Human Rights First

Blogs

FirstCast is a podcast by Human Rights First, providing news and in-depth analysis on human rights issues around the globe.
Blogs

Description

Link: www.humanrightsfirst.org/blog/podcast

Episodes

Human Rights First Statement on New Proposed Rule to Stop Refugees from Working

Nov 13, 2019

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WASHINGTON – Human Rights First’s senior director for refugee protection, Eleanor Acer, made the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s new proposed rule, out today, which would bar asylum-seekers from legally working to support themselves and their families in the United States while they wait for the

Melissa Hooper to Testify on Rising Authoritarianism Among NATO Allies

Nov 12, 2019

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WASHINGTON – Melissa Hooper, Director of Foreign Policy Advocacy at Human Rights First, will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy and the Environment on Wednesday, November 13 at 2 p.m.

Human Rights First Statement on Day of Action Against Anti-Semitism

Oct 25, 2019

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, October 25, 2019

MEDIA CONTACT
Meredith MacKenzie, HRF@westendstrategy.com, (202) 412-4270

Human Rights First Statement on Day of Action Against Anti-Semitism

Fears for Abducted Egyptian Human Rights Defender

Oct 13, 2019

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According to local sources, men in civilian clothes abducted Egyptian Human Rights Defender Esraa Abdel Fattah from her car in Cairo on the night of October 12. The U.S. government should publicly demand that Egyptian authorities declare what they know about the incident, and whether Abdel Fattah is being held by the authorities, said Human Rights First.

Putin Presses Gulf Advantage with Saudi Visit

Oct 11, 2019

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Friday, October 11, 2019 - 4:30pmPutin Presses Gulf Advantage with Saudi VisitBrian Dooley

Saudi Arabia is again showing Washington what a great ally it is by hosting Russian President Vladimir Putin on a visit to Riyadh in the coming days.

Torture Casts a Long Shadow over 9/11 Military Commission

Oct 9, 2019

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - 11:27amTorture Casts a Long Shadow over 9/11 Military Commission

By Amanda Strayer 

Youngest Guantanamo Detainee Believes the PRB Process Has Become “Hopeless”

Oct 2, 2019

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019 - 4:12pmYoungest Guantanamo Detainee Believes the PRB Process Has Become “Hopeless”

By Ainsley McNerney

Tomorrow Poses Major Test of Hong Kong's Rule of Law

Sep 30, 2019

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New York City—Human Rights First today called for the Hong Kong authorities to respect the rights to peaceful association, assembly, and expression ahead of major protests anticipated tomorrow.

One Year After Khashoggi’s Murder, Trump Administration Continues to Cover for Saudi Leaders

Sep 30, 2019

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New York City— One year ago Wednesday, Saudi Arabian officials lured Saudi dissident, Virginia resident, and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi out of the United States, murdered him in cold blood, chopped up his body, and lied about it to the world. Despite the findings of both the U.S. intelligence community and U.N. investigators, the Trump Administration has continued to cover for Khashoggi’s killers.

October 1: A Turning Point for Hong Kong Protests?

Sep 27, 2019

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Friday, September 27, 2019 - 5:15pm Unknown-1.jpeg October 1: A Turning Point for Hong Kong Protests?Brian Dooley

Hong Kong is bracing for what the local press bills as “potential chaos” on Tuesday, October

Hong Kong Volunteer Lawyers Provide Public Education During Unrest

Sep 24, 2019

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Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 4:30pmHong Kong Volunteer Lawyers Provide Public Education During UnrestBrian Dooley

Around 150 people, most middle-aged, pack into the Hong Kong church to hear a group of young lawyers speak about their rights and responsibilities. The meeting opens with a hymn in English.

At U.N. Trump Turns Back on Global Leadership, Human Rights

Sep 24, 2019

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New York City—In response to President Donald Trump’s speech at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Human Rights First’s Senior Vice President for Policy Rob Berschinski issued the following statement:

Guantanamo Periodic Review Board Hearings Fail to Meaningfully Review Detention

Sep 20, 2019

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Friday, September 20, 2019 - 4:40pmGuantanamo Periodic Review Board Hearings Fail to Meaningfully Review Detention

By Julia McKay 

El Salvador Agreement a Fatal Deal for Asylum Seekers

Sep 20, 2019

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New York City—In response to reports that the United States and El Salvador entering into a “safe third country” or similar “asylum cooperation” agreement in the coming days, a move the Trump Administration would use to force vulnerable refugees to seek asylum there, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

“Rule Man” Judge Cohen Gives New Focus to 9/11 Hearings

Sep 20, 2019

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Friday, September 20, 2019 - 11:02am“Rule Man” Judge Cohen Gives New Focus to 9/11 Hearings

By Christine Coogle

New Firsthand Report on Unrest in Hong Kong Outlines Ideal U.S. Response

Sep 19, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today released a new report outlining what the U.S.

Banning Legal Observers from Asylum Hearings Next Step under Cruel Remain in Mexico

Sep 11, 2019

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Human Rights First Marks the 18th Anniversary of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

Sep 11, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Today Human Rights First issued the following statement marking the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, that resulted in the deaths of nearly three thousand people:

This day we remember the nearly three thousand lives taken from us in a cruel act of terrorism, and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure such an act never occurs again. We stand with and offer our condolences to their families, pledging to honor the fallen by upholding the very ideals they held most dear.

Hungary Must Reverse Its Support of Memorial to Antisemitic Politician

Sep 6, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to leading Hungarian government officials unveiling a statue to a virulently antisemitic World War Two era political leader, Gyula Kornis, Human Rights First's ­­­­­­­Ira Forman issued the following statement.

Government to Appeal Asylum of First Remain in Mexico Refugee

Sep 6, 2019

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San Diego, California—Human Rights First today decried the U.S. government for its decision to appeal a court ruling granting asylum to the first individual returned to Mexico under the “Migrant Protection Protocols.” Alec*—who is represented by Human Rights First—was granted asylum by an immigration judge last month based on being persecuted for his work as an Evangelical Christian church leader in Honduras. The government had 30 days to appeal the ruling and decided to do so yesterday.

Pompeo Rhetoric on Unalienable Rights Fails to Match Reality in U.S. Foreign Policy

Sep 6, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s remarks from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the role of unalienable rights in U.S. foreign policy, Human Rights First's Rob Berschinski issued the following statement:

Secretary Pompeo deserves credit for speaking about the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy. As he aptly said, people around the world are safer and more prosperous when their governments adhere to the commitments enshrined within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

New Work Authorization Rule for Asylum Seekers Could Have Devastating Consequences

Sep 6, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to a proposed new regulation that would eliminate requirements that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) decide on first-time applications for employment authorization by asylum seekers within 30 days, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Misuse of Military Funding for Border Wall Impacts Readiness, Undermines Congress, Solves Nothing

Sep 4, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to the diversion of $3.6 billion in funds from 127 military projects for construction of a wall on the U.S. southern border, Human Rights First’s Bishop Garrison issued the following statement:

New Citizenship Rule for Children of Some U.S. Troops Self-Defeating, Cruel

Aug 29, 2019

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Washington, D.C. - In response to a change in USCIS policy affecting the ability of children of some U.S. citizens and their families who are spending time abroad in service of our country, Human Rights First President and CEO Michael Breen issued the following statement:

Human Rights First Honors The Report with Lumet Award

Aug 29, 2019

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New York City—Human Rights First today announced that it will honor the film The Report with the organization’s 2019 Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment. The Lumet Award will be presented at the organization’s annual awards dinner on October 28 in New York City. Amazon Studios will release The Report in theaters on November 15 and launch the film on Amazon Prime Video on November 29.

Transfer of FEMA Funds for Remain in Mexico Legally Dubious, Fundamentally Disastrous 

Aug 27, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today condemned the Trump Administration’s transfer of funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for support of its disastrous and unnecessary Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). The transfer will include $155 million for MPP hearing facilities taken directly from FEMA and $116 million for increased detention from various other accounts. The questionably legal move comes as FEMA prepares for hurricane season.

New Rule would Indefinitely Incarcerate Families

Aug 22, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today condemned the Trump Administration’s decision to indefinitely incarcerate refugee children and their families. In response to the rule that attempts to terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement, Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley issued the following statement:

Recipients of 2019 Marvin E. Frankel Award for Pro Bono Service Announced

Aug 13, 2019

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New York City—Human Rights First today announced that it will present its annual Marvin E. Frankel Award to the law firms of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Houston; Ballard Spahr LLP in Washington, D.C.; Kobre & Kim LLP in New York; and Morgan, Lewis, and Bockius LLP in Los Angeles. The award, which is given to firms who exhibit outstanding dedication to pro bono service, will be presented on Monday October 28, at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

New Report Documents Lives in Danger, Denial of Due Process under Remain in Mexico 

Aug 8, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today issued a new report documenting the impact of the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols—commonly known as “Remain in Mexico”—on asylum seekers at the southern border. Delivered to Danger: Illegal Remain in Mexico Policy Imperils Asylum Seekers’ Lives and Denies Due Process&nb

First Remain in Mexico Refugee Granted Asylum, Yet Government Threatens to Return Him to Danger

Aug 7, 2019

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San Diego, California—Yesterday in San Diego the first individual forced to remain in Mexico under the “Migrant Protection Protocols” was granted asylum based on his status as an Evangelical Christian church leader in Honduras. Despite this grant of asylum from an immigration judge, the individual—who is represented by Human Rights First and goes by the name Alec—has been threatened with return to Mexico by the U.S. government. His lawyer, Human Rights First’s Robyn Barnard, issued the following statement:

A Resolution in 9/11 Trial Still Elusive Despite Best Efforts for Justice

Aug 5, 2019

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Monday, August 5, 2019 - 9:51amA Resolution in 9/11 Trial Still Elusive Despite Best Efforts for Justice

By Julia McKay

Human Rights First on the Tragedy in El Paso and the Need to Confront White Nationalism

Aug 4, 2019

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Washington, D.C. -- Human Rights First today expressed its profound condolences to those impacted by yesterday's act of domestic terrorism in El Paso, Texas. In response, Human Rights First President and CEO Michael Breen issued the following statement:

Court Strikes Down Trump Administration Policy Barring Refugees from Asylum

Aug 2, 2019

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Washington, D.C.— The federal District Court for the District of Columbia today ruled in O.A. v. Trump that the Trump Administration cannot bar refugees from asylum for crossing between ports of entry. The suit was brought by the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition, Hogan Lovells, Human Rights First, the National Immigrant Justice Center, RAICES, and Williams & Connolly.

In response to the ruling, the organizations released the following statements:

PRB Hearings Continue While Guantanamo Detainees Sit on the Sidelines

Aug 1, 2019

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Thursday, August 1, 2019 - 4:06pmPRB Hearings Continue While Guantanamo Detainees Sit on the Sidelines

By Julia McKay

Sweeping Guatemala Agreement Illegal and Inhumane

Aug 1, 2019

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Thursday, August 1, 2019 - 3:54pmSweeping Guatemala Agreement Illegal and Inhumane Eleanor Acer

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan is in Guatemala this week to work out key terms that are pivotal to implementing t

Graham Secure and Protect Act Would Neither Provide Security nor Protect the Vulnerable

Aug 1, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today condemned the Senate Judiciary Committee’s move to vote out of committee the Secure and Protect Act of 2019, a bill that seeks to codify Trump Administration policies undermining the U.S. asylum system. The bill, introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), would effectively ban refugees from asylum protections and punish those that seek safety in the United States.

