WASHINGTON: More than a dozen Indian students from among hundreds who have been scammed by a dodgy university in California have been radio tagged with tracking devices in an action New Delhi described as "unwarranted," and asked to be removed even as ...
Oneindia - 53 minutes ago
Washington, Jan 29 (PTI) After being duped by aCalifornia-based "sham" university, scores of Indian studentsin the US are now enduring the ignominy of being forced towear radio collars around their ankles so that authorities cankeep track of their ...
Oneindia - 53 minutes ago
Washington, Jan 29 (PTI) Strongly taking up the matterwith the State Department and other concerned departments, theIndian Embassy here has asked the US government to ensure thatno Indian students, affected by the immigration scam of TriValley ...
Economic Times - 1 hour ago
NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON: India Saturday said it has told United States that the use of monitors on some duped Indian students of closed American Tri-Valley University by authorities was "unwarranted" and demanded the immediate removal of the measure. ...
Oneindia - 53 minutes ago
New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) India has asked the US to take a"lenient" view of the students duped by a California-based"sham" university amidst reports that they were forced to wearradio collars around their ankles so that American authoritiescan keep a ...
Oneindia - 53 minutes ago
New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) India today reacted sharply tothe action of the US authorities to tie a tracker on Indianstudents duped by a California-based "sham" university,terming it as "unwarranted" and demanded its removal. The government also said it ...
NDTV.com - 1 hour ago
Hyderabad: After video footage surfaced from Tri-Valley university campus suggesting Indian students were being radio-tagged as part of electronic surveillance by US immigration authorities, the Ministry of External Affairs has summoned the US deputy ...
Aljazeera.net - 17 minutes ago
Protests continue as Egyptian president appoints former spy chief as his vice-president for the first time. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has appointed the country's head of intelligence to the post of vice-president, in a move said to be a reaction ...
(CNN) -- Defiance and hope replaced Friday's scenes of widespread chaos and violence in Cairo on Saturday but at least five people were reported dead in clashes between police and protesters outside the Interior Ministry building. ...
BBC News - 29 minutes ago
Anti-government protests in Egypt have continued for a fifth day. Tens of thousands have taken part in the demonstrations in Cairo, Suez, Alexandria and other cities. Health officials say 45 people have died in clashes across Egypt since Friday. ...
"People are very concerned about what happens next, they're concerned about the violence," reported Robertson from Alexandria. "What we're seeing is an effort to maintain the momentum, but the volatility doesn't match what we saw on Friday."
A file photograph shows Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president, left, and Omar Suleiman, the head of the country's intelligence services. Mubarak has appointed Suleiman as vice president after five days of violent protests demanding the leader's ouster. ...
CNN - 1 hour ago
By the CNN Wire Staff (CNN) -- The US State Department called Saturday on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to fulfill his promises of reform, while the British foreign secretary said Mubarak must "seize this moment to make these reforms real and ...
CAIRO Jan 29 (Reuters) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, 82, picked his intelligence chief and confidante Omar Suleiman as vice president, a post Mubarak occupied before taking the top job and which has never been filled in 30 years of his rule. ...
The Press Association - 24 minutes ago
Britain has called on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to "listen urgently" to protesters as pressure for him to quit intensified. Foreign Secretary William Hague delivered the message after tens of thousands of demonstrators again defied a government ...
Oneindia - 53 minutes ago
Washington, Jan 29 (PTI) US President Barack Obama todaycalled on his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak to halt thecrackdown on protestors, saying Washington would continue tostand up for the rights of the Egyptian people and work alongwith their ...
Oneindia - 53 minutes ago
Cairo, Jan 29 (AP) Egypt''s embattled President HosniMubarak today said he had asked his Cabinet to resign andpromised reforms in his first response to protesters who havemounted the biggest challenge ever to his 30-year rule. But Mubarak also defended ...
Ynetnews - 27 minutes ago
Many Egyptians climbed on tanks and attempted to convince the soldiers and officers to join them, as happened in Tunisia. Meanwhile, the soldiers have shown maximal restraint initially, largely avoiding fire but displaying great determination in...
TUNIS — Calm returned to Tunisia's capital on Saturday a day after a new transition cabinet was sworn in and interim Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi vowed a transition to democracy and an economic revival. After violent clashes with police Friday, ...
Tears mixed with joy as "El General" -- the rapper banned by Tunisia's regime who helped inspire a revolt that has shaken the Arab world -- took to the stage for the first time in Tunis on Saturday. Smiling and confident in his oversize white puffa ...
Voice of America - 3 hours ago
Canadian officials say they intend to extradite a Tunisian billionaire fugitive who is the brother-in-law of Tunisia's ousted president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The interim Tunisian government issued an arrest warrant for Belhassen Trabelsi on ...
The country "has all the means necessary to succeed in this democratic transition that will allow all Tunisians, all political associations, to express themselves in complete freedom and to choose their leader after this transition phase," Ghannouchi said.
The Hindu - 5 hours ago
AP Tunisian protesters demonstrate beneath a poster of slain martyr, Mohamed Bouazizi, near the prime minister's office in Tunis, on Friday. Photo: AP. The fishmonger at the market cries, "Long live Tunisia!", his smile as big as the fish he's slicing. ...
Reuters - Jan 24, 2011
WASHINGTON Jan 24 (Reuters) - The United States has sent its top diplomat for the Middle East to Tunisia for talks on the country's political crisis, the US State Department said on Monday. State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said Assistant Secretary ...
Aljazeera.net - Jan 27, 2011
Key ministers from the heavily criticised former government replaced while interim Tunisian prime minister remains. Mohammed Ghannouchi, the Tunisian prime minister, has reshuffled the interim government, dropping key ministers from the heavily ...
AFP - 9 hours ago
TUNIS — Once banned from the airwaves under the Tunisian regime, rap artists are taking their revolutionary lyrics to the big stage for the first time on Saturday at a concert and political rally in the capital. The star of the show is 21-year-old ...
BBC News - Jan 26, 2011
Tunisia has issued an international arrest warrant for ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and his family, the nation's justice minister has said. Lazhar Karoui Chebbi said the interim government had asked members states to work via Interpol to ...
A young man injured during clashes between protesters and the Tunisian police was carried away in a wheelchair near the office of the prime minister in central Tunis. By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK TUNIS — A standoff between street protesters and the Tunisian ...
TUNIS — Tunisia's interim government on Thursday purged almost all the cabinet ministers left over from the government of the ousted dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, bowing to two weeks of mounting street protests against the ...
The Associated Press - 50 minutes ago
CAIRO (AP) — Hundreds of people crowded the capital's main international airport hoping for a flight out on Saturday but Western carriers were canceling, delaying or suspending service after days of violent unrest. A British airline turned around its ...
Sydney Morning Herald - 1 hour ago
Israel repatriated families of its diplomats in Egypt on Saturday in response to the unprecedented street protests in the Arab state with which it has a 1979 peace deal. "A special aircraft brought back to Israel on Saturday the families of diplomats ...
The Israeli embassy in Cairo has been closed since the riots broke out, and will remain closed on Sunday; Netanyahu has not yet voiced a political stance on the protests. The national airline El AL has whisked some 200 Israelis, including families of ...
Wall Street Journal (blog)
- Iain Martin
- 54 minutes ago
The nervousness detectable in the statements emanating from various foreign ministries is understandable. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in particular has plenty of experience of how a crisis in Egypt can turn ugly with ...
Los Angeles Times - 8 minutes ago
Mounting unrest in Egypt disrupted air travel to and from Cairo and other major Egyptian cities on Saturday as carriers canceled or delayed flights. One Cairo-bound jet from London turned back in mid-flight after Egyptian authorities extended a curfew...
Riots break out at Egypt jail holding political prisoners, including Muslim Brothers members; eight detainees reportedly killed. Meanwhile, protests in Cairo, Alexandria rage on, demonstrators try to break into Interior Ministry headquarters Egypt ...
Dozens of British tourists caught in Cairo have been warned not to leave their hotels by the Foreign Office as the unrest continues. By Andy Bloxham 6:00PM GMT 28 Jan 2011 They were told to stay inside and monitor the situation on the news and were ...
Alexandria was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting in the country on Friday as riot police officers fired tear-gas canisters and rubber bullets and protesters hurled paving stones in more than two hours of ...
JERUSALEM Jan 29 (Reuters) - The family members of Israeli diplomats stationed in Egypt and some 40 other citizens were evacuated from Cairo on a special flight on Saturday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "A flight dispatched by the...
The Guardian - Jan 27, 2011
Patience is a virtue – maybe even the supreme one in Egypt's popular hierarchy of values, but patience also has its limits and, now, at last, it seems as if we've arrived at ours. And fittingly, it's the young of the country who are leading us. ...
Oneindia - 56 minutes ago
Aurangabad, Jan 29 (PTI) Rahul Gandhi today demandedstringent and speedy action against corruption and joined thedebate on black money stashed abroad, saying Indian moneylying outside the country should be brought back. "We have to look into this issue ...
Oneindia - 56 minutes ago
Aurangabad, Jan 29 (PTI) Expressing shock over themurder of an Additional Collector in Maharashtra by the oilmafia, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today said such incidentsshould not recur and stringent action should be taken incorruption cases within ...
Times of India - 5 hours ago
MAHAD (Maha): Youth Congress office-bearers would henceforth be appointed not from Delhi, but through organisational elections, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi said. Rahul was addressing meetings with youth and Congress workers -- which saw ...
"Corruption is taking place because doors of thepolitical system are closed and the average person who wantsto do good is not allowed in," Gandhi said.
Zee News - 6 hours ago
Aurangabad: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Saturday linked the fight against corruption with youth's entry into politics. Rahul, who is on a three-day visit to Maharashtra, said corruption is a serious issue because it steals from the poor ...
Times of India - Jan 27, 2011
GADCHIROLI: The Naxal-affected district of Gadchiroli, bordering states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, has suddenly come into focus with the movement of high-profile visitors like home minister P Chidambaram and Rahul Gandhi. ...
Hindustan Times - 10 hours ago
PTI Expressing shock over the murder of an Additional Collector in Maharashtra by the oil mafia, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said such incidents should not recur and stringent action should be taken in corruption cases within six months....
Times of India - Jan 27, 2011
GADCHIROLI: Poonam Talandi, 22, hails from a politicians' family but she doesn't fell that it could discourage her from contesting an election. She's keen to emerge as a tribal leader and fight for her community. A short meeting with Rahul Gandhi, ...
Oneindia - Jan 27, 2011
Gadchiroli/Buldhana, Jan 27 (PTI) Congress GeneralSecretary Rahul Gandhi today favoured direct elections in theYouth Congress and National Students Union of India (NSUI),saying the president of Youth Congress will not be nominatedfrom now on. ...
Times of India - Jan 27, 2011
GADCHIROLI: Congress scion Rahul Gandhi on Thursday called upon the tribals youth in Gadchiroli to take over the reigns from the politicians who have not done anything for their welfare. The message was clear and lucid from Gandhi, "Come forward to get ...
Times of India - Jan 26, 2011
GADCHIROLI (MAHARASHTRA): Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Thursday indicated major changes in the organisational set up of the Youth Congress and party's frontal students' wing NSUI saying office-bearers would hence forth be elected directly ...
Immigration expert's guidance on all types of visa including US Green Card Lottery.
Every year thousands of people apply for different categories of US visa, like US work visa, US immigration visa, US visitor visa or US Travel visa. Recently, the US like many other countries has updated visa policies to increase security for citizens and visitors.
The process of obtaining visa includes US visa application and interviews and collection and cross checking of names in a highly sophisticated interagency database. These name checking and registration process are necessary and crucial elements.
US Visa Lottery is another way for quick immigration. But as the name US visa green card immigration lottery suggests you need the luck to favor you.
Generally immigration process takes anything between 2-3years to be completed .The US visa green card immigration lottery fast tracks the immigration process to 2-3 months.Best of luck !!!!
US Visas Types
There are two broad categories of US visas:
1. Immigrant visas: For those intending to reside permanently in the United States. (Whether or not they intend to work.). In order to be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa, a foreign citizen must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen relative(s) or by a prospective employer.
An Affidavit of Support form is required for most family-based and some employment based immigrants to show there is adequate means of financial support in the U.S., by the petitioner or other sponsor(s) for the immigrant.
Additionally the Diversity Visa Program provides a certain number of permanent resident visas annually. These visas are drawn from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.
