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UN Scolds Washington for War on Migrants

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Cyril Mychalejko
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The United Nations released a report this month scolding the United States for disregarding international law and violating the human rights of migrants.


Jorge Bustamante, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, noted serious concerns about deportation and detention policies, especially in light of the fact that cases of indefinite detention were common. Other concerns included lack of due process, imprisonment of children and infants, imprisoned migrants being subjected to solitary confinement, possible sleep deprivation, and exposure to extreme heat and cold.


"The United States lacks a clear, consistent, long-term strategy to improve respect for the human rights of migrants," Bustamante’s report stated.


The report was written after a controversial fact-finding mission in the United States last April. The visit was arranged to investigate concerns regarding the human rights of the country’s 37.5 million migrants, including arbitrary detention, separation of families, substandard conditions of detention, procedural violations in criminal and administrative law proceedings, racial and ethnic discrimination, arbitrary and collective expulsions and violations of children’s and women’s rights.


“The report makes it clear that the U.S. government’s laws, policies and practices are the main culprit for the persistent abusive treatment and persecution experienced by immigrant families, workers and communities,” stated Colin Rajah, director of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights’ (NNIRR)International Migrant Rights and Global Justice Program. “The findings are an indictment of U.S. immigration laws and enforcement and reflect the complaints we have documented from around the country.”


The NNIR released a report, “Over-Raided, Under Seige: U.S. Immigrations Laws and Enforcement Destroy the Rights of Migrants, on Jan. 18 which documented over 100 stories of human rights abuses which lend evidence to the "humanitarian crisis"  immigrants are faced with in the United States.


According to Jennifer Turner, who gave a statement on March 7 to the Human Rights Council on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Department of Homeland Security detained 322,000 migrants in 2007.

“The growth in immigration detention has resulted in highly problematic conditions of confinement, such as grossly inadequate health care, physical and sexual abuse, overcrowding, discrimination, and racism,” said Turner.


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Cyril Mychalejko is a writer, teacher, and mountain lover.

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