SANCTIONED: Trump Administration Dismissed International Law, Forced Deportation of Eritreans and Cambodians Who Face Torture, Death In Home Countries - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

SANCTIONED: Trump Administration Dismissed International Law, Forced Deportation of Eritreans and Cambodians Who Face Torture, Death In Home Countries

On January 31, 2020, the Trump Administration expanded the Muslim Ban to include six additional countries: Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania. Notably, four of these countries are in Africa. The Muslim Ban is now also an Africa Ban. Eritrea, one of the Africa Ban countries, has been targeted by the Administration since September 2017. In September 2017, the Administration imposed visa sanctions on: Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, targeting vulnerable refugees and immigrants who sought sanctuary from war, persecution, poverty, and violence.

The Trump Administration’s stated reason for choosing to enforce the sanctions was that these countries had “delay[ed] or refuse[d] to issue travel documents” for people that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) intended to deport. The Administration further stated that sanctions would be lifted only if the country more aggressively cooperated with ICE’s deportation plans. In other words: The government imposed visa sanctions with the explicit intent of facilitating and expediting the deportation of Black and Asian community members from our country.

In January 2019, Advancement Project National Office filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on behalf of the UndocuBlack Network, after the Trump Administration violated our FOIA requesting information about the September 2017 visa sanctions. Following the suit, the government started producing documents. Below are some highlights that shed light on the government’s devastating impact that forced deportations would have on migrants from Eritrea and Cambodia and the influence of anti-immigrant hate groups on public policy.

  • Administration knew that migrants deported to Eritrea face high likelihood of imprisonment, torture, and death:

In March 2017, ICE received a letter from the America Team for Displaced Eritreans that detailed an “urgent request” to suspend deportations of Eritreans, who “would likely be imprisoned, tortured and even put to death by the Eritrean regime if they were removed to Eritrea before the country became safe.” The letter attached findings of American and international human rights bodies, including the U.S.Department of State, that confirm the likelihood of imprisonment, torture, and death for deported Eritreans.

In December 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) received a joint urgent appeal by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, and the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The appeal was about the deportation of Eritreans, and it noted that those forcibly returned to Eritrea “are at high risk of being arrested and detained, and subjected to ill-treatment and torture,” including enslavement. The appeal asked, among other requests, that the U.S. government “provide information about any measures taken to guarantee the psychological and physical integrity of the Eritrean nationals if returned to their home country.”

  • Administration knew of the devastating impact of forced deportations on Cambodian refugees:

In July 2017, delegations from the United States and Cambodia met to discuss the issue of repatriation. Notes from this joint commission meeting indicate that the Cambodian delegation relayed various concerns regarding the deportation of people to Cambodia, including that the “[d]eportation of refugees is against U.S. and international law, and does not reflect American values.” The Cambodian delegation observed that those who would be forcibly deported “have already paid their debt to society by serving time in ,” and would be “removed from their families” without “visiting rights to America,” and would endure “difficult” integration into Cambodian society. The Cambodian delegation then noted that four people forcibly deported to Cambodia have already died by suicide.

  • ICE Legal Staff receive updates from anti-immigrant hate group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS):

ICE’s Office of the Principal Legal Advisor produced an email suggesting that someone in its office subscribes to weekly email updates by the anti-immigrant hate group, CIS. In late August 2017, one of the CIS weekly e-newsletters included a CIS opinion piece titled “Won’t Take Back Your Citizens? No Visas For You: Trump Pulls the Trigger on 243(d).”

What can you do?

  • Tell Congress to pass the Eritrean Nationals’ Safety from Unjust Removal or Exclusion (“ENSURE”) Act.
  • Tell Congress, Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. State Department to cancel visa sanctions currently in effect.

For more information, please contact Losmin Jimenez, Project Director, Immigrant Justice, [email protected] or Patrice Lawrence, Executive Director, the UndocuBlack Network, [email protected].

 

Other documents

Download

KEEP READING

Brutality, Abuse, & Neglect at ICA-Farmville Detention Center: Local, National Organizations Expose Deplorable ICA-Farmville Conditions

  The only solution is to free all people detained in ICA-Farmville, and shut it down for good. Advancement Project National Office is working with La ColectiVA, Sanctuary DMV, Detention Watch Network (DWN), and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) to make it happen. On August 18, 2020, we released a new white paper and infographic highlighting the deplorable conditions at Immigration Centers of America (ICA) Farmville.  The white paper synthesizes new documents obtained by way of Freedom of Information Act…

Read More
Webinar on the Power of Sheriffs in Florida – August 10, 2020 at 2pET/11aPT

On Monday, August 10, 2020, at 2p ET/11a PT, join Advancement Project National Office, Dream Defenders and New Florida Majority for a webinar on the power and role of sheriffs in Florida, and how sheriffs impact the school-to-prison pipeline. Learn about organizing efforts to defund policing budgets and address harm throughout Florida, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Receive political education about the history of policing and what communities are doing to build power to build a world without police. Register today!  …

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Condemns Trump Administration’s Memo Seeking to Dismantle DACA

Washington, D.C. – Advancement Project National Office condemns a memo issued by the Trump Administration today that blatantly ignores the recent Supreme Court ruling to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, and begins the process to dismantle the program. “Just one month after the Trump Administration lost at the Supreme Court in the DACA decision, they issued this memo that completely disregards the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth, and we will not stand for this,” said Losmin Jimenez, Immigrant Justice Project Director at Advancement Project National Office. The July 28, 2020 memo states…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Celebrates National Cousin’s Day!

