President’s Executive Action Announcement Missed Opportunity to Right the Course on Treatment of Asylum Seekers

Washington, D.C. – In response to President Obama’s announcement tonight that he would take steps through executive action to defer deportation and provide work permission for up to 5 million immigrants who are presently in the United States without authorization, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer has released the following statement:

“While the executive action announced tonight will offer temporary relief for millions of families, the Obama Administration has missed an opportunity to right its course on the treatment of asylum seekers. In fact, this week U.S. immigration authorities announced that they will open a large new immigration detention facility in December in Dilley, Texas to hold up to 2400 people, including mothers and children seeking asylum.  We are also concerned that the administration’s announcement of additional border enforcement measures did not also announce corresponding steps to better protect those seeking asylum at our borders; nor did the administration announce an end to its harsh policy of sending mothers and children seeking asylum into immigration detention.”

“Moving forward the administration should take decisive action to ensure that America upholds its commitment to those fleeing persecution and violence.”

Press

Published on November 20, 2014

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