I am opposed to the use of the 287 (g) program. This program is discriminatory, cruel and violates civil rights, human rights, and International Law.
Regardless of citizenship status, all people within the United States have constitutional rights. 287g uses Jim Crow tactics and discriminatory profiling and policing practices, violating constitutional rights and putting black and brown communities at an increased risk of racial profiling, a practice that violates the right to freedom from discrimination.
Survivors of crime are denied access to justice. It leads to the under-reporting of violence in the home and family. This program erodes the relationship between the community and law enforcement and fails to identify survivors of sex trafficking. Many forms of human trafficking include sexual slavery, debt bondage, and forced labor. Debt bondage, forcing people to work until they pay off the “debt” incurred in bringing them to the USA and providing lodging afterwards, can take a variety of forms. Often, the “debts” are impossible to repay because of the “interest” and other charges added to the original sum.
Our government has an obligation to prevent and address the abuse of immigrants and ensure that all immigrants are able to access available relief. This includes acting with due diligence to investigate and punish criminal conduct and guaranteeing access to justice for immigrant victims of crime.
Despite important protections under the law, survivors of trafficking and domestic violence often face obstacles in getting access to justice. Law enforcement officials may not play an active role or participate in identifying who is entitled to the protections that are available while some seem unaware of relevant legal provisions. Strict statutory requirements and the climate of fear within immigrant communities caused by the threat of detention and deportation serve as additional barriers.
Additionally, public funds should never be used to violate civil rights, regardless of citizenship or migratory status.
Any person who works in the U.S. is granted labor rights regardless of their immigration status, and taxes paid are being used to fund oppression. 287g targets workers, specifically day laborers, and uses tax dollars to fund and implement discriminatory and xenophobic programs.
Most egregiously 287 (g) separates families. The trauma of separation causes emotional upheaval, particularly in children. The damage is devastating and lasts a lifetime. The isolation this program promotes creates barriers to education and healthcare. Oftentimes the breadwinner is the one detained, which derails the economic and housing security of the remaining family members. From human rights abuses to lack of oversight and transparency, the 287(g) program is fundamentally flawed.
I would work to pass legislation that explicitly prohibits racial profiling by state, county and local lawenforcement agencies, and require the collection of datadisaggregated by race, age and gender in order to identify and assess whether or not law enforcement activities result in racial profiling.
The concept of human rights is based on the recognition of the inherent dignity and worth of every human being.1 Under international law, all migrants without exception of any kind are entitled to: the right to life;2 the right not to be tortured or ill-treated;3 the right not to be subject to impermissible discrimination;4 the right to recognition before the law;5 and the right not to be subject to slavery.6 In addition, all migrants, regardless of their status, are guaranteed the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;7 as well as the right to education.8 The principle of non-discrimination is central to the protection of the human rights of all migrants. Any differences in the treatment meted out to migrants must conform to international law – they must not breach migrants’ internationally recognized human rights.
The USA has ratified, and therefore has an obligation to adhere to, many of the key human rights treaties that guarantee these fundamental rights, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD); and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
The USA has signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.9 As a signatory to these treaties, it has an obligation to refrain from actions that would defeat their object and purpose.10
International law also obliges the USA to protect and fulfill human rights and to safeguard individuals from infringement of these rights by third parties, the principle of “due diligence.”11 This includes an obligation to prevent human rights violations, investigate and punish them when they occur, and provide compensation and support services for victims.12
1 UDHR, G.A. Res. 217A, at 71, U.N. GAOR, 3d Sess., 1st plen. mtg., U.N. Doc A/810 (12 Dec. 1948).
2 ICCPR Art. 6; and Migrant Workers Convention Art. 9.
3 ICCPR Art. 7; CAT Art. 2; and Migrant Workers Convention Art. 10.
4 ICCPR Art. 2(1), Art. 26; ICESCR Art. 2(2); CRC Art. 2(1); ICERD Art. 1(1); and CEDAW Art. 1.
5 ICCPR Art. 16; and Migrant Workers’ Convention Art. 24.
6 ICCPR Art. 8(1) & (2); and Migrant Workers Convention Art. 11(1)); ICCPR Art. 11; Migrant Workers Convention Art. 20(1)).
7 ICESCR Art. 12; ICERD Art. 5(e)(iv); CEDAW Art. 12 and 14(b); CRC Art. 24 & 25; Migrant Workers Convention Art. 28.
8 ICESCR Art. 13 & 14; CRC Art. 28 & 29; ICERD Art. 5(e)(v); and Migrant Workers Convention Art. 30.
9 The USA has not yet signed the Migrant Workers Convention.
10 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Art. 18
- ICCPR Art 2.
12 See, UN Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 31, The Nature of the General Legal Obligations Imposed on State Parties, 26 May 2004, CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.13; and CEDAW Committee, General Comment No. 19, Violence Against Women.