Refugee Protection



Past Work

What's Going On

People fleeing persecution and torture who are seeking refugee protection enjoy the fundamental right to apply for asylum under international law. That right, however, has been curtailed in many countries and its mere existence is increasingly under threat.

Where It's Happening

Around the world

What We're Doing

For over 40 years, Human Rights First has provided pro bono legal representation to refugees seeking asylum in the United States and advocated for the protection of the human rights of refugees. Our work challenges illegal U.S. policies that push away asylum seekers at the border, jail them in inhumane detention centers, and unfairly deny asylum to people fleeing persecution who qualify for protection under U.S. laws and treaty obligations.

Join the Work

Refugee Protection

Treat People Seeking U.S. Refuge with Dignity, Not as Political Pawns

Recommendations to Congress, the Biden Administration, State and Local Governments In recent weeks, some state governors have used the transportation of migrants and asylum seekers to interior communities in an…

Fact Sheets

Upholding President Biden’s Asylum Commitments

18-Month Progress Checklist Since February 2021 Executive Order It has been more than one-and-a-half years since President Biden issued his February 2, 2021 Executive Order, directing steps to manage migration…

Fact Sheets

Fatally Flawed

“Remain in Mexico” Policy Should Never Be Revived On August 8, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the end of the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” (RMX) policy. The…


How the Trump Administration’s Refugee Policies Harm Our Iraqi Wartime Allies

U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis and the Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program The Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program was created for Iraqis who were employed in Iraq by or on behalf…

Fact Sheets

The Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program, 2009-2020

A factsheet on the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program from 2009-2020 Read More

Fact Sheets

Systemic Injustice

Represent Asylum Seekers

The right to seek asylum is a pillar of our nation’s immigration system and we work every day to keep it so. Asylum seekers are fleeing persecution or well-founded fears…


Taking on Policies that Harm Human Rights Defenders at the Border

By Cora Wright, Legal Fellow, Refugee Protection and Refugee Representation A few weeks ago, a Mexican cartel in Nuevo Laredo kidnapped Baptist Pastor Lorenzo Ortiz, who operates a network of…


Human Rights First Leads Over 240 Organizations Calling on the Biden Administration to End Trump-Era Policies and Restart Asylum

WASHINGTON D.C. – In light of the Biden administration’s recent decision to expand the Remain in Mexico policy and deploy it in tandem with Title 42 to turn away to…


Politics, Not Public Health, is Responsible for Refugees’ Suffering

Last week, Human Rights First received a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that made one thing clear:…


Corte Federal Obliga la Continuación del Título 42

WASHINGTON D.C. - Human Rights First desaprueba la decisión del 23 de mayo de un juez federal de impedirle al gobierno federal terminar con la política fallida conocida como el…


The Polish Catholic Group Taking Risks to Help Refugees

By Brian Dooley Tucked away on the edge of a forest on the Polish side of the Poland-Belarus border is a cottage with a green door. Inside is a small…


Human Rights First Calls on Biden Administration to Uphold the Law & End Title 42 Expulsions

WASHINGTON — As the Biden administration ramps up its expulsion of Haitians and making arbitrary distinctions between groups fleeing persecution and danger, Human Rights First today urged the administration to…