The Weekly Round-Up
The Weekly Round-Up
Welcome to The Briefing newsletter by Jason Clarke and Will Maddox. This week, we have news about how US policy is impacting women migrants, a push to remove refugee status from Palestinians, blame for migrant deaths in the Mediterranean and a crisis at the border. As immigrant populations shift, we have been forced to ask ourselves what constitutes a refugee and what should be done about those who break the law at the border. All around the world, other countries are asking similar questions, as the tension between compassion, rule of law and capacity for aid makes for difficult decisions. Staying abreast of what is happening in the world can guide our prayers, actions and advocacy.
A decision by Jeff Sessions earlier this summer made it more difficult for domestic violence survivors to gain asylum in the United States. This reverses an Obama era policy that allowed for just that, and has been criticized by human rights advocates, who say it is an attack on women’s rights. According to the Institute of Legal Medicine, a woman is killed every 18 hours in El Salvador.
Jay Sekulow , a conservative activist and Trump’s personal lawyer, is pushing to remove the refugee status of millions of Palestinians who are designated as such by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine. The agency designated some Palestinians as refugees across the Middle East after they were displaced from their homes due to the creation of Israel, and the group now includes the original exiles and their descendants.
Amnesty International says that EU policies are to blame for over 700 deaths at sea during the June and July. The organization claims that the EU has aided the Libyan Coast Guard in intercepting refugee ships, which has taken away resources from rescue missions in the Mediterranean Sea. The governments of Italy and Malta have also taken stances against aiding the migrant ships.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan is calling the illegal border crossings a crisis, even though arrests at the border are at lower levels than past decades. The early 2000s arrests along the border routinely topped out over 100,000, while recent months have seen 40,000 or less. McAleenan said the migrant population has shifted to children in families in recent years.