A good number of migrants around the world do not know or understand that they are entitled to certain basic human rights and freedoms despite the fact that they may be living in a foreign land. It is as a result of this ignorance that most of them continue to suffer from different forms of abuse and exploitation from government agencies or host communities.
The United States has a large migrant community when compared to other countries around, and it is expected that the country has the rights policies and strategies in place to take care of the welfare of migrants.
However, there have always been many instances where the basic human rights and freedoms of migrants have been violated in different states across the country. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
Most legal analysts and experts blame the UN for its failure to comprehensively address the issue of migrants in its legal frameworks. The UN system has some general laws that are meant to protect migrant communities, but most people exploit the glaring gaps in the current legal provisions to exploit migrants.
In most instances, migrants are denied their basic human rights and employment rights making it difficult for them to survive in a foreign country.
Other challenges that migrants face include; unlawful searches and seizures, unlawful arrests, language barriers, and cultural barriers. Migrants in full employment are entitled to minimum wage and overtime wages like the natives. In addition, migrants have a right to speak to an attorney when they have been arrested.
In order to avoid unnecessary arrests, migrants should always carry the necessary identification documents that show their immigration status. It is important to point out that it is difficult to completely safeguard the rights and freedoms of migrants without the involvement of all the key stakeholders.
There is a need for human rights advocacy groups, government agencies, host communities and the migrant communities to come together in order to develop permanent solutions to these challenges.
Some host communities that do not actually know that migrants are entitled to certain rights and privileges within the community and that is why there is a need for awareness programs.
The Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund
This is a human rights advocacy fund that was established in 2007 to support initiatives and activities aimed at enhancing basic human rights and civil liberties with the state of Arizona. Arizona is located along the Mexican border, and most migrants from Mexico form the Hispanic community.
The ever increasing cases of unlawful arrests and harassment from government agencies and the local community prompted two journalists, Lacey and Larkin, to set up the Frontera fund.
The fund is largely involved in promoting civil rights and liberties in Arizona while focusing on the Hispanic community.
Lacey and Larkin have over the years been involved in migrant rights movements before they decided to set up the Forentra Fund using the $3.75 million they were awarded by the court after they were wrongfully arrested.
Their effort to ensure full implementing of the First amendment is commendable.