Michael Garcia Bochenek, Human Rights Watch

Michael Garcia Bochenek

Human Rights Watch

United Kingdom

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Past articles by Michael:

Asylum Seekers Face Real Harm from US Border Policy

Following the Biden administration’s recent announcement that it would rescind an abusive Trump-era summary expulsion policy in May, the US states of Arizona, Louisiana, and Missouri this week sued to force the administration to continue turning asylum seekers away at the border. → Read More

Tragedy in English Channel Should Be Turning Point in Border Standoff

At least 27 people, including a young girl, died in the frigid waters off France this week while trying to cross to the United Kingdom in an inflatable dinghy. The tragedy has intensified a dispute between British and French officials over who bears responsibility for these crossings. → Read More

France Should End Abusive Policies Toward Migrants

Three weeks after French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin dismissed a Human Rights Watch report on police abuse against migrants in northern France as “lies,” national officials are beginning to change their tone. → Read More

Showing the Despair, and the Beauty, in Migrants’ Lives

Five years ago this month, French authorities dismantled the sprawling Calais migrant encampment known as the “Jungle,” dispersing hundreds of men, women, and children to refugee centers across the country. But because the draw of northern France is its proximity to the United Kingdom, migrants returned to the region almost immediately. → Read More

UK Shouldn’t Detain Asylum Seekers Offshore

The human toll of warehousing asylum seekers offshore could be enormous. → Read More

European Court Upholds Russian Transgender Woman’s Right to Family Life

In a victory for a transgender parent’s right to maintain contact with her children, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on July 6 that Russia’s denial of her visitation violated her rights to family life and freedom from discrimination. → Read More

What Biden Needs to Do to Restore Rights at the Border

Almost three years ago, the world heard a group of children sobbing in anguish after US border agents forcibly separated them from their parents. → Read More

US Takes Steps to Reverse Family Separations

An executive order President Biden signed today begins to address the abusive family separations the Trump administration carried out by redoubling efforts to locate the parents of the more than 680 children who remain separated nearly three years later. → Read More

Top US Officials Knew of Harm Caused by Separating Families

In a damning send-off for the administration of President Donald Trump, the US Justice Department’s inspector general has concluded an investigation into the forced separation of migrant families at the border. → Read More

Trump Administration Uses Pandemic as Excuse to Expel Migrants

This week, the Trump administration indefinitely extended an order that gives United States immigration agents the power to summarily expel migrants arriving at the US country’s borders under the pretext of preventing the spread of Covid-19. → Read More

I met the migrant kids in detention centers. There's no reason they must live like this.

Children don't have to be locked up — not in holding cells in Texas or detention centers in Florida. We consistently fail to act with basic decency. → Read More

How to Help Children Detained at the US Border

US Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have said they’re looking for ways to make sure that what we saw in the Clint, Texas facility last week doesn’t happen again. Here are four things you can ask the US Congress to do now. → Read More

Trump’s Family Separation Affected ‘Thousands’ More Children Than Previously Known

Trump administration officials were discussing deliberately targeting migrant families by late 2017, a draft policy document leaked to NBC News confirms. A government report also published this week found that thousands more children were forcibly separated from their parents, and beginning much earlier, than the administration had previously acknowledged. → Read More

US Reaches Agreement in Family Separation Cases

After the Trump administration was slammed with lawsuits for separating migrant children and parents at the border, the US government has agreed to allow many of these parents, whose asylum claims were rejected, to reapply. → Read More

US Family Detention Centers Not ‘Like Summer Camp’

Matthew Albence, acting deputy director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told the Senate Judiciary Committee that ICE’s family detention centers are “like a summer camp.” There’s no comparison. → Read More

ICE Agents Use Deception, Coercion Against Migrants

A month after President Donald Trump reversed his abhorrent policy of forcibly separating migrant families at the border, its consequences continue – harming the mental health of children and parents, impeding migrants’ legal options, and undermining their legitimate right to seek asylum. → Read More

The Trauma of Family Separation Under Trump

Shaking with sobs, the man across from me searched for words to describe the month he’d spent apart from his 10-year-old son after US immigration officials detained and forcibly separated them. “It’s the worst thing that could ever happen to me in my life,” said Edwin, from Honduras. → Read More

Trump’s Cruel Separation Policy Has Not Ended

A human rights activist gives an eyewitness account of sordid conditions in the border detention centers––conditions that persist despite the President's recent policy reversal. → Read More

Trump’s Order Changes One Harmful Approach for Another

President Donald Trump’s new executive order probably doesn’t change anything for the boy HRW spoke with in a McAllen immigration detention center last week. Today is his 6th birthday. He likely has no idea where his mother is, or if he'll see her again. → Read More

‘Whatever’ – What Happens to Kids Taken from Families at US Border

I’ve had a chance over the past few days to see what happens to kids right after they’re separated from their parents by US immigration officials. White House chief of staff John Kelly said we shouldn’t worry about these kids because they’ll be “put into foster care or whatever.” → Read More