USA: Advocating human rights in the southern border of Texas

As part of the working group on Human Rights and the Border Wall, students wrote a memoexploring possible areas for human rights advocacy in front of the Inter-American Commissionon behalf of a coalition of border residents opposed to the construction of the wall between theU.S. and Mexico. In June 2008, the UT Working Group published a series of papersdocumenting and analyzing the human rights impact of the construction by the United States of awall on the Texas/Mexico border. The Working Group submitted these papers during a publichearing convened by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Clinic students wrote apaper which explored the violations on the part of the United States Government of the right toproperty and non-discrimination held by residents of the Texas Rio Grande Valley. As part of itscontinuous work on this issue, the Clinic filed a complaint with the UN Committee on theElimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) alleging the discriminatory impact that theconstruction of the border wall has on indigenous peoples and poor Latino residents. In March 2013 CERD accepted the complaint and “requested that the U.S. provide updated and detailed
information with regard to the impact of the Texas-Mexico border wall on the rights of indigenous communities, and any measures envisaged to reverse the negative impact of the construction of the border wall.”  In spring 2014, students submitted a Shadow Report to CERD responding to the U.S. Government’s unsatisfactory periodic report, sent policy papers to over 25 government contacts, and sent a press release to over 50 journalists.

Visit the Texas-Mexico Border Wall Working Group page for more info.

Clinic students, from left to right, Laura Schurr, Julia Furlong, and Ana Pecoraro walk with Dr. Margo Tamez (right) along the border wall.
Clinic students, from left to right, Laura Schurr, Julia Furlong, and Ana Pecoraro walk with Dr. Margo Tamez (right) along the border wall during November 2013.

 

* Project initiated by students enrolled in the Fall 2008 Human Rights Advocacy class, the predecessor to the Human Rights Clinic.