Asylum News–May/June 2010

Celebrating World Refugee Day 2010

On June 20th, Human Rights First joined refugees, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, governments and individuals around the world in marking World Refugee Day, an annual celebration that recognizes the contributions of refugees and shines light on the plight of the millions of people who are uprooted around the world due to war, conflict or oppression.

Click here to read Human Rights First’s statement.

Click here to read President Obama’s statement.

Click here to view the UNHCR event.

Click here to watch Human Rights First’s video.


Senate Judiciary Committee Holds a Hearing on the Refugee Protection Act

On May 19th, the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Jeffery Sessions (R-AL), held a hearing entitled, “Renewing America’s Commitment to Refugee Protection: The Refugee Protection Act of 2010.”

Click here to read more about the Refugee Protection Act, including statements submitted by Human Rights First and other NGOs

Click here to urge your Senator to cosponsor the Refugee Protection Act.

If you are a pro bono attorney and wish to support the Refugee Protection Act of 2010, please contact HRF staff Ruthie Epstein at [email protected].


Human Rights First report cited in NY Review of Books

The NY Review of Books cited Human Rights First’s report “Denial and Delay: The Impact of the Immigration Law’s ‘Terrorism Bars’ on Asylum Seekers and Refugees in the United States” to explain that current laws and legal interpretations regarding “material support” to “terrorism” mean that many innocent refugees and asylum seekers, who are themselves victims of violence or repression in foreign countries, have been stuck in limbo or denied entry to the United States. The Refugee Protection Act of 2010 would address many of the problems with current laws and policies.

Click here to urge your Senator to cosponsor the Refugee Protection Act.

Click here to read “Denial and Delay.”


Human Rights First Highlights List Project Report

The List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies recently issued a new report finding that U.S. efforts to bring U.S.-affiliated Iraqis to safety still fail to meet the needs of tens of thousands of Iraqis at risk because of their work with the U.S. government or U.S. organizations and media outlets. Echoing concerns long raised by Human Rights First, The List Project highlighted security clearance processing as a primary delay in refugee resettlement processing. On a recent fact finding mission to Jordan, Human Rights First documented how the security clearance process negatively affects refugee protection.

Click here to read blog by Human Rights First staff Jesse Bernstein and Ruthie Epstein.


U.S. State Department Hosts a Roundtable on LGBT Human Rights Concerns

On June 22nd in honor of Pride Month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton convened a high-level discussion on the evolution of U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. commitment to human rights concerns for individuals who are in danger or face discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Among the topics discussed were particular concerns related to LGBT refugees. This focus on LGBT refugees by the State Department follows a February 2010 letter sent by 12 Senators and 32 members of the House of Representatives and a March 2010 letter sent by Human Rights First and 17 other organizations to Secretary Clinton, urging the United States to assume a greater leadership role in the protection of LGBT refugees.

Click here to Read Secretary Clinton’s Pride Proclamation

Click here to read the Congressional letter sent to Secretary Clinton.

Click here to read the NGO letter sent to Secretary Clinton.


Previous Asylum Newsletters


Published on August 31, 2010


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