US immigration plan risks undermining human rights

The White House announced last Thursday “new consequences” for migrants who cross the border illegally: the United States will more often resort to immediate expulsions, accompanied by a ban on new entry into the territory for five years.

The new US border control measures risk undermining basic human rights, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, warned on Wednesday. “The right to seek asylum is a human right, regardless of where people come from, their migration status or how they arrived at the border,” Volker Türk said in a statement, stressing that these measures went “against the prohibition of collective expulsions and the principle of non-refoulement”.

More easily repressed

In the details of the plan, up to 30,000 skilled migrants will be allowed to enter the United States each month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, but they will have to arrive by air so as not to add to the workload. border guards on the ground. On the other hand, those who cross the border illegally will be more easily turned back, according to the White House. “This will widen and accelerate legal pathways to immigration, but bring new consequences for those who do not use them,” she added in a statement.

Large swaths of the US economy, especially in agriculture, depend on immigrant labor, but the migration system is on the brink of collapse. Migrants, anxious to escape poverty or violence in their countries of origin, often take enormous risks to enter American soil. More than 800 people died during the fiscal year, many of them drowned in the Rio Grande River, according to a border guard official quoted by American radio NPR.

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Faced with constant criticism from its opposition, the Joe Biden administration was content to send migrants back to Mexico based on a measure put in place by Donald Trump. This measure, dubbed “Title 42”, “has already been used by US authorities some 2.5 million times at the southern border to deport people to Mexico or to their country of origin without their matters of protection have been studied on an individual basis and without due process being followed,” argued the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

More than 230,000 arrests were still recorded in November at the southern border of the United States, a record level.

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