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IDP Report “Misapplication of the Particularly Serious Crime Bar to Deny Refugees Protection from Removal to Countries Where Their Life or Freedom is Threatened”

The Trump Administration’s attack on immigrants seeking refuge culminated on Monday, September 17, 2018, when it was announced that the U.S. would slash refugee admissions to the lowest since the Refugee Act of 1980. In addition to the new cap, the U.S. uses many tactics to deport refugees already in the U.S. to countries where they would be at risk of persecution. One such tactic is the overreaching use of the “particularly serious crime” bar provision to further its anti-immigrant agenda and deny relief from removal even to those whose life or freedom would be threatened in the country of removal.   

In view of this, the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) and Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program’s (HIRC) Crimmigration Clinic, today issued two resources for advocates and attorneys: 

  1. United States Failure to Comply with the Refugee Convention: Misapplication of the Particularly Serious Crime Bar to Deny Refugees Protection from Removal to Countries Where Their Life or Freedom is Threatened, a report that examines how U.S. implementation and interpretation of the “particularly serious crime” bar to withholding of removal and asylum in the U.S. fails to comply with the Refugee Convention. It also looks at how the U.S. diverges from the standards and practice of the international community and other countries.
  2. “Particularly Serious Crime” Bars on Asylum and Withholding of Removal: Legal Standards and Sample Case Determinations, a resource that will aid in the legal representation of immigrants in criminal and removal proceedings. Specifically, this chart will help attorneys evaluate whether a criminal conviction constitutes a “particularly serious crime” barring asylum or withholding of removal.

At a moment when the refugee crisis is at its worst, IDP will continue to fight against the Trump administration’s xenophobic and racist agenda that puts immigrant lives at risk.

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