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Processing asylum claims at the US border is a Gordian knot in need of a clean cut. My scissors are ready. The solution is not procedural, but rather, a simpler, fairer asylum standard that will allow US decision-makers to quickly identify and protect…
Migrants seeking asylum wait in line with their case paperwork to meet with an attorney on Oct. 5, 2019, during a weekly trip by volunteers, lawyers, paralegals and interpreters to the migrant campsite outside El Puente Nuevo in Matamoros, Mexico.
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Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record. In its latest attempt, Saudi…
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record.
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Many Detainees Should Be Released; States Should Halt Transfers

As people across the United States prepared for Memorial Day last month, a second person in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody died of complications from Covid-19. Santiago Baten-Oxlaj, 34, from Guatemala, passed away at the Piedmont…
An illustration of a man in a prison uniform lying in fetal position at a crossroads (the roads have barbed wire)
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The Trump administration is talking about freezing immigration for 60 days, at a time when it’s urgent to address the vulnerability of thousands of Venezuelans in the United States.

As COVID-19 spreads, it’s clearer than ever that millions of Venezuelans who have fled a brutal government crackdown and an already collapsed health system in their home country can’t return safely. The U.S. government has the ability to grant…
People protest outside the children's hospital JM de los Rios because of lack of medicines, in Caracas, Venezuela March 12, 2020.
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“Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet,” was how Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), suggested revising the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty in August when the Trump…
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Drowned out by the noise of the Rugby World Cup and overshadowed by the deadly devastation wrought by Typhoon Hagibis was a meeting between Japan’s leaders and an alleged war criminal, which went largely unreported by the media and unnoticed by the…
Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese politician, diplomat, author, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1991), meets Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Akasaka Palace in Minato Ward, Tokyo on October 21, 2019. Aung San Suu Kyi comes to Japan to attend an enthronement
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The scars ran deep. His back was a maze of thick welts, thinner scars and parts that resembled small craters. His wrists and ankles were raw from where he’d been shackled and suspended from a ceiling for hours, and his limbs appeared…
Armed forces allied to internationally recognized government fight with armed group in Tripoli, Libya September 22, 2018. © 2018 Hani Amara/Reuters
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It’s still unclear what convinced Mexico’s new president to collaborate with the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy in June of this year. Was it the threat of tariffs, or a genuine desire to crack down on migrants? In any case,…
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In its latest effort to keep asylum seekers from reaching the United States, the Trump administration enacted a new rule on July 16 that effectively bars anyone from seeking asylum in the United States who tries to cross the southern U.…
Demonstrators protest against the detention of asylum seekers at Australian-run offshore detention centers on the island of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, in Sydney, Australia, August 31, 2017.
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According to the recent UN refugee agency Global Trends report, Brazil received about 80,000 new requests for asylum in 2018,  more than double the  2017 requests. More than three-quarters -- 61,000 —came from Venezuelans. But between…
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In Omelas, a fictional town envisioned by the science fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin, everyone is happy, but they embrace a paradox; the prosperity of the town is sustained at the expense of the misery of a little girl who is locked underground…
Abdul Kareem, a Rohingya Muslim, carries his mother, Alima Khatoon, to a refugee camp after crossing from Burma into Bangladesh on Sept. 16, 2017.
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Congress Should End Abusive Conditions

The three-year old before me had matted hair, a hacking cough, muddy pants, and eyes that fluttered closed with fatigue. His only caretaker for the last three weeks in a United States Border Patrol chain-link cage and then a cell…his 11…
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Why They Remain Stuck in Bangladesh

The Rohingya Muslims have faced persecution in Myanmar for decades. And yet no violence in their recent history has compared to that which the Myanmar military inflicted in August 2017. After militants from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army…
Rohingya refugee girls cross a makeshift bamboo bridge at Kutupalong refugee camp, where they have been living amid uncertainty over their future after they fled Myanmar to escape violence a year ago, in Bangladesh, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018.
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The Exodus story, which Jews will be celebrating this week with the Passover holiday, starts with the “hardened heart” of Pharaoh, who refuses to allow the Hebrew slaves to leave. Tyrants’ refusals to allow oppressed people to flee is a…
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My mobile phone vibrating next to my head far too early on a Sunday morning was the first indication someone was in trouble. Even in an organization such as Human Rights Watch, that spans time zones across the globe, people don’t usually call at that hour…
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