Enforced removal in the US

We have discussed several times on this blog the complexity of removing failed asylum seekers that have exhausted all rights of appeal, particularly to areas of the world where the political conditions or social relations are unstable. While removals is the unpalatable aspect of any functioning asylum system, actually carrying them out runs up against a number of obstacles and puts pressure on state apparatus in the sending and receiving country as well as causing immense trauma for the individuals involved.

The UK government has been criticised for some of its treatment of asylum seekers during the removal process, notably for dawn raids and for heavy-handed treatment from security staff. They are yet to go this far in the UK however, as the Washington Post reports that the US authorities have been injecting hundreds of returnees with drugs without their permission to sedate them for the flight home. This reflects not only the difficulty in removing people, but also the ease with which inhumane, the sort of treatment that very few other groups in society would be subjected to, can be so easily meted out to those that have no legal status.

Read ICAR’s Removals briefing for more in-depth coverage on these issues in the UK

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