2. (A) Nonimmigrant visas: This is for people with permanent residence outside the US but who wish to be in the US for a short duration only. In other words it is a Visa for visiting United States temporarily. Reasons could be Tourism or medical treatment, business purpose, Students, Participants in exchange programs, Temporary workers, Performing artists, Professional journalists, and Government representatives, etc.
(B) Temporary Worker Visas: There are several categories of temporary worker visas. All applicants for such visas must have a petition approved by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) before applying for the visa.
United States visas
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A B1/B2 visa to the United States
United States Visas were issued to 6.6 million foreign nationals visiting the United States and to 470 thousand immigrants in 2008.
A foreign national wishing to enter the U.S. must obtain a visa unless he or she is
- a citizen of one of the thirty-six Visa Waiver Program countries,
- a citizen of Canada or Bermuda, or
- statutorily ineligibile for visa-free travel (e.g. criminal records).
There are separate requirements for Mexican citizens.
There are two basic types of U.S. visas:
- Nonimmigrant visa - for temporary visits such as for tourism, business, work or studying.
- Immigrant visa - for people wanting to be permanent residents in the United States without any time limitation.
In order to immigrate, one should either have an immigrant visa, or have a dual intent visa, which is one that is compatible with making a concurrent application for permanent resident status (Green Card), or having an intention to apply for permanent residence.
Contrary to a popular misconception, a U.S. visa does not authorize the alien's entry to the United States, nor does it authorize the alien's stay in the U.S. in a particular status. A U.S. visa only serves as a preliminary permission given to the alien to travel to the United States and to seek admission to the United States at a designated port of entry. The final admission to the United States in a particular status and for a particular period of time is made at the port of entry by a U.S. immigration officer. For aliens entering the U.S. in a nonimmigrant visa status these details are recorded by the immigration officer on the alien's Form I-94 (Form I-94W for citizens of the Visa Waiver Program countries entering the U.S. for short visits), which serves as the official document authorizing the alien's stay in the United States in a particular non-immigrant visa status and for a particular period of time.
The typical process for issuing a United States visa, possibly including a Visas Mantis
Applicants for visitor visas must show that they qualify under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The presumption in the law is that every visitor visa applicant (except certain employment-related applicants, who are exempt) is an intending immigrant. Therefore, applicants for visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating that:
- The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business, pleasure, or medical treatment;
- They plan to remain for a specific, limited period; and
- They have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties which will ensure their return at the end of the visit.
All tourist visa applicants must pay a $140 U.S. dollar interview fee (up from $131 before June 4, 2010) to a US Consulate in order to be interviewed by a Consular Officer who will determine if the applicant is qualified to receive a visa to travel to the U.S (additionally, the officer may also ask the United States Department of State for aSecurity Advisory Opinion, which can take several weeks to resolve). If the applicant is rejected, the $140 fee is not refunded. Amongst the items included in the qualification decision are financial independence, adequate employment, material assets and a lack of a criminal record in the applicant's native country.
The immigration visa process is even more stringent and costly. After all processing fees have been paid, most immigration visa applicants pay well over 1,000 U.S. dollars to become permanent residents in the United States and are forced to wait several years before actually immigrating to the U.S.
Classes of Visas
A-1, A-2, and A-3
A visas are issued to "representatives of a foreign government traveling to the United States to engage in official activities for that government." A visas are granted to foreign government ambassadors, ministers, diplomats, as well as other foreign government officials or employees traveling on official business. The A visa is also granted to immediate family members of such foreign government officials, defined as "the principal applicant's spouse and unmarried sons and daughters of any age who are not members of some other household and who will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien" and which "may also include close relatives of the principal alien or spouse who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption who are not members of some other household; who will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien; and who who are recognized as dependents by the sending Government.
B-1 and B-2
The most common non-immigrant visa is the multiple-purpose B-1/B-2 visa, also known as the "visa for temporary visitors for business or pleasure." Visa applicants sometimes receive either a B-1 (temporary visitor for business) or a B-2 (temporary visitor for pleasure) visa, if their reason for travel is specific enough that the consular officer does not feel they qualify for combined B-1/B-2 status.
The Exchange Visitor Program is carried out under the provisions of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, officially known as the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (Pub.L. 87-256, 75 Stat. 527). The purpose of the Act is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges. The Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
In carrying out the responsibilities of the Exchange Visitor Program, the Department designates public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. Sponsoring organizations facilitate the entry of foreign nationals into the United States as exchange visitors to complete the objectives of one of the exchange visitor program categories, which are:
- Au Pair and Edu Care
- Camp Counselor
- Student, College/University
- Student, Secondary
- Government Visitor
- International Visitor (reserved for Department of State use)
- Professor and Research Scholar -
- Short-term Scholar (maximum duration of participation in this category is six months; no program extensions are permitted)
- Specialist (maximum duration of participation in this category is one year)
- Summer work/travel
- Trainee (maximum duration of participation in this category is 18 months, except for agriculture programs (limited to 12 months) and hospitality training programs (limited to a maximum duration of 12 months, with any hospitality training program longer than six months required to have at least three departmental rotations).
The H-1B classification is for professional-level jobs that require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a specific academic field. In addition, the employee must have the degree or the equivalence of such a degree through education and experience. Before the H-1B petition can be filed with USCIS the employer must fill a "Labor Condition Application" (LCA) with the Department of Labor demonstrating that it is paying the required wage for this position in the geographic region where the job is located. The required wage for the position is the higher of the "actual wage" that is paid to other employees in this position or the "prevailing wage" which can be determined using nearly any source, including the employer's own wage survey.
When the employer submits the LCA, the law specifically limits the approval process so that LCAs may only be rejected if they be "incomplete or obviously inaccurate" (8 U.S.C. 1182 (n)). An employer may claim anything is the prevailing wage and the LCA is certain to be approved. In F.Y. 2005 <<1% of LCAs were rejected. In cases where the prevailing wage source is not valid (e.g. a national survey rather than a local one or a survey of entry level wages rather than one for the occupation and location) or where the prevailing wage is misstated (e.g. fabricated or using the 25th percentile wage) the LCA routinely will be approved.
Contrary to popular myth, there is no requirement whatsoever that employers must prove they could not find U.S. workers before hiring H-1B workers. In the case of "H-1B-dependent employers" (usually those with more than 15% of their workers on H-1B visas), the law requires these employers to recruit U.S. workers in "good faith" (8 U.S.C. 1182(n) (1)(G)). However, there is no effective enforcement mechanism in place.
As a general rule, a person who is in one non-immigrant status may not change status or change employers in that status until he or she applies with USCIS for such a change, and such change is granted. However, a provision called "H-1B portability" permits certain individuals already in the United States in H-1B status to commence employment for a new employer once a new employer's H-1B petition is filed with USCIS.
In order to obtain an H-1B visa, the employer must show that it will pay the higher of the prevailing local wage or the wage it pays other U.S. citizens who have similar education and experience. The employer is not required to prove there are no American workers available to perform the work. However, some economists saw H-1B expansion as an assault on the American middle class that benefited the wealthy and made it impossible to maintain traditional American standards of living, or provide incentives to improve productivity as rapidly as nations like Japan with more restrictive immigration policies.
The companies who hired workers on H-1B visas often argue that the U.S. lacks enough skilled American workers to do the specific work needed by the company. Many economists argue that hiring these foreign workers provides more benefits to the U.S., and otherwise the recruiting companies would simply offshore the entire operation. It was claimed this would likely prove worse for the U.S. economy as a whole, because in the first scenario foreign national workers living in the United States would at least spend money in the United States, while the multi-national corporations that would purportedly export the jobs to overseas locations would probably not pass down as much of the savings to the U.S. consumer who purchased from them.
L-1 Intracompany Transferee
The L-1 classification is for international transferees who have worked for a related organization abroad for at least one year in the past three years that will be coming to the United States to work in an executive or managerial (L-1A) or specialized knowledge capacity (L-1B).
To qualify as an international executive, the employee must meet the following requirements:
- Direct the management of the organization or a major component or function;
- Establish the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function;
- Exercise wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and
- Receive only general supervision or direction from higher-level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.
To qualify as an international manager, the employee must meet the following requirements:
- Manage the organization or department, subdivision, function or component of the organization;
- Supervise and control the work of other supervisory, professional or managerial employees, or manage an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization;
- The authority to hire and fire, or recommend hire/fire and other personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization), or if no employees are directly supervised, functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and
- Exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority.
To qualify as a specialized knowledge transferee, the employee must meet the following requirements:
- Possess knowledge of the company product and its application in international markets; or
- An advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company.
An employee has specialized knowledge if the knowledge is different from that generally found in the particular industry. Possible characteristics of an employee who possesses specialized knowledge include knowledge that is valuable to the employer's competitiveness in the market place; knowledge of foreign operating conditions as a result of special knowledge not generally found in the industry; has worked abroad in a capacity involving significant assignments which have enhanced the employer's productivity, competitiveness, image or financial position; possesses knowledge which normally can be gained only through prior experience with that employer; or possesses knowledge of a product or process which cannot be easily transferred or taught to another individual.
TN Visa (TN-1) for Canadians/Mexicans to work in the United States
General Information about TN Status
Since the effective date of January 1, 1994, (NAFTA) facilitates travel to and employment in the United States (U.S.) of certain Canadian and Mexican workers. NAFTA created TN classification for eligible Canadian and Mexican professional workers and affected terms of Canadians' admissions to the U.S. under other classifications. A TN position must require services of a NAFTA professional whose profession is noted in Appendix 1603.D.1(see attached Appendix 1603.D.1); the TN employee must possess the credentials required as well as proof of qualifying citizenship. TN status allows unlimited multiple entries to the U.S. for the period of service required by the U.S. employer (includes foreign employers), up to a maximum of three years, and can be extended indefinitely as long as the temporary purpose of the employment continues.
There is no annual cap on TN work permits (unlike the H-1B visa).
Self-Employment in the U.S. Not Permitted
TN: Members of Appendix 1603.D.1 professions who are self-employed outside the U.S. may pursue business relationships from outside the U.S. (e.g. contracts for services) with U.S.-based companies and obtain TN status to engage in these prearranged activities in the U.S. However, under TN classification an alien is not permitted to come to the United States to engage in self-employment in the United States, nor to render services to a corporation or other entity in which he/she is a controlling owner or shareholder. Other NAFTA Admissions Categories Nationals Canada and Mexico may also seek admission as B-1 (business visitor), E-1 (treaty trader), E-2 (treaty investor), or L-1 (intra-company transferee) nonimmigrants under NAFTA. This bulletin does not address those alternatives.
TN Processing and Admissions Procedure
Canadians may apply for TN-1 classification directly at a U.S. Class "A" port-of-entry, at a U.S. airport handling international traffic, or at a U.S. pre-flight/pre-clearance station in Canada. Documentation must include:
- Proof of Canadian citizenship,
- $50 filing fee (plus a $6 I-94 card fee, if travelling by land),
- Proof of required Appendix 1603.D credentials; and
- Letter from U.S. employer (or a sending employer in Canada) describing nature and duration of professional employment and salary/wages in the U.S.
Canadian citizens are visa exempt and do not need consular visas to travel or apply for admission to the U.S. TN-1 applicants at land ports-of-entry must also pay a modest I-94 fee.
TN-2 non-immigrants from Mexico must be approved beneficiaries of I-129 petitions filed by prospective US employers and approved by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Nebraska Service Center. Documentation must include:
- Proof of Mexican citizenship,
- Form ETA-90353 Labor Condition Attestation (LCA) certified by the US Labor Department,
- $130 filing fee,
- Proof of the purpose for entry, and proof of participation in a permitted NAFTA professional activity.
Mexicans applying for admission to the US under TN-2 classification must obtain visas at US consulates. Note that the above requirements will sunset on December 31, 2003. On and after January 1, 2004, Mexican TNs will file the necessary paperwork with a Department of State Consulate in Mexico in order to receive a TN visa. Visit the Department of State web site for more information on the procedures Mexican citizens must follow in order to obtain a TN visa.
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 of Canadian and Mexican professionals obtain TD status. They can be included on the application of the TN principal (no separate filing fees) and admitted for the same duration of stay. TD nonimmigrants may study in the US under this classification, but are not authorized for employment. Canadian dependents' eligibility may be adjudicated at a US port-of-entry. Although Mexican family members are automatically included in TN petitions filed at the Nebraska Service Center, they must file separate application for TD visas at US consulates. Note: Dependents are not required to be Canadian or Mexican citizens.
