michelle Brane at the Women's Refugee Commission.

    The Trump Administration Has Sent The First Asylum-Seeking Families Back To Mexico

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    Michelle Brané, director of the migrant rights and justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, said the policy was a violation of US and international law.

    “That the Trump administration has chosen to endanger children by returning families seeking protection to danger in Mexico should surprise no one,” Brané said in a statement. "This administration has deliberately and methodically launched assault after assault on asylum-seeking families."

    U.S. sends first families to Mexico to await asylum, rights groups sue

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    "Both the U.S. and Mexican governments know that the border area is unsafe for women and children," Michelle Brané, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC), said in a statement on the decision to return the families to Mexico.
    "The U.S. government knows full well that asylum-seeking families are no threat to this nation."

    Trump 'Remain In Mexico Plan' Initiating Today Endangers Migrants' Lives - Advocacy Group

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    The Trump administration's launching of the Remain in Mexico Plan on Friday will endanger the lives of migrants seeking asylum in the United StatesWomen's Refugee Commission's Migrant Rights and Justice Director Michelle Brane said in a press release.

    "Today's action by the Trump administration to send asylum-seekers back to Mexico is disgraceful and will result in the loss of life for vulnerable people seeking safety," Brane said in the release on Friday.

    Uganda Hosts Africa's Largest Refugee Population

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    Mugisha Willent, 26, a refugee from the DRC, remembered fleeing Goma in 2000. “All I knew was that there was fighting going on.” Now, “Uganda has given us peace, land and more. I call Uganda home,” she told African Renewal.

    This year, Willent was one of three women to win a Voices of Courage Award from the Women’s Refugee Commission in New York.

    I on Politics: Meng’s Bill Protects Women and Girls in Refugee Camps

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    Refugee camps around the world often fail to provide safe and secure infrastructure that allows women and girls to use the restroom safely and with dignity. In particular, there is limited access to sanitation facilities and those that exist are often mixed sex, public, and without locks or well-lit paths. Of the 42 million people who have had to flee their homes due to war, 80 percent are women and children, and at least 10 million are estimated to be girls, according to a report by the Women’s Refugee Commission.

    Uganda stands out in refugee hospitality

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    Mugisha Willent, 26, a refugee from the DRC, remembered fleeing Goma in 2000. “All I knew was that there was fighting going on.” Now, “Uganda has given us peace, land and more. I call Uganda home,” she told African Renewal.

    This year, Willent was one of three women to win a Voices of Courage Award from the Women’s Refugee Commission in New York.

    Uganda Offers Open-Door Hospitality to Refugees

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    Mugisha Willent, 26, a refugee from the DRC, remembered fleeing Goma in 2000. “All I knew was that there was fighting going on.” Now, “Uganda has given us peace, land and more. I call Uganda home,” she told African Renewal.

    This year, Ms. Willent was one of three women to win a Voices of Courage Award from the Women’s Refugee Commission in New York.

    When refugee displacement drags on, is self-reliance the answer?

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    But how do you know if a refugee is really self-reliant?  Refuge Point and the  Women’s Refugee Commission (of which I am on the board and a commissioner, respectively) both began developing indicators to determine when refugees achieve self-reliance and are now working with 16 humanitarian actors in a  community of practice to refine and pilot these indicators.

    Thousands More Migrant Children Were Separated from Their Families Than Previously Reported

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    Migrant rights groups had already been warning that there were likely many more families separated by the Trump administration the greater public had been aware of by the summer of 2018. In March of last year, the ACLU and immigrant, asylum, and refugee rights groups came out with allegations that the administration was separating families at the southern border. A refugee rights group, the Women’s Refugee Commission, identified 429 cases of what it had deemed family separations at the border by March 2018, according to reporting from The Guardian at the time.

    Federal Immigration Agents Separated More Migrant Children Than Previously Thought

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    Immigrant advocacy organizations such as the Women's Refugee Commission said at the time, "We began to hear a noticeable increase in this practice in the summer [of 2017]." Moreover, 74 congressional Democrats sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen denouncing family separation as unlawful and immoral.

    Federal Immigration Agents Separated More Migrant Children Than Previously Thought

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    Immigrant advocacy organizations such as the Women's Refugee Commission said at the time, "We began to hear a noticeable increase in this practice in the summer [of 2017]." Moreover, 74 congressional Democrats sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen denouncing family separation as unlawful and immoral.

    Trump keeps mentioning taped-up women at the border. Experts have no idea what he’s talking about.

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    “I’m not really sure where his information is coming from,” said Leah Chavla, a policy adviser with the Women’s Refugee Commission, who has made nearly 15 trips to the border since 2017 and has worked with Latin American migrants.

    Trump keeps mentioning taped-up women at the border. Experts have no idea what he’s talking about.

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    “I’m not really sure where his information is coming from,” said Leah Chavla, a policy adviser with the Women’s Refugee Commission, who has made nearly 15 trips to the border since 2017 and has worked with Latin American migrants.

    President Obama Also Faced A 'Crisis' At The Southern Border

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    "They made a lot of mistakes, but eventually they got some stuff right," said Michelle Brané, who directs the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women's Refugee Commission.

    "They started out with sort of a deterrence approach, but realized fairly early on that this was a humanitarian situation," Brané said.

    President Obama Also Faced A 'Crisis' At The Southern Border

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    "They made a lot of mistakes, but eventually they got some stuff right," said Michelle Brané, who directs the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women's Refugee Commission.

    "They started out with sort of a deterrence approach, but realized fairly early on that this was a humanitarian situation," Brané said.

    Reporting abuse, activists work to end detention for pregnant migrants

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    Seven organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration CouncilRefugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and Women's Refugee Commission, signed the complaint, which outlined general concerns and described 10 individual complaints to illustrate the issues.

    Two migrant children recently died in Border Patrol custody. There were documented warning signs

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    Leah Chavla, a policy advisor with the Women’s Refugee Commission has focused on the treatment of asylum seekers. After visiting Tijuana to observe the recent refugee caravan, she said she observed a lot of migrants with respiratory illnesses, which may stem from traveling for a long time and being exposed to weather elements, in addition to inadequate nutrition, stress and anxiety.

    “While, yes, children may get sick while migrating, I still think an independent and thorough investigation is critical in both of these cases of deaths in CBP custody,” Chavla said.

    2 migrant children died this month. But warnings were documented long before that

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    Leah Chavla, a policy advisor with the Women’s Refugee Commission has focused on the treatment of asylum seekers. After visiting Tijuana to observe the recent refugee caravan, she said she observed a lot of migrants with respiratory illnesses, which may stem from traveling for a long time and being exposed to weather elements, in addition to inadequate nutrition, stress and anxiety.

    “While, yes, children may get sick while migrating, I still think an independent and thorough investigation is critical in both of these cases of deaths in CBP custody,” Chavla said.

    After 2nd child dies in U.S. custody, Nielsen expands medical screenings, will head to border

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    Leah Chavla, a policy adviser at the Women’s Refugee Commission, said the government should hire child-welfare professionals to deal with young migrants. “Someone there who has the credentials, who knows how to work with children who have been survivors of trauma and other circumstances,” Chavla said, adding that Border Patrol agents don’t have that sort of specialized training.