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High-Level Pronouncements Marred by Systemic Racism, Abuse of Asylum Seekers

(Washington, DC) – The administration of President Joe Biden has made slow progress protecting human rights in the United States, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. "The Biden administration has made some big-picture…
Hughes Van Ellis (left), a Tulsa Race Massacre survivor and World War II veteran, and Viola Fletcher (second right), oldest living survivor of the massacre, testify about the massacre’s ongoing impact before the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on May 19, 2021.
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Surface Reforms by US Fail to Address Serious Abuses of Asylum Seekers

(Washington, DC) – The decision to revive the “Remain in Mexico” program at the US border will once again put asylum seekers at risk of kidnapping, extortion, rape, and other abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. It will also violate their right to…
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Justice Department Should Move Against Abusive, Discriminatory ‘Operation Lone Star’

(Washington, DC) – Texas has arrested more than 1,500 migrants since March 2021 under a discriminatory and abusive operation that targets suspected migrants for arrest, prosecution, and incarceration on state misdemeanor offenses, Human Rights Watch…
Texas Governor Greg Abbott talks about Operation Lone Star during a press conference at the Texas Department of Public Safety Weslaco Regional Office on April 1, 2021, in Weslaco, Texas.
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Pilot Programs Point Way to Rights-Respecting Models

(New York) – Pilot programs testing alternatives to immigration detention in several countries, including the United States, offer governments models for more humane and rights-respecting approaches, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today…
Illustration of a man hugging his family outside of a detention center
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Newly Obtained Documents Reveal Urgent Need for Justice, Reform

(New York) – Newly obtained United States government documents detail over 160 internal reports of misconduct and abuse of asylum seekers at the hands of US officials, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The documents report abuse by…
A man stands with his hands on the back of a van marked "Border Patrol"
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UN Agencies, Governments Should Improve Assistance to Afghans at Risk

(New York) – Afghans at risk who have fled or are seeking to flee Afghanistan need greater international support, Human Rights Watch said today in a new policy briefing paper. The United Nations system and concerned governments should improve their…
Afghans from northern provinces who fled their homes due to the fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces take refuge in a public parc in Kabul, August 13, 2021. 
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Chased by Border Agents on Horseback; Returned to Danger in Haiti

(Washington, DC) – The US deployment of border agents on horseback against Haitian migrants on September 19, 2021, stems from abusive and racially discriminatory immigration policies by the administration of President Joe Biden, Human Rights Watch…
Two Customs and Border Protection agents on horseback approach three Haitian migrants standing in the river. The migrants are holding bags and shoes.
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Abandon Deterrence Model for Immigrants, Asylum Seekers, Groups Urge

(Washington, DC) – Extreme heat in the United States in the summer of 2021 underscores the urgency of adopting a climate-informed approach to policies affecting border communities, migrants, and asylum seekers, a group of 68 rights organizations said…
Alyssa Quintanilla, part of the Tucson Samaritans volunteer group, carries a cross, May 18, 2021, to be installed near Three Points, Arizona. The cross will be installed in the desert to commemorate the death of a migrant there. 
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Biden Administration Should Maintain Course to End ‘Remain in Mexico’ Program

(Washington, DC) – The Biden administration should take necessary legal measures to end an abusive Trump-era border policy following the August 24, 2021, US Supreme Court ruling upholding the program, Human Rights Watch said today. The court affirmed…
Woman stands in profile with in a doorframe, her face is obscured
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NATO Members, Australia Should Expedite Relocation of Local Staff

(Washington, DC) – Countries with troops departing Afghanistan should accelerate programs to resettle former Afghan interpreters and other employees who are increasingly at risk from Taliban forces, Human Rights Watch said today. The planned…
Former Afghan interpreters hold placards during a protest against the U.S. government and NATO in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 30, 2021.
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Biden Administration Returning Asylum Seekers to Harm

(Washington, DC) – The United States government’s summary expulsion of irregular border crossers without regard to their asylum claims or need for protection on ostensible public health grounds puts lives at risk and violates US obligations under…
An asylum seeking family from Guatemala stands on the Paso del Norte international bridge. After border agents turned the family away at the port of entry, the family swam across the Rio Grande.
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Vienna Academic Faces Abusive ‘Terrorism’ Charges

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities should immediately release an anthropology master’s degree student at Central European University (CEU), or present evidence of actual criminal wrongdoing, Human Rights Watch said today. Police arrested the student,…
Ahmed Samir Santawy, an anthropology master’s student at Central European University (CEU) detained in February 2021.
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Overdue Action is a Step Forward

(Geneva, March 12, 2021) – Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world expressed their strong support today for a joint declaration by UN member states condemning the human rights situation in Egypt, which was delivered at the 46th…
Egyptian security forces cordon off roads during curfew hours in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2020
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Follows Move by Colombia; Region-Wide Protection Needed

(Washington, DC) – The United States government took a positive step on March 9, 2021, by granting temporary protected status (TPS) for Venezuelans in the United States, but appears to have excluded Venezuelan asylum seekers stranded in Mexico, Human…
A sign that reads "There is no water" (top L) is seen at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) hospital in Caracas, Venezuela.
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Omit Provisions Denying Benefits Based on Youth Offenses

(Washington, DC) – Congress should make significant changes to a version of the Dream Act introduced on March 3, 2021 in the United States House of Representatives, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, the American Dream and Promise Act, or H.R…
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students celebrate in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, June 18, 2020. 
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Video Shows Family Separated under Trump Policy Have Reason to Hope

(Iowa) – The administration of United States President Joe Biden should move swiftly to ensure fair, dignified, and humane treatment of asylum seekers and migrants at the border, Human Rights Watch and the Iowa City Catholic Worker said in a video…
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Monitoring, Tough Message on Dire Rights Situation Long Overdue

(Geneva) – Egypt’s human rights community is facing “annihilation” by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government, more than 100 leading human rights organizations from around the world have warned today in a letter to foreign ministers. The groups…
Egyptian security forces have been involved in systematic abuses such as enforced disappearance and torture and have used abusive counterterrorism laws and measures to crush peaceful dissent. Egyptian security forces stand guard outside one of the entranc
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Reveal How Asylum Seekers at Border Were Short-Changed on Rights

(Washington) – Two years after the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program, newly released government records reveal US immigration agencies’ efforts in 2019 to rapidly deport thousands of…
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.
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Two Years into Program, Thousands Face Violence, Trauma, Uncertainty

(Washington, DC) – The United States government’s “Remain in Mexico” program subjects children and adults to serious, ongoing harm, including abduction and rape, and should be quickly and decisively dismantled, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
A Honduran migrant mother and child wait in line for a dinner provided by volunteers at a makeshift encampment occupied by asylum seekers sent back to Mexico from the US in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, October 27, 2019.  
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Alleged Abuse by Immigration Officials Warrants Immediate Investigation

(Washington, DC) – The United States government should protect all Cameroonians in the United States from deportation because of serious threats to their safety in Cameroon, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should designate…
A patrol of Cameroonian gendarmes during a political rally in the Omar Bongo Square, Buea, capital of the South-West region, on October 3, 2018. © 2018 Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images