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Amnesty International: US Immigration Policy Violates Human Rights

Posted: Apr 04, 2012

Amnesty International's new report, "In Hostile Terrain: Human rights violations in immigration enforcement in the U.S. Southwest," examines the human rights violations associated with immigration enforcement at the border and in the interior of the United States. The report finds that the United States is failing in its obligations under international law to ensure human rights of immigrants.

Among its findings are:
* Recent immigration policy in border areas has pushed undocumented immigrants to use dangerous routes through the U.S. desert; hundreds of people die each year as a result.

* Immigration enforcement in the United States is a federal responsibility. Federal immigration officials are increasingly working in collaboration with state and local law enforcement agencies but improper oversight of state and local law enforcement has led to increased racial profiling.

* Increasingly, state laws and local policies are creating barriers to immigrants accessing their basic human rights, including rights to education and essential health care services. While these laws are targeting non-citizens, these policies are also impacting U.S.-citizen children.

* Recent legislation enacted or proposed in several states targets immigrant communities and places them, Indigenous communities and other minority communities at risk of discrimination.

* Immigrant communities also face a range of barriers to justice when they are victims of crime such as human trafficking, domestic violence or bias crimes.

* The implementation of immigration enforcement measures along the border has also impacted the rights of Indigenous communities, whose traditional lands lie on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

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