After Tariff Threat, Trump Says Guatemala Has Agreed to New Asylum Rules

Jul 30, 2019

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US District Judge skeptical of Trump's asylum ban—for now

Jul 30, 2019

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Human Rights Groups Lead Chorus of Alarm Over New Trump Administration Commission

Jul 30, 2019

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Rights Groups Sound Alarm Over Trump Commission

Jul 30, 2019

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Agencies 'appalled' by reports U.S. could end refugee admissions

Jul 30, 2019

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Slamming Door on Asylum Seekers is Illegal

Jul 30, 2019

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Mexico and Guatemala oppose restrictions to asylum-seekers

Jul 30, 2019

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Active-Duty Troops Inside Detention Facilities Harms the United States

Jul 26, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that active-duty U.S. troops are now stationed inside Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) facilities at the U.S. southern border, Human Rights First's Bishop Garrison issued the following statement:

Court Fails to Temporarily Block Administration’s Asylum Ban

Jul 24, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today expressed disappointment with the the United States District Court for the District of Columbia’s decision not to temporarily block the Trump Administration’s new asylum rule, which seeks to bar asylum for individuals who enter or attempt to enter across the southern border, if they did not seek protection from a third country while en route to the United States.

Diverse Coalition Calls for Disbanding State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights

Jul 22, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today, in partnership with nearly 180 human rights, faith-based, civil liberties, professional, academic, and social justice organizations, as well as 250 former senior government officials, foreign policy experts, scholars, and religious leaders, called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to disband the State Department’s newly formed “Commission on Unalienable Rights.” In 

Expanding Deportation Powers for ICE and CBP Officers will Lead to Chaos, Dysfunction

Jul 22, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today condemned the Trump Administration’s plan to immediately expand the use of expedited removal to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers—rather than immigration judges—to issue deportation orders anywhere in the country to people alleged to not have been admitted or paroled into the United States and who can’t show they have been physically present in the country for two years.

Trump Administration Planning to End Refugee Resettlement

Jul 17, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the Trump Administration plans to set next year’s refugee cap at zero, Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley issued the following statement:

The United States is a country built by refugees. To refuse to admit refugees, at a time when there are a record number of people fleeing their homes around the world, is a cowardly, racially-motivated abdication of our nation’s values.

More Troops to the Border Impacts Military Readiness, not the Humanitarian Crisis

Jul 17, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to the Department of Defense approving a request for additional troops to the U.S. southern border, including 1,100 active duty troops and 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard, Human Rights First President and CEO Michael Breen issued the following statement:

New Trump Administration Rule an Attempt to End Asylum

Jul 15, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to the anticipated release of a new interim final rule from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security attempting to ban those who seek safety at the U.S. southern border from asylum if they do not first apply for protection in at least one country through which they travel en route to the United States, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

ICE Raids an Effort to Terrorize Communities and Separate Families

Jul 12, 2019

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New York City—Human Rights First today condemned the Trump Administration’s planned Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids as efforts to terrorize communities and separate families.

Groups Urge Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Investigate Administration's Remain in Mexico Policy

Jul 12, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today, in partnership with five other human rights and non-profit legal services organizations, requested the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights hold a hearing on the Trump Administration’s policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico.

House Defense Bill Would Improve National Security through Human Rights

Jul 12, 2019

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New York City—In response to the House of Representatives passing the defense bill (National Defense Authorization Act for the 2020 Fiscal Year, or “NDAA”), Human Rights First’s Sharon Kelly McBride issued the following statement:

Guatemala Not Safe for Refugees

Jul 12, 2019

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New York City—In response to reports that the United States and Guatemala may enter into a “safe third country” agreement in the coming days, a move the Trump Administration would use to force refugees from Honduras, El Salvador, and other countries to seek asylum there, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Human Rights First President & CEO Mike Breen Testifying Today on Abuse of Refugees and Migrants at Southern Border

Jul 10, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First President and CEO Mike Breen will testify today before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform about the Trump Administration’s cruel and inhumane policies towards refugees and migrants at the southern border. In his testimony, Breen will draw upon observations from his visit this week to El Paso and Juarez, where he met with refugees forced to remain in Mexico for the duration of their asylum proceedings, and offer recommendations for how the humanitarian crisis can be dealt with efficiently, compassionately, and in line with U.S.

New Directive On Credible Fear Interviews Subverts Due Process

Jul 9, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to reports of a new directive from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli that would allow asylum officers to conduct credible fear interviews 24 hours after asylum seekers arrive in the United States, down from 48, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

State Commission on Unalienable Rights Must Focus on Reversing Harm Done by Administration

Jul 8, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to Secretary Pompeo’s announcement that he is launching a Commission on Unalienable Rights at the State Department, Human Rights First’s Rob Berschinski, who was formerly deputy assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, issued the following statement:

Statement on Independence Day

Jul 4, 2019

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New York City—In celebration of Independence Day, Human Rights First released the following statement:

Today we celebrate the freedom of our country: freedom from tyranny, freedom to worship and speak, freedom to love whomever we choose. But we must recognize that these values are not unique to Americans; there is a universal desire for freedom, for safety, and for human dignity. And so we pause to recognize the plight of those who face violence and persecution, and the difficult journey and conditions they endure on their path to refuge. 

DHS Inspector General Issues Report on Overcrowded Detention Facilities

Jul 2, 2019

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New York City—In response to the release of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report on dangerous overcrowding and prolonged detention in Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol facilities, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

It’s disgraceful to see more deflection, deception and dysfunction from the Trump Administration’s DHS. 

The 9/11 War Authorization and Iran: An Important Lesson for Congress

Jul 1, 2019

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Monday, July 1, 2019 - 4:49pmThe 9/11 War Authorization and Iran: An Important Lesson for CongressRita Siemion

This post was originally published on the American Constitution Society Expert Forum.

New “Process-Person” Judge Faces Old Problems in 9/11 Case

Jul 1, 2019

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Monday, July 1, 2019 - 4:11amNew “Process-Person” Judge Faces Old Problems in 9/11 Case

By Becca Brunty

Congress Fails to Protect Refugee Children in Detention

Jun 27, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the House of Representatives will vote on the Senate’s version of a supplemental funding bill that includes money for the humanitarian crisis at the border, Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley issued the following statement:

Obviously agencies responding to the humanitarian crisis at the border need additional funding, but it is ludicrous to simply hand a blank check over to the Trump Administration without including essential provisions to protect children and refugee families.

Another Detainee No-Show Demonstrates a Defunct PRB Process

Jun 27, 2019

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Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 1:54pmAnother Detainee No-Show Demonstrates a Defunct PRB Process

By Julia McKay

Administration Plans to Roll Back Program Protecting Military Spouses from Deportation

Jun 27, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the Trump Administration plans to roll back a program that would protect military spouses of active-duty troops from deportation, Human Rights First’s Bishop Garrison issued the following statement:

Want to help refugees and migrants the administration is treating cruelly? Here’s what you can ask Congress to do immediately.

Jun 25, 2019

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 4:53pmWant to help refugees and migrants the administration is treating cruelly? Here’s what you can ask Congress to do immediately.Jennifer Quigley

There are excellent lists published over the past few days detailing what people can do to help end the horrific treatment of refugee and migrant children in government custody, particularly Customs and Bo

Statement on Departure of CBP Commissioner Sanders

Jun 25, 2019

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New York City—In response to reports that Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner John Sanders will step down, Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley released the following statement:

Trump Administration officials need to be held accountable for the disgraceful response to the situation at the border and we can only hope that, in the wake of Sanders’s departure, others responsible face the consequences of their actions. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. We need a full accounting of how children came to be caged in filthy and unsafe conditions.

Statement on Abuse of Children at Southern Border

Jun 23, 2019

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New York City—In response to the Trump Administration’s mistreatment of refugee children at the southern border, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

The Trump Administration has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted to act with basic decency. Congress’s priority needs to be holding immediate oversight hearings on child abuse at the border. 

Human Rights First Honors World Refugee Day

Jun 20, 2019

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New York City—In honor of World Refugee Day, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer released the following statement:

As we celebrate the bravery and resilience of refugees around the world, we call on the Trump Administration to end its campaign of demonizing and dehumanizing those who are forced to flee violence and persecution. Refugees are men, women, and children who want nothing more than to live in safety and freedom. Refugees are an essential part of our communities and our country.

Sanja Partalo Joins Human Rights First Board of Directors

Jun 19, 2019

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New York City—In honor of World Refugee Day Human Rights First today announced that Sanja Partalo, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Digital Development at marketing giant WPP, has joined its Board of Directors. Partalo, who came to the United States from Bosnia at the age of sixteen through a refugee resettlement program, brings a wealth of knowledge and an abundance of passion for Human Rights First’s core issues.

UN Khashoggi Report a Call for Action

Jun 19, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s release of findings from of an international investigation into the killing of Saudi dissident, American resident, and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Human Rights First again calls on Congress to pursue accountability for his murder. This morning, Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, released her final report into Khashoggi’s killing.

Refugee, Human Rights Groups Issue Policy Solutions to Central American Humanitarian Crisis

Jun 17, 2019

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New York City—Human Rights First today, in partnership with more than a dozen refugee and regional human rights organizations, released a new blueprint offering concrete steps to manage the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.

Safe Third Country Agreement with Guatemala Would Endanger, not Protect Refugees

Jun 14, 2019

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New York City—In response to reports that the Trump Administration is attempting to get the government of Guatemala to adopt a safe third country agreement or similar arrangement to accept refugees from Honduras, El Salvador, and other countries who are seeking asylum from, and turned away by, the United States, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Holding of Migrant Children at Army Base, Site of Former Internment Camp, Degrading and Abusive

Jun 12, 2019

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Washington, D.C. -- Human Rights First today condemned a decision by the Trump Administration to hold 1,400 migrant children at Fort Sill, an Army base once used as an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II. The Oklahoma base will hold the children until they can be transferred to adult relatives. In response to the decision, Bishop Garrison, director of national security outreach at Human Rights First who served two tours of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Army, issued the following statement: 

Defense Authorization Includes Rights-Respecting Provisions on Guantanamo, Military Involvement at Southern Border

Jun 12, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today welcomed provisions in the House of Representatives’ defense bill (The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA) that bolster national security and uphold America’s commitment to human rights. The bill, which is being considered in the House Armed Services Committee today, takes meaningful steps forward by providing a pathway to close the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and by restricting the use of military personnel and funding for immigration enforcement purposes.

