While Obama's announcement is a welcome effort to bring undocumented immigrants “out of the shadows,” advocates remain deeply concerned over how the executive action will affect asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, and other vulnerable groups.
Although Maria is just 13-years-old, she already suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression, reports Dr. Carol Kessler, a child psychiatrist and member of the Asylum Network at PHR. Originally from El Salvador, Maria fled to the United States after a gang member attempted to rape her and force her to join his gang.
Earlier this month, Mexico’s congress passed a resolution encouraging U.S. authorities to grant asylum to Mexican citizens fleeing the savage violence that has plagued the country over the last several years.
This week an Ohio judge awarded $15 million to Abukar Hassan Ahmed, a Somali constitutional law professor and human rights advocate, following a civil trial in which a Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) volunteer doctor delivered testimony crucial to the case.
An Ethiopian man who sought asylum in the United States had been repeatedly beaten and tortured in his home country simply for engaging in protests against the government. A young Sudanese woman who was an outspoken human rights advocate bears scars from having been burned and beaten by her torturers; she now struggles to interact with people and is afraid of enclosed spaces like subway stations.