Friends of Refugees

A U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Watchdog Group

Posts Tagged ‘DHS’

Secretary of Homeland Security grants relief to refugees mislabeled as terrorists

Posted by Christopher Coen on August 17, 2012

The Secretary of the US Department Homeland Security (DHS) Janet Napolitano has decided to exercise her discretionary authority to allow about 4000 refugees to have their cases adjudicated on a case-by-case basis if their cases are “on hold” due to non-violent associations with groups described as “terrorist organizations” under the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA). The list of groups characterized in this way by DHS includes: the umbrella organization of political parties and movements opposed to the regime of President Omar Al-Bashir in the Sudan; and Iraqis who rose up against Saddam Hussein in 1991. An announcement at the Human Rights First website explains:

New York City – Human Rights First welcomes today’s announcement of Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Janet Napolitano’s decision to exercise her discretionary authority, vested in her by Congress, to bring long-awaited relief to many refugees and asylees whose applications for permanent residence or reunification with their spouses and children have been “on hold” for years.

We welcome this important step forward and look forward to an effective implementation of this announcement,” said Anwen Hughes of Human Rights First. “These roughly 4000 refugees and their families have suffered a range of harms while waiting for their cases to be addressed – from loss of jobs and job opportunities to the prolonged separation of their families.”

Today’s exemption announcement, published in the Federal Register – and discussed in greater detail in Human Rights First’s background fact sheet – allows persons previously granted asylum or refugee status in the United States, and their spouses and children, to have their cases adjudicated on a case-by-case basis if their cases are “on hold” due to non-violent associations with groups described as “terrorist organizations” under the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) solely by virtue of the fact that they engaged in the use of armed force as non-state actors.

The list of groups characterized in this way by DHS includes: the National Democratic Alliance, the umbrella organization of political parties and movements opposed to the regime of President Omar Al-Bashir in the Sudan; Iraqis who rose up against Saddam Hussein in 1991; and both of the largest political parties in Bangladesh. Today’s announcement does not cover persons who had connections to certain types of groups, including groups that have at any time engaged in particularly serious human rights violations… Read more here

Posted in Dept of Homeland Security, security/terrorism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 249 other followers