Human rights cannot be given, taken, or lost. They also come with responsibilities and consequent restrictions which are provided for in constitutions of sovereign nations within which individuals reside. The American Constitution respects and upholds the rights of all human beings within and out of its boundaries. It enshrines rights and grants people with fundamental freedoms among them being the freedom of expression and association. The freedom to associations and the freedom to pursue happiness often draw immigrants to the United States. Unfortunately, some basic human rights in the United States fall under abuse, especially for immigrants. Some are abused through;
- Arbitrary detentions and unjust deportations
- Death sentences
- Death in the strenuous desserts during disallowed immigration travels
- Restricted access to basic health care
- Racial profiling and cruelty within jails and prisons
A vast section of the American population respects human rights and feels sorrowful about the current state of immigrant treatment. People have continuously continued to join, or fund, or join and fund different civil entities in a bid to intercede for immigrants. They call for more favorable terms of employment and reception for immigrants. Numerous groups have sustained the good fight for decades, some lasting as long as 30 years. Some journalists have taken on abrasive and dreaded law enforcers who abuse the rights of immigrants. Some of them are the likes of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin who braved persecution of America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff and founded the Frontera Fund. Some of the most vibrant lobby groups actively defending the rights of immigrants include:
The Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
CHIRLA was established back in the year 1986 in response to an insensitive legislative enactment. The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) outlawed hiring of undocumented workers. There were millions of workers and hopeful job seekers who were affected by the legislation and multitudes interpreted it as a plot to oust immigrants. It was also seen as a means of making laborers work off the books and lack any legal support in cases of mistreatment. CHIRLA’s objective is to transform America into an inclusive society which does not oppress immigrants. The group is always at the forefront of efforts to uplift immigrants by defending their rights.
ACLU Immigrants’ rights project
American Civil Liberties Union advocates for immigrant rights mainly through litigation. It has developed interesting methods to advance its agenda of emancipating migrants by prosecuting offensive and unconstitutional policies in the court of public opinion too. By publishing articles indicative of abuse of office by law enforcers and breach of the First Amendment. The Union leads efforts aimed at challenging the constitutionality of laws and policies which technically deny immigrants their rights to a judicial process.
The Amazon Watch
The Amazon Watch operates chiefly within the Amazon Basin and works with environmental organizations for the benefit of indigenous people. It defends their rights, especially their environmental rights which have come under increased abuse due to mining activities. The development of numerous oil and gas projects has caused flagrant abuse in the Amazon Basin.
Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund primarily benefits the immigrants and Hispanic community residing in Arizona. They had been suffering under former sheriff Joe Arpaio before Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin caused his downfall by suing him. They also exposed his abuse of office and the rights of immigrants. The initiative also funds other civil rights groups that defend the rights of immigrants.