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“For weeks, the smoke covers the sky,” a doctor told me last year, when we investigated how forest fires affect the health of Brazilians in the Amazon. Thousands of people in Indigenous and Ribeirinho communities living on the banks of one…
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News
Processing asylum claims at the US border is a Gordian knot in need of a clean cut. My scissors are ready. The solution is not procedural, but rather, a simpler, fairer asylum standard that will allow US decision-makers to quickly identify and protect…
Migrants seeking asylum wait in line with their case paperwork to meet with an attorney on Oct. 5, 2019, during a weekly trip by volunteers, lawyers, paralegals and interpreters to the migrant campsite outside El Puente Nuevo in Matamoros, Mexico.
News
President-elect Biden’s pledge to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States — and ensure that it finally does its part to tackle the climate crisis — is welcome news. So, too, is his promise to return the country to the Paris…
Weenusk First Nation member, Mike Wabano, sets up camp for caribou hunting on a frozen river near Peawanuck, December 14, 2019. As a result of warming temperatures, ice and snow cover is often thinner and more unstable.
News

Many Detainees Should Be Released; States Should Halt Transfers

As people across the United States prepared for Memorial Day last month, a second person in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody died of complications from Covid-19. Santiago Baten-Oxlaj, 34, from Guatemala, passed away at the Piedmont…
An illustration of a man in a prison uniform lying in fetal position at a crossroads (the roads have barbed wire)
News

The Trump administration is talking about freezing immigration for 60 days, at a time when it’s urgent to address the vulnerability of thousands of Venezuelans in the United States.

As COVID-19 spreads, it’s clearer than ever that millions of Venezuelans who have fled a brutal government crackdown and an already collapsed health system in their home country can’t return safely. The U.S. government has the ability to grant…
People protest outside the children's hospital JM de los Rios because of lack of medicines, in Caracas, Venezuela March 12, 2020.
News
Gov. Cuomo has only a few more days to sign a bill to ban chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide harmful to public health and the environment. Signing the bill into law is essential for protecting farmworkers’ and children’s rights, health and safety. As…
Farmworkers harvest apples on a farm in New York.
News
What does it mean to be a human rights voter? Support candidates who want the government to adopt and enforce laws that promote and protect human rights. This means candidates who defend people from abusive systems, officials, individuals, and…
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“Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet,” was how Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), suggested revising the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty in August when the Trump…
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News
The damage done by Hurricane Maria was far worse than Alvarez, or anyone, could have imagined. With broken roads, and hospitals overwhelmed as blackouts roiled the island, she gave birth at home a few weeks later. She relied on her doula skills and a…
People wait at the Jose de Diego Elementary School to file FEMA forms for federal aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico
News
It’s still unclear what convinced Mexico’s new president to collaborate with the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy in June of this year. Was it the threat of tariffs, or a genuine desire to crack down on migrants? In any case,…
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In its latest effort to keep asylum seekers from reaching the United States, the Trump administration enacted a new rule on July 16 that effectively bars anyone from seeking asylum in the United States who tries to cross the southern U.…
Demonstrators protest against the detention of asylum seekers at Australian-run offshore detention centers on the island of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, in Sydney, Australia, August 31, 2017.
News

Congress Should End Abusive Conditions

The three-year old before me had matted hair, a hacking cough, muddy pants, and eyes that fluttered closed with fatigue. His only caretaker for the last three weeks in a United States Border Patrol chain-link cage and then a cell…his 11…
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News
The Exodus story, which Jews will be celebrating this week with the Passover holiday, starts with the “hardened heart” of Pharaoh, who refuses to allow the Hebrew slaves to leave. Tyrants’ refusals to allow oppressed people to flee is a…
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News

Humanitarian Agencies Should Search for Migrants With Disabilities at US-Mexico Border

In order to use the bathroom in the Tijuana migrant shelter, I had to be carried up a flight of stairs. Living in Latin America with a disability has never been a simple task; daily activities can be extremely difficult due to the lack of…
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News
In the coming months, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be pressed to make two critical decisions that will determine whether the United States will retreat further from its global role in protecting refugees. First, with…
Pompeo presser
News

The new acting administrator of the EPA—and former coal lobbyist—is easing rules that protect people who live near coal plants from toxic ash

Andrew Wheeler, the former coal lobbyist who became acting administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after Scott Pruitt resigned, is weakening rules that protect people who live near coal-fired plants from the toxic ash left from…
TVA Kingston Fossil Plant fly ash spill