Blog of Rights

Their Lives Depend on It: Every Unaccompanied Child Needs a Lawyer

Their Lives Depend on It: Every Unaccompanied Child Needs a Lawyer

By Layla Razavi, Regional Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 1:21pm
At first glance, the kids I met at the Ft. Sill military base in Lawton, Oklahoma, seemed like ordinary teenagers. They wore friendship bracelets they'd made in arts and crafts. Boys had baseball caps and girls had brightly colored nail polish with tiny flowers painted on them. But, one by one, they started to share their stories, and it became clear that their lives are anything but ordinary.
Why Gerardo Can't Just "Get In Line"

Why Gerardo Can't Just "Get In Line"

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 2:41pm

We recently featured the story of Gerardo Hernandez-Contreras, a father who was deported after a traffic violation, on our blog. People sympathetic to Mr. Hernandez-Contreras blamed Congress for failing to pass immigration reform, while others pointed…

After Gerardo Hernandez-Contreras’s deportation to Mexico, Aide Vasquez and her

How a Father Gets Deported for a Traffic Violation

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 2:10pm

If you ask the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), it doesn't deport parents whose most serious crime is a traffic offense. In fact, according to its statistics, 98 percent of people deported fell into one of DHS's "priorities" – designed to deport…

Image of Lady Justice on camcorder screen

The System, Caught On Tape

By Peter Bibring, Director of Police Practices for the ACLU of Southern California at 12:15pm

Yesterday’s decision by a Staten Island grand jury not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for having killed Eric Garner using a chokehold during an arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes has sparked enormous outcry and frustration. Garner’s…

The Kids Aren't Alright: America Fails to Protect Youth in Crisis

The Kids Aren't Alright: America Fails to Protect Youth in Crisis

By Sarah Mehta, Researcher, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:40pm

Earlier this year, I sat in an immigration office in Nogales, Mexico, surrounded by children who had just been deported from the United States. All of the children I spoke with, ranging in age from 11 to 17 years old, traveled to the United States…

America Should Always Be a Refuge From Violence

America Should Always Be a Refuge From Violence

By Layla Razavi, Regional Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 4:34pm

This past weekend's Fourth of July holiday made me nostalgic for the Independence Day celebrations of my childhood.

My parents are immigrants from Iran, and the Fourth was a big deal. We would barbeque kabob and rice at the beach in San Diego…

Blog author, John Ladd

Living Under Surveillance at the Border – for What?

By John Ladd at 2:38pm

As a fourth-generation Arizona rancher I have a strong attachment to the land my great grandfather homesteaded back in 1896. But ever since the US government built the border fence and sent thousands of Border Patrol agents to the Southwest, my property…

The Ones Obama Left Behind - And Deported Without a Chance to Be Heard

The Ones Obama Left Behind - And Deported Without a Chance to Be Heard

By Sarah Mehta, Researcher, ACLU Human Rights Program at 8:14am

Nydia already had asylum in the United States when she was twice deported by border officers back to the danger she fled from. A transgender woman from Mexico, Nydia told officers she had status and had been raped and attacked in Mexico when she returned…

Children Shouldn’t Be Left Alone in Immigration Court

Children Shouldn’t Be Left Alone in Immigration Court

By Sandra Hernandez, ACLU of Southern California at 10:39am

Eleven-year-old Luisa was too young to apply on her own for a visa to come from Guatemala to the United States where she hoped to be reunited with her mother. But since federal immigration authorities detained her last year in Texas, Luisa has learned…

Claudia Valdez and her kids

The Terrible Toll of ICE Detainers

By Rebecca T. Wallace, ACLU of Colorado & John Krieger, Communications and Outreach Director, ACLU of Colorado at 10:41am

On the evening of June 28, 2012, Claudia Valdez called the police for help. An argument with her husband at the time had turned physical and she feared for her safety and that of her three young children. She ran to her neighbor’s house with…