The Trump Administration’s Migrant Persecution Protocols

Jun 12, 2019

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 9:14amThe Trump Administration’s Migrant Persecution ProtocolsAlyssa IsidoridyKennji Kizuka

Coauthored with Victoria Rossi

Hung Jury in Trial of Human Rights Defender Scott Warren

Jun 11, 2019

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New York City—In in response to the hung jury in the case of human rights defender Scott Warren in Arizona, Human Rights First's Senior Advisor on Human Rights Defenders Brian Dooley issued the following statement: 

We have a long history of working with human rights defenders in many countries across the world, people targeted for their humanitarian work and for promoting the rights of others.

Trump Mexico Deal a Disgrace and Embarrassment

Jun 8, 2019

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New York City—In response to the deal reached today between the United States and Mexico in order to avoid tariffs threatened by President Trump, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

White House Should Address Poland's Democratic Decline, Not Military Aid During Duda Visit

Jun 7, 2019

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Washington, D.C.— In advance of next week’s White House visit by Polish President Andrzej Duda, Human Rights First calls on the Trump Administration to raise the Polish government’s continued move towards authoritarian rule and assault on democratic norms. The visit comes as Duda seeks to cement a military partnership with the United States, including by welcoming a U.S. military base in the country. 

Mexico Border Deal to Avoid Tariffs Would Endanger Lives

Jun 6, 2019

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New York City—In response to reports that the Mexican government is planning to make a deal with the United States to avoid tariffs threatened by President Trump, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Administration Plans Latest Draconian Change to Asylum

May 30, 2019

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New York City—In response to reports that the Trump Administration is seeking to bar refugees from asylum if they pass through any third country, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Human Rights First Mourns the Passing of Robert L. Bernstein

May 28, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today mourns the death of founder and former board of directors member Robert L. Bernstein, who passed away Monday evening. In response to his passing, Human Rights First President and CEO Michael Breen issued the following statement:

Bipartisan Resolution Addresses Eroding Democracy in Hungary

May 28, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today applauded introduction of new bipartisan legislation expressing deep concern over the Government of Hungary weakening democratic institutions, undermine free elections, and limiting civil society and a free press in Hungary. The resolution was introduced by Representatives Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Joe Wilson (R-SC), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).

Two PRB Reviews and Two No-Shows as Detainees Continue to Opt Out

May 28, 2019

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 1:46pmTwo PRB Reviews and Two No-Shows as Detainees Continue to Opt Out

By Annie Himes

Human Rights First Files Amicus In Ali v. Trump, Challenging Indefinite Detention at Guantanamo

May 24, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First this week filed an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the case of Abdul Razak Ali v. Trump, a case challenging the Trump Administration’s policies of perpetual detention without charge or trial at Guantanamo Bay. The amicus brief was prepared by Human Rights First and Covington & Burling LLP.

Statement from General Charles Krulak, USMC (Ret) Opposing Reported Memorial Day Pardons

May 21, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that President Trump is preparing Memorial Day pardons for servicemembers accused or convicted of war crimes, General Charles C. Krulak, former commandant of the Marine Corps, issued the following statement:

House Committee Passes Amendment to Repeal 2001 War Authorization

May 21, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today applauded the House Appropriations Committee for adopting an amendment to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). The 2001 AUMF, which authorized the use of force against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks, has been used by the executive branch as the primary legal basis for military operations against an array of terrorist organizations in more than half a dozen countries for purposes far beyond what Congress originally intended.

Veterans Praise Bipartisan Legislation Providing Lifelines to Afghan Allies

May 16, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—Veterans for American Ideals today applauded the introduction of the Afghan Allies Protection Act, bipartisan legislation that would authorize four thousand new special immigrant visas (SIVs) for Afghan partners who served alongside American troops, diplomats, and other government employees.

Trump Immigration Speech Latest in Campaign to Gut Asylum System 

May 16, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—In response to President Trump’s speech on immigration, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement: 

In today's speech on immigration, President Trump took yet another swipe at people seeking refuge, dismissing their requests for protection as “frivolous.” While the speech did not detail any new asylum plans, he was most likely referring to the White House’s long standing wish-list of changes to eliminate protections for children and families seeking protection.           

Congress Pushes Back Against Trump's Erratic Saudi Friends

May 15, 2019

Description:

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 2:21pmCongress Pushes Back Against Trump's Erratic Saudi FriendsBrian Dooley

The new U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, John Abizaid, started work in Riyadh last week.

Trump Should Confront, not Accommodate, During Orban White House Visit

May 10, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C—In advance of Monday’s White House meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, Human Rights First calls on the Trump Administration to raise the Hungarian government’s efforts to undermine the rule of law and weaken its strategic partnership with the United States. The visit comes as Orban seeks closer ties with Russia. 

Remain in Mexico Ruling Devastating for Asylum Seekers

May 8, 2019

Description:

Los Angeles—In response to last night’s decision by the Ninth Circuit that will allow the Trump Administration to return those seeking protection to Mexico for the duration of their asylum proceedings pending a decision on the merits of the policy, Human Rights First Robyn Barnard, who is representing clients waiting in Mexico, released the following statement:

Trump Pardon of Michael Behenna Undermines National Security, Places Troops in Greater Danger

May 7, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to President Trump’s pardoning of Michael Behenna, the former Army lieutenant convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner in his custody, Human Rights First’s President and CEO Michael Breen issued the following statement:

A year after the appearance of the notebook in Tijuana, confusion and anxiety continue in the asylum line

May 2, 2019

Description:

Donald Trump wants to charge asylum seekers to process applications as migrants seek U.S. entry

May 2, 2019

Description:

Canada Questions the Safety of Asylum Seekers in the U.S.

May 2, 2019

Description:

DOD Releases Annual Civilian Casualties Report

May 2, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to yesterday’s submission by the Department of Defense of its annual report on civilian casualties, Human Rights First’s Rita Siemion released the following statement:

Additional Troops to the Border “Undermines Military Readiness”

May 1, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s request from the Trump Administration for $4.5 billion dollars for border security, including for additional troops at the border, Human Rights First’s Bishop Garrision, the leader of Veterans for American Ideals, released the following statement:

Deploying additional troops to the border is an unnecessary response to this administration’s fiasco at the border. The move is extremely detrimental to the morale and readiness of our military. 

Parsing Truth from Fiction in President Trump’s Latest Attempt to Restrict Asylum

Apr 30, 2019

Description:

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 5:28pmParsing Truth from Fiction in President Trump’s Latest Attempt to Restrict AsylumKennji Kizuka

Earlier this week President Trump released a memorandum dir

Designating Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization Would be Counterproductive for United States

Apr 30, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the Trump Administration could imminently designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley issued the following statement:

Trump Administration Outlines Plans to Decimate Asylum System

Apr 30, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to last night’s memorandum from President Trump that outlines steps that would drastically undermine the asylum system, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

President Trump’s latest order is a clear attempt to rig the system to block refugees from asylum or other protection in this country. It is a disgraceful continuation of his years-long campaign to punish refugees for seeking asylum. 

Expansion of Military Role at Border is Shortsighted, Detrimental to Security

Apr 26, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the Pentagon is preparing to expand the military’s role at the southern border so that personnel can interact with migrants, Veterans for American Ideals’ Bishop Garrison issued the following statement:

Do You Only Denounce anti-Semitism When Convenient?

Apr 24, 2019

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Asylum Seekers Barred at the Border Make the Choice to Survive

Apr 22, 2019

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Monday, April 22, 2019 - 2:57pmAsylum Seekers Barred at the Border Make the Choice to SurviveAlyssa IsidoridyKennji Kizuka

In late February, we interviewed *Daniel at the Karnes family detention center in Te

Response to Egypt's Referendum on Constitutional Changes

Apr 19, 2019

Description:

Friday, April 19, 2019 - 11:07amResponse to Egypt's Referendum on Constitutional ChangesBrian Dooley

This weekend, Egyptians will vote on a controversial referendum to amend the country’s constitution to prolong President Abdel Al Fattah Sisi's tenure in office.

Attorney General Decision Seeks to Jail Refugees Indefinitely

Apr 17, 2019

Description:

New York City—In response to Attorney General Barr’s decision attempting to strip refugees of bond hearings, thereby holding them in detention indefinitely, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement: 

This move is clearly another inhumane attempt by the Trump Administration to punish families and others seeking refuge through mass incarceration and due process cuts. With the stroke of his pen, the attorney general is trampling on both the Constitution and the rights of refugees.  

Human Rights First Congratulates Radhya al-Mutawakel, Chair of Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, on Her Selection as One of the TIME 100

Apr 17, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today congratulated Radhya al-Mutawakel, last year’s winner of the organization’s Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty, on her selection as one of TIME Magazine’s 2019 most influential people in the world.

Guantanamo’s Sole High-Value Cooperator Faces Contested Sentencing

Apr 16, 2019

Description:

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 5:00pmGuantanamo’s Sole High-Value Cooperator Faces Contested Sentencing

By Holly Bauer 

Human Rights First Receives Grant from The New York Bar Foundation

Apr 15, 2019

Description:

New York City—Human Rights First today announced that it was recently presented a grant from The New York Bar Foundation worth $7,500. The grant will be used to support their Refugee Representation Project of New York.

Trump Clings to MBS as Saudi Arabia Targets Americans

Apr 11, 2019

Description:

Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 2:23pm Samar-Badawi.jpg Trump Clings to MBS as Saudi Arabia Targets AmericansBrian Dooley

On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation to sanction a

New Evidence of 9/11 Plot Planning Emerges, But Still No Trial Date Set

Apr 10, 2019

Description:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 12:21pmNew Evidence of 9/11 Plot Planning Emerges, But Still No Trial Date Set

By Dalya Kefi

Real Solutions to the Disorder at the Border

Apr 10, 2019

Description:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 12:00amReal Solutions to the Disorder at the Border Eleanor Acer

Anti-refugee rhetoric and policies have characterized the Trump presidency. Now, as he transitions to campaign mode ahead of the 2020 election, he’s doubling-down.

The GRACE Act Ensures America’s Commitment to Refugee Resettlement

Apr 9, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today urged members of Congress to support the GRACE Act—the Guaranteed Refugee Admissions Ceiling Enhancement Act—which will set an annual refugee admissions floor of 95,000, a crucial step towards preserving the state of the refugee resettlement program. In response, Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley issued the following statement:

Egypt’s Prisons Are Becoming Recruiting Grounds for the Islamic State

Apr 9, 2019

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Remain in Mexico Policy Temporarily Blocked in Court

Apr 8, 2019

Description:

Los Angeles—Following today’s preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the Trump Administration’s Remain in Mexico policy, Human Rights First’s Robyn Barnard, who represents two refugees returned to Mexico under the policy, issued the following statement:

Statement on Resignation of Secretary Nielsen

Apr 8, 2019

Description:

New York City—In response to the resignation of Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Secretary Nielsen has been the public face of some of the most extreme immigration policies in this nation’s history—ones that are designed to demonize and dehumanize those seeking protection, and to gut our refugee and asylum systems. It is ludicrous, therefore, that Nielsen was asked to resign for not being severe enough in carrying out this administration’s destructive policies.

