CVT: White House Memorandum Continues to Narrow the Path for Survivors of Torture to Asylum and Healing | Center for Victims of Torture

CVT: White House Memorandum Continues to Narrow the Path for Survivors of Torture to Asylum and Healing

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn. & WASHINGTON — The Center for Victims of TortureTM (CVT) today condemned the April 29 Memorandum President Trump issued to Attorney General Barr, undermining torture survivors’ right to seek asylum in the United States.

The memorandum orders the attorney general to impose a fee on asylum and related work permit applications, a move that will significantly limit the ability of survivors of torture to apply for asylum. The memorandum also directs the attorney general to strip asylum seekers of their ability to apply for a work permit if they attempted to cross the border without going through a port of entry, eliminating many survivors’ only path to a livelihood and, eventually, healing from their trauma. It also limits survivors’ ability to seek relief beyond asylum, which will be particularly harmful to vulnerable populations, including survivors of crime, human trafficking, and abused or abandoned teens.

“This disgraceful memorandum comes just 13 days after the attorney general single-handedly issued a decision that will subject asylum seekers to indefinite detention. Make no mistake, these inhumane and un-American steps are designed to decimate our asylum system and to punish some of the world’s most vulnerable people, CVT’s clients included,” said Andrea Cárcamo-Cavazos, CVT senior policy counsel.


The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, D.C.; and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Visit


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