K Visas for immediate relatives
Even though these visas are issued to people who have the intent to immigrate permanently to the United States, they are still technically classified as nonimmigrant visas (temporary). U.S. citizens may petition the USCIS for a K temporary visa for fiancé(e)s, spouses and unmarried dependent children of said fiancé(e)s and spouses. In the case of fiancé(e)s, the K-1 visa will allow them to stay in the U.S. for 90 days to marry the petitioning citizen and apply for adjustment of status to legal permanent resident. If the marriage is not concluded within that time, the fiancé(e) will be subjected to removal proceedings. Compliance with the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) IMBRA limits the number of K1 fiancee visa petitions a sponsor can file or have approved without seeking a waiver of the limits. Additionally, the child of a fiancee may receive a derivative K-2 visa from his/her parent's fiancee petition. The child may travel with your fiancee or travel later within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1 visa to their parent. A separate petition is not required if the children accompany or follow your fiancee within one year from the date of issuance of her K1 visa. If it is longer than one year from the date of visa issuance, a separate visa petition is required. In the case of spouses, the K-3 visa is valid for two years and may be extended indefinitely as long as the marriage on which it is based is not dissolved. The holders of K-3 and K-4 status are eligible for work authorization and may leave and re-enter the United States as long as their visas are still valid.
Foreign same-sex partners of United States citizens are currently not recognized by USCIS and accordingly cannot be sponsored for K 1 Fiancee Visa or for Permanent Resident status. Many families based on a same-sex relationship are accordingly forced to live outside the U.S., if a different visa type cannot be procured. Many foreign partners reside in the U.S. as illegal aliens. The Uniting American Families Act, if passed, would create a new family category, "Permanent Partner", allowing foreign partners recognition by USCIS. The term "Permanent Partner" was established to avoid sensitivities about same-sex marriage and civil unions.
However, same-sex partners of non-U.S. citizens can qualify for temporary visas to the U.S. on the basis of their relationship according to the U.S. State Department, which effectively gives U.S. citizens fewer rights than non-citizens seeking to live with their same-sex partners in the U.S.
V Visas and LIFE act for spouses of Legal Permanent Residents (Green Card holders)
Adjustment of status is the final step of what is commonly called the green card or (LPR) process, i.e. that of becoming a legal permanent resident (LPR). It requires that the foreign national in question file an I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status, most often based on a preexisting and approved or approvable I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker or I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. Due to comprehensive immigration reform in 2002, I-485 applications and I-130 or I-140 petitions may be filed concurrently given the immediate availability of an immigrant visa number. The application must be filed with an I-693 Medical Examination of Alien issued by a licensed Civil Surgeon and a G-325A Biographic Information form, which documents provide a complete medical and immunological history as well as a record of the foreign national's places of employment and residence for the last five years. The USCIS then sets a date for the foreign national to have their fingerprints, picture and signature recorded for their FBI background check and entry in the USCIS database. A usually perfunctory interview with a USCIS officer is required in the vast majority of cases.
A pending adjustment of status application entitles the applicant to work and travel authorization in the forms of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card and Advance Parole documents that must be renewed on a yearly basis. The application may be considered abandoned if the applicant does not attend a biometrics appointment or interview. Applications may also be denied for any of the following reasons:
- The underlying immigrant petition is denied or withdrawn
- The applicant is found to have entered or resided in the United States illegally (although this may be waived for one who originally entered with a valid visa and is an immediate relative of the US citizen-petitioner)
- The applicant is judged as undesirable on the grounds of prior criminal convictions, affiliation with unsuitable political parties or organizations (e.g. former members of the Communist Party), poor character or have debilitating health problems, as well as other grounds.
If an adjustment application is approved, a permanent residency card (green card) valid for ten years is issued to the applicant. After five years LPRs are eligible to apply for naturalization, except that an LPR who obtained their green card through marriage may apply for naturalization after only three years if he or she is still living with the same spouse who originally filed the petition for the LPR.
Legal Permanent Residents (LPR)s, have some restrictions on their rights. If they marry a foreign born spouse, the green card holder may have to remain separated for years from his spouse or family while the paper work needed to get immigration authorization grinds through the system. The option of returning to their original home to immediately effect a reunion with their spouse and family is often not attractive.
INA 245(i) was initially enacted by Congress in 1994, with an expiration of November 1997. INA 245(i) allowed otherwise ineligible 'adjustment of status' applicants to apply for and receive green cards in the United States by paying a $1,000 fine.
In late 1997 amid much controversy, the law was extended to allow Immigrant Visa Petitions or Labor Certifications filed before January 14, 1998 to be 'grandfathered', essentially extending the time limit for 'adjustment of status.'
With INA 245(i) set to expire on January 14, 1998, a mechanism was implemented to unite families—effectively expediting entry of spouses and their children into the United States—by creating a nonimmigrant classification for families of LPRs through the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act of 2000 (the LIFE Act), signed into law by President Clinton on December 21, 2000 as Public Law 106-553.
The LIFE act extended, until April 30, 2001 the "grandfathering deadline" of the previous amendment to Section 245(i) of the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA), giving applicants who failed to meet the previous 1997 INA deadline, a second extension in which to file an Immigrant Visa Petition or Labor Certification.
This extension to applicants for Immigrant Visa Petitions or Labor Certifications who filed prior to April 20, 2001, who were physically present in the United States, allowed them to be 'grandfathered', as was permitted with the previous extended deadline of INS 245(i), and gives applicants the opportunity to transfer their eligibility later.
Section 1102 of President Clinton's LIFE act of 2000 amended section 101(a)(15) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a) (15)) adding a new nonimmigrant classification, paragraph ('V' Visa), for certain spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (LPRs), who have waited at least 3 years for the availability of an immigrant visa number in the family-based second (F2A) preference category in accordance with the State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin.
Section 1102 also added section 214 (o) to the Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(o)) in order to provide the terms and conditions of V nonimmigrant status and employment authorization, and makes conforming amendments to sections 214 (b) and 214 (h) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1184 (b) and 1184 (h)) to include reference to the V non immigrant classification.
Prior to the passage of the LIFE Act of 2000, aliens who were married to a U.S. Citizen and living abroad had to obtain an immigrant visa 'outside of the United States' prior to admission.
Following President Clinton's signing and enactment of the LIFE act of 2000, spouses of U.S. Citizens and their children who were beneficiaries of pending or approved visa petitions could be admitted initially as nonimmigrants and adjust to immigrant status later while in the United States.
This amnesty allowed aliens already present in the U.S. to obtain 'V' nonimmigrant status while remaining in the United States. In addition spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old could apply for visa abroad and for admission to the United States as a 'V' nonimmigrant.
The 'K' nonimmigrant classification in the LIFE Act of 2000 was limited to a fiancee or fiancee of a U.S. citizen seeking to enter the U.S. to complete a marriage within 90 days of entry, and the fiance/fiancee's child.
However, changes were made to the LIFE Act of 2000 and effective August 14, 2001 at Subsection 1103(a), which amended section 101(a)(15)(K) of the Act, and implemented a new "K" nonimmigrant classification.
Subsection 1103(a) redesignates the "K" nonimmigrant classification as section 101(a)(15)(K)(i) of the Act, adds a classification for the spouse of a U.S. Citizen at section 101(a)(15)(K)(ii), and classifies the children of aliens at section 101(a)(15)(K)(iii) of the Act.
The new section 101(a)(15)(K)(ii) of the Act has three requirements for an alien to obtain this nonimmigrant classification.
- The alien must already be married to a U.S. Citizen who has filed a relative visa petition on his or her behalf with the Service for purposes of an immigrant visa.
- That same U.S. citizen spouse must be petitioning on that alien's behalf to obtain a nonimmgrant visa.
- The alien must be seeking to enter the United States to wait the "availability of an immigrant visa.
More information on the LIFE Act of 2000, the August 14, 2001 and other amendments can be perused online at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, or by contacting a local Services field office.
Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs), more commonly known as Green Card holders, are foreigners who do not have U.S. citizenship but are permitted to live and work there. Those who have opted to get married to non U.S. citizens are unable to bring their spouses and families directly to the U.S.. The foreign spouse of a U.S. Green Card holder must wait for approval of an 'immigrant visa' from the State Department before legally entering the U.S.. Due to a backlog in processing, such visas can sometimes take upwards of five years to be approved. In the interim, the foreign born spouse and family cannot enter the U.S. on any other visas, or as visitors. LPRs always have the option to return to their country of citizenship, but if they want to stay in the U.S. and stay married to their "foreign" family they are in a unique situation:
- Temporary visitors and non-immigrants coming to the U.S. on temporary visas for work, business or studies (including on H1, L1, B, and F1 visas) can sponsor their dependent spouses to travel along with them and return with them when they leave.
- American Citizens have more options and can sponsor their spouses to come to the U.S. in non-immigrant status and then convert to an immigrant status under the Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act (the "LIFE Act")
The V visa page has more details on the V visa as enacted by the LIFE Act.
Electronic System for Travel Authorization
The new Electronic System for Travel Authorization is not a visa according to the US law. But it is a system where an approved application is needed before a visit to the US, several days before, which is very close to a visa requirement. It is mandatory from January 2009 for people from many countries in the Visa Waiver Program. The principle is sometimes called Electronic Visa and can be applied over the internet by oneself or through a travel agent.
Select List of the Various Types of Visas
| Symbol || Type || Description |
| A-1 || || Foreign government officials and families: ambassadors, public ministers, career diplomats, or consular officers|
| A-2 || || Foreign government officials and families: other foreign government officials or employees|
| A-3 || || Foreign government officials and families: attendants, servants, or personal employees of A-1 and A-2 classes|
| B-1 || Non-immigrant|| Temporary visitors: for business|
| B-2 || Non-immigrant|| Temporary visitors: for pleasure|
| C-1|| Non-immigrant|| Transit aliens: aliens in transit|
| C-2|| Non-immigrant|| Transit aliens: aliens in transit to the United Nations|
| C-3|| Non-immigrant|| Transit aliens: foreign government officials and families in transit|
| Continued Presence (CP)|| Temporary|| Issued by federal law enforcement to victims of crime actively cooperating in an investigation or prosecution of a federal crime|
| Transit aliens: aliens in transit to the United Nations|
| DV-1|| Immigrant|| Diversity visa: lottery winner|
| DV-2|| Immigrant|| Diversity visa: spouses and children|
| E-1|| || Treaty traders and investors: treaty traders|
| E-2 || || Treaty traders and investors: treaty investors|
| E-3 || || Treaty traders and investors: Australian Free Trade Agreement|
| EB-5 || Immigrant|| Immigrant investors|
| F-1 || Non-immigrant|| Students and exchange visitors: academic students|
| F-2|| Non-immigrant|| Students and exchange visitors: spouses and children of academic students|
| F-3|| Non-immigrant|| Students and exchange visitors: Canadian or Mexican national academic commuter students|
| G-1|| || Representatives to international organizations and families: principals of recognized foreign governments|
| G-2|| || Representatives to international organizations and families: other representatives of recognized foreign governments|
| G-3|| || Representatives to international organizations and families: representatives of nonrecognized or nonmember foreign governments|
| G-4|| || Representatives to international organizations and families: international organization officers or employees|
| G-5|| || Attendants, servants or personal employees of representatives|
| GB|| || Temporary visitors: for business, visa waiver, Guam|
| GT|| || Temporary visitors: for pleasure, visa waiver, Guam|
| H-1B || Dual-intent|| Temporary workers and trainees: specialty occupations|
| H-1B1|| Dual-intent|| Temporary workers and trainees: Chile and Singapore Free Trade Agreement|
| H-1C|| Dual-intent|| Temporary workers and trainees: registered nurses participating in the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas|
| H-2A || || Temporary workers and trainees: seasonal agricultural workers|
| H-2B|| || Temporary workers and trainees: seasonal nonagricultural workers|
| H-3|| || Temporary workers and trainees: industrial trainees|
| H-4 || Dual-intent|| Temporary workers and trainees: spouses and children of H-1, H-2, and H-3 workers|
| I-1|| || Representatives of foreign information media and families|
| IR-1|| Immigrant|| Immediate relative of U.S. citizen: Spouse of a U.S. citizen. This visa is called CR-1 (for conditional resident) if the marriage is less than 2 years old at the time of application. The CR-1 visa has to have its conditionality "removed" two years after entry in a separate process. |
| IR-2|| Immigrant|| Immediate relative of U.S. citizen: Unmarried child, under 21 years of age, of a U.S. citizen.|
| IR-3|| Immigrant|| Immediate relative of U.S. citizen: Orphan adopted by U.S. citizens, whose adoption was finalized outside the U.S. |
Note: In order for an IR-3 visa to be issued, U.S. regulations require that both adoptive parents take part in the overseas adoption and actually meet with the child in the child's home country. If only one parent travels to pick up the child, the child will be issued an IR-4 visa instead.
