Are immigrants human?
Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1949) from the NARA
Are immigrants human? Of course-- it's an absurd question. But it reminds us to incorporate human rights into our understanding of immigrant rights.
Since the Trump administration announced new measures to increase the power of ICE to expedite removals of migrants, there has been an activist focus on immigrant rights. And rightly so.
Raids, an expanded definition of who is a "risk to public safety," increasing expedited deportations, and the promise to hire more ICE officers have brought dread and fear to communities throughout the nation. The administration plans to hire 15,000 more immigration officers and has asked local police to help round up immigrants. It is not only immigrants who are affected through these increased deportations. Families, neighbors, and entire communities are hurt as well.
In December 1948, the United Nations declared the UN Declaration of Human Rights, following the horrors of World War II. It proclaimed,
"WHEREAS recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
WHEREAS disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,"
It is imperative that we educate ourselves and our communities about our rights. And it is equally essential that we remember that immigrants are human and deserving of human rights as well. Everything in the immigration systems tries to take away our humanity. Everything we do must evoke our humanity, everyone's humanity.
We are human beings.
Below, see the video, "What to do if immigrant agents are at your door."
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