Various migration-related controversies in the United States and the 2015 migrant crisis in Europe have raised questions about destination countries’ treatment of migrants. This report, produced in collaboration with the department of Migration and Refugee Services of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, considers the post-arrival side of immigration enforcement in the United States, Greece, and Germany through a normative lens. It asks: What does it mean for immigration enforcement to be humane? And are the United States, Greece, and Germany treating migrants in a humane way? On the basis of original field research conducted between June and July 2018, this report traces various stages of the post-arrival immigration process in these three countries, from the reception and detention of migrants, to the determination of asylum status, to potential repatriation. It evaluates the performance of the United States, Greece, and Germany in the domain of immigration enforcement according to an original set of ‘principles,’ or criteria, for determining whether the treatment of migrants is humane, and finds that all three countries fail to adequately incorporate these principles in their migration-related law and practice. It further presents a series of overarching recommendations to improve these countries’ treatment of migrants.
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