"We stress that all states — whether they are countries of origin, transit, or destination — must protect the human rights of migrants in their territories.”
“The United States has long welcomed immigrants,” U.S. Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall said recently at the 25th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. “Many Americans have immigrant ancestors in their recent past . . . Immigrants have made enormous and positive contributions to our cultural diversity and our economic growth and development . . . The United States is committed to protecting the human rights of migrants in our country, regardless of their immigration status. In this vein, we stress that all states — whether they are countries of origin, transit, or destination — must protect the human rights of migrants in their territories.”
More refugees are resettled in the United States than in all other countries of the world combined, and more than one million American citizens are currently living outside of the U.S. borders. The United States takes in 20% of the world’s immigrants, and 12% of the U.S. population is foreign-born.
“Protecting [the human] rights and ensuring the humane treatment of regular and irregular migrants . . . and securing one’s borders and enforcing immigration laws . . . are not inconsistent goals - they can and must be pursued in tandem,” Undersecretary Sewall said. “Migration policies should protect the rights and respect the dignity of migrants while also preserving states’ abilities to enforce their immigration laws and ensure the safe, orderly, and humane movement of persons into and out of their countries.”
The United States remains committed to the complementary initiatives within the United Nations system and in other forums that address the human rights of migrants, including the International Dialogue on Migration, the Global Forum on Migration and Development, and the many intergovernmental agencies that address these rights, such as the International Organization on Migration and the International Labor Organization.
“We encourage states to fully engage and participate in meaningful discussions . . . to help advance the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants,” Undersecretary Sewall said. “[We] urge states to make significant efforts to include the perspectives of labor, civil society, and other stakeholders.”