Taking A Stand for Civil Liberties, Human Rights & Immigration Reform – Public Interest Projects Signs on to Rights Working Group Letter to the President

Public Interest Projects has signed on to a letter to President Obama regarding his desire to implement immigration policy reforms. The letter outlines what we mean when we talk about immigration policy reforms and urges President Obama to take executive action on the following in his second term:

  • eliminating 287(g) and Secure Communities
  • keeping families together
  • respecting workers’ rights
  • using immigration detention only as a last resort
  • implementing a zero-tolerance policy that holds border patrol agents accountable when they commit human rights violations
  • rescinding policies which exclude individuals granted deferred action from eligibility for health programs

Above all, this letter is a call for any immigration policy reforms to uphold constitutional protections and human rights.

To read the full letter outlining Rights Working Group’s list of reforms and to sign on, click here.



Funder Supports Innovative College Scholarship Program for DREAMer Students

The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr., Fund, a fund of the Four Freedoms Fund at Public Interest Projects, has  created a new  scholarship resource and a center for undocumented students at U.C. Berkeley.  Read more here.

Video: U.S. Human Rights Fund Celebrates Human Rights Victories of the Past, Present & Future

On November 30th, the U.S. Human Rights Fund celebrated human rights victories of the past, present, and future with reflections and testimonies from the U.S. Human Rights Fund’s co-founders, staff, steering committee, and advocates. Together, they narrated the story of a powerful domestic human rights movement bearing tremendous promise to win dignity and equality for all people.

The audio slideshow features introductory remarks from Steve Foster, President of The Overbrook Foundation and Chair of the U.S. Human Rights Fund, and Berta Colón and Michele Lord, co-presidents of Public Interest Projects. USHRF’s co-founders, Larry Cox and Dorothy Q Thomas, shared inspirational remarks about starting the Fund. Ejim Dike, Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network; Cathy Albisa, Executive Director of the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative and Chair of the Human Rights at Home Campaign; and Jody Kent Lavy, Director and National Coordinator of the Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth, also offered highlights and success stories from the field. Larry Cox formally announced the Sunrise Initiative, a funding collaborative that will support campaigns for meaningful human rights accountability on the part of the U.S. government.


National Media Covers DREAMer Conference and Role of Youth Leaders and Their Parents

From the Wall Street Journal:

‘Dreamers’ Convene to Celebrate—and Embrace Parents


KANSAS CITY, Mo.– Emboldened by a new program that allows them to remain in the U.S., hundreds of undocumented youth at a conference Sunday decided that their next goal is to urge Washington to devise a policy that also brings their illegal-immigrant parents out of the shadows. Read more

…Many Dreamers became activists during college when they realized they wouldn’t secure jobs to build a career despite their education because they lacked legal status. Even though unable to vote, the youngsters were instrumental in mobilizing Latino voters to get to the polls on Nov. 6. Hispanics were vital to President Barack Obama’s re-election.

“There is no question that they have grown to be the face of the immigrant movement,” said Henry Der, senior program officer at the Four Freedoms Fund, a donor collaborative. Read more here

Hundreds of Dream Warriors Gathered for Congress in Kansas City, MO

From The New York Times:

Young Immigrants Say It’s Obama’s Time to Act


Watch Video - Pushing the Dream: An empowered movement of young undocumented immigrants seeking a pathway to citizenship is gearing up for the immigration debate in 2013. And they plan to hold President Obama accountable.

NEW HAVEN — It has been a good year for young immigrants living in the country without legal papers, the ones who call themselves Dreamers.

Their protests and pressure helped push President Obama to offer many of them reprieves from deportation. So far about 310,000 youths have emerged from the shadows to apply, with numbers rising rapidly.  Read More here