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Faculty Op Eds Highlight Torture, Immigrant Rights Concerns

August 13, 2018

Two UW Center for Human Rights faculty associates have recently published opinion pieces in local and national media, highlighting important concerns regarding immigrant rights, international human rights law, and torture.

Local jails hold immigrant youth

In local online newspaper Crosscut, UWCHR Director Angelina Snodgrass Godoy wrote about two Pacific Northwest jails which have held immigrant youth under contracts with ICE:

[A]ccording to data released by ICE last year, two of only three facilities in the nation authorized to hold children for longer than 72 hours are here in the Northwest: NORCOR, a publicly run facility in the Dalles, Oregon, and the Cowlitz County Juvenile facility in Longview, Washington.

Professor Godoy draws on research documenting abhorrent conditions at NORCOR, and notes that immigrant youth may be criminalized and accused of gang affiliations without due process. She argues that local jurisdictions should divest from partnerships with federal agencies which contribute to injustices against immigrant communities.

Read more about the CHR’s work to research immigrant rights issues in Washington State through our Human Rights At Home project.

SCOTUS nominee’s rulings raise torture concerns

At Just Security, an online forum for discussions of national security law and policy, CHR faculty associate Prof. Jamie Mayerfeld examines Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s record, arguing that his judgments give evidence of an opposition to international human rights law. He concludes:

Kavanaugh’s radical views have momentous implications. A core purpose of international law is to shield individuals from the worst abuses of state power. If Kavanaugh is elevated to the Supreme Court, his insistence on marginalizing international law will severely undermine human rights.

Prof. Mayerfeld’s column, also reprinted in Slate, notes that Kavanaugh may have been involved in the Bush Administration’s legal deliberations which ultimately justified the use of torture.

Read our interview with Prof. Mayerfeld about his recent book, The Promise of Human Rights.

The UW Center for Human Rights is proud that associates of our center are sharing their research and views on these pressing human rights issues.