UN rights experts: US immigration order violates international human rights obligations

UN rights experts: US immigration order violates international human rights obligations

A group of UN human rights experts on Wednesday said the executive order on immigration signed by US President Donald Trump [official website] breaches international human rights obligations [press release]. The order [text], signed last Friday, bars all nationals from the Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for the next 90 days. The UN experts said the order violates the principles of non-refoulement [UNHCR opinion], the practice of not forcing refugees or asylum seekers to return to a country in which they face persecution, and non-discrimination based on race, nationality or religion. According to the experts:

In the midst of the world’s greatest migration crisis since World War II, this is a significant setback for those who are obviously in need of international protection. The US must live up to its international obligations and provide protection for those fleeing persecution and conflicts.

An estimated 50,000 refugees are unable to enter the US due to the order.

This order, which many claim to be unconstitutional [JURIST report] and in conflict with federal statutes, is one of several orders signed by the president since his inauguration on January 20. Last week the president signed an executive order to withdraw the US [JURIST report] from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement with 11 Pacific Rim Nations signed a year ago. Also last week Trump signed [JURIST report] another order preventing foreign non-governmental organizations from receiving US funding if they provide abortions or promote policies that may lead to abortions. Trump has also addressed the immigration area before in his orders. Last week he signed two orders [JURIST report] withholding federal funding to cities that provide safe haven to illegal immigrants, directing the construction of a wall along the US and Mexican border and an increase in the number of enforcement officials to remove undocumented immigrants.