Eleanor Acer


The current climate of insecurity has in a sense presented an opportunity for those with restrictive immigration agendas to use a new vocabulary to advance long desired objectives as well as new policies that sacrifice fairness and negatively affect immigrants. The result has been a decline in due process and the undermining of basic protections of international refugee and human rights law, including: the prohibition on arbitrary detention, embodied in Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the prohibition on returning a refugee to persecution, the cornerstone of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol; and the right to asylum, contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The task that Arthur Helton flagged--ensuring that the rights of refugees are not violated in the new “securitized” climate--has become a monumental challenge.