Did you know July 24 is a national holiday? Advancement Project National Office uplifts National Cousins Day today, which celebrates the extended family members we know and love – our cousins. During this sustained moment of protest and unrest across the country, as well as calls for truth, racial justice and reconciliation, it’s time to lean into the honest perspectives our cousins often provide. When it comes to race, our family can harbor views and beliefs that are ill-informed, ignorant, and damaging.  Because of this, conversations around race can…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Issues Statement on Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Erasing Immigrants from U.S. Census

Today, the Trump Administration launched another attack on immigrants by issuing an executive order that excludes immigrants from being counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. The order comes as the Census is well underway and started on April 1, 2020. The U.S. Constitution mandates that all people living in the United States be counted every 10 years to determine federal funding for all 50 states, territories, and Congressional redistricting. The Constitution requires all people are counted, regardless of immigration status. The U.S. Supreme Court already ruled against the Trump Administration last year in its demand to add a citizenship question…

Read More
¡Si Se Puede! How Cesar Chavez Inspires Us to Challenge COVID-19 Systemic Inequality

By Shuya Ohno, Managing Director of Campaign Strategy Phoenix, AZ – Dolores Huerta at the protest vigil in front of the AZ State Capital in 2010 Today, we commemorate Cesar Chavez Day under a heavy cloud of anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. Here in New York City where I live, make-shift hospital tents are being set up in Central Park. Nurses tending to victims of the coronavirus are dying. Covid-19 positive pregnant women are being intubated following emergency deliveries. The invisible virus has infected the very character that I’ve always loved about this diverse city. Whether it’s complaining about the…

Read More
Citing the Global Health Pandemic, Civil Rights Organizations Urge State Officials to Release Incarcerated People

Media Contacts: Joshua Garner, 240-326-3874, [email protected] Pennsylvania Immigrant Rights Organizations and Advancement Project National Office Urge Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Agencies to Release People From Incarceration, End Flow Of New People Into Jail, Prison, and Immigration Detention Amid COVID-19 Crisis   Pennsylvania – In a letter sent to state officials Tuesday, Pennsylvania based immigrant rights organizations, Juntos, Casa San Jose, VietLead, Asian Americans United and Advancement Project National Office are calling on the Pennsylvania Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Enforcement & Removal Operations (ICE ERO), the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC), sheriff’s offices, and police departments across Pennsylvania to…

Read More
Puente Human Rights Movement and Advancement Project National Office Call On Arizona Governor, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies to Release All People From Incarceration, End Flow Of New People Into Jail, Prison, and Immigration Detention Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Citing the global health pandemic, civil rights organization urge state officials to release incarcerated people PHOENIX, AZ–In a letter sent to state officials March 19, Puente Human Rights Movement and Advancement Project National Office are calling on Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona Immigration & Customs Enforcement & Removal Operations (ICE ERO), the Arizona Department of Corrections (DOC), and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to protect the lives of vulnerable community members by immediately releasing all people from incarceration and ending the flow of new people into jail, prison, and immigration detention systems amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. The letter, which was…

Read More
Civil Rights and Racial Justice Organizations Denounce Discrimination Against Asian Americans and Urge Unity in Responding to Coronavirus Pandemic

Contact: Elana Needle / [email protected] / 201-248-9724   WASHINGTON—The nation’s leading civil rights and racial justice organizations issued a joint urgent call to action against racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). “As our nation grapples with the coronavirus, we are deeply concerned that recent incidents of racism and discrimination against Asian Americans threaten our collective public safety. In recent weeks, Asian Americans have been subjected to violent attacks, discrimination against their businesses and xenophobic portrayal by the media and our elected leaders. We are often reminded of the xenophobic history of our nation—from…

Read More
Asian American and Pacific Islander Leaders and Over 260 Civil Rights Organizations Call on Congress to Denounce Anti-Asian Racism around COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: [email protected] Washington, DC— As cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continue to rise in the U.S., so too do incidents of anti-Asian racism towards Asian American families and businesses. As of March 10, there have been more than 110,000 cases worldwide, 1000 of which are in the U.S. NCAPA, along with over 260 organizations, sent a letter to House and Senate leadership to call for unity and publicly denounce the racist and xenophobic attacks on Asian Americans. A link to the letter can be found here: The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) issued the following statement: “While…

Read More