Human Rights on the Southern Border 2019 Toolkit

The Human Rights Watch US Program’s immigration work focuses on reforming harsh, outdated, and ineffective detention and deportation policies to ensure they take into account family unity, flight from persecution, and labor considerations that draw immigrants to the United States. 

As headlines about immigration dominate the news, STF’s goal is to raise awareness about the geographic reality of the 2,000 mile southern border, why people cross it, and then expose the human rights violations documented by HRW.  

Southern Border Background Information

Fact Sheets about Human Rights on the Southern Border


HRW Resources

  • Trump’s Family Separation Affected “Thousands” More Children Than Previously Known (January 18, 2019) – Because of inadequate recordkeeping, authorities also can’t say where the children split from their families in 2017 and early 2018 went and don’t know how many children have not yet been reunited with their parents.
  • Central Americans Have a Legal Right to Seek Asylum (January 17, 2019) – The Trump administration uses fearmongering to claim that what the US immigration system needs is some kind of border barrier, when what it really needs is to invest in an immigration policy that fairly processes asylum claims.
  • “The Deported” blog (December 5, 2017) – The Trump administration has dramatically ramped up immigration arrests inside the US while it scapegoats millions of people by painting them as violent criminals who should be deported. The crackdown is also sweeping in immigrants who are legal residents but who have been convicted of sometimes only minor or old criminal offenses.


Demonstration Video Tour of Human Rights on the Southern Border exhibit, Palisades HS (4:18)
(Click to watch, 4:18)
Border Flight: A Search for Answers (8:57)
Children Separated from Parents Cry at US Detention Center (1:47)
Most Migrant Kids Held in Mass Shelter (2:55)
(Click to watch, 2:55)
“Put in Cages” or “Taken Care Of”: How Separated Immigrant Children Are Housed in Detention (3:42)**
(Click to watch, 3:42)

**Note: The Zero Tolerance policy that lead to family separations is no longer operational but there are still children who have yet to be reunified with their families.

Permanent link to this article: