Sanctuary: What it is, what it isn’t, why it’s important

When Donald Trump targeted “sanctuary cities,” threatening to cut off all federal funding, what was he talking about? Turns out – as usual – that the answer is more complex than the sound bite. Here’s a quick primer on sanctuary, both in misnamed “sanctuary cities”and in the real and resurgent sanctuary church movement.   What … Continue reading Sanctuary: What it is, what it isn’t, why it’s important

It’s a human right: Each of us has the right to fundamental safety & security.

The Advocates for Human Rights mourns the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case of United States v. Texas, which has blocked President Obama’s executive actions on immigration for nearly two years and put the lives of an estimated 5 million people and their families on hold. International human rights standards recognize that the United States, … Continue reading It’s a human right: Each of us has the right to fundamental safety & security.

Where punk and the law meet: helping asylum seekers and immigrants

John Barham wears no shoes in his office; he practices law in his socks. On a recent Wednesday evening, his socks were dark gray wool, soft-looking. Beneath his desk one foot occasionally rubbed the other, two cats playing. He said the areas of law he specializes in — criminal defense and immigration — are designed, … Continue reading Where punk and the law meet: helping asylum seekers and immigrants

Meet Sarah Brenes: She’s a Zealous Advocate

Her clients’ courage and perseverance serve as a touchstone for Sarah Brenes (right) in her work to secure safety for people escaping violence and persecution. Brenes was recently appointed director of The Advocates for Human Rights’ Refugee and Immigrant Program, filling the big shoes left by Deepinder Mayell when he left The Advocates to accept … Continue reading Meet Sarah Brenes: She’s a Zealous Advocate

Here’s what to understand about refugee law & policy

I’ve been working as an attorney, primarily in immigration for 12 years. The overwhelming majority of the cases I handled have been asylum cases. I’ve taught a law school clinical practicum for eight years. I’ve spoken and trained attorneys and non-attorneys about asylum law and immigration, nationally and locally. I know the law and I … Continue reading Here’s what to understand about refugee law & policy

Serious Concerns About Lack of Access to Counsel for Asylum Seekers

U.S. Senator Al Franken has called on Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to ensure access to counsel for asylum seekers held in family detention centers. Joined by 18 Senate colleagues, Sen. Franken raises serious concerns regarding reports that U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) is interfering with the ability of asylum-seeking mothers and children … Continue reading Serious Concerns About Lack of Access to Counsel for Asylum Seekers