Op-Eds and Blog Posts

Trump Administration’s Proposed Rule Attempts to Starve Out Asylum Seekers

The Trump administration is attacking the right to seek asylum in the United States. From separating asylum seekers from their children, to legally barring people from applying for protection and forcing them to remain in harsh conditions in Mexico, the administration has used every tactic it can think of to deny rights to refugees. Its most recent approach is a cruel attempt to starve out those who have lawfully applied for asylum in the U.S. by denying them the right to work while their case i

DACA Now More Than Ever Desperately Requires Legislative Fix

Two weeks ago, a federal appeals court ruled that the Donald J. Trump administration’s September 2017 rescission of the (DACA) program – which provides work permits and temporary protection from deportation to certain undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children – was unlawful. The court’s ruling is in line with decisions previously made by federal courts in California, New York, and Washington, D.C. These courts ruled that the administration had not adequately explained how the DAC

New US Policy Unjustly Targets Immigrants Who Receive Public Benefits

A typical misconception perpetuated by anti-immigrant groups is that newcomers to the U.S. drain public benefits from the government and drag down the economy. The Trump administration is validating this untruth with a new policy that targets legal immigrants who receive a variety of commonly-used public benefits. This harsh policy will force immigrants and their families to forego needed services that they are legally entitled to. The message of this policy is clear: immigrants are not welcome

‘OK, thanks, bye!’: No pretense of due process at immigration hearing

The idea that Trump administration could so carelessly and deviously separate children from their parents was difficult to believe until I saw it for myself. The Port Isabel Detention Center is located off a rural, desolate road 30 miles northeast of Brownsville, Texas. I spent several days there this month meeting with asylum-seekers who were separated from their children. While at Port Isabel, I witnessed firsthand the challenges detainees face in making their asylum claims and reuniting with

The U.S. Turns Its Back on Domestic Violence Victims | Blog: Think Immigration

This week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided in the case Matter of A-B- that victims of domestic violence no longer qualify for asylum protection in the United States. Since taking office, Sessions has used his position to rewrite U.S. immigration and asylum law. The little-known, and historically cautiously-used, power of the Attorney General to select immigration cases and issue his own decisions is especially dangerous in the hands of Sessions, a man who by his own words clearly wants to

Trump Administration’s Family Separation Policy Violates International Law

In April U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero tolerance” policy for illegal entry at the southwest border of the United States. He directed U.S. Attorney’s Offices at the border to prosecute, to the extent possible, all cases of persons crossing the border without authorization. He stated that the policy was made with the purpose of “deterring first-time improper entrants.” Since May the policy has led to hundreds of children being separated from their parents at the border as

Immigrants With Fragile Statuses Suffer in Trump Era

This week, the Trump administration announced it would end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) — a humanitarian legal protection for nationals from certain countries to remain and work in the U.S.— for roughly 200,000 El Salvadoran immigrants who have been living in the U.S. for more than 15 years. Since President Donald J. Trump took office, his administration has been targeting immigrants previously legally authorized to stay in the country and those considered a low-priority for removal.

Immigrants Accused of Crimes Presumed Guilty

JURIST Guest Columnist Jillian Blake, an attorney at Blake & Wilson Immigration Law, PLLC, discusses the violation of basic judicial and human rights principle regarding to the creation of the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement office... In late April the Trump Administration announced the creation of VOICE, or the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement office, which it claims will assist Americans who are victims of crimes perpetrated by immigrants. President Trump has stated that this o

Finding Justice for Genocide in Guatemala

One year ago this month, Efrain Rios Montt, leader of Guatemala from 1982-1983, was found guilty of genocide in a Guatemalan court for crimes committed during the country’s bloody civil war. Only ten days later, however, the verdict was overturned and the case was set to be heard again in April 2014. While many in the international community initially applauded Guatemala’s justice system for being able to convict a powerful figure of such a serious crime, sentiment quickly changed as the verdict

Syria After the Chemical Weapons 'Red Line'

This week, the Syrian Arab Republic accedes to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). With weapons inspectors already in country beginning their work to destroy President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical arsenal, Syria’s ascension to the CWC is a victory for diplomacy, the campaign against chemical weapons, and international law. Last week, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the body monitoring compliance with the CWC and currently working to dismantle Syria’s weapons, wa