Trump’s Extended Ban Shakes Two Other Nation’s Refugee Programs
The Trump administration announced a set of travel restrictions on September 24, making it the third travel ban since his inauguration. The new restrictions are aimed at visa issuance, in which individuals traveling from Chad, Venezuela, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, and Yemen are affected.
While large impacts on communities within the United States are expected, the ban continues to halt the refugee acceptance program. Moreover, US suspension of its refugee program highly impacts refugee acceptance in other parts of the globe.
According to the Geneva Convention, countries within the international community are required to “take in those fleeing war.” Since the start of the European migrant crisis in 2015, the European Union states that 13.5 million are reported in need of humanitarian aid from January 2015 to September 2016 alone. The United States “pulling out” of such agreements exerts pressure on other countries.
The process in which refugees must go through varies between countries. Here’s how Trump’s ban has affected two other nation’s refugee programs :
In 2015 alone, US admitted total of 85,000 refugees under the Obama Administration. The Administration created a strict vetting procedure in accepting a refugee to the country. For instance, one must apply for a referral at UNHCR, apply for a refugee status, and wait for admission based on background screening.
According to Newsweek, already 99 percent are pulled out of the application pool by the time the US government agencies conducts background screening. Many more are denied in this procedure. Human Rights advocacy groups argue that they are thought to be coerced into aiding groups identified as terrorist organization by US.
President Trump signed the first executive order on travel ban on January 27, where US stopped receiving new applications, and halted many of the processes for whom seeking asylum.
Nevertheless the conditions of refugee camps around the world are criticized by Human Rights advocacy groups. Australian law prohibits individuals seeking asylum to approach the country by boat, barring refugees. Consequently, they are held at offshore detention centers upon arrival.
The Australian Offshore Detention Center on Manus Island was ruled out illegal by the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court in April 2016, stating violation of constitutional protections of personal liberty. According to the New York Times, NGOs reported “abuse, neglect, and inadequate health care.”
While the Trump Administration assured its commitment to accepting 1,250 refugees from Australia on February, it is unclear to when they would be relocated and accepted into US.
Germany held its latest federal election on September 24. One significant issue was whether or not to maintain the country’s current refugee program. A far right political party, Alternatives for Germany expressed protest against Chancellor Merkel’s stance, advocating a “zero immigration policy.”
Although Germany is currently the most accepting country for asylum seekers across Europe, many are not granted refugee status. 250,000 asylum appeals are currently pending, according to the Washington Post.
Upon arrival, asylum seekers do not receive refugee status, but given a temporary residence permit. During the first five years of resettlement, a refugee is “placed” into refugee camps that are located in various regions. After holding the residence permit for 5 years, he or she can apply for a permanent residency.
However, the overwhelming number of application by asylum seekers is impacting the Parliament to create stricter qualifications for the refugee status, and the residence permit. Although Germany has accepted the largest number of refugees since 2015, the country is struggling to keep the status quo.