Human Rights at Home

At the University of Washington Center for Human Rights, our research team is examining the human rights implications of contemporary immigration enforcement in Washington state.

Read our latest reports

At the University of Washington Center for Human Rights, our research team is examining the human rights implications of contemporary immigration enforcement in Washington state.

Read our latest reports

Immigrant Rights in Washington State

At a time of heightened concern about immigration, it is more important than ever to understand the policies our government has implemented at the local, state, and federal level to handle immigration, and to examine the effects of these policies on the lives and liberties of all Washingtonians. Read our most recent research reports here.

From a human rights point of view, states are entitled to use immigration laws to regulate entry of foreigners; our research is not aimed at challenging the fact that federal immigration law limits entry for some people under some circumstances. However, the US Constitution and international human rights agreements require that all laws be written and implemented in a manner that respects the core rights of all people. Real or imagined security concerns should not override core liberties. While our research is still ongoing, we have uncovered troubling indications that such principles are not always being upheld in our state.

Today, our research raises concerns about the right to due process, especially at the intersection of immigration law and the criminal justice system; the right to equal protection, in the form of racial profiling practices, and policies that produce unequal access to justice for immigrant residents; retaliation against human rights defenders from immigrant communities; and a fundamental lack of transparency by local and federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP),  and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Click on the areas of concern below to learn more: