Earlier this week, the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC) took the issue of Donald Trump’s executive orders to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Commission), calling for an emergency hearing to discuss the impact of the orders on the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States.
Under the agreement, Canada refuses to hear claims by asylum seekers entering the country from the United States on the premise that the United States is a safe third country. But as HIRC made clear in its letter to the Commission on Wednesday, “the United States is not a safe country of asylum for persons fleeing persecution and violence.”
A recent HIRC report shows how provisions of the executive orders undermine human rights and other standards governing the treatment of asylum seekers. Of particular concern are provisions calling for an expanded system of mass incarceration; expansion of expedited removal proceedings without due process; a heightened credible fear standard; an increase in the number of agents with immigration functions; and aggressive prosecution of unauthorized entry.