| IR-4|| Immigrant|| Immediate relative of U.S. citizen: Orphan whose adoption by a U.S. citizen will be finalized in the citizen's home jurisdiction.|
| IR-5|| Immigrant|| Immediate relative of U.S. citizen: Parent of a U.S. citizen; the citizen must be at least age 21.|
| J-1 || Nonimmigrant|| Students and exchange visitors: exchange visitors|
| J-2 || Nonimmigrant|| Students and exchange visitors: spouses and children of exchange visitors|
| K-1 || Dual-intent|| LIFE Act: fiances(ees) of U.S. citizens|
| K-2|| Dual-intent|| LIFE Act: children of fiances(ees) of U.S. citizens|
| K-3|| Dual-intent|| LIFE Act: spouses U.S. citizens, visa pending|
| K-4|| Dual-intent|| LIFE Act: children of U.S. citizen, visa pending|
| L-1 || Dual-intent|| Intracompany transferees: principals|
| L-2 || Dual-intent|| Intracompany transferees: spouses and children of intracompany transferees|
| M-1 || || Students and exchange visitors: vocational students|
| M-2|| || Students and exchange visitors: spouses and children of vocational students|
| N-1 to N-6|| || NATO officials and families|
| N-8 and N-9|| || Immediate relatives of certain SK-3 special immigrants|
| O-1 || || Temporary workers and trainees: extraordinary ability or achievement|
| O-2|| || Temporary workers and trainees: accompanying and assisting in performance of O-1 workers|
| O-3|| || Temporary workers and trainees: spouses and children of O-1 and O-2 workers|
| P-1 || || Temporary workers and trainees: internationally recognized athletes or entertainers|
| P-2|| || Temporary workers and trainees: artists or entertainers in reciprocal exchange programs|
| P-3|| || Temporary workers and trainees: artists or entertainers in culturally unique programs|
| P-4|| || Temporary workers and trainees: spouses and children of P-1, P-2, and P-3 workers|
| Q-1|| || Temporary workers and trainees: workers in international cultural exchange programs|
| R-1|| || Temporary workers and trainees: workers in religious occupations|
| R-2|| || Temporary workers and trainees: spouses and children of R-1 workers|
| S visa [two types: S-5/ S-6]|| || Aliens Assisting Law Enforcement|
| Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)|| || Qualifying children present in the U.S. who are declared dependents of a juvenile court and who would be harmed if returned to their home country|
| T-1 || || Victims of human trafficking|
| T-2|| || Victims of human trafficking: spouse of victim|
| T-3|| || Victims of human trafficking: children of victim|
| T-4|| || Victims of human trafficking: parents of victim who are children|
| TD || || Temporary workers and trainees: spouses and children of NAFTA workers|
| TN || || Temporary workers and trainees: NAFTA professional workers|
| U-1 || || Victims of qualifying criminal activity, such as rape, murder, manslaughter, child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or human trafficking|
| U-2|| || Victims of qualifying criminal activity: spouse of victim|
| U-3|| || Victims of qualifying criminal activity: children of victim|
| U-4|| || Victims of qualifying criminal activity: parents of victim who are children|
| LIFE Act: spouses of permanent residents, visa pending|
| V-2|| || LIFE Act: children of permanent residents, visa pending|
| V-3|| || LIFE Act: dependents of V-1 and V-2, visa pending|
| WB|| || Temporary visitors: visa waiver, business|
| WT|| || Temporary visitors: visa waiver, pleasure|
Section 212(g) of Immigration and Nationality Act defined several classes of aliens ineligible to receive visas.
Grounds for denial may include, but are not limited to:
- Health grounds
- Criminal grounds
- Security grounds
- Public charge (charge means burden in this context)
- Illegal entrants or immigration violators
- Failure to produce requested documents
- Ineligible for citizenship
- Previously removed from US
Number of sources covering this story
| || |
Number of sources covering this story
Get e-mail updates when this information changes
Yearbook of Immigration Statistics (PDF, 112 pages - 4.91 MB)
The Yearbook is a compendium of tables that provides data on foreign nationals who, during the specified fiscal year, were granted lawful permanent residence, were admitted into the United States on a temporary basis, applied for asylum or refugee status, or were naturalized. The Yearbook also presents data on immigration law enforcement actions. Yearbook data tables are released as Excel file as they become available. The final 2009 Yearbook in PDF format is released in August.
2004-2009 Yearbooks of Immigration Statistics
View Prior Yearbooks and Data tables
Legal Permanent Residents
Annual Population Estimates
Unauthorized Immigrant Population Estimates
- Applications for Benefits and Naturalization Reports
- Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, U.S. Department of State
- Executive Office of Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice
- Foreign-Born Population Statistics, Census Bureau
- Foreign Labor Certification, U.S. Department of Labor
- Foreign Tourist Statistics, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
- H-1B Statistics, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- International Student Statistics, SEVIS
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- Visa Issuance Statistics, U.S. Department of State
Human rights in the United States
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
| || |This article has multiple issues.
Please help improve it
or discuss these issues on the talk page
- Its introduction provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject. Tagged since May 2009.
- Its introduction may need to be rewritten to comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines. Tagged since September 2009.
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson
proposed a philosophy of human rights inherent to all people in the Declaration of Independence
, asserting that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Historian Joseph J. Ellis
calls the Declaration "the most quoted statement of human rights in recorded history".
Human rights in the United States are legally protected by the Constitution of the United Statesand amendments, conferred by treaty, and enacted legislatively through Congress, state legislatures, and plebiscites (state referenda). Federal courts in the United States have jurisdiction over international human rights laws as a federal question, arising under international law, which is part of the law of the United States.[page needed]
The first human rights organization in the Thirteen Colonies of British America, dedicated to the abolition of slavery, was formed by Anthony Benezet in 1775. A year later, the Declaration of Independence would advocate for civil liberties based on the self-evident truth "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." This view of human liberties postulates that fundamental rights are not granted by the government but are inalienable and inherent to each individual, anteceding government.
Holding to these principles, the United States Constitution, adopted in 1787, created a republic that guaranteed several rights and civil liberties. Those rights and liberties were further codified in the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments of the Constitution) and subsequently extended over time to more universal applicability through judicial rulings and law and reflecting the evolving norms of society — slavery being constitutionally abolished in 1865 and women's suffrage being established nationally in 1920.
In the 20th century, the United States took a leading role in the creation of the United Nations and in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Much of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was modeled in part on the U.S. Bill of Rights. In the latter part of the 20th century, however, the US has participated in few of the international human rights treaties, covenants and declarations adopted by the UN member states.
In the 21st century, the US actively attempted to undermine the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The United States government has been criticized[by whom?] for human rights violations both domestically and overseas, particularly in the criminal justice system and in national security issues, as well as for its treatment of sexual orientation in the realms of anti-discrimination laws and same-sex marriage.
Original page of the United States Constitution
Domestic legal protection structure
According to Human Rights: The Essential Reference, "the American Declaration of Independence was the first civic document that met a modern definition of human rights." The Constitution recognizes a number of inalienable human rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to a fair trial by jury.
Constitutional amendments have been enacted as the needs of the society evolved. The Ninth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment recognize that not all human rights have yet been enumerated. The Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act are examples of human rights that were enumerated by Congress well after the Constitution's writing. The scope of the legal protections of human rights afforded by the US government is defined by case law, particularly by the precedent of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Within the federal government, the debate about what may or may not prove to be an emerging human right is held in two forums, the United States Congress which may enumerate these or the Supreme Court which may articulate rights not recognized. Additionally the individual states, either through court action or legislation, have often protected human rights not recognized at federal level (for example Massachusetts being the first, of several, states to recognize same sex marriage.
Effect of international treaties
In the context of human rights and treaties which recognize or create individual rights, there are self-executing and non-self-executing treaties. Non-self-executing treaties, those which ascribe rights which under the Constitution may be assigned by law, require legislative action to execute the contract (treaty) before it can become applicable to law. There are also cases which explicitly require legislative approval according to the Constitution, such as cases which would potentially commit the U.S. to declare war or which require appropriation of funds.
Treaties regarding human rights, which create a duty to refrain from acting in a particular manner or confer specific rights, are generally held to be self-executing, requiring no further legislative action. In cases where legislative bodies refuse to recognize otherwise self-executing treaties by declaring them to be non-self-executing in an act of legislative non-recognition, constitutional scholars argue that such acts violate the separation of powers — in cases of controversy, the judiciary, not Congress, has the authority under Article III to apply treaty law to cases before the court. This is a key provision in cases where the Congress declares a human rights treaty to be non-self-executing, for example, by contending it does not add anything to human rights under U.S. domestic law. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is one such case, which, while ratified after more than two decades of inaction, was done so with reservations, understandings, and declarations.
The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitutionguarantees that "the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." In addition, Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the denial of a citizen of the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude".
The United States was the first major industrialized country to enact comprehensive legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race and national origin in the workplace in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (CRA), while most of the world contains no such recourse for job discrimination. The CRA is perhaps the most prominent civil rights legislation enacted in modern times, has served as a model for subsequent anti-discrimination laws and has greatly expanded civil rights protections in a wide variety of settings. The United States' 1991 provision of recourse for victims of such discrimination for punitive damages and full back pay has virtually no parallel in the legal systems of any other nation.
In addition to individual civil recourse, the United States possesses anti-discrimination government enforcement bodies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, while only the United Kingdom and Ireland possess faintly analogous bureaucracies. Beginning in 1965, the United States also began a program of affirmative action which not only obliges employers not to discriminate, but also requires them to provide preferences for groups protected under the Civil Rights Act to increase their numbers where they are judged to be underrepresented.
Such affirmative action programs are also applied in college admissions. The United States also prohibits the imposition of any "voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure ... to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color", which prevents the use of grandfather clauses, literacy tests, poll taxes and white primaries.
Prior to the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, slavery was legal in some states of the United States until 1865. Influenced by the principles of the Religious Society of Friends, Anthony Benezet formed the Pennsylvania Abolition Society in 1775, believing that all ethnic groups were considered equal and that human slavery was incompatible with Christian beliefs. Benezet extended the recognition of human rights to Native Americans and he argued for a peaceful solution to the violence between the Native and European Americans. Benjamin Franklin became the president of Benezet's abolition society in the late 18th century. In addition, the Fourteenth Amendment was interpreted to permit what was termed Separate but equal treatment of minorities until the United States Supreme Court overturned this interpretation in 1954, which consequently overturned Jim Crow laws. Native Americans did not have citizenship rights until the Dawes Act of 1887 and the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.
Following the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama was sworn in as the first African-American president of the United States on January 20, 2009. In his Inaugural Address, President Obama stated "A man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath....So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled".
U.S. women suffragists demonstrating for the right to vote, February 1913
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the states and the federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote because of that citizen's sex. While this does not necessarily guarantee all women the right to vote, as suffrage qualifications are determined by individual states, it does mean that states' suffrage qualifications may not prevent women from voting due to their gender.
The United States was the first major industrialized country to enact comprehensive CRAlegislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender in the workplace while most of the world contains no such recourse for job discrimination. The United States' 1991 provision of recourse for discrimination victims for punitive damages and full back pay has virtually no parallel in the legal systems of any other nation. In addition to individual civil recourse, the United States possesses anti-discrimination government enforcement bodies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, while only the United Kingdom and Ireland possess faintly analogous bureaucracies. Beginning in 1965, the United States also began a program of affirmative action which not only obliges employers not to discriminate, but also requires them to provide preferences for groups protected under the CRA to increase their numbers where they are judged to be underrepresented. Such affirmative action programs are also applied in college admissions.
