Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #WelcomeWithDignity

Most recents (24)

Here's my take on what today's memo from @AliMayorkas formally ending the MPP program means--and what it still leaves left to be done.

For those wanting to nerd out. Here's the memo:…

Why did this happen today? Remember that on Feb. 2, 2021 Biden issued an executive order that paused the MPP program and required the Secretary of DHS to promptly review the program & decide whether to formally terminate it. That formal termination came today via this memo. 2/7
But MPP had been paused long before that. MPP court hearings stopped on March 23, 2020 due to the pandemic--leaving many asylum seekers in legal limbo while forced to wait outside the U.S. in unsafe conditions.

So what is new today...?

Read 7 tweets
There are ways to do this that could make the asylum system more humane, fair, timely & effective. But language in this plan signals steps to cut due process & use flawed expedited removal. If that is the case, the Biden admin needs to adjust course, and do this the former way.
The last thing we need is yet another round of sacrificing due process and effective refugee protection decisions to try to send a deterrent message.

Who is the audience for that messaging and what is the goal?

Plus the fundamental problems still need to be fixed.
Any asylum system will break down when:
➡️chronically understaffed
➡️it rejects cases that merit protection due to pressures to process numbers, not grant, or bias
➡️Congress + the Trump admin added so many hurdles & requirements that cases take increasing amounts of time, &👇
Read 6 tweets
It's been quite the Friday in immigration news 🗞️. Here are my hot takes on the asylum news from today.

Speed & efficiency are great values for vaccine distribution but they are off base for asylum. Here's why: the cost of going too fast = sending people to their deaths. 1/10
The day's 1st announcement was from @TheJusticeDept & @DHSgov creating a rocket docket for families seeking asylum who are exempted from the cruel Title 42 policy that expels most families seeking safety. (They call it a "dedicated docket" but if it walks like a 🦆 ...) 2/10
I'm not against efficient systems if they're fair, but we're light years away from a fair system. Real talk: we do not have a working asylum system for the southern border. We have an expulsion policy-unjustified by public health needs-with a pitiful amount of exceptions. 3/10
Read 10 tweets
3 years ago this week, our South Texas team walked into a Federal courtroom where our government separated families through a violent border-wide policy. “Will I see my children again?” asked hundreds.

But family separation was not just a Trump practice. It continues today.
Policies like Title-42, i.e. the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of immigrants under the guise of a healthcare law, continue under @JoeBiden. T-42 and toxic @DHSgov practices continue to separate families at the border- our team sees it daily.
Because #FamiliesBelongTogether, we have never stopped fighting separations and continue to reunify families at the border. Even in this administration we have reunified children with their expelled parents, and do so daily for those separated across borders by T-42 expulsions.
Read 6 tweets
Today we’re proud to announce the official launch of the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign. We’re working with hundreds of advocates and organizations to say it loud and clear: we’re ready for a just asylum system that puts compassion and dignity first.
What does #WelcomeWithDignity mean to you?
The #WelcomewithDignity campaign is committed to transforming the way the U.S. receives and protects people who survived violence and left behind their homes. Together, w/our border orgs, we can build a more just and truly humane asylum system. Join us:…
Read 10 tweets
Today the #WelcomeWithDignity launched to undo Trump's cruelty and build a more just and humane asylum system
"This great injustice of the Trump years not only needs to be reversed and the policies undone, but the United States must build back a much, much better system of meeting our obligations to follow our own laws regarding families and individuals seeking safety." - @douglasrivlin
"We can welcome families, children and adults seeking asylum with dignity and honor the rule of law. The #WelcomeWithDignity campaign will be central in that recovery and rebuilding effort." - @douglasrivlin
Read 6 tweets
HAPPENING NOW: Asylum Experts, Border Advocates, and Faith Leaders Hold Press Call to Mark Launch of National Campaign to #WelcomeWithDignity
Bilal Askaryar, Welcome With Dignity Communications Coordinator:

"This campaign is about the average citizen who is called to welcome their neighbor with dignity"

.@GuerlineMJozef, of @HaitianBridge :

"When we are looking at Black immigrants who end up at the Mexican border... they are the most targeted...We must also look at racial justice!"

