Via Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic

HIRC to attend Commission hearing next week

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has granted a request filed by the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC) to participate in a hearing on the impact of President Trump’s Executive Orders on human rights in the United States.

HIRC’s request, submitted with the support of over two dozen law professors and advocates on both sides of the border, will focus on the impact of the Executive Orders on the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) between Canada and the United States. The hearing will take place on March 21st in Washington, D.C.

Under the STCA, Canada refuses to hear claims by asylum seekers who arrive at the Canadian border from the U.S. on the premise that the United States is a “safe” country for refugees and can adequately entertain their claims. However, as HIRC’s hearing request explained, with these Executive Orders, the United States cannot be considered a “safe” country for refugees.

HIRC outlined grave concerns with the U.S. asylum system in its latest report, submitted to the IACHR with the request for a hearing. The report demonstrates how the executive orders undermine human rights and fall short of basic refugee protection obligations under international law. Of particular concern are the provisions for an expanded system of mass incarceration of refugees; expansion of expedited removal proceedings without due process; and aggressive prosecution of unauthorized entry.

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