The United States was also the first country to legally define sexual harassment in the workplace. Because sexual harassment is therefore a Civil Rights violation, individual legal rights of those harassed in the workplace are comparably stronger in the United States than in most European countries. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 also provides that equal pay must be paid for workers of equal work, regardless of gender, if the jobs they perform require "equal skill, effort, and responsibility and are performed under similar working conditions in the same establishment." The Selective Service System does not require women to register for a possible military draft and the United States military does not permit women to serve in some front-line combat units.
The United States was the first country in the world to adopt sweeping antidiscrimination legislation for people with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The ADA reflected a dramatic shift toward the employment of persons with disabilities to enhance the labor force participation of qualified persons with disabilities and in reducing their dependence on government entitlement programs. The ADA amends the CRA and permits plaintiffs to recover punitive damages. The ADA has been instrumental in the evolution of disability discrimination law in many countries, and has had such an enormous impact on foreign law development that its international impact may be even larger than its domestic impact. Although ADA Title I was found to be unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has extended the protection to people with Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
It is important to note that federal benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are often administratively viewed in the United States as being primarily or near-exclusively the entitlement only of impoverished U.S. people with disabilities, and not applicable to those with disabilities who make significantly above-poverty level income. This is proven in practice by the general fact that in the U.S., if a disabled person on SSI without significant employment income suddenly finds him or her self in a position of employment, with a salary or wage at or above the living wage threshold, s/he will often discover that the benefits to which s/he was previously entitled have been withdrawn by the state-based or federal government, because supposedly the new job "invalidates" the need for this assistance. The U.S. is the only industrialized country in the world to have this particular approach to physical disability assistance programming.
Same-sex marriage rally in Iowa
The Constitution of the United States explicitly recognizes certain individual rights. The 14th Amendment recognizes that some human rights may exist but are not yet recognized within constitutional law; for example, civil rights for people of color and disability rights were long unrecognized. There may exist additional gender-related civil rights that are presently not recognized by US law but it does not explicitly state any sexual orientation rights. Some states have recognized sexual orientation rights which are discussed below.
The United States Federal Government does not have any substantial body of law relating to marriage; these laws have developed separately within each state. The Full faith and credit clauseof the US Constitution ordinarily guarantees the recognition of a marriage performed in one state by another. However, the Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which affirmed that no state (or other political subdivision within the United States) need recognize a marriage between persons of the same sex, even if the marriage was concluded or recognized in another state and the Federal Government may not recognize same-sex or polygamous marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states. The US Constitution denies the federal government any authority to limit state recognition of sexual orientation rights or protections. This federal law only limits the interstate recognition of individual state laws and does not limit state law in any way.
Wisconsin was the first state to pass a law explicitly prohibiting discrimination on the basis ofsexual orientation. In 1996, Hawaii ruled same-sex marriage is a Hawaiian constitutional right.Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire are the only states that allowsame-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage rights were established by the California Supreme Court in 2008, and over 18,000 same-sex couples were married. In November 2008 voters passedProposition 8, amending the state constitution to deny same-sex couples marriage rights which was upheld in a May 2009 decision which also allowed existing same-sex marriages to stand.
Privacy is not explicitly stated in the United States Constitution. In the Griswold v. Connecticutcase, the Supreme Court ruled that it is implied in the Constitution. In the Roe v. Wade case, the Supreme Court used privacy rights to overturn most laws against abortion in the United States. In the Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health case, the Supreme Court held that the patient had a right of privacy to terminate medical treatment. In Gonzales v. Oregon, the Supreme Court held that the Federal Controlled Substances Act can not prohibit physician-assisted suicideallowed by the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of criminalizing oral and anal sex in the Bowers v. Hardwick 478 U.S. 186 (1986) decision; however, it overturned the decision in the Lawrence v. Texas 539 U.S. 558 (2003) case and established the protection to sexual privacy.
The United States maintains a presumption of innocence in legal procedures. The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution deals with the rights of criminal suspects. Later the protection was extended to civil cases as well In the Gideon v. Wainwright case, the Supreme Court requires that indigent criminal defendants who are unable to afford their own attorney be provided counsel at trial. Since the Miranda v. Arizona case, the United States requires police departments to inform arrested persons of their rights, which is later called Miranda warning and typically begins with "You have the right to remain silent."
Freedom of religion
The establishment clause of the first amendment prohibits the establishment of a national religion by Congress or the preference of one religion over another. The clause was used to limit school praying, beginning with Engel v. Vitale, which ruled government-led prayer unconstitutional. Wallace v. Jaffree banned moments of silence allocated for praying. The Supreme Court also ruled clergy-led prayer at public high school graduations unconstitutional with Lee v. Weisman.
The free exercise clause guarantees the free exercise of religion. The Supreme Court's Lemon v. Kurtzman decision established the "Lemon test" exception, which details the requirements for legislation concerning religion. The Employment Division v. Smith decision, the Supreme Court maintained a "neutral law of general applicability" can be used to limit religion exercises. In the City of Boerne v. Flores decision, theReligious Freedom Restoration Act was struck down as exceeding congressional power; however, the decision's effect is limited by theGonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal decision, which requires states to express compelling interest in prohibiting illegal drug use in religious practices.
Freedom of expression
In the United States, like other liberal democracies, freedom of expression (including speech, media, and public assembly) is an important right and is given special protection, as declared by the First amendment of the constitution. According to Supreme Court precedent, the federal and lower governments may not apply prior restraint to expression, with certain exceptions, such as national security and obscenity. There is no law punishing insults against the government, ethnic groups, or religious groups. Symbols of the government or its officials may be destroyed in protest, including the American flag. Legal limits on expression include:
Some laws remain controversial due to concerns that they infringe on freedom of expression. These include the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. In two high profile cases, grand juries have decided that Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper and New York Times reporter Judith Miller must reveal their sources in cases involving CIA leaks. Time magazine exhausted its legal appeals, and Mr. Cooper eventually agreed to testify. Miller was jailed for 85 days before cooperating. U.S. District Chief Judge Thomas F. Hogan ruled that the First Amendment does not insulate Time magazine reporters from a requirement to testify before a criminal grand jury that's conducting the investigation into the possible illegal disclosure of classified information.
Approximately 30,000 government employees and contractors are currently employed to monitor telephone calls and other communications.
Freedom of movement
The United States prevents U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba, citing national security reasons, as part of an embargo against Cuba that has been condemned as an illegal act by the United Nations General Assembly. The current exception to the ban on travel to the island, permitted since April 2009, has been an easing of travel restrictions for Cuban-Americans visiting their relatives. Restrictions continue to remain in place for the rest of the American populace.
On June 30, 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of ten people who are either U.S. citizens or legal residents of the U.S., challenging the constitutionality of the government's "no-fly" list. The plaintiffs have not been told why they are on the list. Five of the plaintiffs have been stranded abroad. It is estimated that the "no-fly" list contained about 8,000 names at the time of the lawsuit.
The Secretary of State can deny a passport to anyone imprisoned, on parole, or on supervised release for a conviction for international drug trafficking or sex tourism, or to anyone who is behind on their child support payments.
Freedom of association
Freedom of association is the right of individuals to come together in groups for political action or to pursue common interests.
Freedom of association in the U.S. is restricted by the Smith Act, which bans political parties which advocate the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.
Between 1956 and 1971, the FBI attempted to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" radical groups through theCOINTELPRO program.
In 2008, the Maryland State Police admitted that they had added the names of Iraq War protesters and death penalty opponents to a terrorist database. They also admitted that other "protest groups" were added to the terrorist database, but did not specify which groups. It was also discovered that undercover troopers used aliases to infiltrate organizational meetings, rallies and group e-mail lists. Police admitted there was "no evidence whatsoever of any involvement in violent crime" by those classified as terrorists.
National security exceptions
The United States government has declared martial law, suspended (or claimed exceptions to) some rights on national security grounds, typically in wartime and conflicts such as the United States Civil War, Cold War or the War against Terror. 70,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were legally interned during World War II under Executive Order 9066. In some instances the federal courts have allowed these exceptions, while in others the courts have decided that the national security interest was insufficient. Presidents Lincoln, Wilson, and F.D. Roosevelt ignored such judicial decisions.
Sedition laws have sometimes placed restrictions on freedom of expression. The Alien and Sedition Acts, passed by President John Adamsduring an undeclared naval conflict with France, allowed the government to punish "false" statements about the government and to deport "dangerous" immigrants. The Federalist Party used these acts to harass supporters of the Democratic-Republican Party. While Woodrow Wilson was president, another broad sedition law called the Sedition Act of 1918, was passed during World War I. It also caused the arrest and ten year sentencing of Socialist Party of America Presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs for speaking out against the atrocities of World War I, although he would later be released early by President Warren G. Harding. Countless others, labeled as "subverts" (especially theWobblies), were investigated by the Woodrow Wilson Administration.
Presidents have claimed the power to imprison summarily, under military jurisdiction, those suspected of being combatants for states or groups at war against the United States. Abraham Lincoln invoked this power in the American Civil War to imprison Maryland secessionists. In that case, the Supreme Court concluded that only Congress could suspend the writ of habeas corpus, and the government released the detainees. During World War II, the United States interned thousands of Japanese-Americans on alleged fears that Japan might use them as saboteurs.
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution forbids unreasonable search and seizure without a warrant, but some administrations have claimed exceptions to this rule to investigate alleged conspiracies against the government. During the Cold War, theFederal Bureau of Investigation established COINTELPRO to infiltrate and disrupt left-wing organizations, including those that supported the rights of black Americans.
National security, as well as other concerns like unemployment, has sometimes led the United States to toughen its generally liberalimmigration policy. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 all but banned Chinese immigrants, who were accused of crowding out American workers.
Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative
The federal government has set up a data collection and storage network that keeps a wide variety of data on tens of thousands of Americans who have not been accused of committing a crime. Operated primarily under the direction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the program is known as the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative or SAR. Reports of suspicious behavior noticed by local law enforcement or by private citizens are forwarded to the program, and profiles are constructed of the persons under suspicion.
Labor rights in the United States have been linked to basic constitutional rights. Comporting with the notion of creating an economy based upon highly skilled and high wage labor employed in a capital-intensive dynamic growth economy, the United States enacted laws mandating the right to a safe workplace, Workers compensation, Unemployment insurance, fair labor standards, collective bargaining rights, Social Security, along with laws prohibiting child labor and guaranteeing a minimum wage. While U.S. workers tend to work longer hours than other industrialized nations, lower taxes and more benefits give them a larger disposable income than those of most industrialized nations, however the advantage of lower taxes have been challenged. See: Disposable and discretionary income. U.S. workers are among the most productive in the world. During the 19th and 20th centuries, safer conditions and workers' rights were gradually mandated by law. In 1935, the National Labor Relations Act recognized and protected "the rights of most workers in the private sector to organize labor unions, to engage in collective bargaining, and to take part in strikes and other forms of concerted activity in support of their demands." However, many states hold to the principle of at-will employment, which says an employee can be fired for any or no reason, without warning and without recourse, unless violation of State or Federal civil rights laws can be proven.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, states that "everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and one's family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care." In addition, thePrinciples of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association require medical doctors to respect the human rights of the patient, including that of providing medical treatment when it is needed. Americans' rights in health care are regulated by the US Patients' Bill of Rights.
Unlike most other industrialized nations, the United States does not offer most of its citizens subsidized health care. The United StatesMedicaid program provides subsidized coverage to some categories of individuals and families with low incomes and resources, including children, pregnant women, and very low-income people with disabilities (higher-earning people with disabilities do not qualify for Medicaid, although they do qualify for Medicare). However, according to Medicaid's own documents, "the Medicaid program does not provide health care services, even for very poor persons, unless they are in one of the designated eligibility groups."
Nonetheless, some states offer subsidized health insurance to broader populations. Coverage is subsidized for persons age 65 and over, or who meet other special criteria through Medicare. Every person with a permanent disability, both young and old, is inherently entitled toMedicare health benefits — a fact not all disabled US citizens are aware of. However, just like every other Medicare recipient, a disabled person finds that his or her Medicare benefits only cover up to 80% of anything in the U.S. medical system, and that the other 20% must be paid by other means (typically supplemental, privately-held insurance plans, or cash out of the person's own pocket). Therefore, even the Medicare program is not truly national health insurance or universal health care the way most of the rest of the industrialized world understands it.
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986, an unfunded mandate, mandates that no person may ever be denied emergency services regardless of ability to pay, citizenship, or immigration status. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act has been criticized by the American College of Emergency Physicians as an unfunded mandate.
