President Trump’s Executive Order on Border Security Puts Torture Survivors at Risk | Center for Victims of Torture

President Trump’s Executive Order on Border Security Puts Torture Survivors at Risk

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. and WASHINGTON —The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) issued the following statement in response to the Executive Order on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement:

“CVT is very concerned that the Executive Order on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement, signed by President Trump today, will restrict access to asylum protection for survivors of torture who have been forced to flee their homes and face persecution or torture if returned.

“The United States should be proud of the thousands of lives that are saved every year through its asylum system—for refugees facing political, religious and other forms of persecution, fleeing from their country is often a matter of basic survival, not a choice, and the U.S. asylum system can be a lifeline. However, by expanding detention, erecting barriers to full hearings on asylum seekers claims, and restricting asylum seekers’ access to parole from detention, this Executive Order increases the risk that the United States will return people to persecution, in violation of our obligations under the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, and/or detain them unnecessarily for extended periods of time while their claims to protection are adjudicated.

“As Secretary of Homeland Security, General John Kelly, takes steps to implement this Executive Order, CVT urges him to guarantee that all safeguards are put in place to ensure that all asylum seekers are given access to fair and full adjudication of their claims and are not subjected to unnecessary or inappropriate detention.”  —Curt Goering, executive director, the Center for Victims of Torture 


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.


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