Administration Urged to Demand Human Rights Improvements During Sisi Visit

Apr 5, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—Ahead of next week’s White House visit by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Human Rights First today called on the Trump Administration to raise Egypt’s dismal human rights record and use military aid to push for meaningful reform. The visit, framed as a discussion on Egypt’s role as a stable leader in the region, comes as Sisi is set to amend his country’s constitution to extend his presidency until 2034.

Trump’s Statement to “Get Rid” of Asylum Repugnant

Apr 5, 2019

Description:

New York City—In response to President Trump’s comments today urging Congress to “get rid of the whole asylum system,” Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Egypt’s President Is Crushing Dissent — and Fueling ISIS

Apr 3, 2019

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New Program Tasking Border Patrol with Asylum Duties a Farce

Apr 2, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to reports of a new pilot program which will allow Border Patrol agents to conduct credible fear interviews themselves, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Another GTMO Detainee Opts Out of the Review Process

Apr 2, 2019

Description:

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 10:08amAnother GTMO Detainee Opts Out of the Review Process

By Alexa Potter

Administration Continues to Exacerbate Challenges at the Southern Border

Apr 1, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to the Trump Administration’s announcements that it will cut hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance to Central America, and that the Department of Homeland Security will expand its return of asylum seekers to Mexico, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Human Rights, Democracy, and Anti-Corruption Groups Call on Congress to Support Global Magnitsky

Mar 29, 2019

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Washington, D.C.—On March 28, a group of 40 human rights, democracy, and anti-corruption organizations and experts led by Human Rights First and Freedom House called on congressional leaders to appropriate dedicated funding to support robust enforcement of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

Five Oversight Questions for Secretary Pompeo

Mar 27, 2019

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 10:24amFive Oversight Questions for Secretary PompeoMelissa Hooper

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will testify twice today in the House of Representatives to justify President Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget plan and answer questions from lawmakers.

Human Rights First Clients Ordered to Remain in Mexico Following Immigration Court Hearings

Mar 22, 2019

Description:

San Diego—Yesterday two Human Rights First clients were inexplicably returned to Mexico after their initial immigration court hearings under the Trump Administration’s disastrous and unnecessary “Remain in Mexico” plan. The clients, Ariel and Alec*, are among the first asylum seekers to receive interviews regarding their fear of return to Mexico under the new plan.

The Uncertainty and Trauma of Family Detention

Mar 22, 2019

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Friday, March 22, 2019 - 11:49amThe Uncertainty and Trauma of Family DetentionBy Jane Randel  Co-President, Karp Randel

Recording of Human Rights First on the Ground: Updates on our Refugee Advocacy & Protection Efforts

Mar 19, 2019

Description:

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 4:53pmRecording of Human Rights First on the Ground: Updates on our Refugee Advocacy & Protection Efforts

The first two years of the Trump Administration have seen an onslaught of attacks against asylum seekers.

Human Rights First Welcomes Bishop Garrison

Mar 19, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today welcomed Bishop Garrison as its next director of National Security Outreach and of Veterans for American Ideals. Garrison, who is an Army veteran and West Point graduate, recently served as interim executive director of the Truman National Security Project.

Guantanamo Hearings Stalled by Continuing Medical Concerns

Mar 15, 2019

Description:

Friday, March 15, 2019 - 11:50amGuantanamo Hearings Stalled by Continuing Medical Concerns

By Ingrid Schultz

Senate Vote on National Emergency a Rebuke to President Trump's Attack on Asylum

Mar 14, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s Senate vote terminating President Trump’s national emergency declaration to pay for a wall at the U.S. southern border, Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley issued the following statement:

Human Rights, Media Freedom Groups Call on Congress for Justice for Khashoggi

Mar 14, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—A group of 11 human rights organizations led by Human Rights First today called on the leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to undertake additional action co

The Trump administration is ignoring the real emergency at the border

Mar 14, 2019

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State Department Human Rights Reports Showcase Selectivity of Administration on Abuses

Mar 13, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First welcomed release of the State Department’s 2018 Human Rights Reports today, while noting that the internationally recognized rights monitored within the reports are all too often missing from the center of the Trump Administration’s policies.

In response to the publication, Human Rights First’s Senior Vice President for Policy Rob Berschinski released the following statement:

US report faults Saudi Arabia in killing of journalist

Mar 13, 2019

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Killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a human rights abuse, State Department says

Mar 13, 2019

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WATCH: State Department highlights Khashoggi killing in human rights report

Mar 13, 2019

Description:

Closure of Overseas Immigration Offices Won't Address Asylum Backlog, Will Undermine Immigration System

Mar 12, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the Trump Administration plans to close 21 international immigration offices, a move that will seriously undermine and permanently damage the U.S. immigration system, Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley released the following statement:

President's Budget Would Damage Asylum System, Undermine State Department

Mar 11, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today called on Congress to reject President Trump’s budget proposals, which target refugees and asylum seekers, and would drastically reduce funding to promote human rights and prevent conflict around the world.

Trump's Remain in Mexico Policy is Illegal Under International Law

Mar 7, 2019

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Get In Line. Follow the Rules. Go to Jail.

Mar 7, 2019

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Trump Revokes Obama-Era Rule on Disclosing Civilian Casualties From US Airstrikes Outside War Zones

Mar 7, 2019

Description:

Nielsen Hearing a Distortion of Administration Southern Border Policies

Mar 6, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C—In response to today’s House Homeland Security Committee hearing with Department of Homeland Securtiy Secretary Kristjen Nielsen, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

President Trump Revokes Reporting Requirement on Lethal Strikes

Mar 6, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to President Trump's revocation of an important reporting requirement on lethal strikes today, Human Right First's Rita Siemion issued the following statement:

Doctor: I saw the toll ICE detention takes on families and children

Mar 5, 2019

Description:

International courts, Guantanamo, citizenship-stripping - What next for Western ISIS supporters?

Mar 4, 2019

Description:

Expansion of Remain in Mexico Plan a Further Assault on Asylum System

Mar 1, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.— In response to reports that the Trump Administration will continue its illegal and immoral attack on the asylum system by expanding the "Migrant Protection Protocols," or Remain in Mexico scheme, potentially to El Paso, as well as other areas along the southwest border, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Another GTMO Detainee Refuses to Participate in PRBs

Feb 28, 2019

Description:

Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 4:59pmAnother GTMO Detainee Refuses to Participate in PRBs

By Alexa Potter

U.K. Supreme Court Ruling in Finucane Case a Breakthrough Moment

Feb 27, 2019

Description:

New York City— Human Rights First today praised today's ruling by the United Kingdom Supreme Court that the investigations into the 1989 murder of Northern Ireland solicitor Pat Finucane have not been effective as a huge step on a long road to justice. Finucane, who represented a number of high-profile republicans, was shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries in front of his family at their Belfast home in February 1989.

A Few Questions for Madeleine Albright at HFAC

Feb 27, 2019

Description:

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 8:55amA Few Questions for Madeleine Albright at HFACChristopher Plummer

Today, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) at its hearing on “The Trump Administration’s Foreign Policy: A Mid-Term Assessment.” In advance of the hearing, Hum

New Legislation a Demand for Transparency in Death of Khashoggi

Feb 26, 2019

Description:

New York City—In response to the introduction of legislation requiring the director of national intelligence to submit an unclassified report to Congress on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the U.S. resident and journalist targeted by the government of Saudi Arabia for his public criticism of the kingdom’s repression, Human Rights First’s Rob Berschinski issued the following statement:

California Department of Justice Report on Immigration Detention Documents Concerning Conditions and Due Process Impediments

Feb 26, 2019

Description:

Los Angeles, California—Human Rights First today praised release of a California Department of Justice (DOJ) report on immigration detention facilities in the state as an important step in providing increased transparency. This initial report follows visits by DOJ investigators to ten California detention centers.

How ISIS Recruits in Egyptian Prisons 

Feb 26, 2019

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 11:46am egypt-prison.jpg How ISIS Recruits in Egyptian Prisons Brian Dooley

The 18-year-old Egyptian was arrested for excessive partying, imprisoned, and tortured. Guards suspended him from the ceiling, flogged, and electrocuted him.

New Report Documents ISIS Recruitment in Egypt’s Prison System

Feb 25, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today released a new report documenting ISIS recruitment in Egypt’s prison system. Like a Fire in a Forest: ISIS Recruitment in Egypt’s Prisons is based on firsthand accounts from former prisoners documented on a Human Rights First research trip to Cairo last month, and features interview transcripts. The report includes concrete recommendations for

Homeland Security Regional Compact Plan Won't Address Root Causes of Refugee Crisis

Feb 21, 2019

Description:

New York City—In response to today’s announcement that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is discussing the development of a regional compact plan with Central American countries in the northern triangle, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Veterans Applaud Inclusion of Four Thousand Additional Visas for Afghan Allies in Compromise Spending Bill

Feb 19, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—Veterans for American Ideals, a project of Human Rights First, praises the inclusion of four thousand additional visas for allies that served alongside the U.S. mission in Afghanistan in Congress’s new spending bill. The measure will support the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program through the rest of the fiscal year, providing a vital lifeline to many Afghans in danger because of their work aiding the U.S. mission.

National Emergency Harms those Seeking Protection

Feb 15, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—Following today’s declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the southern border, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matthew Olsen, issued the following statement:

What the Trump administration says is happening at the border

Feb 15, 2019

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National Emergency a “National Disgrace” 

Feb 14, 2019

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New York City—Following the White House’s confirmation today that President Trump will declare a national emergency to build a wall at the southern border, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Families seeking refuge at the border are not a national emergency, but the Trump Administration’s cruel and illegal response is a national disgrace. 

Children Seeking Protection Illegally Returned to Mexico

Feb 14, 2019

Description:

New York City—Following reports that the first children have been returned to Mexico under the Trump Administration’s plan to illegally force asylum seekers to wait in the country during their asylum proceedings, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer, who observed the first returns in Tijuana last week, issued the following statement:

Abdul Aziz Muhamat Selected as 2019 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders Laureate 

Feb 13, 2019

Description:

Geneva—The Martin Ennals Award Jury today gave its 2019 Award for Human Rights Defenders to Abdul Aziz Muhamat, the Sudanese refugee advocate being held in detention on Manus Island Papua New Guinea. The award is given to human rights defenders who show deep commitment to their work at great personal risk and provides protection to the winner through increased international recognition. The jury is composed of ten leading human rights organizations. The award was presented this evening in Geneva, Switzerland.

Congress, Trump battle over report on Saudi crown prince's role in Khashoggi murder

Feb 13, 2019

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Jamal Khashoggi and the Global Magnitsky Act: A Powerful Tool for Accountability

Feb 11, 2019

Description:

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 1:45pmJamal Khashoggi and the Global Magnitsky Act: A Powerful Tool for Accountability

Friday marked the deadline for President Trump to report to leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who the U.S.

Mexican Authorities Are Stopping Unaccompanied Kids From Seeking Asylum In The US At Every Turn

Feb 11, 2019

Description:

Pompeo Urged to Raise Threats to Rule of Law, Strategic Partnership on Hungary Trip

Feb 8, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In advance of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s two-day trip to Budapest, Hungary beginning February 11, Human Rights First urges the secretary to raise the Hungarian government’s efforts to undermine the rule of law and weaken its strategic partnership with the United States.

