NNIRR E-News: Election, Borders and more


Building Action for Human Rights at International Borders

On Oct. 22, a new tool for human rights at borders was released at the UN: "Recommended Principles and Guidelines for Human Rights at International Borders" reaffirms core norms and standards for human rights. It is an important recognition of the critical human rights situation at borders around the world, one of the areas identified in what is being termed, "migrants in crisis." The document does not pronounce newrights, rather it draws from existing conventions and protections, giving emphasis to the particular vulnerability of migrants at borders. Borders cannot be "zones of exception" when it comes to human rights--including the human rights of migrants, regardless of their status!

NNIRR and othe civil society groups contributed to the discussion and drafting of the document under the auspices of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at the UN. The document was noted in a report by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon that address migrant children as well as borders, and was "launched" in events in New York and Brussels. NNIRR's Executive Director, Catherine Tactaquin, was invited to speak at the OHCHR launch event at the UN in New York on Oct. 23. The webcast of the event can be viewed here.

The Global Coalition on Migration also hosted a welcoming event in New York, co-sponsored by NNIRR and several other partner groups. Participants brainstormed on ways to popularize the new document, including spotlighting the document and the human rights crisis at borders during this year's International Migrants Day on Dec. 18.

Migrant and human rights groups internationally will be collaborating to popularize and promote the new document with governments in critical areas around the world. The document is "non-binding" and will need aggressive promotion to give it impact in government policies and practices. Click here to read and download the report. Visit NNIRR's website here for core documents and to access upcoming advocacy plans.

Midterm Elections and Immigration

They are calling it "midterm madness" in the lead up to tomorrow's nationwide midterm elections. News analyses are awash in speculation about voter turnout, the Democrat's potential loss of its majority in the Senate, and the outcome's impact on any number of issues--foreign policy and military intervention, jobs and the economy, immigration...

The Obama Administration, reportedly, is pouring over the details of an executive action announcement after the elections, for a long-delayed administrative relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. Whether the rumor continues to circulate in order to garner electoral support from immigrant-based communities, and yet has little actual promise--or whether there will be some announcement made by the end of the year, the details of administrative relief will likely not be the "big" proposal that has been advocated. It could very well include greater border enforcement, something that Obama has never failed to include when he has talked about his desire to take executive action. 

Regardless, there are many congressional races as well as state and local initiatives at stake tomorrow. Make your voice--and your vote, if you have one--count. Weigh in on the issues that matter for our communities and for the best interests of all! 

Climate Action/Climate Justice

Hundreds of immigrant rights activists joined the huge (400,000+ participants) climate action march in New York in late September. NNIRR members joined with Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and international partners from Mexico, Asia, Europe and Africa, and including La Via Campesina, mobilized by the Global Coalition on Migration. Local activists, including a large contingent from DRUM-South Asian Organizing Center, also joined in the march through Manhattan.

Bridging the issue of global migration and climate justice is a continuing and strategic task--and furthering awareness and building critical alliances must be on the agenda of the migrant rights movement. Click here for a basic overview from NNIRR onClimate Justice and MigrationView more photos on Facebook from Migrants Rights International.

NNIRR Here and There

Transitions...Best wishes for NNIRR Board members Gerald Lenoir and Monami Maulik! Gerald has recently "retired" as the Executive Director of BAJI, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, passing the torch to Opal Tometi, recently spotlighted in Essence magazine as one of the new civil rights leaders! Monami Maulik, Executive Director of DRUM--the South Asian Organizing Center in New York, is currently on sabbatical from DRUM, studying at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. In her stead, Fahd Ahmed has assumed the helm at DRUM as Acting Executive Director...Board member Isabel Garcia was recently heralded as "Best Local Activist of 2014" by the Tucson Weekly, in recognition of her outstanding work raising awareness about border militarization and the plight of migrants. Congratulations to all! NNIRR Executive Director Catherine Tactaquin continues to share the word (often on the situation at the border and of Central Americans children)...in recent weeks speaking at Morrison Foerster with friends from Centro Legal de la Raza, with students in ASPIRE, at Sacramento City College and at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.

Thanks, Xavier!

A belated thanks to the amazing Xavier Torres de Janon, our summer intern from the Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps (RRASC) program at Hampshire College. A student from Ecuador, Xavier conducted research and monitoring throughout the summer, especially on the "surge" of Central American children crossing the border, provided most of the content to our newly developed website section on Border Justice, and regularly posted to our Facebook pages. Xavier is a great example of the energy and commitment of so many young people who are altready making substantive contributions to growing the social and economic justice movement. Thanks to Xavier and thanks to RRASC for sending Xavier our way!