March 19, 2020

Image: UN High Commissioner for Refugees during Global Refugees Forum on December 17th, 2019 (Photograph by Jean Marc Ferré)

Statement by Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, on the COVID-19 Crisis

"With the world mobilizing to combat the spread of COVID-19, many countries are rightly adopting exceptional measures, limiting air travel and cross-border movements.

And for many people around the world, everyday life has come to a standstill, or is being transformed in ways that we had never envisaged.

But wars and persecution have not stopped – and today, across the globe, people are continuing to flee their homes in search of safety. I am increasingly worried by measures adopted by some countries that could block altogether the right to seek asylum.

All states must manage their borders in the context of this unique crisis as they see fit. But these measures should not result in closure of avenues to asylum, or of forcing people to return to situations of danger.


February 3, 2020

Image: No Muslim Ban Rally in Washington, DC on February 4th, 2017 (Photograph by Ted Eytan)

On Friday, January 31, the Trump administration announced the expansion of the Muslim ban, which will now suspend immigrant visas that can lead to permanent status in the United States for nationals of Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Burma, and Nigeria. It will also ban individuals from Sudan and Tanzania from obtaining "diversity visas," which are provided to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration into the United States.

It is no coincidence that this announcement comes a few days after the third anniversary of the first refugee and Muslim ban and it's deep impact on Syrians, as well as January 29th's one-year anniversary of the "Migrant Protection Protocols" (MPP) policy that closes our doors to asylum seekers and wrongfully forces them to wait in dangerous conditions in Mexico. The administration continues to repeatedly attack refugees, asylum seekers, and our Muslim neighbors, prolongi...

January 27, 2020

Image: No Muslim Ban Rally in Washington, DC on February 4th, 2017 (Photograph by Ted Eytan)

Today, January 27th, we recognize the third anniversary of the first refugee and Muslim ban. The administration has repeatedly attacked refugees, asylum seekers, and our Muslim neighbors, prolonging family separation, undermining our moral and legal obligations to the most vulnerable, and discriminating against people based of their faith or nationality.

The NO BAN Act is legislation that would terminate the administration’s refugee, Muslim, and asylum bans and ensure that no one is banned from our country based on religious or nationality-based discrimination. In addition, Senator Blumenthal plans to introduce an important resolution recognizing the anniversaries of the refugee and Muslim ban and calling for the enactment of the NO BAN Act. Join us in calling on all Members of Congress to cosponsor and pass the NO BAN Act (S.1123 / H.R.2214) and urging Senators to join as original cosponsors of...

January 14, 2020

The GRACE Act National Call-In Day

The Trump administration has reduced the refugee resettlement program by 80% and set this year’s refugee admissions goal at 18,000 – the lowest level in U.S. history. Given that there are more than 25 million refugees worldwide — more than half of whom are children — the dismantling of the resettlement program shocks the conscience. It also comes at a time when the horrific plight for Syrian refugees is never ending and growing worse by the day.

Join us Wednesday, January, 15th for a national call-in day to urge Republican Members of Congress to co-sponsor the GRACE Act (S.1088 and H.R.2146) so that it sends a strong bi-partisan message, which would set a minimum refugee admissions goal at 95,000 (the historic average since 1980) and increase congressional authority to hold the administration accountable to operate the resettlement program in good faith.

The GRACE Act has only Democrat cosponsors — now is a critical time for Republican Senators and Repre...

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