Trump's Extreme Hypocrisy: Venezuela & Egypt

Feb 7, 2019

Description:

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 10:59amTrump's Extreme Hypocrisy: Venezuela & EgyptBrian Dooley

Earlier this week, the U.S.

Human Rights, Media Freedom Groups Demand Justice for Khashoggi

Feb 7, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—A group of six U.S. human rights and media freedom organizations today called on members of Congress and the Trump Administration to take immediate concrete steps to pursue justice for Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist and U.S. resident brutally murdered in a diplomatic facility in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2.

Detached Retina Stalls 9/11 “Mastermind” Trials at Guantanamo Bay

Feb 6, 2019

Description:

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - 4:04pmDetached Retina Stalls 9/11 “Mastermind” Trials at Guantanamo Bay

By Joy Bagwell

New State Department Envoy to Combat Antisemitism Will Face Tough Challenges

Feb 5, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today welcomed the appointment of Elan Carr to the position of special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism at the Department of State. The special envoy is the senior-most official representing the United States in matters of combating antisemitsm abroad working closely with foreign governments, international organizations, and civil society.

No End in Sight for GTMO Detainee

Feb 1, 2019

Description:

Friday, February 1, 2019 - 2:57pmNo End in Sight for GTMO Detainee

By Alexa Potter

Homeland Security Begins Policy Dubbed Migrant Protection Protocols

Feb 1, 2019

Description:

White House owes Congress the answers about Jamal Khashoggi

Feb 1, 2019

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Trump’s tweets on Mexico’s rising murder rate conflict with his new asylum policy

Feb 1, 2019

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Response to House Armed Services Hearing on Troops at the Border

Jan 29, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s hearing at the House Armed Services Committee hearing entitled, “Department of Defense’s Support to the Southern Border,” at which DoD personnel defended last fall’s decision to deploy active duty troops to the U.S. border with Mexico, Human Rights First President and CEO, Mike Breen, issued the following statement:

Honoring International Holocaust Remembrance Day by Preserving Memory, Combating Hatred

Jan 25, 2019

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New York City—To commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which falls on January 27th and marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and honors the six million Jewish and millions of other victims murdered by the Nazi regime, Ira Forman, senior advisor for combatting antisemitism at Human Rights First, issued the following statement:

Remain In Mexico Plan an Illegal, Immoral Attack on Nation's Asylum System

Jan 24, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the Trump Administration will begin forcibly returning some refugees requesting asylum at the U.S. southern border to Mexico as they await immigration court hearings, Human Rights First’s Kennji Kizuka, who recently returned from a trip to the border, released the following statement:

Trump-McConnell Anti-Immigrant Wish List Fails in the Senate

Jan 24, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s Senate vote on the Trump-McConnell bill, a piece of anti-immigrant legislation that would have reopened the government at the expense of our nation’s asylum system, Human Rights First’s Kennji Kizuka issued the following statement:

The End the Shutdown and Secure the Border Act Would Ban Asylum for Central American Children

Jan 23, 2019

Description:

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 1:06pmThe End the Shutdown and Secure the Border Act Would Ban Asylum for Central American Children Kennji Kizuka

The Trump-McConnell bill—the "End the Shutdown and Secure the Border Act"—is nothing more than a hateful anti-immigration wish list, designed to hold the nation hostage in exchange for extremely harmful policies that make a moc

Trump-McConnell Bill Eviscerates Protection for Asylum Seekers

Jan 22, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to the “End the Shutdown and Secure the Border Act’’ under consideration in the Senate, Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley released the following statement:

The Trump-McConnell bill is nothing more than a hateful anti-immigration wish list, designed to hold the nation hostage in exchange for extremely harmful policies that make a mockery of America’s ideals. The Senate must reject it.

Transgender Ban Undermines Military Culture of Honor and Respect

Jan 22, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s Supreme Court decision lifting injunctions that will allow the Trump Administration’s policy banning certain transgender people from the military to go into effect, Scott Cooper, founder of Veterans for American Ideals issued the following statement:

The military is built on a culture of honor and respect for all. We made no distinctions based on where someone came from, whom they chose to love, or their gender identity. If you can meet the standards, you should have the opportunity to serve.

New Year, Same Gitmo

Jan 17, 2019

Description:

Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 5:00pmNew Year, Same Gitmo

By Claire Gianotti

New Report Documents Mental, Physical, Legal Impact of Increased Detention in California

Jan 15, 2019

Description:

Los Angeles—Human Rights First today released a new report analyzing the mental, physical, and legal impacts of massive overuse of immigration detention in California. Prisons and Punishment: Immigration Detention in California follows visits made by the organization’s researchers to California facilities where U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detains asylum seekers and other immigrants—including the Adelanto, Otay Mesa, Mesa Verde, James A.

The Status of Guantanamo 17 Years In

Jan 14, 2019

Description:

Afghan translator who worked with U.S. military and his family detained at George Bush airport

Jan 14, 2019

Description:

Pompeo's "New Beginning" a Return to Unconditional Support for Repression

Jan 10, 2019

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech from American University in Cairo this morning, Brian Dooley, senior advisor at Human Rights First, issued the following statement:

As The U.S. Takes In Fewer Refugees, Its Global Role Is Changing

Jan 2, 2019

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2018 Was A Year Of Drastic Cuts To U.S. Refugee Admissions

Jan 2, 2019

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Texas camp for unaccompanied migrant children set to close after multiple extensions

Dec 29, 2018

Description:

Judge denies a DOJ request to delay deadlines in asylum case

Dec 28, 2018

Description:

Inside the Trauma-Filled Camp of Migrants Waiting at the US Border

Dec 24, 2018

Description:

Human Rights First Welcomes Acquittals in Egypt Foreign Funding Case

Dec 20, 2018

Description:

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today welcomed the acquittal of dozens of NGO workers in Egypt who were convicted in 2013. Human Rights First has advocated for years for the convictions to be overturned, and continues to urge the Trump Administration to condition military aid to Egypt on meaningful human rights reform. The organization notes that the politically trumped-up charges should never have been brought.

Trump Admin Policy Requiring Asylum Seekers to Remain in Mexico is Illegal

Dec 20, 2018

Description:

New York City—In response to the Trump Administration’s announcement that refugees seeking asylum at the southern border will be required to wait in Mexico, Human Rights First’s Kennji Kizuka, who recently returned from a trip to the border, released the following statement:

Requiring asylum seekers to stay in Mexico is blatantly illegal. This is yet another instance of the president trying to unilaterally rewrite the laws put in place by Congress.

Secretary Nielsen Testifies Before the House Judiciary Committee: A Resource Guide

Dec 20, 2018

Description:

Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 9:33amSecretary Nielsen Testifies Before the House Judiciary Committee: A Resource Guide

This morning's House Judiciary Committee hearing will be a tough morning for current Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen.

The Refugee Blockade Turns Deadly

Dec 20, 2018

Description:

Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 9:27amThe Refugee Blockade Turns DeadlyKennji Kizuka

Following the tragic

Federal Judge Ruling a Victory for Asylum Seekers

Dec 19, 2018

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia striking down policies that made it nearly impossible for victims of domestic and gang violence to seek asylum, Human Rights First’s Anwen Hughes issued the following statement:

Guantanamo Detainee Questions Scope of the Government’s Detention Authority

Dec 17, 2018

Description:

Monday, December 17, 2018 - 10:01amGuantanamo Detainee Questions Scope of the Government’s Detention Authority

By Joy Bagwell

Alleged Bin Laden Bodyguard Boycotts Periodic Review Board Process

Dec 17, 2018

Description:

Monday, December 17, 2018 - 9:56amAlleged Bin Laden Bodyguard Boycotts Periodic Review Board Process Susan Nahvi

On Tuesday the Periodic Review Board held a review of Guantanamo detainee Sanad Ali Yislam Al Kazimi.

Statement on Death of Seven-Year-Old Girl in CBP Custody

Dec 14, 2018

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New York City – Human Rights First today mourns the death of Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin, a seven-year-old Guatemalan girl who died after being detained by U.S. Border Patrol. She and her father were reportedly detained in New Mexico after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border between official ports of entry. Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following response:

Seven-Year-Old Child Dies in CBP Custody: DHS Response Furthers Falsehoods

Dec 14, 2018

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Friday, December 14, 2018 - 12:48pmSeven-Year-Old Child Dies in CBP Custody: DHS Response Furthers FalsehoodsAlyssa Isidoridy

On December 13, the Washington Post 

CBP’s Credible Fear Figures are Out of Context and Inaccurate

Dec 11, 2018

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 2:45pmCBP’s Credible Fear Figures are Out of Context and InaccurateKennji Kizuka

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently reported that the southern border saw a “dramatic increase” in credib

Compact on Migration Adopted, But Without America

Dec 11, 2018

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 2:14pmCompact on Migration Adopted, But Without AmericaEleanor Acer

In Marrakesh, Morocco yesterday, 164 of the world’s nations adopted

Human Rights First Marks Human Rights Day, 70th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Dec 10, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Today, as the world recognizes Human Rights Day and marks the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Human Rights First President and CEO Michael Breen issued the following statement:

Refugee Stories

Dec 7, 2018

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Friday, December 7, 2018 - 4:05pmRefugee StoriesAshley Panzera

The “Refugee Stories” project was created to bring a lens to the humanity of the refugee crisis.

Human Rights First on the Ground

Dec 7, 2018

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Friday, December 7, 2018 - 10:27amHuman Rights First on the Ground

EU Urged to Support a Targeted, Global Human Rights Sanctions Program

Dec 5, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First, in partnership with 89 human rights and anti-corruption organizations from around the world, today called on the European Union (EU) to establish a targeted, global sanctions program to hold individuals and entities accountable for serious human rights violations.

Asylum Ban Case Update: O.A. v. Trump 

Dec 4, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—O.A. v. Trump, the case challenging the Trump Administration’s asylum ban filed two weeks ago on behalf of six individuals illegally barred from seeking asylum because they entered the United States outside of an official border point, will have its first hearing in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on Monday, December 17, 2018. The asylum seekers, including three children, are represented by Human Rights First, the National Immigrant Justice Center, and Williams & Connolly LLP. 

KSM: Over a Decade of Trials, Still No Justice

Dec 3, 2018

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Monday, December 3, 2018 - 11:38amKSM: Over a Decade of Trials, Still No Justice

The continuing disarray of the Guantanamo military commissions was on full display earlier this month at the pretrial hearings for the five co-defendants accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks.

Statement on Central European University

Nov 30, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today condemned the Hungarian government’s decision to close Central European University (CEU), a top-ranked, graduate-level academic institution accredited in both Hungary and the United States. The Hungarian government refused to certify its continued operation by December 1, forcing the university to leave Budapest.

