This month, our report includes stories about the possible reduction in the number of refugees admitted to the U.S., access to legal aid for detainees, and the worrisome detainment of pregnant women in Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities.
- Lowered Refugee Quota: With a deadline on the horizon, the Trump Administration is considering a reduction in refugee admissions to less than 50,000, the lowest since 1980 and less than half the Obama Administration’s 2016 recommended cap of 110,000. Such a shift in policy would have dire consequences for the growing number of refugees seeking to resettle in the U.S. and would mark the second time President Trump would exercise executive authority to reduce the flow of immigrants; the first was rescinding DACA in early September: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/12/us/politics/trump-refugee-quota.html?emc=edit_th_20170913&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=68564230&_r=1.
- Due Process for Detainees: Due process for detained migrants is a continuing concern, and for those in detention facilities far from major cities, finding government-provided legal aid—the only option for someone who can’t otherwise afford a lawyer—is a particular challenge. Moreover, distance, detention protocols, and other logistics make face-to-face meetings between client and attorney difficult to arrange. The result is that detainees in these remote locations are less likely to have legal representation and more likely to be deported: http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-na-access-to-counsel-deportation/.
- Pregnant Women in Detention: The American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups have filed a complaint on behalf of 10 pregnant women who were detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, despite a 2016 memorandum ordering otherwise. Detention conditions are widely considered unsuitable for pregnant women and medical care inadequate—in fact, one of the women miscarried. The complaint will force an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security, and help to further attention to inhumane detention conditions and the need to treat pregnancy as a special circumstance: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/feds-accused-of-improperly-detaining-pregnant-immigrants/2017/09/26/f60bacc4-a2f1-11e7-b573-8ec86cdfe1ed_story.html?utm_term=.300300a6a588.
Detainees at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Arizona. Those in remote detention facilities have a harder time obtaining legal aid.
Photo by Roos D. Franklin-Pool/Getty Images.