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Women’s Refugee Commission Strongly Condemns New White House Immigration Priorities

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the Trump administration released their White House Immigration Priorities. The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) strongly condemns these policy “priorities” as they will weaken already fragile protections for vulnerable women and children fleeing horrific violence and seeking asylum in the United States. 

Although the priorities are vague, a review by WRC showed that, among other things, the announced policies would:

  • Dramatically reduce protections for children seeking asylum at our borders by accelerating their return to the country they are fleeing without adequate screening for protection and trafficking concerns;
  • Weaken standards of custody for those children who remain in immigration custody, creating risks to their health, well-being and safety; and
  • Subject unaccompanied children seeking asylum to a more adversarial immigration process by funneling them straight into a full immigration court proceeding and not allowing them to first pursue an asylum case with the Asylum Office.

Michelle Brané, Director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women's Refugee Commission made the following statement:

“The ‘priorities’ released by the Trump White House do not constitute a serious policy proposal, are manipulative, and reflect either a lack of understanding or a clear misrepresentation of U.S. laws and obligations. The proposal would decimate an already fragile system of protection that the Women’s Refugee Commission has repeatedly demonstrated punishes rather than protects women and children fleeing horrific violence and legally seeking asylum in the U.S. Slamming the door on those women and children flies in the face of American values, yet this administration is choosing to lock these families and unaccompanied minors in a burning house, rather than live up to our values and fix our broken immigration system. Pitting one population of vulnerable asylum seekers against another for political gain is despicable and inhumane. The Trump administration is playing with people’s lives and not making America or Americans any safer in the process.”