Not So Safe and Sound

SUR 23 - v.13 n.23, 49 - 60, 2016

12 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2016

See all articles by Jamil Dakwar

Jamil Dakwar

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Date Written: July 7, 2016


Despite its historical role as a refuge for people from all over the world seeking protection and a new life, in recent years, the United States of America (U.S.) has started to roll back its human rights protections for asylum seekers. Jamil Dakwar describes how, in response to the Paris attacks and other events in Europe and the U.S., which raised alarm over the threat of terrorism, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation known as the SAFE Act that specifically targets Syrian and Iraqi refugees and excludes them from protection in the U.S. Dakwar notes how the growing Islamophobic hysteria that has characterised much of the U.S. presidential cycle is threatening to dismantle critical human rights protections and the domestic civil rights not only of foreign-born refugees seeking assistance in the U.S., but also of minority communities already living in the country. These restrictive and discriminatory immigration policies have also targeted asylum-seekers arriving in the U.S. from Central America with devastating consequences for families and young children. In explicitly denying protections for Syrian and Iraqi refugees fleeing appalling danger, this article explores how the SAFE Act violates several fundamental human rights laws and principles.

Keywords: International human rights, Refugee protections, U.S. treaty obligations, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

Suggested Citation

Dakwar, Jamil, Not So Safe and Sound (July 7, 2016). SUR 23 - v.13 n.23, 49 - 60, 2016, Available at SSRN:

Jamil Dakwar (Contact Author)

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ( email )

125 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004
United States

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