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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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Groups Urge Biden Administration to Rescind Trump Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) Rules

Hon. Alejandro N. Mayorkas           Secretary of Homeland Security          U.S. Department of Homeland Security           2707 Martin Luther King…
Lizbeth, una mujer salvadoreña que busca asilo en Estados Unidos, posa  en la casa de un familiar en Tijuana, México, donde fue enviada a esperar por el resultado de su caso, el 5 de noviembre de 2019
Report
Summary As the harmful effects of immigration detention become more widely known and the appropriateness of detaining migrants is increasingly questioned, governments are looking at alternatives to detention as more humane and rights-respecting…
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Majid Khan Publicly Describes Torture at Sentencing Hearing

For the first time, a United States military commission jury urged clemency for a Guantanamo Bay detainee, Majid Khan, at a sentencing hearing. The jury’s recommendation, noting the severe abuse Khan endured while in detention, highlights the profound…
Photo of a man with black hair and a bear
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Despite US Federal Court Ruling, Continued Detention Likely

In a small step toward justice, a United States federal judge ruled this week that because Haroon Gul, an Afghan held at Guantanamo Bay, was not a member of Al-Qaeda or an associated force, the US had no legal basis for detaining him. The US…
Afghan refugee Roman Khan at a refugee camp near Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar in September 2020, displays a photograph of his brother Asadullah Haroon, who is detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
Report
  Summary In 2017, a US Border Patrol agent kneed a woman in the lower pelvis, leaving bruises and pain days later, according to her statement to a government official screening her asylum claim. In a separate incident that year, a Border…
News

Since the 9/11 attacks, U.S. forces fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere have carried out targeted killings that frequently kill and injure civilians.

On September 17, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, gave an extraordinary news conference in which he admitted that the United States had killed an aid worker in Kabul and his family; McKenzie apologized, adding that…
The Pentagon, Washington, DC, United States.
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President Joe Biden was determined to end U.S. involvement in the Afghan "forever war" by the twentieth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He should also use the anniversary to announce a definitive end to the forever "global war on terror."…
Detainees apprehended after September 11, 2001 in a holding area under surveillance of the US military at Camp X-Ray at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba on January 11, 2002. 
News
On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda hijackers turned four commercial airliners into instruments of terror, killing nearly 3,000 people and devastating the lives of thousands more. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States…
Bellevue Hospital memorial to victims of the World Trade Center attacks in New York, September 19, 2001. 
News

Victims of Attacks Still Await Justice

The September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States were foremost a tragedy for the nearly 3,000 victims and their families. Lives were snuffed out, destinies forever changed, in acts of violence that elicited shock and outraged the world over. Many…
A man stands in the rubble after the collapse of the first World Trade Center Tower in New York City on September 11, 2001.
News

Delayed Reforms Endanger LGBT, Black, Other Adults Traveling Alone

“The officials didn’t let me tell them anything. They just sent me back.” That’s what “Dolores,” an asylum seeker in Mexico, told me after United States Border Patrol agents expelled her under the illegal and discriminatory Title 42 border…
Honduran men cross into the United States to begin the asylum process Monday, July 5, 2021, in Tijuana, Mexico. The administration of President Joe Biden continues to turn away thousands of asylum seekers under the illegal and discriminatory Title 42 summary expulsion policy.
News

Thousands Have Been Expelled Under Abusive Policy

The New York Times reported last week that the United States would lift a public health bar on migrants crossing the border into the country for families, but that it would keep expelling single adults, at least until the end of the summer. The US has…
A migrant family crosses the border into El Paso, Texas, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.
News

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.
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

End Sweeping Border Expulsions, Re-designate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status

In 1993, when I was a junior staff member at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, I saw first-hand the tragic repercussions of US President Bill Clinton’s failure to follow through on the promise he made as a candidate to…
A migrant from Haiti wearing a mask in the colors of the Mexican and US flags stands at a border crossing with others, waiting to asylum in the US, February 19, 2021. 
News

US Should Continue to Move Toward a More Humane Policy

Recent reports of children being held for prolonged periods in packed unhygienic conditions, sleeping on mats on the floor of border jails, conjured the faces of children I spoke with in the same dangerous and unacceptable situation in 2019, under the…
A woman walks carrying her child at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) South Texas Family Residential Center, in Dilley, Texas, August 23, 2019. 
Video
Asylum seekers sent to Mexico by the administration of former US president Donald Trump have suffered violence and extortion by Mexican police, immigration agents, and criminal groups. Since January 2019, the United States has effectively closed its…