46.6 million residents, or 15.9 percent, were without health insurance coverage in 2005. This number includes about ten million non-citizens, millions more who would be eligible for Medicaid but have never applied, and 18 million with annual household incomes above $50,000. According to a study led by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, uninsured children who are hospitalized are 60% more likely to die than children who are covered by health insurance.
The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighteenth Amendments of the Bill of Rights, along with the Fourteenth Amendment, ensure that criminal defendants have significant procedural rights that are unsurpassed by any other justice system. The Fourteenth Amendment's incorporation of due process rights adds these constitutional protections to the state and local levels of law enforcement. Similarly, the United States possesses a system of judicial review over government action more powerful than any other in the world.
Capital punishment is controversial. Death penalty opponents regard the death penalty as inhumane and criticize it for its irreversibilityand assert that it lacks a deterrent effect, as have several studies and debunking studies which claim to show a deterrent effect.According to Amnesty International, "the death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights."
The 1972 US Supreme Court case Furman v. Georgia 408 U.S. 238 (1972) held that arbitrary imposition of the death penalty at the states' discretion constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In California v. Anderson 64 Cal.2d 633, 414 P.2d 366 (Cal. 1972), the Supreme Court of California classified capital punishment as cruel and unusual and outlawed the use of capital punishment in California, until it was reinstated in 1976 after the federal supreme court rulings Gregg v. Georgia,428 U.S. 153 (1976), Jurek v. Texas, 428 U.S. 262 (1976), and Proffitt v. Florida, 428 U.S. 242 (1976). As of January 25, 2008, the death penalty has been abolished in the District of Columbia and fourteen states, mainly in the Northeast and Midwest.
The UN special rapporteur recommended to a committee of the UN General Assembly that the United States be found to be in violation of Article 6 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in regards to the death penalty in 1998, and called for an immediate capital punishment moratorium. The recommendation of the special rapporteur is not legally binding under international law, and in this case the UN did not act upon the lawyer's recommendation.
Since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976 there have been 1077 executions in the United States (as of May 23, 2007). There were 53 executions in 2006. Texas overwhelmingly leads the United States in executions, with 379 executions from 1976 to 2006; the second-highest ranking state is Virginia, with 98 executions.
A ruling on March 1, 2005 by the Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons prohibits the execution of people who committed their crimes when they were under the age of 18. Between 1990 and 2005, Amnesty International recorded 19 executions in the United States for crime committed by a juvenile.
It is the official policy of the European Union and a number of non-EU nations to achieve global abolition of the death penalty. For this reason the EU is vocal in its criticism of the death penalty in the US and has submitted amicus curiae briefs in a number of important US court cases related to capital punishment. The American Bar Association also sponsors a project aimed at abolishing the death penalty in the United States, stating as among the reasons for their opposition that the US continues to execute minors and the mentally retarded, and fails to protect adequately the rights of the innocent.
Some opponents criticize the over-representation of blacks on death row as evidence of the unequal racial application of the death penalty. This over-representation is not limited to capital offenses, in 1992 although blacks account for 12% of the US population, about 34 percent of prison inmates were from this group. In McCleskey v. Kemp, it was alleged the capital sentencing process was administered in a racially discriminatory manner in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In 2003, Amnesty International reported those who kill whites are more likely to be executed than those who kill blacks, citing of the 845 people executed since 1977, 80 percent were put to death for killing whites and 13 percent were executed for killing blacks, even though blacks and whites are murdered in almost equal numbers.
The United States is seen by social critics, including international and domestic human rights groups and civil rights organizations, as a state that violates fundamental human rights, because of disproportionately heavy, in comparison with other countries, reliance on crime control, individual behavior control (civil liberties), and societal control of disadvantaged groups through a harsh police and criminal justicesystem. The U.S. penal system is implemented on the federal, and in particular on the state and local levels. This social policy has resulted in a high rate of incarceration, which affects Americans from the lowest socioeconomic backgrounds and racial minorities the hardest.
Some have criticized the United States for having an extremely large prison population, where there have been reported abuses. As of 2004 the United States had the highest percentage of people in prison of any nation. There were more than 2.2 million in prisons or jails, or 737 per 100,000 population, or roughly 1 out of every 136 Americans. According to The National Council on Crime and Delinquency, since 1990 the incarceration of youth in adult jails has increased 208%. In some states youth - juvenile is defined as young as 13 years old. The researchers for this report found that Juveniles often were incarcerated to await trail for up to two years and subjected to the same treatment of mainstream inmates. The incarcerated adolescent is often subjected to a highly traumatic environment during this developmental stage. The long term effects are often irreversible and detrimental. "Human Rights Watch believes the extraordinary rate of incarceration in the United States wreaks havoc on individuals, families and communities, and saps the strength of the nation as a whole."
Examples of mistreatment claimed include prisoners left naked and exposed in harsh weather or cold air; "routine" use of rubber bullets and pepper spray;, solitary confinement of violent prisoners in soundproofed cells for 23 or 24 hours a day;and a range of injuries from serious injury to fatal gunshot wounds, with force at one California prison "often vastly disproportionate to the actual need or risk that prison staff faced." Such behaviors are illegal, and "professional standards clearly limit staff use of force to that which is necessary to control prisoner disorder."
Human Rights Watch raised concerns with prisoner rape and medical care for inmates. In a survey of 1,788 male inmates in Midwestern prisons by Prison Journal, about 21% claimed they had been coerced or pressured into sexual activity during their incarceration and 7% claimed that they had been raped in their current facility. Tolerance of serious sexual abuse and rape in United States prisons are consistently reported as widespread. It has been fought against by organizations such as Stop Prisoner Rape.
The United States has been criticized for having a high amount of non-violent and victim-less offenders incarcerated, as half of all persons incarcerated under State jurisdiction are for non-violent offences and 20 percent are incarcerated for drug offences, mostly for possession of cannabis.
The United States is the only country in the world allowing sentencing of young adolescents to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. There are currently 73 Americans serving such sentences for crimes they committed at the age of 13 or 14. In December 2006 theUnited Nations took up a resolution calling for the abolition of this kind of punishment for children and young teenagers. 185 countries voted for the resolution and only the United States against.
In a 1999 report, Amnesty International said it had "documented patterns of ill-treatment across the U.S., including police beatings, unjustified shootings and the use of dangerous restraint techniques." According to a 1998 Human Rights Watch report, incidents of police use of excessive force had occurred in cities throughout the U.S., and this behavior goes largely unchecked. An article in USA Today reports that in 2006, 96% of cases referred to the U.S. Justice Department for prosecution by investigative agencies were declined. In 2005, 98% were declined. In 2001, the New York Times reported that the U.S. government is unable or unwilling to collect statistics showing the precise number of people killed by the police or the prevalence of the use of excessive force. Since 1999, at least 148 people have died in the United States and Canada after being shocked with Tasers by police officers, according to a 2005 ACLU report. In one case, a handcuffed suspect was tasered nine times by a police officer before dying, and six of those taserings occurred within less than three minutes. The officer was fired and faced the possibility of criminal charges.
War on Terrorism
Inhumane treatment and torture of captured non-citizens
International and U.S. law prohibits torture and other ill-treatment of any person in custody in all circumstances. However, the United States Government has categorized a large number of people as unlawful combatants, a United States classification, which denies the privileges of prisoner of war (POW) designation of the Geneva Conventions.
Certain practices of the United States military and Central Intelligence Agency have been condemned by some sources domestically and internationally as torture. A fierce debate regarding non-standard interrogation techniques exists within the US civilian and military intelligence community, with no general consensus as to what practices under what conditions are acceptable.
Abuse of prisoners is considered a crime in the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice. According to a January 2006 Human Rights First report, there were 45 suspected or confirmed homicides while in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan; "Certainly 8, as many as 12, people were tortured to death."
Abu Ghraib prison abuse
| || This section may be too long and overly detailed. |
Please consider summarizing the material while citing sources as needed.
In 2004, photos showing humiliation and abuse of prisoners were leaked from Abu Ghraib prison, causing a political and media scandal in the US. Forced humiliation of the detainees included, but is not limited to nudity, rape, human piling of nude detainees, masturbation, eating food out of toilets, crawling on hand and knees while American soldiers were sitting on their back sometimes requiring them to bark like dogs, and hooking up electrical wires to fingers, toes, and penises. Bertrand Ramcharan, acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that while the removal of Saddam Hussein represented "a major contribution to human rights in Iraq" and that the United States had condemned the conduct at Abu Ghraib and pledged to bring violators to justice, "willful killing, torture and inhuman treatment" represented a grave breach of international law and "might be designated as war crimes by a competent tribunal."
In addition to the acts of humiliation, there were more violent claims, such as American soldiers sodomizing detainees (including an event involving an underage boy), an incident where a phosphoric light was broken and the chemicals poured on a detainee, repeated beatings, and threats of death. Six military personnel were charged with prisoner abuse in the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal. The harshest sentence was handed out to Charles Graner, who received a 10 year sentence to be served in a military prison and a demotion to private; the other offenders received lesser sentences.
In their report The Road to Abu Ghraib, Human Rights Watch describe how:
The severest abuses at Abu Ghraib occurred in the immediate aftermath of a decision by Secretary Rumsfeld to step up the hunt for "actionable intelligence" among Iraqi prisoners. The officer who oversaw intelligence gathering at Guantanamo was brought in to overhaul interrogation practices in Iraq, and teams of interrogators from Guantanamo were sent to Abu Ghraib. The commanding general in Iraq issued orders to "manipulate an internee's emotions and weaknesses." Military police were ordered by military intelligence to "set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses." The captain who oversaw interrogations at the Afghan detention center where two prisoners died in detention posted "Interrogation Rules of Engagement" at Abu Ghraib, authorizing coercive methods (with prior written approval of the military commander) such as the use of military guard dogs to instill fear that violate the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Enhanced interrogation and waterboarding
| || This section may be too long and overly detailed. |
Please consider summarizing the material while citing sources as needed.
On February 6, 2008, the CIA director General Michael Hayden stated that the CIA had used waterboarding on three prisoners during 2002 and 2003, namely Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Abu Zubayda and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.
The June 21, 2004 issue of Newsweek stated that the Bybee memo, a 2002 legal memorandum drafted by former OLC lawyer John Yoo that described what sort of interrogation tactics against suspected terrorists or terrorist affiliates the Bush administration would consider legal, was "prompted by CIA questions about what to do with a top Qaeda captive, Abu Zubaydah, who had turned uncooperative ... and was drafted after White House meetings convened by George W. Bush's chief counsel, Alberto Gonzales, along with Defense Department general counsel William Haynes and David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney's counsel, who discussed specific interrogation techniques", citing "a source familiar with the discussions". Amongst the methods they found acceptable was waterboarding.
In November 2005, ABC News reported that former CIA agents claimed that the CIA engaged in a modern form of waterboarding, along with five other "enhanced interrogation techniques," against suspected members of al Qaeda.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, stated on the subject of waterboarding "I would have no problems with describing this practice as falling under the prohibition of torture", and that violators of the UN Convention Against Torture should be prosecuted under the principle of universal jurisdiction.
Bent Sørensen, Senior Medical Consultant to the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims and former member of the United Nations Committee Against Torture has said:
It's a clear-cut case: Waterboarding can without any reservation be labeled as torture. It fulfils all of the four central criteria that according to the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) defines an act of torture. First, when water is forced into your lungs in this fashion, in addition to the pain you are likely to experience an immediate and extreme fear of death. You may even suffer a heart attack from the stress or damage to the lungs and brain from inhalation of water and oxygen deprivation. In other words there is no doubt that waterboarding causes severe physical and/or mental suffering – one central element in the UNCAT's definition of torture. In addition the CIA's waterboarding clearly fulfills the three additional definition criteria stated in the Convention for a deed to be labeled torture, since it is 1) done intentionally, 2) for a specific purpose and 3) by a representative of a state – in this case the US.
Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, concurred by stating, in a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, that he believes waterboarding violates Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
The CIA director testified that waterboarding has not been used since 2003.
In April 2009, the Obama administration released four memos in which government lawyers from the Bush administration approved tough interrogation methods used against 28 terror suspects. The rough tactics range from waterboarding (simulated drowning) to keeping suspects naked and denying them solid food.
