Topic

immigrant rights

220 petitions

This petition won 4 days ago

Petition to US Congress, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, California State House, California State Senate, President of the United States, California Governor

US Congress, Department of Homeland Security: Legalize stateless persons in the United States

The United States is home to estimated 4,000 stateless persons who live in limbo and have their human rights violated, and a lot of restrictions imposed on them since they are citizens of nowhere. There are two very important documents that protect stateless persons, UN 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and UN 1961 Convention Related to the Reduction of Statelessness, and U.S. is not a signatory member of any of those. Statelessness is crime against humanity and we have to do everything in our power to protect and prevent statelessness from happening. Most people take passports for granted but stateless persons who consider “unwanted”, “unrecognized” in our society. We tend to believe that statelessness does not exist in our country because all media shifted their attention to undocumented immigrants without covering statelessness issue. Domestically, we also promote statelessness by allowing US citizens to renounce their citizenship on voluntary basis even though they do not have any other citizenship or permanent residency from other nation. This should not be happening. This is not protection against statelessness but promotion of statelessness on voluntary basis. This video was shot by UNHCR highlighting the issue of statelessness in the United States. I want to share my story with you as exactly how it had happened to me. On December 29, 2011 it will be one year since I got stuck in US territory of American Samoa and no actions were taken so far. Just imagine yourself in the situation when you travel on vacation somewhere and were not allowed to return back to your home forever. Imagine not having citizenship and not being protected by any government; no consulate or embassy to run to and seek help or assistance because you are “nobody”.

Mikhail Sebastian
101 supporters
This petition won 12 months ago

Petition to US Embassy in Kabul, US Department of State

Help save Ehsan, the interpreter in Afghanistan who helped US troops

Thanks to a previous Change.org petition, I was able to help Janis Shinwari, my interpreter while I served as a base intelligence officer in Afghanistan, secure a visa to resettle in the US after he was stuck for years in bureaucratic red tape. Now I need your help again to save my other interpreter, Ehsan.  While serving in Iraq in 2008, I learned that the help of local Afghan nationals like Janis and Ehsan was critical to our effort. Thousands of Afghan nationals have served as interpreters to assist US troops in communicating in real time and providing a cultural link between the troops and Afghan nationals. It wasn’t until after my service, when I learned that Janis’ life was in danger as he was placed on a Taliban kill list because of his work to help US troops, that I truly understand how much these brave individuals put on the line. Every day, many of these interpreters live in fear that they or their families will be harmed in retaliation for their efforts -- a very real and deadly threat. Like Janis, Ehsan is an amazing man. During our time together, Ehsan helped my unit and I interdict over 7 tons (millions of dollars worth) of drugs used by the Taliban to fund their attacks. The Taliban know this and as a result placed him on their kill list. Without our help, he could die.  Luckily, the US operates a specific visa program for Afghan nationals who serve as interpreters who want to relocate to the US -- and there is a similar program for interpreters in Iraq. The program was created through legislation in 2009 (the Afghan Allies Protection Act), but thousands of interpreters are still waiting for their visas. The process is incredibly complicated for applicants and bureaucrat hold ups leave interpreters waiting in dangerous situations for months or even years. Now, both programs are set to expire in the coming months unless Congress takes action to renew them. When my previous campaign took off, Janis’ application started moving faster and now Janis has his visa to safety. I don't think I've ever heard him as happy as when he finally received his visa. Ehsan, my other interpreter, heard all about our efforts to help Janis and contacted me begging that I do for him what I did for Janis. Ehsan submitted his application to the US Embassy in Kabul in June 2012 but he’s still waiting for his visa. The Embassy and the State Department have the power to help Ehsan leave Afghanistan and start a life in a safe place. Together, we can help make that happen.

