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An International Organ of @OASNews Finds US Deportation Policy Violates Human Rights of Children & Families

August 4, 2010

An Urgent Need for Immigration Reform in the United States

Washington DC, August 4, 2010

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an autonomous organ of the Organization of American States, made public on August 02, 2010, its groundbreaking decision in the case Wayne Smith and Hugo Armendariz et al, v. United States. The Commission found that U.S. deportation policy violates fundamental human rights because it fails to consider evidence concerning the adverse impact of the destruction of families, the best interest of the children of deportees, and other humanitarian concerns.

Mr. Wayne Smith and Mr. Hugo Armendariz, lawful permanent residents of the United States for 25 and 35 years respectively, were deported from the United States for non-violent criminal offenses that had occurred many years prior. They were deported without any opportunity to present evidence of their rehabilitation, their family situation, and the equities in their favor. The refusal to consider this evidence led to substantive violations of the rights of their U.S. citizen family members to establish a family. The United States government also violated the special protections that should be accorded to children who are affected by deportation proceedings.

The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), the law firm of Gibbs Houston Pauw, and the Center for Global Justice at Seattle University School of Law, legal representatives in the case, call upon the U.S. government to repeal its policy of mandatory deportation and provide comprehensive immigration legislation that protects human rights.  “Under the current immigration regime, in many cases judges have no choice but to order deportation. This is the case in spite of the atrocious effects deportation has on the U.S. citizen family and children. This broken system offers judges no opportunity to keep families together”, said, Vivana Krsticevic, CEJIL’s Executive Director.

In this significant decision, the IACHR determined that when a decision-making process involves the potential separation of a family, there must be a hearing in which the judge accepts evidence and applies a “balancing test”, whereby the destruction of family life may be justified only where there is a more compelling need to protect the public order. The Commission found that “a balancing test is the only mechanism to reach a fair decision between the competing individual human rights and the needs asserted by the State.”  According to the decision, the U.S. should allow Wayne Smith and Hugo Armendariz to return to the U.S. to be reunited with their families, and they should be given an opportunity to have their day in court – something that they were denied under the current U.S. deportation policy.

“This decision makes clear that there is an urgent need for immigration reform,” said Robert Pauw, lead attorney in the case.  “New legislation should prioritize the best interests of U.S. citizen children and the unification of families. Deportation should be reserved for those individuals who present a real danger to our society.”

CEJIL believes that the United States’ compliance with its international human rights obligations is critically important for the U.S., its citizens and residents, and the world.  Even in strong democracies with longstanding commitment to the rule of law, human rights treaties serve to safeguard fundamental rights.  All Americans benefit when the U.S. commits to upholding certain basic standards of human dignity, and then takes concrete steps to meet these obligations.

Download the PDF of the report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on Wayne Smith and Hugo Armendariz et al, v. United States.

One Comment leave one →
  1. SPO101 permalink
    August 4, 2010 10:48 pm

    Brewer already had her own prison scandal of sorts: two of her staff members are lobbyists for Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) which stands to benefit from Arizona’s criminalization of undocumented immigrants and their being held as prisoners under SB 1070, it takes fear mongering to another level. Let’s all hope and pray that this latest prison escape does not turn out as badly as the Tison gang did in 1978, so Jan time to prep your answers for the Department of Corrections.

    So the Republicans are FINALLY admitting they’re OUT OF IDEAS and asking the public for input (Yah right they listen). Here’s my advice… if you want the Republican Party to make a comeback then QUIT being HO’s for those vain, self-serving, power mad, greed stricken silver spoon con artists that are running the multi-national corporations. Make Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, Phil Gramm and those Conservative think tanks ADMIT they sold out the American middle class with the hidden legislation of the 90’s (in sort tell the truth).

    SOMEONE take responsibility for the Bush/Cheney DISASTER. Fess up to all the waste, fraud, abuse, scandal, sexual deviancy, corruption, lies, deregulation, incompetence, job outsourcing, off-shore tax evasion, reckless economics, corporate welfare, war profiteering, Constitutional violations AND a Corporate Crime Wave of epic proportions. The WORST looting of a nation’s wealth and resources in the history of MANKIND!

    And even after the American PEOPLE were just starting to recover then the ghost of Bush/Cheney oil drilling deregulation comes back to haunt the Gulf coast Red States. Y’know, those right-wing nutcases were chanting “drill baby drill” and get the government outta of their lives like they belonged to a fanatical cult. That oily disaster in the Gulf was NOT AN ACT OF GOD! It was the result of incompetent, scandalous government bureaucrats allowing the Oil Drilling Industrial Complex to cut corners… Collusion/Collaboration BETWEEN the Oil Industry and Federal Regulators? WHAT THE #*/!
    NOW these hypocrites are blaming Obama/Biden for not saving them from BP’s oily disaster.

    The Republican/Conservative culture didn’t take the time to consider our coastal borders could be breached (you listen to Rush Limbaugh instead of Greenpeace), people misplaced and natural environment destroyed for decades. All those tax dollars put into Homeland Security and we let Halliburton, BP and TransOcean do the equivalent of nuking the whole Gulf region of our nation. Oil radiating around Florida to reek havoc on the entire East Coast. AND FORGET ABOUT EATING THE SEAFOOD! AaaaaGgggggghhhhhhgggeerrr!

    I’m going to make sure the history textbooks show what a bunch of silly stupid, self-absorbed, victimized, apathetic COWARDS you Conservatives wackos turned out to be (1980-2010). “I’m wondering if those who support that so-called Tea Party Movement really know where Republicans are leading them? It seems like the Tea Party rank and file are being used by a bunch of vain, self-serving, evil, power mad, greed stricken, K-Street Con Artists. The scum of the earth who hide their hideous faces by using Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin as spokespersons. Just look at their agenda items. It‘s like Ken Lay’s or Jack Abramoff’s wet dream:
    1) Repeal Health Insurance Reform
    2) Privatize Social Security or abolish it.
    3) End Medicare
    4) Extend Bush Tax Cuts for wealthy and Big Oil
    5) Repeal Wall Street reform
    6) Protect those responsible for Gulf oil disaster and future environmental catastrophes
    7) Abolish or cut funding to Department of Education
    8) Abolish Dept. of Energy
    9) Abolish Environmental Protection Agency
    10) Repeal 17th Amendment
    11) Rewrite Bible and school textbooks,
    12) Replace JESUS with Glenn Beck, Frank Church with Joe McCarthy…
    13) After USA is destroyed by Republican Party low grade thought processes, BLAME Democrats/Liberals…”

    Remember when the Soviets used to say “America would be destroyed from within”? Who knew it would be the Republican Party to make the Commie’s dream come true. Is there REALLY Americans out there who were ignorant enough to vote for these Republican LOSERS?

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