Trump Administration Policies are Devastatingly Cruel to Children

Nov 29, 2018

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Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 2:02pmTrump Administration Policies are Devastatingly Cruel to ChildrenEmma Stein

How migrant caravan may force Congress to fix a broken asylum system

Nov 29, 2018

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Trump Administration To Asylum-Seekers: Stay Put In Mexico While Claims Are Processed

Nov 29, 2018

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Theyre Refugees, Fleeing Gang Violence and Domestic Abuse. Why Wont the Trump Administration Let Them In?

Nov 29, 2018

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Coalition Urges Congressional Leadership to Pass Legislation Combating Antisemitism

Nov 29, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First, in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a coalition of local and national organizations, today called on congressional leadership to pass two pieces of legislation combating antisemitism abroad before the end of this session of Congress.

Justice Dept. to appeal order temporarily blocking new asylum restrictions

Nov 28, 2018

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FAQ: Why do Asylum Seekers Cross the U.S. Border Between Ports of Entry?

Nov 27, 2018

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 10:59amFAQ: Why do Asylum Seekers Cross the U.S. Border Between Ports of Entry?Alyssa Isidoridy

On November 9, 2018, the Trump Administration issued an interim final rule and

Asylum Is A Legal Right

Nov 27, 2018

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White House approves broad new powers — including use of deadly force — for U.S. troops on the border

Nov 26, 2018

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Bahrain Stages Fake Elections For Poodle Parliament

Nov 24, 2018

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Friday, November 23, 2018 - 7:57pmBahrain Stages Fake Elections For Poodle ParliamentBrian Dooley

We know from Roman historian Suetonius that Julius Caesar’s reforms included a political system where half the magistrates were popularly elected and half were appointed.

Response to Kelly Memo Authorizing Military Use of Force at Border

Nov 21, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly signed a memo allowing troops stationed at the border to use lethal force and perform law enforcement actions, Human Rights First President and CEO Michael Breen issued the following statement:

Asylum Seekers File Challenge to Trump’s Asylum Ban

Nov 21, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First and the National Immigrant Justice Center filed a challenge seeking permanent relief from the Trump Administration’s asylum ban issued earlier this month. The plaintiffs in O.A. v. Trump are six asylum seekers, including three children, who were illegally barred from seeking asylum because they entered the United States outside of an official border point.

Fit For Court? Another Medical Emergency in Guantanamo

Nov 19, 2018

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Monday, November 19, 2018 - 5:39pmFit For Court? Another Medical Emergency in Guantanamo

By Elaina Stephenson

Sanctions on 17 Saudi Officials First Step Toward Accountability in Khashoggi Murder

Nov 15, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to the Trump Administration sanctioning 17 individuals for their involvement in the killing of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, Human Rights First’s Senior Vice President for Policy Rob Berschinski issued the following statement:

Michael Breen Reflects on the Passing of Daryl Libow

Nov 14, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First mourns the death of board of directors member Daryl A. Libow, who passed away last Wednesday. Human Rights First President and CEO Michael Breen issued the following statement:

Statement on the 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass

Nov 9, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, Ira Forman, senior advisor for combatting antisemitism at Human Rights First, and the former U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat anti-semitism, released the following statement: 

Trump Issues Proclamation to Block Refugees from Asylum

Nov 9, 2018

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New York City—In response to President Trump’s proclamation that seeks to block refugees from asylum if they cross between official border points, Eleanor Acer issued the following statement: 

This is an asylum ban, pure and simple. Today’s proclamation is the culmination of a campaign by President Trump and anti-immigrant voices in the White House to illegally bar from asylum those seeking protection at our southern border. There is no crisis that requires blocking refugees from asylum and violating laws passed by Congress.   

Trump Administration Rule Blocks Access to Protection for Refugees

Nov 8, 2018

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New York City—In response to the Trump Administration’s new rule that would limit access to asylum to those who cross the southern border at official border points, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement: 

Statement on Ouster of Jeff Sessions

Nov 7, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s firing of Attorney Jeff Sessions, Human Rights First’s Sharon Kelly McBride issued the following statement: 

The United States is a nation of laws, and the resignation of Attorney General Sessions does not upend this foundational principle. At a time when the separation of powers is increasingly at risk, Congress must step up to ensure that each branch of government continues to operate in line with its constitutional responsibilities.

Looking to the Future: What's Next?

Nov 7, 2018

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 12:45pmLooking to the Future: What's Next?Sharon Kelly McBride

Yesterday, millions of voters made their voices heard in support of American ideals. They stood together despite President Trump’s closing bid to Americans: "be afraid." Be afraid of refugees desperately fleeing persecutio

One Week After Pittsburgh: A Former Auschwitz Museum Employee’s Perspective

Nov 6, 2018

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 10:00amOne Week After Pittsburgh: A Former Auschwitz Museum Employee’s Perspective

By Hannah Sattler

Trump promises immigration crackdown ahead of U.S. elections

Nov 5, 2018

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Human Rights First Applauds Creation of Fact Finding Mission into Abuses of LGBTQ Persons, Human Rights Workers in Chechnya

Nov 5, 2018

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Human Rights First welcomes the actions of 16 countries, including the United States, to implement the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) so-called “Moscow Mechanism” to investigate human rights abuses in Chechnya. The rare diplomatic action, reserved for serious human rights concerns within an OSCE participating state, will create a fact-finding team to investigate reports of human rights violations and abuses.

Statement in Response to President Trump's Attacks on Refugees

Nov 1, 2018

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New York City—Today in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement on access to protection at the southern border and increased detention for refugees, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer released the following statement: 

What Pittsburgh tells us about the Jewish future

Nov 1, 2018

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Ending Birthright Citizenship Would Violate Constitution, Further Politicize Immigration

Oct 30, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to President Trump’s comments that he is considering signing an executive order that would eliminate the right to U.S. citizenship for children born in the United States to noncitizens, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Trump to Send 5,000 Troops to Border as Refugees Approach

Oct 29, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Following today’s announcement that 5,000 active duty military personnel will be sent to the border as refugees approach, Human Rights First President and CEO Mike Breen issued the following statement:

Looking for Justice? Avoid Guantanamo

Oct 29, 2018

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Monday, October 29, 2018 - 12:34pmLooking for Justice? Avoid GuantanamoPatricia Stottlemyer

The Pentagon is reportedly considering a new military commission trial at Guantanamo Bay. It would be the U.S.

Statement on Shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue

Oct 27, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s tragic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Human Rights First released the following statement:

Trump Administration Needs to Take Stronger Action on Hungary’s Central European University

Oct 26, 2018

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New York City—In response to the announcement by Central European University (CEU) that it will be forced to leave Budapest, Hungary if the government of Hungary does not agree to a deal on its future by December 1, 2018, Human Rights First’s Senior Vice President for Policy Rob Berschinski issued the following statement:

Trump Administration Considers Shutting Down Border, Barring Asylum Seekers

Oct 26, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the administration may issue a new rule that could close the southern border and bar Central American asylum seekers traveling in the migrant caravan from entry into the United States, Human Rights First’s President and CEO Mike Breen issued the following statement:

Trump to Deploy Military to Southern Border as Refugees Approach 

Oct 25, 2018

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New York City—In response to today’s announcement that President Trump plans to send eight hundred or more troops to the southern border as a caravan of refugees and migrants approaches, Human Rights First’s President and CEO Mike Breen released the following statement: 

Nashiri Trial Moves Forward, Despite Possible Ethics Violations

Oct 24, 2018

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 3:08pmNashiri Trial Moves Forward, Despite Possible Ethics Violations

By Joy Bagwell

The Global Magnitsky Act, Saudi Arabia, and the case of Jamal Khashoggi.  

Oct 24, 2018

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 12:32pmThe Global Magnitsky Act, Saudi Arabia, and the case of Jamal Khashoggi.  Rob Berschinski

Note:  the following blog post is adapted from a series of Tweets issued by Rob Berschinski, Senior Vice President at Human Rights First.

Three Nominees Announced for 2019 Martin Ennals Award

Oct 24, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First, along with other members of the Martin Ennals Award jury, today announced Eren Kskin, Marino Cordoba Berrio, and Abdul Aziz Muhamat as the three finalists for the 2019 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders. The award is given annually by the international human rights community to a human rights defender who has shown deep commitment and has faced great personal risk to advance human rights. The aim of the award is to highlight the work of the nominees and protect them through increased visibility.

LA Mayor Garcetti, Human Rights First Visit Detainees at Adelanto Immigration Detention Facility

Oct 24, 2018

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Los Angeles, California—Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti yesterday toured the Adelanto ICE Processing Center as part of a delegation that included detention experts, philanthropic leaders, attorneys, and mental health professionals organized in collaboration with Human Rights First.

Debunking President Trump's Tweets on the Migrant Caravan

Oct 22, 2018

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Monday, October 22, 2018 - 4:16pmDebunking President Trump's Tweets on the Migrant CaravanKennji Kizuka

 

President Trump Considers Ordering Military to Close Southern Border

Oct 18, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to President Trump’s statements that he is considering ordering the military to close the southern border, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Hungarian Migrant Champion, RBG to Receive Awards During Human Rights First Dinner Tonight

Oct 17, 2018

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New York City – Tonight at Human Rights First’s annual awards dinner at Chelsea Piers in New York City, the organization will honor Márta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, with its 2018 William D. Zabel Human Rights Award. Pardavi is being presented the award in honor of her work fighting for the rights of refugees, migrants, and other marginalized groups in Hungary and across Europe.

In Trump’s Saudi Bargain, the Bottom Line Proudly Wins Out

Oct 15, 2018

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New Efforts to Separate and Detain Families Would Double Down on Cruelty

Oct 12, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the Trump Administration is considering new efforts to separate and detain families at the U.S. southern border, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Human Rights First Applauds Senate Action on Jamal Khashoggi, Global Magnitsky

Oct 11, 2018

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New York City—In response to a letter signed by a bipartisan group of 22 senators—including the chairperson and ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs—which triggered an investigation into and consideration of the use of Global Magnitsky sanctions against those responsible for the disappearance and alleged killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Human Rights First’s Senior Vice President for Policy Rob Berschinski issued the f

U.S. Government Should Take Action on Jamal Khashoggi

Oct 9, 2018

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New York City—In response to the disappearance and reported killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Human Rights First’s Senior Vice President for Policy Rob Berschinski issued the following statement:

Guantanamo Bay Military Commissions: A Twilight Zone

Oct 9, 2018

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 12:25pmGuantanamo Bay Military Commissions: A Twilight Zone Susan Nahvi

At the end of September, I traveled down to Guantanamo Bay to observe the military commissions proceedings for the first time.

Human Rights First Celebrates Awarding of Nobel Peace Prize to Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

Oct 5, 2018

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New York City – Human Rights First hailed today’s announcement by the Norwegian Nobel Committee that it had awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynecological surgeon from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to Nadia Murad, a Yazidi Kurdish human rights activist.  

Refugee Cap Officially Set for All-Time Low 30,000

Oct 4, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2019, which caps the number of refugees to be admitted to the United States at 30,000, Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley issued the following statement:

DHS Report Confirms CBP Blocking People Seeking Refugee Protection at Southern Border

Oct 2, 2018

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New York City—Following the release of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report on the Trump Administration’s family separation policy, Human Rights First today called on the administration to end its calculated policy of turning away refugees at official border points.

