Blog of Rights

How Can a 3-Year-Old Represent Himself in Court?

How Can a 3-Year-Old Represent Himself in Court?

By Beth Werlin, American Immigration Council & Kristin Macleod-Ball, American Immigration Council at 5:28pm
Each week, in immigration courts across the United States, hundreds of children, some as young as a few months old, come before immigration judges and are called upon to defend themselves against deportation. Among them is Arturo,* a three-year-old who arrived at the United States border in April 2014 because family members feared for his life in El Salvador. Although he is only a toddler, the government has put Arturo into deportation proceedings on his own. He has no attorney to help him explain to the court why he should not be deported.
America's Broken Guestworker Program Violates Human Rights

America's Broken Guestworker Program Violates Human Rights

By Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 9:53am

Twenty-three years ago today, the United Nations adopted the landmark International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Subsequently, the General Assembly named December 18 "International…

Is E-Verify Effective? Depends on How You Look at It

Is E-Verify Effective? Depends on How You Look at It

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:35pm

Yesterday the New York Times wrote about E-Verify, the system of employment verification tucked into the immigration legislation that passed the Senate later in the afternoon. As the Times notes, E-Verify is "a linchpin of the legislation… [that]…

Protections for Home Care Workers: Ending An Unjust Legacy

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project & Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:31pm

"Year in and year out, Evelyn Coke left her Queens house early to go to the homes of elderly, sick, often dying people. She bathed them, cooked for them, helped them dress and monitored their medications. She sometimes worked three consecutive…

Ending The Laws That Fuel Mass Detention and Deportation

Ending The Laws That Fuel Mass Detention and Deportation

By Judy Rabinovitz, Immigrants' Rights Project at 3:00pm

The Department of Homeland Security assumes that mass detention is the key to immigration enforcement. But in fact, our detention system locks up thousands of immigrants unnecessarily every year, exposing detainees to brutal and inhumane conditions…

My Name Is Magaly: Community Leader, Homeowner, Taxpayer, and Undocumented Mother

My Name Is Magaly: Community Leader, Homeowner, Taxpayer, and Undocumented Mother

By Magaly at 2:59pm

I was 23 years old when I crossed the U.S.-Mexico border with my husband, aunt, and cousin.

Before we came to the United States, we lived in a community in Veracruz. My husband was in the Mexican Army, but the money he made was not enough to…

Doing Right by the Unaccompanied Children on Our Border

Doing Right by the Unaccompanied Children on Our Border

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 1:28pm

There are children in cages along the U.S.-Mexico border right now. And more are showing up every day.

Three-quarters of these kids ­– some as young as four – are from Guatemala, El Salvador, and the "murder capital" of the world, Honduras.…

Documents Shed Light on Border Laptop Searches

Documents Shed Light on Border Laptop Searches

By Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 6:24pm

The case of David Miranda got a lot of attention around the world after UK authorities were accused of abusing an anti-terrorism law to evade the normal constitutional restrains on police power and question someone because of their political associations.…

CBP Using Its Authorization for Border Use Of Drones as Wedge For Nationwide Use

CBP Using Its Authorization for Border Use Of Drones as Wedge For Nationwide Use

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:51pm

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released a very valuable set of documents it obtained via FOIA from Customs & Border Protection (CBP) on that agency’s use of drones. EFF found that CPB has greatly increased the number of missions that it has flown—inside the border region—on behalf of other state, local and federal agencies. The EFF’s Jennifer Lynch summarizes what they found nicely in this blog post.

All the public discussion around the CBP’s use of drones has centered around their use on the border. As far as I know, CBP’s drone program was intended and authorized by Congress for the purpose of patrolling the nation’s borders. It was not intended to be a general law enforcement drone “lending library,” in which Predator drones (which are quite unlike the small UAVs that police departments around the country are beginning to acquire and deploy) are used for all manner of purposes across the country. Many of those purposes are totally unobjectionable, but if such a system is to be created, it should be only following a full, open, and democratic discussion, and (as Lynch points out) with a strong set of privacy policies. It should certainly not be created in secret by a single federal agency.

A Tale of Two Immigrant Detainees

A Tale of Two Immigrant Detainees

By Sophia Yapalater, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 12:28pm

In many ways, Mark and Richard led parallel lives. Both men came to the United States as young children, Mark from South Korea and Richard from Jamaica. They both had status as legal permanent residents, attended school, and put down roots in their…