Read 5 tweets
The Biden Administration is taking more steps to undo and repair some of the most cruel elements of the Trump era immigration. #WelcomeWithDignity
"The Biden Administration’s decision to stop detaining immigrants at two detention facilities in Massachusetts and Georgia and rescind associated 287(g) agreements is a welcome first step toward undoing Trump’s four year reign of cruelty against immigrants." - @DavidLeopold
"Today’s announcement by Secretary Mayorkas brings hope that in the days & weeks to come the Biden administration will end all 287(g) agreements throughout the U.S. & ensure that ICE & CBP will abide by the highest professional standards & are held accountable." - @DavidLeopold
Read 6 tweets
Today's statement by the UN High Commissioner for @Refugees encouraging @POTUS to end the U.S. policies expelling asylum seekers is a big deal. ac 1/3
It's rare for the UNHCR to publicly speak out against policies that hurt refugees and asylum seekers in this way. And, the statement calls out the U.S. for using COVID as an excuse to turn its back on its asylum obligations. 2/3
UNHCR points out that other countries have been able to protect public safety & uphold their asylum obligations even during the height of COVID. We can do that as well, and we must. We can't use COVID as an excuse to turn our back on our legal obligations. #WelcomeWithDignity/end
Read 3 tweets
Mapping out Changes in Immigration Law and Policy During the Administration’s First 100 Days and Beyond is a panel that includes @aayoub w/ @ADC, @pakalchi w/ @CarecenDC, @GuerlineMJozef w/ @HaitianBridge, @meganessaheb w/ @AAAJ_AAJC, and moderated by @CLINICexec.
"We need leadership from the Biden administration, not just responsiveness [on immigration]." @pakalchi, @CarecenDC
“The change in tone and language about immigration is welcome, but it must be backed by action.” - @aayoub, @adc
Read 11 tweets
#Breaking: some MORE Friday immigration news. Today, we escalated our effort to make sure the U.S. will #WelcomeWithDignity immigrant kids who were involved with MPP by asking the court to order the Biden admin to give these children their Congressionally mandated rights. 1/10
Remember MPP? It forced 70,000+ people seeking safety in the U.S. to live in squalid, dangerous conditions along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Biden admin has promised to stop MPP & has made progress on that, which we celebrate. But we're a long way from the end of MPP’s ills. 2/10
Under Trump, kids who interacted with MPP & then came across the border w/o parents or caregivers were treated horribly. Our plaintiffs shared heart-wrenching 💔stories about young children being put on planes & dropped off in countries where they had no parents. 3/10
Read 10 tweets
This is Bryan. After 3 yrs of separation from his mom due to Trump’s zero tolerance policy, he will finally reunite w/her this week. Despite such a traumatic experience, Bryan is fighting back by joining #TeamImmDef to help children like him know their rights.
Thank you to @jacobsoboroff for joining us in celebrating this bittersweet moment. ImmDef met Bryan while he was in an ORR shelter. Since then he was reunited with siblings. This week his family becomes whole again.
“I didn’t have a chance to say anything. We were shocked, crying and didn’t expect to be separated from each other. That was the last time I saw my mom in person.” - ImmDef client Bryan, becomes one of the first children to reunite w/mother under Biden’s Task Force this week.
Read 8 tweets
HAPPENING NOW: A House Homeland Security subcommittee holds a hearing on unaccompanied migrant children at the U.S. border.

Watch now:
.@RepBarragan: "Now is not the time to score political points... I am encouraged President Biden has committed to restoring humane border policies."
.@BennieGThompson: "We do not have to sacrifice border security to treat unaccompanied, vulnerable children with basic decency." #WelcomeWithDignity
Read 11 tweets
Spent a long day at #LongBeach Convention Center with my partner-in-good @Yliana_JM & team @ImmDef. A few things that I keep replaying in my head. Can’t stop thinking about a girl (11) and her little bro (7) who I met. They are nearly the exact same ages as my own son & daughter.
During a legal screening the siblings shared a truly heartbreaking story that I will not detail here explaining why they fled their home country. Suffice to say that they were harmed, at grave risk and are now desperate to reunite with their father who lives here in the US.
As part of our screening we ask specifically about how kids are treated in CBP custody. This young girl explained to me that her little brother and her were separated at the border in TX and placed into separate “hieleras.” They were separated for 4 terrifying days.
Read 8 tweets
Today is the first day ImmDef will begin providing legal services to unaccompanied children at the @LongBeachCity Long Beach Convention Center EIS. #WelcomeWithDignity 🧵1/10
Many of the children entering these EIS were forced to flee their home countries due to severe violence, persecution, natural disaster, & some may have been separated from parents or family members due to the Biden Admin's continued implementation of the unjust Title 42 policy. 2
While the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 requires that children be transferred from CBP custody into ORR facilities within 72 hours, ImmDef staff recently witnessed a child still in CBP custody after 26 days & allowed only 2 showers in that time. 3
Read 11 tweets
Spent the day touring the Emergency Intake Site at the Long Beach Convention Center & want to share thoughts. Our tour concluded about an hr before the first group of unaccompanied children arrived, & tomorrow myself & team @ImmDef will be back to begin providing legal services.
On the tour were multiple elected officials from Long Beach, including @LongBeachMayor, who reiterated throughout the day his hope that this facility will be a reflection of Long Beach’s rich history of welcoming immigrants and that these children will be met with love and care.
The Mayor’s call for meeting this moment w/ compassion translated into the facility which has been nicely decorated & seemed well equipped to house the 1000+ children who are expected. In the sleeping area large pink butterflies are projected onto walls giving a mural-like effect
Read 15 tweets
Biden’s #ProtectionFailure is endangering the lives of refugees and causing unspeakable human suffering. It’s time for the Biden administration to #WelcomeWithDignity.

To learn more, read @HumanRights1st @HaitianBridge & @AlOtroLado_Org’s new report:…
@POTUS promised to build back our asylum system better than before. But after months in office, his admin is continuing to use a Trump-era public health order to block & expel refugees to danger.

