NEW YORK – A letter from Amnesty International USA, and local Texas groups Grassroots Leadership and Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today raised heightened concerns about Hurricane Harvey’s impact on migrant populations and people seeking asylum.
Writing to the heads of DHS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, the letter reads, in part:
“This cannot be overstated: it would be unconscionable for DHS to contribute to the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Harvey by taking actions that separate families, deny vulnerable people access to asylum, and evade U.S. human rights obligations.
“The threats of enforcement actions forced undocumented Texans to brave the storm rather than seek safety outside the path of the storm, at checkpoints, or enter shelters. Fifty-two mothers and children were left at a bus station in San Antonio hours before the storm, with nowhere to go.”
AIUSA, Grassroots Leadership and RAICES are continuing to monitor human rights impact of the situation in Texas as well as the U.S. government’s response, paying specific attention to issues around immigrants’ access to justice and resources.
Read the full letter here: