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    Raids on asylum seekers must stop

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    The influx of Central Americans coming to the U.S. is a refugee crisis, not a border security issue. We are not a country where people should be frightened to answer knocks on their doors, according to Michelle Brané in this op-ed in The Hill.  

    Refugees Fleeing Mortal Danger in Central America Face Daily Fear of Deportation in US

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    "This is not a question of strict border security,” says Michelle Brané of the Women’s Refugee Commission. “These are kids and women who are essentially turning themselves in. As asylum seekers, they are appropriately exercising their legal rights."

    How We Are Failing Women and Girls in Humanitarian Emergencies

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    Safe abortion care is a blind spot in humanitarian responses and is severely lacking, says Sandra Krause of the Women's Refugee Commission. 

    In Today’s Refugees I Am Finding My Mother’s Memories

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    "We heard cases of pregnant women about to deliver who declined medical attention so they could keep moving. In some instances, it was the husbands who pressured their wives against seeking medical help," says Jurate Kazikas, a board member of the Women's Refugee Commission. 

    AP INVESTIGATION: Feds' failures imperil migrant children

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    In 2012, caseworkers followed a stringent process before releasing children to sponsors. Later,"so many kids were piling up at the Border Patrol stations they sped up reunification procedures that they had in place for years," said Jennifer Podkul, senior program officer at the nonprofit Women's Refugee Commission.

    Feds imperiled many migrant kids during surge

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    "They sped up reunification procedures that they had in place for years," said Jennifer Podkul, senior program officer at the Women's Refugee Commission. Over two dozen children have been severely abused since the safety checks were discontinued.

    Women and girls caught in refugee crisis lack protection

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    "There are not adequate protection services on the ground to both identify and prioritize women’s needs," said Executive Director Sarah Costa.

    Refugee Women Seeking Safety in Europe Risk Sexual Abuse, Violence

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    "Those most at risk of sexual abuse and violence include single women traveling alone or with children, pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, unaccompanied children and early married children."

    IRIN's Top Picks: Neutral aid, women refugees, and unequal inequality

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    "As local authorities and aid agencies have struggled to respond to the mass movement of migrants and refugees through Europe last year, the vulnerabilities of the many women travelling alone or with small children have been largely forgotten."

    Advocates Wary of President Obama’s New Refugee Resettlement Program

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    "It is not illegal to cross international borders and request asylum," said Michelle Brané, Director of the Migrant Rights & Justice program at the Women's Refugee Commission. "The presence of a formal refugee resettlement program does not negate our obligation to accept asylum seekers at our borders."

    Advocates perplexed by U.S. response to Central American migrants

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    Michelle Brané, director of migrant rights and justice at the Women's Refugee Commission, said the administration's "border enforcement approach to this issue has been a mistake from the beginning."

    Marcy Hersh and the Fight for Female Refugees

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    "When a crisis happens, women and girls are separated from the usual mechanisms that keep them safe and protected. It is inevitable that gender-based violence, in particular, increases," says Marcy Hersh, Senior Advocacy Officer at the Women's Refugee Commission.

    Advocates Call ICE Raids ‘Classic Reproductive Oppression’

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    "Many of the women asylum seekers being targeted by DHS were escaping gender-based violence in their countries of origin. During migration, it is believed that 80 percent of women and girls crossing into the United States by way of Mexico are raped during their journey."

    Why Is the US Deporting Refugee Families?

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    Rather than ensure access to protection and justice for these refugees fleeing violence, we continue to see the Administration…respond with detention and other efforts to deter, said Katharina Obser.

    Feds plan raids nationwide targeting families for deportation

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    “It is outrageous that the Administration plans to conduct raids on families who have fled persecution and violence,” said Michelle Brané.

    Democratic Candidates Blast Obama Administration Plan To Deport Families

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    Michelle Brané said she had not received briefings from the administration. But she worried that some families facing deportation may not have had proper legal representation, especially if their cases sped through the courts.

    Immigration raids shouldn't be used against refugees, say advocates

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    "It's not illegal to ask for protection, and we should stop treating them as if we're violating a law. They're asserting their international right to protection," Michelle Brané said.

    US plan to deport undocumented families angers Democratic candidates

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    "The image of sending women and children  back to one of the most dangerous places in the world over the Christmas holiday does not show the kind of leadership that this administration has been saying they want to take on migration and refugees," Michelle Brané said.

    Thousands of Central American Kids Are Back at Our Border. Here’s What You Need to Know.

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    "You can make the direct comparison to the situation in Europe," says Jennifer Podkul of the Women's Refugee Commission. "Look at what's happening in the home country and why people are leaving, and it has nothing to do with whether or not [there is] a functioning asylum system."

    Among flood fleeing Syria, a trickle crosses ocean to brave Central American smuggling routes

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    If refugees can’t reach their destinations — and declare asylum there — legally, smugglers will help them to do it illegally, according to Jennifer Podkul at the Women's Refugee Commission.