Submission of Human Rights First to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 47/21

United States policies and practices subjecting African asylum seekers and asylum seekers of African descent to human rights violations, discriminatory treatment, arbitrary detention in life-threatening conditions, and denials of refugee protection

This submission has been produced on the basis of Human Rights First’s years of experience in representing, researching, and advocating for refugees seeking humanitarian protection in the United States. The submission provides relevant excerpts of recent Human Rights First reports and other research on U.S. policies and practices of, and implemented by, U.S. agencies, that endanger the lives and safety of African people and people of African descent seeking refugee protection, subject them to arbitrary detention in life-threatening conditions, and deny asylum in violation of U.S. law and international treaty obligations. Many of these policies and practices disproportionately inflict harm on African asylum seekers and asylum seekers of African descent. The following sections address: the proposed asylum ban regulation (Section I); immigration detention (Section II); the Title 42 expulsion policy (Section III); expedited removal (Section IV); the Remain in Mexico policy (Section V); “metering” of asylum seekers at ports of entry (Section VI); and one-year filing asylum deadline (Section VII). The agencies engaging in these practices and implementing these policies include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and its component agencies, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as well as the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Human Rights First urges the High Commissioner to recommend that the United States withdraw the proposed asylum ban regulation and take all steps to firmly and permanently remove barriers to asylum, including the use of expedited removal, immigration detention, and Title 42, which inflict disproportionate harm on African refugees and refugees of African descent and block them from seeking and receiving asylum protection in the United States.


Published on April 10, 2023


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