United Nations Calls Out Racial Disparities in U.S. Immigration System
Friday, August 26th
The U.S. government is facing public criticism over its long history of racial discrimination in immigration policy. Last week, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) raised a series of questions about the U.S.’s racial profiling, questionable detention practices, flawed asylum system at the U.S.-Mexico border, and more. The CERD committee’s role in the UN is to evaluate the U.S. government’s compliance with international human rights law as it pertains to racial discrimination and hold government officials accountable when they fail to do so.
After raising a series of questions to U.S. delegates, the CERD committee determined that racial discrimination in the U.S. immigration system is a “systemic issue that requires a systemic overhaul,” and that the U.S. government must be held accountable for its abuses against immigrants of color.
This is certainly not the first time the U.S. has been accused of discriminatory policies against immigrants of color, particularly Black immigrants of African and Caribbean descent. According to a recent study, the Center for Migration Studies found that 76% of Black immigrants are deported on criminal grounds, as opposed to 45% of all immigrants. Black immigrants are also detained for longer periods of time on average, and are more likely to be subjected to harsher forms of treatment in immigration detention, such as solitary confinement.
More recently, immigration advocates have also drawn attention to the inherently different experiences between Afghan and Ukrainian nationals seeking asylum in the U.S., amid refugee crises in both countries. While Ukraine was swiftly designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in response to Russia’s invasion, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) waited nearly six months after the Taliban’s seizure of power to do the same for Afghanistan.
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