This post was written by Liana Montecinos. Thirsty, hungry, at the brink of exhaustion, and with fear of violent deaths looming large back home is how many Central American children cross into the U.S. I know this because I have the privilege to work with child refugees in my capacity as paralegal at Benach Collopy and previously as a legal assistant at CAIR Coalition. But, I also know this because, like the children I work with now, I fled my native Honduras at 11 and I also crossed through Guatemala and Mexico via foot.
Our eyes will be on the Supreme Court today to see if the Supreme Court will issue its decision in U.S. v. Texas, the DAPA/ DACA injunction case. With the Court recessing in less than two weeks, an answer to the question of the legality of DAPA and expanded DACA is forthcoming soon. The Court still has to issue decisions in 13 cases before the end of the term.
“Ok, I’d be willing to stipulate to humanitarian asylum.” We were approximately 30 minutes into the recess the Immigration Judge took, during which we were supposed to negotiate a favorable solution for our client, when DHS said the words we had been waiting to hear since we first met our client in October. We both thought, “Oh my gosh, really???” but when Professor Michelle Mendez leaned over and whispered to our client in Spanish that she was going to get asylum, we knew this was really happening—our client was going to be safe.
Writing in today’s Leadership Blog from the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Dree Collopy explains the fundamentals of asylum law the critics, journalists, and politicians fail to understand: Any refusal to recognize gender-motivated violence such as rape and domestic violence as persecution worthy of protection under the Immigration and Nationality Act and the U.N. Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees reflects a complete lack of understanding of women’s relationship to the state and their own governments’ failure to provide adequate protection.
At Benach Collopy, we share the outrage over the terrorist massacre in Paris. We weep for the families who lives where turned inside out by a murderous death cult. As residents of another Western capital, we are all too aware that we are also a target of the missionaries of hate. Now, in the name of protecting us, many politicians call for an end to refugee admissions.
This post was written by BR’s administrative services manager, Naya Gonzalez. 100 women, 100 miles. Waving banners, singing hymns, pushing strollers and full of hope – that’s how 100 women walked 100 miles from an immigration detention center in York, Pennsylvania all the way to Washington, DC, where they arrived Tuesday night. They were inspired by Pope Francis’s call to justice for immigrants all over the world: “We must respond to the globalization of migration with the globalization of charity and cooperation,” the Pope has said.
Since last summer, when the Obama Administration hastily resurrected the concept of family detention to jail refugee women and children seeking asylum, thousands of women and children have languished in inhumane conditions, have been refused meaningful access to counsel and interpreters, have been hurled through bond proceedings with predetermined results, and have been sent directly and expeditiously back to the danger from which they fled – all in violation of U.S.
Yesterday, several prominent House Democrats called on the administration to end family detention. Organized by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of California, the Democrats decried the Obama administration’s detention of women and children fleeing violence in Central America. From the creating of a truncated form of due process in refugee protection to a novel interpretation of bond eligibility to conditions which have caused serious illnesses in the children being jailed by the administration, the entire experience of the gulag archipelago of detention centers was designed not to follow the law and protect asylum-seekers, but as a means of deterrence to other potential refugees.
Once a year immigration attorneys from all over the country march to Washington, D.C. to meet with their elected officials and to encourage them to take action toward fixing this country’s broken immigration system. The event is organized by the American Immigration Lawyers Association and is appropriately called the National Day of Action. This year, one of the issues we put on the list of things to discuss is family detention.
Our March 2015 client of the month is no stranger to readers of BR’s blog. The Immigration Judge’s grant of D-R-‘s residency in February 2015 ended a saga that began in 2009, when the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service put her and her brother into removal proceedings. Both had entered as young children to live with their adoptive parents away from the violence and poverty of their home country, Guyana.