UN Panel Demands Trump End Widespread Detention of ‘Would-be Immigrants’

When it comes to judging other nations, the UNHRC must hold its meetings in places without mirrors. Among its distinguished members are such human rights exemplars, such as: Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba, Iraq and South Africa.

The Saudis are especially known for the second-class status of women and gays. China cracks down on those seeking more democratic or religious rights. Cuba remains an oppressive communist dictatorship. Iraq deals with various Islamic factions that hate each other. And, South Africa is descending into a Zimbabwe-like race purge against whites.

In the United States, would-be immigrants and refugees can be held in detention pending the outcome of immigration proceedings to determine their appropriate status.

Released on Monday, the UNHRC report criticizes the U.S. process as “punitive, unreasonably long, unnecessary and costly.” Given the United Nations location in New York City, one would think that the events of September 11, 2001 might be recalled now and then. It’s beyond obvious that the U.S. admitted people in the past who didn’t have the best of intentions. A little caution and a deliberative process clearly are in order.

The report was based on interviews with U.N. experts with 280 detainees in nine prisons in Texas, California and Illinois. Ironically, the information was gathered during the Obama administration, reflecting the U.S. policy at the time.

They reported seeing immigrants and asylum seekers held in “punitive conditions” comparable to those of convicted criminals despite their right to seek asylum under international law.”

The investigation was invited by the Obama administration last October, no doubt as a possible policy point for the hoped-for incoming president Hillary Clinton. Instead, it turned out to be a booby trap for President Donald Trump, who’s trying to clean up a broken immigration system.

Those entering the United States illegally or seeking asylum, who are apprehended and detained, can number as high as 350,000 people a year. The costs of holding them can reach $2 billion annually, according to the UNHRC report.

Detentions can range from six months to more than a year without resolution of immigration status through the proper channels.

With immigration reform a high priority of the Trump administration, it’s likely some of the criticism can be addressed and remedied once a more intelligent process is in place.

Source: U.S. News and World Report




  1. Lisa Hawks

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