We cannot let this #ProtectionFailure continue. It’s time to #WelcomeWithDignity
Refugees expelled to danger by the Biden admin under the Trump-era Title 42 policy face grave danger. It’s time to put an end to the Biden admin’s #ProtectionFailure, and #WelcomeWithDignity.
Read 4 tweets
Here's my Friday afternoon decoder ring for today's Refugee cap debacle. 🧵

First, these aren't numbers. Refugees are people fleeing persecution and in the last 4 years our country has shamefully turned its back on refugees. We need to #WelcomeWithDignity /1
Biden pledged to reverse the historically low levels of refugee admissions set by Trump. Trump set a shamefully low cap at 15,000 refugees. Biden pledged to set a humane number of 62,500 refugees this year. But he backtracked & today announced he would keep Trump's number. /2
This came after weeks of inaction by Biden & a failure to set the actual admissions number. This resulted in real harm to real people. Flights were cancelled & people who had been waiting for years in the refugee process had to start required processing checks anew. /3
Read 7 tweets
There should be no profit motive for orgs involved w/ sheltering or serving unaccompanied kids in ORR Emergency Intake Sites. No organization (for-profit or non-profit) should have any motivation to do anything but ensure we’re never in this situation again. #WelcomeWithDignity
Reading this article was specific inspiration for tweet above:…
This moment that necessitates these massive processing sites for unaccompanied children is a rallying cry for us to reimagine our asylum system. We need to transform our system from one of cruelty to a new reality that provides due process, compassion, justice and protection.
Read 3 tweets
Yesterday while I was visiting a Tijuana shelter for @humanrights1st INM vans delivered 30+ tired, disoriented asylum seekers (families w kids) directly from the border after the US gov had expelled them from TX under Title 42. They joined 750+ already living in the church. 1/n
They shuffled inside; CBP had removed they shoelaces. No bags bc CBP had thrown away a their stuff. The pastor explained they'd been returned to Mexico and bc of T42, nobody can request US asylum. If they can't go home, they can wait here, but they'll be waiting a while. 2/n
Pastor said the US keeps expelling asylum seekers and MX gov keeps bringing them here. 50-100 per day. But they can't go home, so it's getting more and more crowded here. At night, hundreds sleep on gym mats on the floor. You can't even walk through here. 3/n
Read 8 tweets
In Tijuana for @humanrights1st I met hundreds of asylum seekers trapped in danger, blocked from seeking US protection under Title 42. Many running from gangs threatening to kill them. Trafficking survivors who escaped their captors. Domestic violence survivors in hiding. 1/6
A indigenous woman was kidnapped in Mexico while pregnant, beaten and abused for months. Unable to seek US protection after escaping bc of Title 42, she gave birth to sick baby who died in a Tijuana shelter where she’s been hiding, waiting for US asylum processing to resume. 2/6
Mother and children running from a cartel have been in hiding after US gov refused them protection at the border. The father and brothers were brutally murdered in Mexico. “We’re not safe here. They’re going to kill me with my family. It’s inhumane what they’re doing to us.” 3/6
Read 6 tweets
I spoke to the LA Times this weekend about news that additional sites in CA, including the Long Beach Convention Center, may open as Emergency Intake Sites for unaccompanied children.

Some key takeaways I have to this news (short thread):…
Seeking asylum is legal. Full stop.

Trump spent 4 years decimating our asylum system and emergency measures are needed to protect children in the short term.

We need to meet this moment while also reimagining what our system should look like to truly #WelcomeWithDignity.
Children should never be in govt custody for a moment longer than absolutely necessary & we need to move towards a family first model, stop separating kids from non-parental caregivers and invest in community based resources including universal representation and social services.
Read 4 tweets
Asylum seeking families expelled to MX under Title 42 endure verbal and physical abuse in U.S. custody. U.S. immigration officers insult them, call them animals, dogs, throw their belongings in the trash. Some examples, each from different families expelled in past 2 weeks: 1/6
ALL held in holding cells kept painfully cold, allowed only 1 layer of clothing and the rest thrown in trash, given small foil blanket. Kids got sick, convulsing and vomiting. U.S. officers did nothing. One asylum seeker saw CBP kick a child, throw his blanket in trash. 2/6
In CBP custody “we went four days without eating. They only gave us juice.” Another mother said she asked for food for her kids. U.S. officer threw cookies on the floor and told kids to pick them up. U.S. officer told another family “we don’t have any food here for animals.” 3/6
Read 6 tweets
Visiting Tijuana shelters with @AlOtroLado_Org this week. One shelter receives ~100 tired, disoriented asylum seekers a day; almost all families flown from Texas and expelled under Title 42. More than 400 asylum seekers are crammed inside. @humanrights1st 1/5
Shelter director said "the first thing I ask them is, do you know what city you're in? Some think they're in California and I have to explain they've been sent back to Mexico. People here are very sad and disillusioned." 2/5
They arrive with nothing but the clothes they're wearing, no shoelaces- CBP took everything. Many haven't eaten or bathed for days. Children arrive sick with cough/fever/vomiting after detention in freezing cold holding cells. Many stories of racist abuse in DHS custody. 3/5
Read 5 tweets

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