These memos were accompanied by the Justice Department's release of four Bush-era legal opinions covering (in graphic and extensive detail) the interrogation of 14 high-value terror detainees using harsh techniques beyond waterboarding. These additional techniques include keeping detainees in a painful standing position for long periods (Used often, once for 180 hours), using a plastic neck collar to slam detainees into walls, keeping the detainee's cell cold for long periods, beating and kicking the detainee, insects placed in a confinement box (the suspect had a fear of insects), sleep-deprivation, prolonged shackling, and threats to a detainee's family. One of the memos also authorized a method for combining multiple techniques.
Details from the memos also included the number of times that techniques such as waterboarding were used. A footnote said that one detainee was waterboarded 83 times in one month, while another was waterboarded 183 times in a month.  This may have gone beyond even what was allowed by the CIA's own directives, which limit waterboarding to 12 times a day. The Fox News website carried reports from an un-named US official who claimed that these were the number of pourings, not the number of sessions.
Physicians for Human Rights has accused the Bush administration of conducting illegal human experiments and unethical medical research during interrogations of suspected terrorists. The group has suggested this activity was a violation of the standards set by the Nuremberg Trials.
The United States maintains a detention center at its military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba where numerous enemy combatants of the war on terror are held. The detention center has been the source of various controversies regarding the legality of the center and the treatment of detainees. Amnesty International has called the situation "a human rights scandal" in a series of reports. 775 detainees have been brought to Guantánamo. Of these, many have been released without charge. As of January 2011, 173 detainees remain at Guantanamo. The United States assumed territorial control over Guantánamo Bay under the 1903 Cuban-American Treaty, which granted the United States a perpetual lease of the area. United States, by virtue of its complete jurisdiction and control, maintains "de facto" sovereignty over this territory, while Cuba retained ultimate sovereignty over the territory. The current government of Cuba regards the U.S. presence in Guantánamo as illegal and insists the Cuban-American Treaty was obtained by threat of force in violation of international law.
A delegation of UN Special Rapporteurs to Guantanamo Bay claimed that interrogation techniques used in the detention center amount to degrading treatment in violation of the ICCPR and the Convention Against Torture.
In 2005 Amnesty International expressed alarm at the erosion in civil liberties since the 9/11 attacks. According to Amnesty International:
- The Guantánamo Bay detention camp has become a symbol of the United States administration's refusal to put human rights and the rule of law at the heart of its response to the atrocities of 11 September 2001. It has become synonymous with the United States executive's pursuit of unfettered power, and has become firmly associated with the systematic denial of human dignity and resort to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment that has marked the USA's detentions and interrogations in the "war on terror".
Amnesty International also condemned the Guantánamo facility as "the gulag of our times", which raised heated conversation in the United States. The purported legal status of "unlawful combatants" in those nations currently holding detainees under that name has been the subject of criticism by other nations and international human rights institutions including Human Rights Watch and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The ICRC, in response to the US-led military campaign in Afghanistan, published a paper on the subject.HRW cites two sergeants and a captain accusing U.S. troops of torturing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, former Republican governor Mike Huckabee, for example, has stated that the conditions in Guantánamo are better than most US prisons.
The US government argues that even if detainees were entitled to POW status, they would not have the right to lawyers, access to the courts to challenge their detention, or the opportunity to be released prior to the end of hostilities and that nothing in the Third Geneva Convention provides POWs such rights, and POWs in past wars have generally not been given these rights. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled inHamdan v. Rumsfeld on June 29, 2006 that they were entitled to the minimal protections listed under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Following this, on July 7, 2006, the Department of Defense issued an internal memo stating that prisoners would in the future be entitled to protection under Common Article 3.
United States citizens and foreign nationals are occasionally captured (and at times claimed to be abducted) outside of the United States and transferred to secret US administered detention facilities, sometimes being held incommunicado for periods of months or years, a process known as extraordinary rendition.
According to The New Yorker, "The most common destinations for rendered suspects are Egypt, Morocco, Syria, and Jordan, all of which have been cited for human-rights violations by the State Department, and are known to torture suspects."
In November 2001, Yaser Esam Hamdi, a U.S. citizen, was captured by Afghan Northern Alliance forces in Konduz, Afghanistan, amongst hundreds of surrendering Taliban fighters and was transferred into U.S. custody. The U.S. government alleged that Hamdi was there fighting for the Taliban, while Hamdi, through his father, has claimed that he was merely there as a relief worker and was mistakenly captured. Hamdi was transferred into CIA custody and transferred to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, but when it was discovered that he was a U.S. citizen, he was transferred to naval brig in Norfolk, Virginia and then he was transferred brig in Charleston, South Carolina. The Bush Administrationidentified him as an unlawful combatant and denied him access to an attorney or the court system, despite his Fifth Amendment right to due process. In 2002 Hamdi's father filed a habeas corpus petition, the Judge ruled in Hamdi's favor and required he be allowed a public defender; however, on appeal the decision was reversed. In 2004, in the case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld the U.S. Supreme court reversed the dismissal of ahabeas corpus petition and ruled detainees who are U.S. citizens must have the ability to challenge their detention before an impartial judge.
In December 2004, Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen, was apprehended by Macedonian authorities when traveling to Skopje because his name was similar to Khalid al-Masri, an alleged mentor to the al-Qaeda Hamburg cell. After being held in a motel in Macedonia for over three weeks he was transferred to the CIA and extradited to Afghanistan. While held in Afghanistan, El-Masri claims he was sodomized, beaten, and repeatedly interrorgated about alleged terrorist ties. After being in custody for five months, Condoleezza Rice learned of his detention and ordered his release. El-Masri was released at night on a desolate road in Albania, without apology, or funds to return home. He was intercepted by Albanian guards, who believed him to be a terrorist due to his haggard and unkept appearance. He was subsequently reunited with his wife who had returned to her family in Lebanon, with their children, because she thought her husband had abandoned them. Usingisotope analysis, scientists at the Bavarian archive for geology in Munich analyzed his hair and verified that he was malnourished during his disappearance.
In 2007, U.S. President Bush signed an Executive order banning the use of torture in the CIA's interrogation program.
According to Canadian historian Michael Ignatieff, during and after the Cold War, the United States placed greater emphasis than other nations on human rights as part of its foreign policy, awarded foreign aid to facilitate human rights progress, and annually assessed the human rights records of other national governments.
The U.S. Department of State publishes a yearly report "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record" in compliance with a 2002 law which requires the Department to report on actions taken by the U.S. Government to encourage respect for human rights. It also publishes a yearly "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.". In 2006 the United States created a "Human Rights Defenders Fund" and "Freedom Awards." The "Ambassadorial Roundtable Series", created in 2006, are informal discussions between newly-confirmed U.S. Ambassadors and human rights and democracy non-governmental organizations. The United States also support democracy and human rights through several other tools.
The "Human Rights and Democracy Achievement Award" recognizes the exceptional achievement of officers of foreign affairs agencies posted abroad.
- In 2006 the award went to Joshua Morris of the embassy in Mauritania who recognized necessary democracy and human rights improvements in Mauritania and made democracy promotion one of his primary responsibilities. He persuaded the Government of Mauritania to re-open voter registration lists to an additional 85,000 citizens, which includes a significant number of Afro-Mauritanian minority individuals. He also organized and managed the largest youth-focused democracy project in Mauritania in 5 years.
- Nathaniel Jensen of the embassy in Vietnam was runner-up. He successfully advanced the human rights agenda on several fronts, including organizing the resumption of a bilateral Human Rights Dialogue, pushing for the release of Vietnam's prisoners of concern, and dedicating himself to improving religion freedom in northern Vietnam.
Under legislation by congress, the United States declared that countries utilizing child soldiers may no longer be eligible for US military assistance, in an attempt to end this practice.
- See also International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - United States
The U.S. has signed and ratified the following human rights treaties:
Non-binding documents voted for:
International Bill of Rights
- See also International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights - United States
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights(ICESCR) are the legal treaties that enshrine the rights which are outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Together, and along with the first and second optional protocols of the ICCPR they constitute the International bill of rights The US has not ratified theICESCR or either of the optional protocols of the ICCPR.
The US's ratification of the ICCPR was done with five reservations – or limits – on the treaty, 5 understandings and 4 declarations. Among these is the rejection of sections of the treaty which prohibit capital punishment. Included in the Senate's ratification was the declaration that "the provisions of Article 1 through 27 of the Covenant are not self-executing", and in a Senate Executive Report stated that the declaration was meant to "clarify that the Covenant will not create a private cause of action in U.S. Courts." This way of ratifying the treaty was criticized as incompatible with the Supremacy Clause by Louis Henkin.
As a reservation that is "incompatible with the object and purpose" of a treaty is void as a matter of international law, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, art. 19, 1155 U.N.T.S. 331 (entered into force Jan. 27, 1980) (specifying conditions under which signatory States can offer "reservations"), there is some issue as to whether the non-self-execution declaration is even legal under domestic law. At any rate, the United States is but a signatory in name only.
International Criminal Court
The U.S. has not ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was drafted for prosecuting individuals above the authority of national courts in the event of accusations of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crime of aggression. Nations that have accepted the Rome Statute can defer to the jurisdiction of the ICC or must surrender their jurisdiction when ordered.
The US rejected the Rome Statute after its attempts to include the nation of origin as a party in international proceedings failed, and after certain requests were not met, including recognition of gender issues, "rigorous" qualifications for judges, viable definitions of crimes, protection of national security information that might be sought by the court, and jurisdiction of the UN Security Council to halt court proceedings in special cases. Since the passage of the statute, the US has actively encouraged nations around the world to sign "bilateral immunity agreements" prohibiting the surrender of US personnel before the ICC and actively attempted to undermine the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The US Congress also passed a law, American Service-Members' Protection Act (ASPA) authorizing the use of military force to free any US personnel that are brought before the court rather than its own court system.Human Rights Watch criticized the United States for removing itself from the Statute
Judge Richard Goldstone, the first chief prosecutor at The Hague war crimes tribunal on the former Yugoslavia, echoed these sentiments saying:
I think it is a very backwards step. It is unprecedented which I think to an extent smacks of pettiness in the sense that it is not going to affect in any way the establishment of the international criminal court...The US have really isolated themselves and are putting themselves into bed with the likes of China, the Yemen and other undemocratic countries.
While the US has maintained that it will "bring to justice those who commit genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes," its primary objections to the Rome Statute have revolved around the issues of jurisdiction and process. A US ambassador for War Crimes Issues to the UN Security Council said to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that because the Rome Statute requires only one nation to submit to the ICC, and that this nation can be the country in which an alleged crime was committed rather than defendant's country of origin, U.S military personnel and US foreign peaceworkers in more than 100 countries could be tried in international court without the consent of the US. The ambassador states that "most atrocities are committed internally and most internal conflicts are between warring parties of the same nationality, the worst offenders of international humanitarian law can choose never to join the treaty and be fully insulated from its reach absent a Security Council referral. Yet multinational peacekeeping forces operating in a country that has joined the treaty can be exposed to the court's jurisdiction even if the country of the individual peacekeeper has not joined the treaty."
Other treaties not signed or signed but not ratified
Where the signature is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, the signature does not establish the consent to be bound. However, it is a means of authentication and expresses the willingness of the signatory state to continue the treaty-making process. The signature qualifies the signatory state to proceed to ratification, acceptance or approval. It also creates an obligation to refrain, in good faith, from acts that would defeat the object and the purpose of the treaty.
The U.S. has not ratified the following international human rights treaties:
The US has signed but not ratified the following treaties:
Non-binding documents voted against:
The US is a signatory to the 1948 American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and has signed but not ratified the 1969 American Convention on Human Rights. It is a member of Inter-American Convention on the Granting of Political Rights to Women (1948). It does not accept the adjudicatory jurisdiction of the Costa Rica-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
The US has not ratified any of the other regional human rights treaties of the Organization of American States, which include:
Coverage of violations in the media
Studies have found that the New York Times coverage of worldwide human rights violations is biased, predominantly focusing on the human rights violations in nations where there is clear U.S. involvement, while having relatively little coverage of the human rights violations in other nations. Amnesty International's Secretary General Irene Khan explains, "If we focus on the U.S. it's because we believe that the U.S. is a country whose enormous influence and power has to be used constructively ... When countries like the U.S. are seen to undermine or ignore human rights, it sends a very powerful message to others."
According to Freedom in the World, an annual report by US based think-tank Freedom House, which rates political rights and civil liberties, in 2007, the United States was ranked "Free" (the highest possible rating), together with 92 other countries.
