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Home / Press Release / Supreme Court Rulings Leave Refugees Stranded
June 26, 2017

Supreme Court Rulings Leave Refugees Stranded

Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s Supreme Court ruling on two crucial cases that test the United States’ commitment to refugees, Human Rights First released the following statements:

On the Trump Administration’s executive order barring immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries and capping the total number of refugees to be admitted into the United States, Human Rights First’s Hardy Vieux noted of the partial stay:

“The Court’s ruling will leave refugees stranded in difficult and dangerous situations abroad, including those who have already waited a long time for U.S. resettlement. Many of these individuals may not have 'bona fide relationships,' but have strong reasons to look to the United States for protection. For Iraqis who have put their lives on the line to work with the United States this ruling creates confusion and uncertainty about the status of their relationships.”

On Jennings v. Rodriguez, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer stated:

"The Court’s decision to punt this case to its next session was a missed opportunity to uphold the Constitution’s commitment to liberty and U.S. human rights treaty obligations that prohibit arbitrary detention. It will leave many asylum seekers and immigrants locked up in U.S. immigration detention facilities for even longer periods of time. The decision allows U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to continue, in most parts of the country, to act as both jailer and judge in deciding whether to continue to hold an asylum seeker or migrant in a detention facility for longer than six months."

Human Rights First filed an amicus brief with other international legal experts, and a supplemental amicus brief on the U.S. failure to release eligible asylum seekers from detention on parole, urging the Court to uphold the lower court ruling providing immigration court custody hearings for asylum seekers and other immigration detainees who have been held in U.S. immigration detention for six months or longer already. 

For more information or to speak with Acer or Vieux, contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.