US must follow international refugee accords: UNHCR

UNHCR says that many asylum-seeking families, who are forced in making desperate choices, are not trying to evade border authorities.

Published: 10th November 2018 03:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th November 2018 03:29 PM   |  A+A-

Central American migrants travelling in the 'Migrant Via Crucis' caravan sleep outside 'El Chaparral' port of entry to US. (File Photo| AFP)


UNITED NATIONS: After US President Donald Trump proclaimed the denial of political asylum to migrants crossing illegally into the country, the UN refugee agency UNHCR, in a statement said that the US must abide by the international refugee protection accords.

The Presidential Proclamation would reportedly ban migrants applying for asylum outside official ports of entry, which will impact migrants attempting to enter the country illegally from the southern border with Mexico, although legal challenges are expected to follow the move.

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The agency noted that, among the people in Central America and Mexico on the move northward today, many are escaping life-threatening violence or persecution and desperately needed international protection.

"UNHCR expects all countries, including the United States, to make sure any person in need of refugee protection and humanitarian assistance is able to receive it quickly and without obstruction, in line with the 1967 refugee Protocol, to which the United States is a party."

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The statement pointed out towards the fact that it was unrealistic to expect all individuals in need of an asylum to present themselves at the border and then request protection, adding that the reality of refugees was a complex situation, requiring a structured management with dignified reception arrangements.

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The official US southern border ports of entry have had a persistent dearth of sufficient capacity to receive migrants, which forces many vulnerable asylum-seekers resort to smugglers and cross the border irregularly.

UNHCR says that many asylum-seeking families, who are forced in making desperate choices, are not trying to evade border authorities.


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