Matt Zeller
116,630 supporters
This petition won 4 years ago

Petition to US Embassy in Kabul, US Department of State

Save my Afghan interpreter

When I served as an Embedded Combat Adviser in Afghanistan, my interpreter, Janis Shinwari, saved my life. Now I need you to help me save Janis’ life. In 2008, Janis and I were caught in the middle of a firefight. He took swift action when a combatant shot at me. But beyond that specific incident, Janis served a critical role for me and all of the other troops serving in Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghan nationals have served as interpreters to assist US troops in communicating in real time and providing a cultural link between the troops and Afghan nationals.  However, because they are so visible in their communities, many interpreters have become targets for violence. Janis knows for a fact that the Taliban has added his name to a kill list and he is in constant danger. For the moment, he is living safely on an army base, but he needs to leave the country immediately to ensure his safety and that of his family. The US operates a specific visa program for Afghan nationals who serve as interpreters who want to relocate to the US -- and there is a similar program for interpreters in Iraq. The program was created through legislation in 2009 (the Afghan Allies Protection Act), but thousands of interpreters like Janis are still waiting for their visas. The process is incredibly complicated for applicants and bureaucrat hold ups leave interpreters waiting in dangerous situations for months or even years. Now, both programs are weeks away from expiring unless Congress takes action to renew them. Janis began his application for a US Visa in 2011. Today, he is still waiting for the US Embassy in Kabul to issue him the visa he has earned. The Embassy and the State Department have the power to help Janis leave Afghanistan and start a life in a safe place. I know first hand how critical interpreters like Janis are to our troops serving overseas. It’s time that the US do the right thing and help Janis escape the dangerous situation he’s in because of the work that he did for our country.  Please join me in calling on the US Embassy in Kabul and the State Department to help save Janis life by issuing his visa immediately.

Matt Zeller
113,435 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Shaker Heights City Council

Make Shaker Heights a Sanctuary City

As a group of Shaker Heights residents from diverse backgrounds, we are asking our City Council to join San Francisco, Cincinnati, Columbus, and dozens of other municipalities across the country by declaring Shaker Heights a Sanctuary City. The full text of this resolution can be found below. If you currently reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio, please join us in supporting this resolution by signing this petition and sharing it with your friends and neighbors. *** A resolution to ensure Shaker Heights remains a welcoming and inclusive city for all immigrants to live, work, or visit by declaring Shaker Heights a Sanctuary City; and requesting the Administration of Shaker Heights adopt policies that further the City’s role as a Sanctuary City. Whereas on Wednesday January 25, 2017, the President of the United States issued an Executive Order, announcing a massive expansion of interior immigration enforcement directing Department of Homeland Security personnel to arrest, apprehend, and initiate enforcement actions against “any alien whom an immigration officer has probable cause to believe” has violated immigration laws; Whereas on Friday January 29, 2017, the President of the United States issued an Executive Order temporarily banning entry into the United States for migrants and legal residents of the United States from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Libya and Yemen, and for migrants and refugees from across the globe; Whereas these Executive Orders are anathema to our shared values as a nation of immigrants; Whereas in Shaker Heights, as in the United States, our success depends on making sure that all residents feel safe and welcome; Whereas Shaker Heights always has been and continues to be a welcoming city to everyone, including immigrants; Whereas the Shaker Heights City School District has a long and proud history of valuing and supporting diversity in its students and its teachings, committing to graduating students with a knowledge of a global and multicultural society; and Whereas this Council and the citizens of Shaker Heights understand that by recognizing the contributions all of us make to create a vibrant culture and a growing economy, we make our city, and our country, more prosperous and inclusive; now, therefore, be it Resolved, by the Shaker Heights City Council of Ohio, that: 1. the City of Shaker Heights declares itself to be a sanctuary city; 2. the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department shall not stop, question, interrogate, investigate, or arrest an individual based solely on actual or suspected immigration or citizenship status; 3. the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department shall not inquire about the immigration status of an individual, including a crime victim, a witness, or a person who calls or approaches the police seeking assistance, unless necessary to investigate criminal activity by that individual; 4. personnel of the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department shall not inquire about or request proof of immigration status or citizenship when providing services or benefits, except where the receipt of such services or benefits are contingent upon one’s immigration or citizenship status or where inquiries are otherwise lawfully required by federal, state, or local laws; 5. the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department shall limit the information collected from individuals concerning immigration or citizenship status to that necessary to perform department duties and shall prohibit the use or disclosure of such information in any manner that violates federal, state, or local law; 6. the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department may not use city or department monies, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to investigate, enforce, or assist in the investigation or enforcement of any federal program requiring registration of individuals on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or national origin; 7. individuals in the custody of the Police Department  of Shaker Heights shall be subject to the same booking, processing, release, and transfer procedures, policies, and practices of the department, regardless of actual or suspected citizenship or immigration status; 8. the Police Department of the City of Shaker Heights shall not perform the functions of a federal immigration officer or otherwise engage in the enforcement of federal immigration law;      9. the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department shall refuse any request from a state or federal agency that is not accompanied by a judicial warrant to determine a resident’s or visitor’s immigration status solely for the purpose of enforcing federal immigration laws; and 10. the City of Shaker Heights and its Police Department shall refuse any requests that that are extensions of any federal immigration police enforcement actions and shall not enter into any agreements to carry out federal enforcement actions, but leave such actions to federal authorities.

Brandon Cornuke
544 supporters