The Polity data series, which rate regime and authority characteristics, covering the years 1800-2004, has ranked the United States with the highest possible rating since 1871.
According to the Economist Magazine's Democracy Index, the US ranks 17 out of 167 nations.
According to the annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, due to wartime restrictions the United States was ranked 53rd from the top in 2006 (out of 168), 44th in 2005. 22nd in 2004, 31st in 2003 and 17th in 2002.
According to the annual Corruption Perceptions Index, which was published by Transparency International, the United States was ranked 20th from the top least corrupt in 2006 (out of 163), 17th in 2005, 18th in 2003, and 16th in 2002.
According to the annual Privacy International index of 2007, the United States was ranked an "endemic surveillance society", scoring only 1.5 out of 5 privacy points.
According to the Gallup International Millennium Survey, the United States ranked 23rd in citizens' perception of human rights observance when its citizens were asked, "In general, do you think that human rights are being fully respected, partially respected or are they not being respected at all in your country?"
In the aftermath of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, criticism by some groups commenting on human rights issues was made regarding the recovery and reconstruction issues The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Prison Project documented mistreatment of the prison population during the flooding, while United Nations Special Rapporteur Doudou Diène delivered a 2008 report on such issues. The United States was elected in 2009 to sit on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which the U.S. State Department had previously asserted had lost its credibility by its prior stances and lack of safeguards against severe human rights violators taking a seat. In 2006 and 2007, the UNHCR and Martin Scheinin were critical of the United States regard permitting executions by lethal injection, housing children in adult jails, subjecting prisoners to prolonged isolation in supermax prisons, using enhanced interrogation techniques and domestic poverty gaps.
- ^ Ellis, Joseph J. (1998) . American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson. Vintage Books. p. 63. ISBN 0679764410.
- ^ Lauren, Paul Gordon (2007). "A Human Rights Lens on U.S. History: Human Rights at Home and Human Rights Abroad". In Soohoo, Cynthia; Albisa, Catherine; Davis, Martha F.. Bringing Human Rights Home: Portraits of the Movement. III. Praeger Publishers. p. 4. ISBN 0275988244.
- ^ Brennan, William, J., ed. Schwartz, Bernard, The Burger Court: counter-revolution or confirmation?, Oxford University Press US, 1998,ISBN 0-19-512259-3, page 10
- ^ Schneebaum, Steven M. (Summer, 1998). "Human rights in the United States courts: The role of lawyers". Washington & Lee Law Review. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
- ^ Declaration of Independence
- ^ Henkin, Louis; Rosenthal, Albert J. (1990). Constitutionalism and rights: the influence of the United States constitution abroad. Columbia University Press. pp. 2–3. ISBN 0231065701.
- ^ a b Ignatieff, Michael (2005). "Introduction: American Exceptionalism and Human Rights". American Exceptionalism and Human Rights. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691116482.
- ^ National Coordinating Committee for UDHR (1998). "Drafting and Adoption: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights". Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. Retrieved 02-07-2008.
- ^ a b c d Status of US international treaty ratifications
- ^ a b Human Rights Watch - The US and the International Criminal Court
- ^ Devine, Carol; Carol Rae Hansen, Ralph Wilde, Hilary Poole (1999). Human rights: The essential reference. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 26–29. ISBN 157356205X, 9781573562058. Retrieved 6/11/2009.
- ^ Leebrick, Kristal (2002). The United States Constitution. Capstone Press. pp. 26–39. ISBN 0736810943.
- ^ Burge, Kathleen (2003-11-18). "SJC: Gay marriage legal in Mass.". The Boston Globe.
- ^ Foster v. Neilson, 27 U.S. 253, 314-15 (1829) U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Justice Marshall writing: "Our constitution declares a treaty to be the law of the land. It is, consequently, to be regarded in courts of justice as equivalent to an act of the legislature, whenever it operates of itself without the aid of any legislative provision. But when the terms of the stipulation import a contract, when either of the parties engages to perform a particular act, the treaty addresses itself to the political, not the judicial department, and the legislature must execute the contract before it can become a rule for the Court." at 314, cited in Martin International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law et al.
- ^ Martin, F.International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Cambridge University Press. 2006. p. 221 and following. ISBN 0-521-85886-0, 9780521858861
- ^ McWhirter,Darien A.m Equal Protection', Oryx Press, 1995, page 1
- ^ a b Gould, William B., Agenda for Reform: The Future of Employment Relationships and the Law< MIT Press, 1996, ISBN 0-262-57114-5, page 27
- ^ a b c d e f Nivola, Pietro S. (2002). Tense commandments: federal prescriptions and city problems,. Brookings Institution Press. pp. 127–8.ISBN 0815760949.
- ^ Capozzi, Irene Y., The Civil Rights Act: background, statutes and primer, Nova Publishers, 2006, ISBN 1-60021-131-3, page 6
- ^ a b c d James W. Russell, Double standard: social policy in Europe and the United States, Rowman & Littlefield, 2006, ISBN 0-7425-4693-4, pages 147-150
- ^ Lauren, Paul Gordon (2003). "My Brother's and Sister's Keeper: Visions and the Birth of Human Rights". The Evolution of International Human Rights: Visions Seen (Second ed.). University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 33. ISBN 081221854X.
- ^ Benezet also stated that "Liberty is the right of every human creature, as soon as he breathes the vital air. And no human law can deprive him of the right which he derives from the law of nature." Grimm, Robert T., Anthony Benezet (1716-1784), Notable American Philanthropists: Biographies of Giving and Volunteering, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002, isbn 1573563404, pages 26-28
- ^ Vorenberg, Michael, Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment, Cambridge University Press, 2001, page 1
- ^ Martin, Waldo E. (1998). Brown v. Board of Education: a brief history with documents. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 3&231. ISBN 0312128118.
- ^ Brown v. Board of Education, 98 F. Supp. 797 (August 3, 1951).
- ^ a b "Barack Obama Becomes 44th President of the United States". America.gov. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- ^ a b Nineteenth Amendment, CRS/LII Annotated Constitution
- ^ a b Zippel, Kathrina, SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND TRANSNATIONAL RELATIONS:WHY THOSE CONCERNED WITH GERMAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS SHOULD CARE, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, 2002, page 6
- ^ Jasper, Margaret C., Employment Discrimination Law Under Title VII, Oxford University Press US, 2008, ISBN 0-19-533898-7
- ^ Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981)
- ^ Midgley, James, and Michelle Livermore, The Handbook of Social Policy, SAGE, 2008, ISBN 1-4129-5076-7, page 448
- ^ Blanck, Peter David and David L. Braddock, The Americans with Disabilities Act and the emerging workforce: employment of people with mental retardation, AAMR, 1998, ISBN 0-940898-52-7, page 3
- ^ Capozzi, Irene Y., The Civil Rights Act: background, statutes and primer, Nova Publishers, 2006, ISBN 1-60021-131-3, page 60-61
- ^ Lawson, Anna, Caroline Gooding, Disability rights in Europe: from theory to practice, Hart Publishing, 2005, ISBN 1-84113-486-4, page 89
- ^ Jones, Nancy Lee, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): overview, regulations and interpretations, Nova Publishers, 2003, ISBN 1-59033-663-1, pages 7-13
- ^ "Flashpoints USA: God and Country". PBS. 2007-01-27. Retrieved 2007-06-03.
- ^ HRC: Wisconsin Non-Discrimination Law Wisconsin law explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, public education, credit and public accommodations. Citations: WIS. STAT. §36.12, § 106.50, § 106.52§ 111.31, § 230.18, § 224.77.
- ^ Egelko, Bob (2009-02-04). "State high court to hear Prop. 8 case March 5". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- ^ "California Supreme Court filings pertaining to Proposition 8". Retrieved 2009-01-14.
- ^ McCarthy v. Arndstein, 266 U.S. 34 (1924)
- ^ "100 Documents That Shaped America:President Franklin Roosevelt's Annual Message (Four Freedoms) to Congress (1941)". U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, L.P.. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
- ^ Near v. Minnesota
- ^ a b "Dennis vs. United States". Audio Case Files. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
- ^ "U.S. Army clamping down on soldiers' blogs". Reuters (CNN). 2007-05-02. Archived from the original on 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
- ^ "Soldiers' Iraq Blogs Face Military Scrutiny". NPR. 2004-08-24. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
- ^ Borland, John (2001-02-26). "Battle lines harden over Net copyright". CNET. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
- ^ "Fatal Flaws in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002" (PDF). Brookings Institution. Archived from the original on 2007-06-16. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
- ^ Fareed Zakaria (September 4, 2010). "What America Has Lost". Newsweek.
- ^ "UN condemns US embargo on Cuba". BBC News. 12 Nov. 2007. Retrieved 14 Apr. 2009.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2455923.stm
- ^ Padgett, Tim. "Will Obama Open Up All U.S. Travel to Cuba?" Time Magazine. 14 Apr. 2009. Retrieved 14 Apr. 2009.
- ^ Scott Shane (July 1, 2010). "A.C.L.U. Sues Over No-Fly List". The New York Times.
- ^ Abbie Boudreau and Scott Zamost (July 14, 2010). "Thousands of sex offenders receive U.S. passports". CNN.
- ^ "COINTELPRO". PBS. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
- ^ Lisa Rein (October 8, 2008). "Md. Police Put Activists' Names On Terror Lists". The Washington Post.
- ^ a b http://www.ada.asn.au/defender/Winter%202004/Review%20-%20Supreme%20Command%20(Defender,%20Winter%202004).pdf
- ^ a b c Constitutional Dictatorship: Crisis Government in the Modern Democracies. Clinton Rossiter. 2002. Page X. ISBN 0-7658-0975-3
- ^ Dana Priest and William M. Arkin (December 20, 2010). "Monitoring America: How the U.S. Sees You". CBS News.
- ^ NWI Right to Organize
- ^ Azari-Rad, Hamid; Philips, Peter; Prus, Mark J. (2005). The economics of prevailing wage laws. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.. pp. 3.ISBN 0754632555.
- ^ United States of America Working conditions, Information about Working conditions in United States of America
- ^ A Curriculum of United States Labor History for Teachers
- ^ National Health Care for the Homeless Council. "Human Rights, Homelessness and Health Care".
- ^ American Medial Association. "Principles of medical ethics".
- ^ Overview - What is Not Covered, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- ^ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act
- ^ American College of Emergency Physicians Fact Sheet: EMTALA. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
- ^ Rowes, Jeffrey (2000). "EMTALA: OIG/HCFA Special Advisory Bulletin Clarifies EMTALA, American College of Emergency Physicians Criticizes It". Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 28 (1): 9092. Archived from the original on 2008-01-29. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
- ^ "The number of uninsured Americans is at an all-time high". CBPP. 2006-08-29. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
- ^ N. Gregory Mankiw (November 4, 2007). "Beyond Those Health Care Numbers". The New York Times.
- ^ "Lack of Insurance May Have Figured In Nearly 17,000 Childhood Deaths, Study Shows". John Hopkins Children's Center. October 29. 2009.
- ^ a b Lieberman, Jethro Koller (1999). A practical companion to the Constitution: how the Supreme Court has ruled on issues from abortion to zoning. University of California Press. p. 382. ISBN 0520212800.
- ^ Lieberman, Jethro Koller, A practical companion to the Constitution: how the Supreme Court has ruled on issues from abortion to zoning, University of California Press, 1999, ISBN 0-520-21280-0, page 6
- ^ Dan Malone (Fall 2005). Cruel and Unusual: Executing the mentally ill. Amnesty International Magazine.
- ^ a b "Abolish the death penalty". Amnesty International. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
- ^ "The Death Penalty and Deterrence". Amnestyusa.org. 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- ^ Sheila Berry (2000-09-22). "Death Penalty No Deterrent". Truthinjustice.org. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- ^ "John W. Lamperti | Capital Punishment". Math.dartmouth.edu. 1973-03-10. Retrieved 2009-05-23.[dead link]
- ^ "Discussion of Recent Deterrence Studies | Death Penalty Information Center". Deathpenaltyinfo.org. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- ^ Melissa S. Green (May 2005). "History of the Death Penalty & Recent Developments". Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
- ^ "Death Penalty Policy By State". Death Penalty Information Center. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
- ^ Rights Watch (1998). Death Penalty Issue Addressed by Special Rapporteur. XXXV. UN Chronicle.
- ^ Death Penalty Info
- ^ Death Penalty Info: Executions by Year
- ^ List of ind