Over 250 Organizations Call on Trump’s Wolf and Redfield to Stop Exploiting COVID-19 Against Asylum Seekers and Unaccompanied Children
Today African Human Rights Coalition (AHRC) participated, along with 250 organizations, as a signatory to a letter sent to DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and CDC (Center for Disease Control) urging the TRUMP administration to restore humanitarian protections required under U.S. law and treaty obligations and to implement practical, science-based safeguards endorsed by public health experts while processing unaccompanied children and asylum seekers asking for refuge at the border.
The letter with all signatories, is posted online here.
The opening paragraph of the letter, addressed directly to Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of DHS and Robert Redfield, Director of CDC, reads is as follows:
Dear Acting Secretary Wolf and Director Redfield:
Our 258 legal, faith-based, humanitarian, human rights, and community organizations, many of which advocate on behalf of asylum seekers, immigrants, unaccompanied children, and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, write to strenuously object to the administration’s exploitation of the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to implement indefinite, illegal and life- threatening restrictions on humanitarian protections at the southern U.S. border.
Public health experts have concluded that the March 20 order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), which the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) is using to eviscerate Congressionally mandated and treaty-based protections for children, families, and adults seeking safety at the border, “is based on specious justifications and fails to protect public health.” On May 19, CDC recklessly extended the much-criticized order indefinitely – fulfilling the administration’s long-sought goal of eliminating these life-saving protections.