Do Restrictions on Immigration in the USA Violate Human Rights?

According to multiple international documents concerning human rights, no person can be outside of the protection of the law. In contrast, many governments establish the principle of maintaining fear to justify violations of human rights. In this case, their victims are usually portrayed as criminals or as threats, not even worthy of basic human dignity.

In 1968, the United States joined 145 other countries by agreeing with the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Under this agreement, the human right to request asylum refers to all refugees (Davis 2018). Additionally, countries were forbidden to expel refugees or to send immigrants to places where their life or freedom might be threatened.

Nevertheless, government policies of the USA were able to pass laws and implement regulations against migrants and immigrants that undermine and violate fundamental human rights. Trump’s administration implemented a number of anti-immigration policies, including requirements to prosecute or even detain people illegally crossing the US border (“Human Rights Watch”). It should be emphasized that formerly, children were separated from their parents. In contrast, “President Trump signed an Executive Order on June 20, 2018 to detain children and parents together” (“IJRC”). Nevertheless, every year, thousands of people are being detained by the US government, including children, asylum seekers, and individuals with disabilities. Moreover, considering the fact that every immigration case may take several months or years, many detainees are subjected to prolonged custody, though they “pose no significant danger to general public safety” (“ACLU”). It should be mentioned that many immigration arrestees are being detained in inhumane conditions and subjected to harassment, sexual assault, and mistreatment.

As a rule, most people leave their native countries in search of better living conditions or due to fear of persecution on the basis of religion, nationality, or political opinion. Immigrant workers are often exploited and become victims of racism or even scapegoats. Immigration status can not contradict the fundamental principles of international law leading to abuse and discrimination.

Works Cited

Davis, Jeffrey. “U.S. ‘Zero-Tolerance’ Immigration Policy Still Violating Fundamental Human Rights Laws.” The Conversation, 27 July 2018.
“Human Rights and Immigration.” ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union,
“Ten Human Rights Standards Implicated by U.S. Immigration Policy Changes.” IJRC, International Justice Resource Center, 27 June 2018.
“United States. Events of 2018.” Human Rights Watch,

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