#UnitedNationshumanrightsexperts, #DeferredActionforChildhoodArrivals, #DACA, #Dreamers, #UN, #US
Washington Feb 23 (Canadian-Media): A group of United Nations human rights experts said in a news release issued by the UN human rights wing, OHCHR, Tuesday that they were "increasingly concerned about the impact that ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme could have on the young people who benefit from it," has urged the country to take urgent steps to address the situation of hundreds of thousands of migrants who arrived in the United States as children facing possible expulsion, media reports said.
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Often referred to as ‘Dreamers,’ the DACA beneficiaries – estimated to number around 800,000 – will lose their legal status and their protection from deportation without procedural safeguards if a solution is not reached by the deadline.
The majority of Dreamers are reportedly ages 25 or below, and many are current students.
Deadline for the DACA programme, which grants work permits and renewable two-year extension from deportation to qualifying migrants, is reportedly March 5.
For the migrants to be qualified they should have arrived as children under 16, are pursuing or have completed a high school education or military service, and do not have a serious crime history.
The human rights experts also underscored that an abrupt end to the DACA programme will disrupt the lives of these migrants and cause “profound grief and irreparable harm by tearing their families apart” and making them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse if deported to countries which are unfamiliar to them.
They also said that majority of these migrants are young women at risk of being expelled to countries where there are high levels of violence, lawlessness and crime.
“Ending the programme without a feasible alternative would also send a wrong signal to the population, as it would reinforce harmful racial stereotypes and stigmatize hard-working, law-abiding young migrants who are an asset to the country which they consider home,” human rights experts were reported to state.
In the news release, the human rights experts also highlighted that the expiry of DACA offers a “unique opportunity” for regularization of many migrants who have strong economic, social, cultural and family links in the UN, and whose contribution to society is unquestionable.
The UN rights experts making the call reportedly include Felipe González Morales, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants; Elina Steinerte, Vice-Chair on Communications of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; Alda Facio, Chair of the UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice; and E. Tendayi Achiume, UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism.
Geneva-based Human Rights Council reportedly appointed UN Special Rapporteurs and independent experts to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation.
The positions are honorary and not paid for their work and the experts are not UN staff.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)