Most immigrants detained in America’s sprawling immigration detention system stay for only a short time – an average of about 30 days – before being deported. But for those who choose to fight to stay in the United States – including asylum seekers, long-term undocumented residents, and green card holders who have strong family and community ties – detention can last for many months, sometimes even years.
In the complex debate over illegal immigration, one population goes largely unnoticed: the thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children who make their way to the US every year.
Special medical training to recognize and understand the consequences of human rights abuses is no longer a niche specialty only for clinicians working with asylum seekers. Such training is necessary for all physicians, psychologists, nurses, and social workers determined to aid their patients effectively. PHR will be conducting two training sessions to provide clinicians with the skills necessary to recognize and document evidence of torture and other human rights abuses.
Is it torture to waterboard a person, slam them against walls, deprive them of sleep, and force them into stress positions until they cry out for mercy? Close your eyes and imagine this is being done to your husband, your sister, or your child; it would seem to be an easy question to answer.Yet today, some are asking whether such “interrogation techniques” are effective. Here’s the answer of Senator John McCain, who was tortured: “under torture a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear — true or false — if he believes it will relieve his suffering.
Reasonable people can disagree about how to fix our nation’s broken immigration system. But local, state, and even federal law enforcement agents who stake out migrant worker health clinics and arrest US citizens for helping undocumented immigrants access medical services call to mind dark eras in history when governments denied marginalized groups even the most basic human rights.