Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 19

local sovereign nation policies, which is what the [U.S.] Refugee Resettlement
Program actually does.

"

I do believe that each country has the right to make
their own decision with regards to their immigration
policy. The only thing an international platform can
do is structure people with regards to those local
sovereign nation policies.
ALLEN ORR

international law is really instructive about how we should be responding
to the movement of people, particularly when they are fleeing persecution.
International law largely came from the lessons learned from World War II and
the Holocaust. While there is some updating to be done to accommodate the
kinds of threats from which people flee, at its core we shouldn't forget the
lesson of not turning our backs on people fleeing grave harm.
Some policy advocates believe the 1951 Refugee Convention treaty is
outdated and has outlived its purpose. Is it time to abandon it?

ORR: I don't think the treaty is outdated, and we shouldn't abandon it. It is not
time to abandon a policy that helps individuals when they need it most.
MURRAY: Like many laws, we have to read them in the context of the current
moment and interpret them in line with the facts of what's happening today.
I think the Refugee Convention is certainly still applicable to current situations,
particularly if we don't take an overly restrictive interpretation. I think there is
room for us to have appropriate responses to current refugee migrations within
existing laws. But we have to do it in good faith.
In 2018, 164 of the 193 members of the United Nations adopted the
Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. Is this a
possible answer to how the world should cope with the migration crisis?

ORR: It may be a platform for the migration issues, but the bigger issues are
foreign policies and endless wars that are causing people to move around the
world. Venezuela has a collapsing government. [In] other places - even though
it may not be a war between two states - there are wars between crime and
law and order . . . such as in Ecuador. I do believe that each country has the right
to make their own decision with regards to their immigration policy. The only
thing an international platform can do is structure people with regards to those
Fence photo, iStock; Allen Orr, courtesy of Orr Immigration Law Firm P.C.; Royce Bernstein
Murray, courtesy of Royce Bernstein Murray

There are countries that are still taking in a lot of immigrants, such as Canada.
There are even places in the United States, such as Alaska and Maine, that pay
younger immigrants to live there, but those states have sort of a dying population. So the concept of a foreign body deciding immigration policies for sovereign nations [will not produce] a good result.
Do we need a new refugee protection regime? What other policy
approaches can countries pursue to address mass migration and to
protect refugees?

ORR: The answer for the U.S. is no, because there is a very thorough screening
process. It takes about 18 months to screen a refugee from another country to
get here. What we probably should do is look at our numbers again. There has
been a great concern with "others" - just accepting "others," whether they are
brown people or black people - as if it's un-American to bring people from
other nations. America is individuals from other nations.
MURRAY: We have to recognize that we have systems and laws in place to
manage the flows of asylum seekers. We need not fear them, but [we need] to
think about how we can process them in a way that's both fair and efficient.
Americans want to see a system that reflects our values of due process and to
be assured that that system has the situation under control. If we stay away from
fearmongering and focus on investing in the system to make it work as well as
possible, then migration and the protection of refugees will be a manageable
situation to deal with.

"

International laws serve as the foundation of the U.S.
refugee and asylum system. While what matters most
is the application of U.S. law, international law is really
instructive about how we should be responding to the
movement of people, particularly when they are
fleeing persecution.

*

MAY 2019

ROYCE BERNSTEIN MURRAY
*

WASHINGTON LAWYER 19


https://www.dcbar.org/

Washington Lawyer - May 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - May 2019

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar Of Events
Cybersecurity Rules & Risks For The International Lawyer
Borders, Refugees & A Global Crisis
Climate Change: Turning To Law In Race Against Time
Member Spotlight
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask The Ethics Experts
Disciplinary Summaries
The Pro Bono Effect
Community & Connections
Special Coverage: Youth Law Fair @ 20
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 1
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 2
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 3
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 7
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 9
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Calendar Of Events
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 11
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Cybersecurity Rules & Risks For The International Lawyer
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 13
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 14
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 15
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 16
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 17
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Borders, Refugees & A Global Crisis
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 19
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 20
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 21
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Climate Change: Turning To Law In Race Against Time
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 23
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 24
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 25
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 26
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 27
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 29
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 31
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 35
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Ask The Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 37
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 39
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 41
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 42
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 43
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 45
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Special Coverage: Youth Law Fair @ 20
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - 47
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - May 2019 - Cover4
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