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ACLU claims U.S. violating human rights obligations (OAS)

The American Civil Liberties Association - which has at least one indirect link to the Mexican government - together with the National Employment Law Project and the Transnational Legal Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law [1] (run by Sarah Paoletti [2]) have filed [3] a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (part of the Organization of American States):
...to find the United States in violation of its universal human rights obligations by failing to protect millions of undocumented workers from exploitation and discrimination in the workplace.

The petition [4] was submitted to the commission on behalf of the United Mine Workers of America, AFL-CIO, Interfaith Justice Network and six immigrant workers who are representative of the six million undocumented workers in the United States labor force...

...The petitioners are requesting that the Inter-American Commission find the United States government in violation of its obligations under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man [5], which was adopted by the United States in 1948, as well as universal human rights principles...
They're complaining about not just the U.S. itself, but these individual states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kansas, New York, and New Jersey.

Some of the legal background is described here:
The petition, filed by the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the other groups, is an unusual appeal to an international body to push American courts and lawmakers away from a 2002 Supreme Court ruling known as Hoffman v. National Labor Relations Board. The petitioners say the ruling has had a snowball effect, limiting or denying the basic protection of labor laws to millions of illegal immigrant workers in violation of principles like equal protection before the law and freedom of association under the nation's international treaty obligations.
Now, let's take a look at some of the other Articles of the "American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man":
Article XXXIII. It is the duty of every person to obey the law and other legitimate commands of the authorities of his country and those of the country in which he may be.
Obviously, all of the illegal aliens named in the complaint did not abide by that Article. And, this one:
Article XXXVIII. It is the duty of every person to refrain from taking part in political activities that, according to law, are reserved exclusively to the citizens of the state in which he is an alien.
Obviously, all those Mexican consuls that consistently try to meddle in our internal politics have repeatedly broken that Article, and that might also apply to those illegal aliens who marched through our streets demanding rights to which they aren't entitled. It might also apply to unions that accept dues from illegal aliens and then lobby on their behalf.

UPDATE: There's more on the ACLU's efforts here.



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[1] law.upenn.edu/clinic/transnational.html Run by Sarah Paoletti, whose name is on the complaint.

[2] From December 20, 2004 (link): The American Friends Service Committee, an internationally recognized social justice organization [which also has indirect links to the Mexican government --LW], joined more than 20 labor, civil rights and immigrants’ rights organizations in filing a formal request for a hearing before the Organization of American State’s (OAS) Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The request, co-signed by students in the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American University Washington College of Law (WCL), highlights the United States’ discriminatory treatment of millions of undocumented workers within its borders... "Undocumented workers are the hidden and highly exploitable staple of the American economy who provide us with food, clothing, manicured golf courses and lawns while at the same time contributing billions of dollars to the U.S. economy through the payment of Social Security, taxes and other expenditures," said Sarah Paoletti, an immigrants rights expert and a practitioner in residence in the International Human Rights Clinic at WCL. "Without these workers, many areas of our economy would be in trouble."

And, from March 1, 2005 (link): Students in the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American University Washington College of Law and workers will testify before the Organization of American States Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about U.S. human rights abuses against undocumented workers. The hearing will be held on Thursday, March 3... "Undocumented immigrant workers not only provide the backbone of our service industry, they have helped build the Nation’s Capital," said Sarah Paoletti, an immigrant rights expert and practitioner-in-residence in the International Human Rights Law Clinic at WCL. "The Inter-American Commission plays a vital role in educating Congress and the American public, employers and employees alike, about human rights law and its role in protecting vulnerable immigrant workers. We are asking that the Commission exercise its oversight and educational role to help extend fundamental human rights protections to all those who work in the United States, regardless of when or how they came to this country."

[3] aclu.org/immigrants/discrim/27235prs20061101.html Others mentioned in the press release are Claudia Flores (ACLU Women's Rights Project) and Chandra Bhatnagar, (ACLU Human Rights Program), both attorneys.

[4] aclu.org/images/asset_upload_file946_27232.pdf

[5] cidh.org/Basicos/basic2.htm

Immigration · Thu, 11/02/2006 - 11:17 · Importance: 4

Thu, 11/02/2006 - 15:59
Fred Dawes

make the ACUL Move to mexico city and talk about human rights or iran! it will go over real well inside the third world.(:-) and hell the people of mexico will love the rich white boys so much most will be sent to prison's to help out if you know what i mean.