Hungarian Human Rights Defender to Receive 2018 William D. Zabel Human Rights Award

Oct 1, 2018

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New York City – Human Rights First announced today that it will honor Márta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, with its 2018 William D. Zabel Human Rights Award in honor of her work fighting for the rights of refugees, migrants, and other marginalized groups in Hungary and across Europe. The award comes in the wake of an unprecedented assault on human rights and the rule of law in Hungary, including the recent passage of a law that criminalizes providing assistance to migrants and refugees. Human Rights First will present the William D.

Oldest Guantanamo “Forever Prisoner” Gets New Shot at Transfer

Oct 1, 2018

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Monday, October 1, 2018 - 9:59amOldest Guantanamo “Forever Prisoner” Gets New Shot at Transfer

By Joy Bagwell

After 17 Years, Justice For 9/11 Remains Elusive

Sep 27, 2018

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Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 4:53pmAfter 17 Years, Justice For 9/11 Remains Elusive

By Sushma Raman 

Former Top U.S. Antisemitism Official Joins Human Rights First as Senior Advisor for Combating Antisemitism

Sep 26, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today announced that Ira Forman, former U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat anti-semitism, has joined Human Rights First as senior advisor for combating antisemitism. He will lead the organization’s efforts to expose and counteract antisemitism at home and abroad in keeping with a U.S. foreign policy rooted in a strong commitment to human rights, universal values, and American ideals.  

Trump Abandons American Values at UN

Sep 25, 2018

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New York City—In response to President Donald Trump’s speech at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Human Rights First’s Senior Vice President for Policy Rob Berschinski issued the following statement:

Human Rights First to Rename Annual Award after William D. Zabel

Sep 24, 2018

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New York City—Human Rights First today announced that it will rename its annual award honoring frontline activists after its board co-chair Bill Zabel. The William D. Zabel Human Rights Award celebrates Zabel’s unwavering commitment to human rights and the organization.

New Report Details Deteriorating Human Rights Conditions in Egypt

Sep 20, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) today released a new report detailing the severe crackdown on peaceful dissent and nongovernmental organizations in Egypt under the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Sessions Move Another Attempt to Jail Refugee Families for Longer

Sep 19, 2018

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New York City—Human Rights First today condemned Attorney General Jeff Session’s decision to refer to himself a Board of Immigration Appeals decision in Matter of M-G-G-, a move that will likely lead to thousands of refugee families languishing indefinitely in detention. Sessions can now issue a ruling that would attempt to block individuals, including those seeking protection, from having an immigration judge assess their cases for potential release from detention.     

Veterans Call on Congress to Protect Afghan Allies

Sep 19, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—A group of veteran organizations today urged Congress to take action to protect Afghan military allies seeking refuge in the United States.

Trump Administration Sets All-Time Low Refugee Cap

Sep 17, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to the Trump Administration’s announcement today officially capping the refugee admissions goal for fiscal year 2019 at an all-time low of 30,000, Human Rights First’s Jennifer Quigley issued the following statement:

Human Rights First Marks the 17th Anniversary of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

Sep 11, 2018

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Washington, D.C. – Today Human Rights First issued the following statement marking the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, that resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people:

Response to Amb. Bolton Remarks on International Criminal Court

Sep 10, 2018

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Washington, D.C.— In response to National Security Advisor John Bolton’s announcement of policy toward the International Criminal Court, Human Rights First’s Senior Vice President for Policy Rob Berschinski issued the following statement:

Family Incarceration: An Outline

Aug 21, 2018

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 3:25pm What is a Family Detention Center_.png Family Incarceration: An OutlineEmma Stein

In response to the increasing numbers of women and children requesting asylum at the southern border in the summer of 2014, the U.S.

Charlottesville One Year Reunion: Act Against Hate, Don’t Talk About It

Aug 11, 2018

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Saturday, August 11, 2018 - 10:35amCharlottesville One Year Reunion: Act Against Hate, Don’t Talk About ItSusan Corke

One year ago, Americans looked on in horror as tiki torch-carrying white nationalists chanted "Jew will not replace us” (sic) as they marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Judge Orders Independent Auditor to Oversee Family Detention Facilities

Aug 10, 2018

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Friday, August 10, 2018 - 1:04pmJudge Orders Independent Auditor to Oversee Family Detention Facilities

By Kevin Schuster

Human Rights First Applauds Selection of Michelle Bachelet as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Aug 9, 2018

Description:

Washington, D.C—In response to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s announcement that he has chosen former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet as the next U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rob Berschinski, Senior Vice President for Policy at Human Rights First, issued the following statement:

Al-Qahtani Requests Transfer to Receive Adequate Medical Care

Jul 30, 2018

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Monday, July 30, 2018 - 4:48pmAl-Qahtani Requests Transfer to Receive Adequate Medical Care

By Reece Pelley

Human Rights First Files Amicus in Jennings v. Rodriguez, Urging Courts to Protect Due Process for Detainees

Jul 27, 2018

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What does a Post-Kaczyński Poland Mean for Democracy in Europe?

Jul 27, 2018

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Friday, July 27, 2018 - 10:15amWhat does a Post-Kaczyński Poland Mean for Democracy in Europe?

By Reece Pelley

State Department Reportedly Lifting Holds on Military Aid to Egypt

Jul 25, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the State Department will lift its hold on $195 million in military aid to Egypt despite the country’s abysmal human rights record, Human Rights First's Brian Dooley, who was in Egypt last week researching a new report on the targeting of civil society, issued the following statement:

Human Rights First and ADL Release Scorecard on Hate Crime Reporting in 57 OSCE Nations

Jul 25, 2018

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New York City—Against a backdrop of rising reports of hate crimes, Human Rights First and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today released their annual analysis of hate crime reporting by the 57 participating states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a security- and human rights-focused intergovernmental organization comprised of governments from North America, Europe, and Central Asia.

Human Rights First Partners with Dechert LLP, Aldea PJC to Provide Representation to Refugee Families Detained in Pennsylvania

Jul 25, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today announced that it will partner with Dechert LLP and Aldea - The People’s Justice Center to provide free legal representation to refugee families detained at Berks County Residential Facility, a family detention facility in Pennsylvania.   

The Germany NSU Trial: Justice Does Not Go Deep (Part 5)

Jul 24, 2018

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Monday, July 23, 2018 - 12:11pmThe Germany NSU Trial: Justice Does Not Go Deep (Part 5)

By Isaiah Affron

Through Representation, Litigation, and Advocacy, Human Rights First is Fighting to End Detention

Jul 24, 2018

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Monday, July 23, 2018 - 11:46amThrough Representation, Litigation, and Advocacy, Human Rights First is Fighting to End Detention

By Molly McCullen

Leaving Guantanamo: Detainees' Right to Medical Treatment

Jul 20, 2018

Description:

Friday, July 20, 2018 - 9:50amLeaving Guantanamo: Detainees' Right to Medical Treatment

By Nathan Lewis

Human Rights First Launches Freedom for Detained Refugees Project  

Jul 20, 2018

Description:

Campaign Combines Representation, Litigation, and Advocacy to End the Detention of People Seeking Protection   

New York City—As the Trump Administration ramps up its efforts to lock up individuals fleeing violence and persecution, Human Rights First today launched the Freedom for Detained Refugees Project, a three-pronged initiative to combat the imprisonment of refugees in the United States.   

Zero-Tolerance Criminal Prosecutions: Punishing Asylum Seekers and Separating Families

Jul 19, 2018

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Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 4.56.44 PM.png Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 4:56pmZero-Tolerance Criminal Prosecutions: Punishing Asylum Seekers and Separating Families

By Eleni Bakst and Jake Benhabib

New Trump Administration Guidance Aims to Block Asylum Access

Jul 13, 2018

Description:

New York City—In response to new guidance put forth by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that aims to block those seeking protection from asylum, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

CBP: 'We are not going to pull resources' to process asylum seekers at border ports

Jul 12, 2018

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Do You Care About the Rule of Law? Then Act Lilke it

Jul 12, 2018

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Trump Admin Renews “Safe Third Country” Talks with Mexico

Jul 11, 2018

Description:

New York City—In response to reports that the Trump Administration has renewed talks with the Mexican government that would require asylum seekers passing through Mexico to seek protection there instead of in the United States, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement: 

What Migrant Parents Fear About Family Separation at the Border

Jun 19, 2018

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Exclusive: how asylum officers are being told to implement Sessions’s new rules

Jun 19, 2018

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Family Separations Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg at Texas Detention Centers, a New Report Says

Jun 19, 2018

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5 Ways To Help Migrant Parents And Children At The Border

Jun 19, 2018

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 4:09pm5 Ways To Help Migrant Parents And Children At The Border

What's Happening to Families at the Border 101

Jun 19, 2018

Description:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 3:11pmWhat's Happening to Families at the Border 101

So you want to know what's happening to children at the border and aren't sure where to start? No problem! It's complicated.

New Report Documents Hungary's Continued Slide Towards Authoritarianism

Jun 19, 2018

Description:

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today released a new report documenting the Hungarian government’s ongoing efforts to undermine its judiciary, stifle civil society, and deepen ties to Russia. Hungary’s False Sense of Security comes in advance of tomorrow’s expected vote in the Hungarian parliament on the so-called “Stop Soros” legislation, a bill

Trump Administration Further Harms U.S. Interests in Abandoning UN Human Rights Council

Jun 19, 2018

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Washington, D.C.— Human Rights First today expressed deep disappointment over the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, the world’s preeminent international body tasked with the promotion and protection of human rights. 

“With its action today, the Trump Administration has once again substituted the misguided ideology of 'America First' for a foreign policy that advances human rights and American leadership on the world stage,” said Human Rights First’s Senior Vice President for Policy Rob Berschinski.

The Trump Administration is Putting Up a "No Vacancy" Sign

Jun 18, 2018

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Monday, June 18, 2018 - 4:50pmThe Trump Administration is Putting Up a "No Vacancy" SignEmma Stein

Reports from across the U.S.-Mexico border show that border agents are once again illegally turning away families seeking protection.

Asylum Seeking Families, Too, Are Being Separated

Jun 4, 2018

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Monday, June 4, 2018 - 4:11pmAsylum Seeking Families, Too, Are Being Separated

Mothers and fathers who arrive with their children at an official port of entry to lawfully seek asylum are being forcibly separated from their children.

Pentagon Civilian Casualties Report Contains Glaring Gaps

Jun 1, 2018

Description:

Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s report submitted to Congress by the Department of Defense on civilian casualties, Human Rights First’s Rita Siemion issued the following statement:

"The Department of Defense's report on civilian casualties contains glaring gaps, including a blatant disregard for statutory requirements to provide the number of combatant casualties and to list all operations that were reasonably suspected to have resulted in civilian casualties. 

