Amnesty International has released an 86-page report entitled: In Hostile Terrain: Human rights violations in immigration enforcement in the US Southwest that examines the human rights violations perpetrated by the Obama administration through immigration enforcement at the southern border and in the interior of the United States.
They research conditions in Texas and Arizona throughout 2010 and 2011, interviewing individual immigrants and their families, survivors of abuse, advocates, activists, service providers, academics, public officials, and medical examiner personnel.
They also interviewed federal and local law enforcement officials at the US Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (USCBP), Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Houston Police Department, and Tucson Police Department.
Finally, they reviewed media reports of incidents involving human rights violations of immigrants, documenting current and pending federal and state legislation relating to immigration enforcement and immigrants’ rights.
The following is a sampling of the examples of human rights violations perpetrated by the Obama administration as set forth in the report:
- Racial profiling and discrimination based solely on ethnic or racial characteristics, such as skin color, accent, ethnicity, or a residential area known to be populated by a particular ethnic group;
- Latinos and members of other communities of color along the border are disproportionately targeted for stops, identity checks, and searches for the purpose of immigration enforcement;
- ICE agents are doing linguistic profiling by asking people waiting for the buses basic questions in English. If the person can’t answer in English, the agents ask for papers;
- Officers are making inquiries about immigration status without 287(g) authority or training to assess someone’s immigration status. Or they will assume that a person is undocumented merely because they don’t speak English.
- U.S. citizens of color are being adversely impacted by discriminatory practices of racial profiling;
- Immigrants are being abused during detention and deportation;
- Allegations of excessive use of force during apprehension, detention and deportation;
- Deprivation of the right to counsel and due process protections are being denied through verbal intimidation;
- Thousands of children will never be reunited with parents detained or deported by ICE because there are no protocols to keep families united;
- Survivors of crime are being denied access to justice;
- Trafficking survivors are never told of the immigration remedies available to them; and
- DHS enforcement interrogations often take place without defense counsel being present.
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