Asylum News 66

Congressional Committee Hears Testimony on Medical Care in Immigrant Detention On June 4, 2008, the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law held a hearing on “Problems with Immigration Detainee Medical Care.” The hearing addressed many of the issues recently raised in a four part Washington Post series on the deficiencies in medical and mental health care provided for detainees in immigrant detention. Among the witnesses testifying were Julie Myers, the Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in DHS, the Acting Director of the Division of Immigration Health Services (DIHS) within ICE, as well as former detainees, representatives of the NGO and medical care community and an HRF pro bono attorney whose refugee client was severely impacted by the insufficient medical care she received. Click here to access a webcast of the hearing Click here to read 6/5/08 Washington Post article HRF Welcomes Bipartisan Senate Bill on Immigrant Detention Reforms On June 11, 2008, Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), Senator Sam Brownback (R-Ks.), Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), and Senator Chuck Hagel, (R-Neb.) introduced the 2008 Secure and Safe Detention and Asylum Act, S. 3114. The bill addresses some of the most pressing issues facing asylum seekers and other immigrants in detention today and includes provisions for immigration court review of detention of asylum seekers, nationwide alternatives to detention, and improvements in medical care provided to detained immigrants. Many of the bill’s provisions address concerns raised in a 2005 report by the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom relating to the detention of asylum seekers. Read 2008 Secure and Safe Detention and Asylum Act Read HRF Statement commending Senators Read the Senate Statement on the Bill Second Circuit Issues Ruling on Female Genital Cutting On June 11, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denials in the asylum cases of three Guinean women. The women had each expressed fear of returning to Guinea, including, in two cases, fear for the safety of their daughters. The three-judge panel of the Court ruled that although the women had already experienced genital cutting as children in Guinea, that experience is not necessarily a “one-time act” of persecution nor the only kind of future persecution the women may face. Read the Second Circuit Decision Read the 6/12/08 New York Times Article June 20 Marks Annual World Refugee Day June 20 was World Refugee Day, a day that has been celebrated annually since the adoption of a U.N. resolution in December 2000. This year’s theme focused on protection of refugees. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, remarked that “refugees show incredible courage and perseverance in overcoming enormous odds to rebuild their lives. Ensuring that they get the protection they deserve is a noble cause because refugee rights are human rights – and rights that belong to us all.” Events celebrating the day were held all over the world. For more information, click here. Annual World Refugee Survey Released The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants released the 2008 World Refugee Survey on Thursday, June 19. In addition to providing profiles of the treatment of refugees and refugee policies in various countries around the world, the survey takes a closer look at countries considered to be the worst places for refugees. Read the 2008 World Refugee Survey


Published on June 30, 2008


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