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Children and their families fled their country seeking protection from persecution and violence. 

Yet, in recent years, vulnerable people reaching the US southern border have been told they have no rights - despite the 1951 UN Refugee convention which protects them.

Some have been deported back to countries where they may be tortured, imprisoned, or even killed. 

Some are held in indefinite detention without parole

Children as young as 10 have been separated from their family at the US-Mexico border for more than 50 days.

“They told me, ‘you don’t have any rights here, and you don’t have any rights to stay with your son.’ …For me I died at that moment. They ripped my heart out of me. …For me, it would have been better if I had dropped dead. For me, the world ended at that point. …How can a mother not have the right to be with her son?”

Valquiria, a 39-year-old Brazilian asylum-seeker, detained since March 2018, when US authorities forcibly separated her from her 6-year-old son, after they requested asylum at a port-of-entry in El Paso, Texas.

There are no official numbers, but it is estimated that 8,000 families have been separated, many when requesting protection at official ports-of-entry. Most were never informed why they were being separated.

Amnesty International researchers witnessed the extreme mental anguish those family separations caused. In some cases, the harmful practice of family separations satisfied the definitions of torture under US and international law.

Fuelling these policies of cruelty, President Trump has called asylum-seekers “criminals,” and denounced international standards on refugee protection as legal “loopholes” that the administration wants to abolish.

In short, the Trump administration is waging a deliberate campaign of human rights violations against asylum seekers, in order to broadcast globally that the United States no longer welcomes refugees.

We must stop human rights violations at the US border. 

Make a regular donation today to defend the rights of families seeking safety and protection in the United States.

Your donation will help us fight for their rights and reunite children with their parents.

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Amnesty doesn’t accept funding from governments or political organisations. This financial independence means we’re free to campaign with objectivity and impartiality and to defend human rights worldwide.

 

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