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Iran’s Barbaric Execution of Three Gay Men Signals Dangerous Direction

09/12/2011

Two weeks ago, Iran executed three men because they were gay. Iranian authorities rarely admit executing prisoners on the basis of sexuality – typically they are killed on trumped-up charges like kidnapping or burglary – but here the men were explicitly charged with the crime of intercourse between men.

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Federal Court Rules that Prolonged Detention of Immigrants Is Unconstitutional

09/08/2011

In February Cheik Diop, a Senegalese asylum seeker, walked out of an immigration detention facility in Pennsylvania. His release came nearly three years after he was first detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in early 2008. Last week, a federal appeals court held that detaining Diop for 1,072-days while he fought to stay in the United States violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. This important ruling gives hope to the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are detained every year.

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The DSK Effect: Immigrant Victims Fear Reporting Crimes

08/25/2011

This week, sexual assault charges against former IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, were dropped due to concerns about the credibility of his accuser, Nafissatou Diallo. The inconsistency of Diallo’s narrative, as well as lies contained in her asylum application, led the prosecution to conclude that its case was in jeopardy. Due to the attack on her credibility, the truth regarding what happened in that Manhattan hotel room will never be known. What does this mean for other immigrants who fall victim to crime in the US?

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New Immigration Policy is Only Public Relations Smokescreen

08/19/2011

Yesterday’s announcement from the Obama administration that “prosecutorial discretion” should be used to allow undocumented students to stay in the US, and that enforcement efforts should instead focus on deportation of criminals, is little more than a public relations smokescreen. Ever since the Administration confirmed that states may no longer opt out of Secure Communities, advocates have come down hard on President Obama for failing to live up to promises made to immigrant communities in the US.

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S-Comm’s Unintended Side Effects

08/18/2011

Although the explicit goal of Secure Communities is to improve public safety by increasing deportations of undocumented criminals, in practice the program catches many non-criminals in its net and can actually decrease public safety by eroding trust between immigrants and local police. Mistrust between police and immigrant communities can lead to underreporting of crimes, leaving these communities vulnerable to violence and impairing officers’ ability to investigate and solve crimes.

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