Aman Wadud, a human rights lawyer in Assam, has argued many cases in front of foreigners tribunals and tells TIME and The New York Times that since the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) took control of the state in 2016, rulings have “become much more arbitrary.” Wadud says courts have routinely declared people to be foreigners even when applicants provided more than a dozen documents, where previously four or five would suffice. “People must also know the basic rights they have – that everyone should be treated equally, that the constitution guarantees the right to life and personal liberty,” says Wadud, co-founded of the Justice and Liberty Initiative,” which provides pro bono legal aid to people on citizenship cases and is spearheading the constitution centers. “We are trying to build infrastructure where people have access to justice.”
Wadud is a recipient of a scholarship from the Fulbright Foreign Student Program and is currently pursuing an LL.M. (Master of Laws) in Human Rights and Comparative Constitutional Law, with special emphasis on immigration law, at Texas Law.