Call To Action:
Please call your Reps and Senators
For the last four to five years there have been numerous protests and rallies all across the country. Faisal R. Khan with Carolina Peace Center organized number of events on cruel immigration policies and its direct impact on most vulnerable people who are seeking safety and security in the US. Without meaningful policy change nothing will change. Many thanks to Justice Security for leading initiatives on policy change. Please raise your voice and advocate for these policies. Thank you.
The President Joe Biden administration is faced with a choice of maintaining its vision and promises of more just and lawful immigration policies or, instead, bowing to pressures and taking more politically expedient paths that revert to xenophobic and exclusionary policies.
President Biden must take bold action to protect people and comply with international law and best practices. A few steps that must be taken immediately include the following:
* Ensure that all unaccompanied minors and detained asylum seekers have meaningful access to adequate legal counsel at every stage of the process, and endeavor to ensure government-appointed counsel in the long-term to those who cannot afford it. Currently, there is no right to government-appointed counsel for persons in immigration proceedings under U.S. law.
* Revoke proposed policies and regulations that contravene the government’s obligation not to return people to situations where they face torture, ill-treatment, or other irreparable harm, and provide training regarding such obligations to all Border Patrol and ICE officers. The United States is a party to several international conventions that contain the obligation of non-refoulement— a prohibition on returning people to a country in which they are likely to be subjected to torture or persecution. These include the Refugee Convention and its Protocol, as well as the Convention Against Torture (CAT).
* Eliminate the backlog in asylum adjudications by dedicating sufficient resources and eliminating harmful and duplicative policies designed to slow the process and violate due process, giving particular focus to people in detention. Article 9 of the ICCPR prohibits arbitrary detention. Yet, U.S. law allows — or, in some cases, requires — detention of people in immigration proceedings, including those who are exercising their lawful right to seek asylum. Pursuant to both international and U.S. law, people have the right to seek asylum and should not be criminalized for doing so.
* Ensure that those who must, under exceptional circumstances, remain in detention are held in facilities that comply with all international human rights standards with regard to conditions of detention. The primary source of international human rights standards for prisons and jails is the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, also known as the “Mandela Rules” in honor of Nelson Mandela, who spent nearly 30 years in prison because of his democracy and anti-apartheid activism in South Africa. These standards are based on the requirements, found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, also sometimes called the International Bill of Rights), the ICCPR, and the CAT that everyone be treated with the inherent dignity of humankind, and that the right to life and the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment be respected.
* Continue to rescind harmful and unlawful policies and regulations of past administrations while quickly proposing and implementing policies, regulations, and legislation that bring U.S. immigration policies in line with international practices. The Biden administration made an admirable start by quickly rescinding some of the worst of the Trump administration policies, such as the “Muslim Ban” and the “Remain in Mexico” (MPP) policy. But to the horror of immigration advocates, the administration has continued to rely on a misguided application of public-health law, the so-called “Title 42 expulsion policy,” that bars people, including asylum seekers, from crossing the U.S. border from Mexico or Canada if they would be held in a congregate setting by U.S. authorities. While this rule is purportedly justified due to COVID-19, its alleged necessity is created only by the fact that the United States continues to detain asylum seekers en masse.
Please join or message us to get more involved. Thank you.
Call to Action: Reps and Senators