Saturday, May 19, 2007

UN official urges US to protect migrant rights

thanks to jeanette smith of miami quakers for keeping me and others up to date on immigration issues.

U.N. official urges U.S. to protect migrant rights

The Associated Press
Friday, May 18, 2007

WASHINGTON: A United Nations human rights expert urged the United States on Friday to enforce polices to protect the rights of migrants, as he wrapped up a nearly three-week U.S. tour focusing on the plight of migrants.

Jorge Bustamante, the U.N. Human Rights Council's independent expert on migrant rights, expressed concern that the United States has no central system for families to get information about loved ones arrested by immigration officials.

Bustamante, who is from Mexico, also said he was disappointed that U.S. officials canceled his planned visits to two detention centers. Although he visited another detention center, he said the cancellations were an obstacle to getting his job done.

"I didn't have any explanation," he told reporters of the cancelations.

Bustamante is expected to formally present his findings to the U.N. rights council in June.

During his 18-day visit, he toured the U.S. border with Mexico and watched U.S. immigration officials at work. He met with migrants and rights groups in several states and with U.S. officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency and the State Department.

The visit, he said, showed migrants' worries about arbitrary detention, bad conditions at detention facilities and racial discrimination.

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