Quitting the Human Rights Council is a Big Deal

Quitting the Human Rights Council is a Big Deal

This is just one of many moves to put the U.S. in global isolation.

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The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a subdivision of the United Nations that is dedicated to furthering the cause of human rights around the world. This is the body that is responsible for opening investigations into the suppression of human rights in all countries. Investigations are in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document includes thirty articles which lay out rights of a variety of types, including constitutional, economic, and social.

All of this sounds fairly fundamental and in accordance with the spirit of the founding of our country. However, just today, Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the UN, announced intentions of withdrawing from the UNHRC. Her reasoning? Haley named hypocrisy and bias against the state of Israel.

Withdrawing from the UNHRC comes right on the tail of President Trump's historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump's relationships with countries that are not American allies have blossomed; the same cannot be said for relationships with our allies. According to the Washington Post, Trump has imposed more tariffs on our allies than have been imposed upon the country of China. A pattern is beginning to develop. The United States has begun to alienate our allies in favor of relationships with countries that are not our allies and do not uphold the same ideals that the United States was founded on. The withdrawal from the UNHRC only further solidifies this.

However, the withdrawal is somewhat fitting. Recent headlines have been dominated by stories covering the treatment of children of illegal aliens that have crossed our border. Currently, due to the strict immigration policy, children of immigrants are being separated from their parents and held in detention centers. These centers have children being held in caged rooms, with foil blankets, and in some cases, no interpreter. Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has decried American immigration policies, describing the separation of these children as "unconscionable." Thus, the withdrawal of America from the UNHRC goes hand-in-hand with the immoral and unethical treatment of these children.

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The United States' membership on the UNHRC served as a powerful tool for foreign diplomacy. When a nation is involved within a specific council, this gives them an active position to advocate for policies that are in the interest of their nation. Withdrawing from the council will cause all roles that the United States plays with the UNHRC to be passive, making it far less likely for them to be in alignment with the US's interests.

There is very little that the US stands to gain from this move. The United States' decision to leave the UNHRC makes it the first country ever to leave the council of its own accord. The thought behind this is to invalidate the UN. Donald Trump is no fan of the UN, saying in the past that the body is "not a friend of democracy." Leaving the UNHRC only stands to set back the global fight for human rights.

As tenuous as the global human rights movement is, a superpower like the United States withdrawing from the UNHRC is more than a drop in the bucket for such advocacy.

Contact your representative here to communicate that you support human rights and membership in the UNHRC.

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Why Migrant Workers are Important

Migrants and immigrants who come to the United States to work on farms and other manual labor jobs are a part of our society whether you like it or not.
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I usually try not to get into politics, but watching Donald Trump give his nomination acceptance speech last night got me riled up. Among other topics, his discussion on immigration fueled a rage deep inside. In his speech he discussed the terror immigrants who have traveled to the u.s. have unleashed, he has normalized the stereo types that these immigrants are thieves, rapists and murderers.

Through my studies and personal experience a majority of these immigrants and migrants risk everything just to provide for their families, most cross the border with legal papers and those who don't still have someone (typically a legal American citizen) forging their papers for them to work on their farm. When you look at the problem of illegal immigration the problem isn't the immigrants themselves.

Without these immigrants working on farms, working for landscape businesses, contractors, builders and working in any kind of construction, what feeds us, shelters us, and helps us live a comfortable life just wouldn't exist as vastly as it does. When you tell us, "immigrants are taking our jobs!", you get us riled up and angry at the wrong people.... We are the ones giving up jobs. Lets face the facts how many of you would be willing to work in 90-100 degree heat, in the sun for 10+ hours a day 7 days a week, for meager minimum wage pay? Not many. The problem isn't the fact we don't have any jobs, the problem is that people are not willing to work in those brutal conditions, not when there are higher paying jobs, in air conditioned buildings.

Working in the greenhouse/garden center business I see it all the time, landscapers in the area can't seem to find many able bodied workers that are willing to put in the time and effort. Farm families just aren't big enough to have a single family run the farm they need help, and cheap labor is the only way they can afford it. People with degrees don't want to see their degree and money go to waste working long hours for small wages. Those on welfare (who are able bodied) don't want to give up their comfortable, paid for, life to work in a field, or get their hands dirty. Next time you want to call an immigrant a rapist or a murderer who is stealing your jobs, read the news and see how many young white males rape girls on college campuses and compare it to the number of immigrants who are on the news for rape. Look at the murder rate and see how many murders are committed by immigrant workers compared to U.S. born citizens. Then make your way to the market, walk around the produce section, I guarantee you a majority of the fruit and vegetables you see, were harvested by an immigrant, and without those immigrants, the shelves would look bare.

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Dear Immigrants, Don't Let Yourself Be Silenced

You deserve to be heard.

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Dear immigrants,

I write this not being from an immigrant family myself, but from a point of wanting to sympathize with you and let you know your struggles and sacrifices have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. We hear you and we commend you for your bravery.

All you want is to live a happy life in a place that provides you with the most opportunities to thrive and succeed, which your home country may not be able to do. Even if it means packing up your life and literally starting over somewhere completely foreign, you do it because you see the potential for the future for your family and children.

These choices are life-altering, and you put so much at risk by delving into the unknown. The melting pot that is the United States is quite the culture shock, made up ironically of a plethora of ethnic communities that all were immigrants once, too.

This can be comforting thinking that you are not alone in the immigrant aspect, but the process of assimilation can be completely overwhelming. You have seemed to create a happy mix of assimilation while contributing many admirable attributes of your own culture to society, which in my opinion is what makes the American culture so unique.

You have fought past the negative connotation that has been given to the word immigrant from the media, and continue to fight every day. You are an integral part of society and work so hard to chase your dreams and enrich society. The opposition and naysayers seem to be motivation, as you have successfully pursued rigorous degree plans at prestigious American universities, which is always something to be proud of. People may try to take away your strength mentally with hatred, but your education is one thing they can never take from you.

If you are reading this and you come from an immigrant family, I support you and respect you and all the hardships you may have endured. Whether it be to provide for children, siblings, or to pursue an education, remember to keep pushing past the struggles and celebrate all your victories. Although you may be thousands of miles from your family members, just imagine how proud they are of you.

If you are reading this and you do not come from an immigrant family, try to understand the immigrant community to the best of your ability, and think about everything they have been through. The United States was founded by immigrants, so it is very likely your family was in their position at one point. Take advantage of the rich worldly culture that surrounds us in our nation, you will be surprised by how much there is to learn from our international brothers and sisters.

I hope from this that one day we can all create a bright future united, for ourselves as individuals and the nation as a whole that we share.

Sincerely,

Carly Baysinger

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