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Asylum-seeking children need alternative to dangerous border crossing. By Nolan Rappaport

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Asylum-seeking children need an alternative to the dangerous journey from Central America to the US

The Department of State has stopped accepting applications for the Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee Program.

President Barack Obama established this program to provideunaccompanied alien children (UAC) from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (the Northern Triangle countries) with “a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey” many of them were making to apply for asylum in the United States.

A UNICEF Child Alert entitled, “Broken Dreams,” describes the dangers of that journey.

The children are vulnerable to human traffickers. Many of the girls reportedly end up being forced into prostitution. Many are victims of sexual violence. Estimates of the number of kidnappings vary from hundreds to thousands a year. And hundreds of migrants die each when they reach the harsh environment along the Mexico-U.S. border.

It is heart-rending to think of these children – most of them teenagers, but some even younger – making the grueling and extremely dangerous journey in search of safety and a better life,” said UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth.




Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/immigrati...order-crossing

Published originally on The Hill.

About the author. Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.






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Updated 11-21-2017 at 12:08 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I haven't had time to read the rest of Nolan's article yet. If he is suggesting an easier and more humane way to bring these children to the US and enable them to resettle here, then Nolan will have my full support.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    I haven't had time to read the rest of Nolan's article yet. If he is suggesting an easier and more humane way to bring these children to the US and enable them to resettle here, then Nolan will have my full support.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Is your objective to help them to find a safe place to live where they won't be persecuted, or just to bring them to the United States, whether they have legitimate persecution claims or not?

    Nolan Rappaport
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    There is a safe place for children seeking asylum from the homicidal Central American gangs to live where they won't be persecuted. It is called the United States of America.

    Nolan also hasn't mentioned which "safe third country" locations he would recommend sending the children to for refugee screening outside the United States.

    Antarctica? Papua New Guinea? Madagascar?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 11-20-2017 at 08:44 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    There is a safe place for children seeking asylum from the homicidal Central American gangs to live where they won't be persecuted. It is called the United States of America.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    That doesn't answer my question.

    Nolan Rappaport
  5. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Maybe Nolan might wish to stick to the subject of his own article, which, as I understand it, is about Central American children with legitimate fears of persecution in one of the worst gang-infested areas of the world. Nolan is now going beyond the subject of his own article, by bringing up children who are not being threatened by the gangs and therefore are not being persecuted.

    I have kept my comments limited to what Nolan originally wrote about. If Nolan wants to write another article about children who are not in danger of persecution in these countries, which have some of the highest homicide rates in the world (assuming that there are such children) he is of course free to do so.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 11-20-2017 at 10:47 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Roger says, "Maybe Nolan might wish to stick to the subject of his own article, which, as I understand it, is about Central American children with legitimate fears of persecution in one of the worst gang-infested areas of the world. Nolan is now going beyond the subject of his own article, by bringing up children who are not being threatened by the gangs and therefore are not being persecuted."

    No, I wrote about unaccompanied alien children who make the dangerous journey from Central America to the US to seek asylum. I said nothing about the merits of their persecution claims.

    I don't want them making that trip....whether they have legitimate persecution claims or not.

    My suggestion was to route them back to Central America to be processed by UNHCR. I don't think their parents will continue to send them here if they know that is going to happen.

    UNHCR can screen them for legitimate persecution claims, and it doesn't just place refugees in the US. It places them all over the world.

    Incidentally, gang threats per se are not an acceptable basis for a persecution claim. You can't base it on fleeing from a violent or crime ridden country either.

    Nolan Rappaport



    Updated 12-07-2017 at 05:04 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  7. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nolan is correct that the BIA has generally rejected threats of gang violence against children or young people as a basis for asylum. The BIA has been widely criticized by legal analysts, however, for relying on a strained, overly technical definition of what constitutes "membership in a particular social group" for asylum purposes, and some federal circuit courts have overruled the BIA in specific instances on this issue.

    It would be more accurate to say that asylum law based on gang violence related claims is in a state of transition. See:

    Congressional Research Service: Asylum and Gang Violence: Legal Overview, by Kate M. Manuel, Legislative Attorney, September 5, 2014.

    But, as so often happens in immigration law, technical legal arguments such as the one over the definition of a "social group" are only facades for much deeper policy divisions.

    The issue which Nolan raises of how asylum for refugee claims for Central American children should be handled is only one aspect of the larger debate going on right know as the which parts of the world America should be accepting immigrants from.

    Should our immigrants continue to come from every part of the world, as has been the case for the past 50 years, or should they come only from white Europe, as was the case for the previous four decades before that?

    Trump, in his landmark speech in Warsaw on July 6, left no doubt where he stands on this issue.

    In that speech, he identified protecting the borders of "the West", and of "Western civilization", held together by common "traditions and ancestry", as the "fundamental issue of our time".

    See my November 20 ilw.com comment due to appear in the November 21 issue of Immigration Daily for a further discussion of how Trump's Warsaw speech outlines the basis for his own policies of ethnic cleansing directed against immigrants from non-white areas of the world.

    We can certainly expect non-white children from Central America to have a hard time gaining refuge in the United States in an administration with this kind of "Blut und Boden" ideology toward immigration.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 11-21-2017 at 09:48 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  8. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Roger says, “Nolan is correct that the BIA has generally rejected threats of gang violence against children or young people as a basis for asylum. The BIA has been widely criticized by legal analysts, however, for relying on a strained, overly technical definition of what constitutes "membership in a particular social group" for asylum purposes, and some federal circuit courts have overruled the BIA in specific instances on this issue.”

    It’s not a “strained, overly technical definition of what constitutes ‘membership in a particular social group’ for asylum purposes.” I haven’t read the Board’s position in a very long time, but my understanding is that a “particular social group” can’t include the entire population of a country, which certainly would be true of gang violence.

    Roger says, “It would be more accurate to say that asylum law based on gang violence related claims is in a state of transition.”

    I wouldn’t hold out much hope that it is going to go your way. Obama appointed liberal board members, and Trump almost certainly will go in the other direction. But most importantly, even the liberal board members didn’t buy the position you are hoping for.

    Roger says, “But, as so often happens in immigration law, technical legal arguments such as the one over the definition of a "social group" are only facades for much deeper policy divisions.

    The issue which Nolan raises of how asylum for refugee claims for Central American children should be handled is only one aspect of the larger debate going on right know as the which parts of the world America should be accepting immigrants from.



    My article must not be very clear. I don’t care where the UACs apply for relief. My concern is the dangerous journey they take to get here from Central America, something Roger appears to see as being too insignificant to warrant a comment. Apparently, he is indifferent to the plight of young children being sold into a life of sexual slavery, or young girls being raped on the journey to America.

    Should our immigrants continue to come from every part of the world, as has been the case for the past 50 years, or should they come only from white Europe, as was the case for the previous four decades before that?”

    Roger, you have to separate the two forms of relief. The UACs are not applying for refugee status. They are making illegal entries into the US to apply for asylum, and asylum is 100% discretionary. If our immigration court backlog continues to grow uncontrollably, we could see Congress passing a law suspending the consideration of asylum applications. It could provide for deportation to a refugee camp in cases where an alien appears to have a legitimate persecution claim.

    Nolan Rappaport
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