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Statement on new U.S. asylum policy

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Statement on new U.S. asylum policy

19 November 2019 Also available in:

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has serious concerns about the new U.S. policy on asylum published Tuesday, 19 November. It is an approach at variance with international law that could result in the transfer of highly vulnerable individuals to countries where they may face life-threatening dangers.

UNHCR is not party to any of the bilateral Asylum Cooperative Agreements (ACA) concluded in recent months between the United States and the governments of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. We are in dialogue with all of the governments concerned to enumerate our concerns as we also seek to learn more about their plans for implementation.

We have been working for years in Central America to support efforts by governments there to address growing forced displacement, strengthen the still very nascent asylum systems and to promote practical, humane responses coordinated at the regional level. While UNHCR is not a party to the bilateral ACA’s, we will continue to exercise our mandated responsibilities to promote access to international protection and solutions for individuals who need them, wherever they are.

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