Gen. Krulak on Haspel Letter to Sen. Warner

May 15, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to a letter sent by CIA Director Nominee Gina Haspel to Senate intelligence committee vice chair Senator Mark Warner, General Charles C. Krulak, former commandant of the Marine Corps, issued the following statement:

Trump Administration Should Release Information to Clarify Whether Haspel Lied to Senate Committee

May 10, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Following inconsistencies between public reporting and Gina Haspel’s testimony before the Senate intelligence committee, Human Rights First today called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make public the Durham report, an examination of the CIA’s destruction of 92 video tapes documenting abuse of detainees in custody.

Top 3 Takeaways from Gina Haspel's Confirmation Hearings

May 10, 2018

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Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 10:57amTop 3 Takeaways from Gina Haspel's Confirmation Hearings

1.

Gen. Krulak on McCain’s Opposition to CIA Director Nominee Haspel

May 10, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Following Senator McCain’s decision to oppose Gina Haspel for CIA Director, General Charles C. Krulak, former commandant of the Marine Corps, issued the following statement:

PRBs Continue, But to What End?

Apr 27, 2018

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Friday, April 27, 2018 - 4:21pmPRBs Continue, But to What End?Kat Cosgrove

The Periodic Review Board (PRB) convened on Tuesday to assess the status of 

Human Rights First to Assist Asylum Seekers in “Caravan” Arriving at Border

Apr 26, 2018

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Los Angeles, California—As a caravan of Central American refugees and migrants makes its way to the U.S. southern border, Human Rights First today announced that it will partner with law firms to provide guidance to those who seek asylum in the United States. Many of the individuals arriving at the border are fleeing violence and persecution in search of refuge and did not feel safe remaining in Mexico. At least one hundred individuals are expected to seek asylum at the U.S. border in Tijuana by the end of the month. 

State Department Human Rights Reports Selectively Criticize Abuses

Apr 25, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today expressed concern regarding apparent changes made to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017, compared to previous years’ reports. The organization also criticized the Trump Administration for using the preface of the Human Rights Reports to selectively criticize certain countries, rather than highlighting wider concerns at a time in which adherence to universal human rights is in retreat around the world.  

Brig. Gen David Irvine Opposes Haspel Nomination on The Maddow Show

Apr 24, 2018

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Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 11.34.25 AM.png Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 11:04amBrig. Gen David Irvine Opposes Haspel Nomination on The Maddow Show

Gina Haspel’s confirmation hearing to become the next Director of the CIA is just two weeks away.

DHS Statement on Refugee Caravan Threatens Punishment for Refugees for Seeking Asylum

Apr 23, 2018

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New York City—Human Rights First today condemned the statement released by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirsten Nielsen on the Central American refugee caravan that made threats to those who would legally seek protection as refugees at the U.S. border.

109 Retired Military Leaders Urge Senate to Reject Gina Haspel for CIA Director

Apr 23, 2018

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Last Day of Yom HaShoah: A Dangerous Rise in Antisemitic Hate Among Youth as we Remember the Holocaust

Apr 19, 2018

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Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 5:41pmLast Day of Yom HaShoah: A Dangerous Rise in Antisemitic Hate Among Youth as we Remember the Holocaust

By Mazarine Lestienne

New Book Details Activist Responses to Modern Authoritarianism in Hungary and Beyond

Apr 18, 2018

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 4:09pmNew Book Details Activist Responses to Modern Authoritarianism in Hungary and BeyondBrian Dooley

Colombian human rights NGO Dejusticia released a superb book this week, presenting ideas for how activists can respond to the rise of authoritarian regimes.

Senator Corker Releases Dangerously Overbroad Authorization for Use of Military Force

Apr 17, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today expressed serious concern over the proposal from Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) for a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). The proposal would permit President Trump to continue all current military operations, and to unilaterally go to war in new countries and with new groups, subject only to a vote by a veto-proof majority of both houses of Congress.

Current Congressional War Authorizations Do Not Provide Authority to Strike Syria

Apr 13, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s claims that President Trump has authority to strike Syria under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), Human Rights First’s Rita Siemion issued the following statement:

Trump to Send National Guard to Southern Border

Apr 4, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to President Trump’s plan to send National Guard troops to the border, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer released the following statement:

Human Rights First Calls for Nominations for 29th Annual Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty Award

Apr 4, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today announced that nominations are now open for the 2018 Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty Award.

Democracy in Europe Working Group Raises Alarm over Assault on Democratic Principles in NATO Countries

Apr 4, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today joined a bipartisan group of more than 60 foreign policy experts, former U.S.

Sessions to Impose Quotas on Immigration Court Judges

Apr 3, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today condemned a decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to impose caseload quotas on immigration judges, a move that threatens due process and fairness in the asylum and immigration systems.  

Retired Generals and Admirals File Amicus Briefing Challenging National Security Merits of Muslim Ban

Mar 30, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Today a group of 26 retired generals and admirals filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court case of Trump v. Hawaii, which challenges the administration’s discriminatory Muslim ban, enacted to ostensibly protect U.S. national security.

Administration Falling Behind Historically-Low Refugee Resettlement Goals

Mar 30, 2018

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New York City—As the United States approaches the end of the first half of its 2018 fiscal year, Human Rights First said that the Trump Administration’s resettlement of an abysmally low number of refugees is an abject failure of moral and strategic leadership as the world faces the greatest refugee crisis in recorded history. The administration has only resettled 10,548 refugees so far, falling short on progress towards meeting the administration’s historically-low goal of resettling 45,000 refugees this year.  

ICE Announces New Policy to Detain Pregnant Women

Mar 29, 2018

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New York City—Human Rights First today condemned a policy shift by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that it will no longer generally release from detention pregnant women, including those seeking asylum. The agency states that it will instead determine release on a case-by-case basis, though this claim raises serious questions. Human Rights First has documented that ICE often fails to actually provide individualized assessments, as required by U.S.

Congress Showed that Combating Antisemitism is a Priority. Will the Administration?

Mar 27, 2018

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 10:48amCongress Showed that Combating Antisemitism is a Priority. Will the Administration?Susan CorkeZahava Moerdler

Susan Corke and Zahava Moerdler

Trump Administration's Abdication of Leadership Facilitates a Shameful Farce of an Election in Egypt

Mar 23, 2018

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Friday, March 23, 2018 - 5:08pmTrump Administration's Abdication of Leadership Facilitates a Shameful Farce of an Election in EgyptNeil Hicks

The negative global impact of the Trump Administration’s disturbing affinity with authoritarianism can be seen in the lack of integrity and fairness in the forthcoming presidential election in Egypt, scheduled to take plac

Crossing the Line: Jose's Story

Mar 21, 2018

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 10:13amCrossing the Line: Jose's Story

By Lara Mnaymneh

Taking The Fight for Asylum Seekers to Court

Mar 15, 2018

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Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 11:29amTaking The Fight for Asylum Seekers to Court

This year the Trump Administration has engaged in an unprecedented assault on asylum seekers and refugees.

Groups Challenge Trump Administration’s Arbitrary Detention of Asylum Seekers

Mar 15, 2018

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WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, Human Rights First, and Covington & Burling LLP filed a federal lawsuit today challenging the Trump administration’s arbitrary detention of asylum seekers fleeing persecution, torture, or death in their countries of origin. 

Nomination of Haspel for CIA Director Raises Serious Concerns

Mar 13, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s announcement that President Trump is nominating Gina Haspel to lead the CIA, Human Rights First’s Raha Wala issued the following statement:

In Defense of Guantanamo’s Camp X-Ray

Mar 12, 2018

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Monday, March 12, 2018 - 3:31pmIn Defense of Guantanamo’s Camp X-RayKat Cosgrove

This is a crosspost from Medium.

The Administration Must Explain Its Use-of-Force Theories. Today.

Mar 12, 2018

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Monday, March 12, 2018 - 3:28pmThe Administration Must Explain Its Use-of-Force Theories. Today.Rita Siemion

Too many questions remain unanswered about the Trump Administration’s view of its authority to use military force, thanks to — among other things — last April’s missile strikes on a Syrian airfield, October’s operation in

The Administration Must Explain Its Use-of-Force Theories. Today.

Mar 12, 2018

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Trump’s Explanation for His Administration’s Use of Military Force Due Today

Mar 12, 2018

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Sessions Decision Undermines Fairness in Asylum System

Mar 9, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today condemned a decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that casts doubt on the right of asylum seekers to an evidentiary hearing before immigration judges. The organization notes that the move, announced in a summary decision this week, is part of the Trump Administration’s ongoing attack on the asylum system and the due process rights of those seeking protection from persecution. 

Vets for American Ideals Heads to SXSW

Mar 9, 2018

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Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 4:22pmVets for American Ideals Heads to SXSWChristopher Plummer

Administration Urged to Provide Transparency on Use of Force, Civilian Casualties

Mar 9, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today, urged President Trump to use congressionally-mandated reporting requirements as an opportunity to provide much-needed transparency on the United States’ use of force and its impact on civilians. The letter comes ahead of a March 12 deadline for the administration to provide a report to Congress on the rules governing the use of military force, including any changes made to legal interpretations or governi

Tillerson, Mnuchin Urged to Use Sanctions Under Global Magnitsky Act

Mar 6, 2018

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Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First today called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to robustly implement sanctions in 2018 under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. The call came in a letter, organized by Human Rights First, from 29 human rights and anti-corruption non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

GTMO Periodic Review Board Assesses Abdul Rabbani

Mar 2, 2018

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Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 11:06amGTMO Periodic Review Board Assesses Abdul Rabbani

By: Kate Holcombe

Siemion to Testify Before Congress on War Authorization

Feb 28, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In testimony today before the Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace and Security Task Force and House Liberty Caucus, Human Rights First’s Rita Siemion will urge members of Congress to only consider a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) that is clear, specific, carefully tailored to the situation at hand, and aligned with U.S. legal obligations.

Supreme Court Sends Indefinite Detention of Immigrants, Asylum Seekers back to Ninth Circuit

Feb 28, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Jennings v. Rodriguez, in which the Court sent the case back to the Ninth Circuit to evaluate the constitutionality of indefinitely detaining immigrants and asylum seekers, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement: 

New Report Documents Physical, Mental Health Care Deficiencies in New Jersey Detention Facilities

Feb 28, 2018

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New York City—Human Rights First today released a new report on immigration detention in New Jersey that analyzes the mental, physical, and legal impacts of detention on immigrants and asylum seekers. The report follows trips made by Human Rights First researchers along with a team of legal and health professionals to the three principal facilities that U.S.

Trump Calls Immigrants "Snakes" at CPAC

Feb 24, 2018

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Washington, D.C.—In response to President Trump's address at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), in which he repeated campaign rhetoric that compares immigrants to "snakes" that will kill our “tender” country with “vicious” and “poisonous” bites, Human Rights First's Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

Congress Must Stop Administration's Assault on Asylum

Feb 24, 2018

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Friday, February 23, 2018 - 11:37amCongress Must Stop Administration's Assault on AsylumOlga Byrne

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Removes 'Nation of Immigrants' from Mission Statement

Feb 23, 2018

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Doe v. Mattis: Is the War on ISIS Legal?

Feb 23, 2018

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Trump orders Gitmo remain open, but may clear path for its closure

Feb 23, 2018

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