Beyond Borders with Nicole Ramos, Co-Hosted by Hughes Campos and Al Otro Lado

Recently, Hughes Campos LLC co-hosted a fundraiser for Al Otro Lado, a bi-national, direct legal services organization serving indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees, including asylum seekers on the U.S.-Mexico border. This event took place at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia and included prominent advocates for justice, such as attorneys Evan T.L. Hughes and Jose C. Campos, as well as Democratic Candidate for Philadelphia City Counsel At-Large, Fernando Treviño-Martinez.

Jose C. Campos, Partner at Hughes Campos LLC, is a long time supporter and volunteer with the Border Rights Project. Mr. Campos provided an introduction for Nicole Ramos, Esq., the Refugee Program Director of Al Otro Lado.

Ms. Ramos, in her capacity as Director of the Border Rights Project, works with asylum seekers in Tijuana, Mexico who are attempting to present themselves to U.S authorities. In addition to these direct services the Border Rights Project provides, Ms. Ramos also directs broader legislative, media, and legal advocacy efforts directed at challenging the systemic human rights violations committed by state actors at the U.S. border. Aside from her role as director, Ms. Ramos provides on-the-ground technical assistance, conducts country conditions research, and provides expert declarations to U.S. attorneys with case needs in Mexico.

According to the United Nations 1951 Convention, a refugee is a person who has a “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.” Congress adopted this definition into U.S. Immigration Law in its Refugee Act of 1980.

Through a conversation with Ms. Ramos, those in attendance heard first-hand about the rampant and wide-spread human rights violations occurring at the U.S.-Mexico border and the tragedies that many refugees regularly face in contravention with their status as legal asylum seekers. Ms. Ramos explained: “Now, more than ever, the protection of human rights at the U.S.-Mexico border is a critical mission as the United States government seeks to obliterate the right to seek asylum, and each day brings new reports of the multitude of ways that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers violate the rights of asylum seekers at the U.S. port of entry and those in their custody.” Ms. Ramos spoke about the systemic barriers put in place, particularly waiting periods which leave asylum seekers from South America stranded in Tijuana for hours or days until they are able to present themselves. She also spoke about instances of Border Patrol officers dismissing legal asylum seekers, leaving them without recourse to present themselves to U.S. officials through the appropriate channels, and other violations of asylum law in practice.

Beyond the heartbreaking experiences of asylum seekers painted for those in attendance, Ms. Ramos recognized and thanked the other Program Directors, volunteers, and supporters nationwide.

To learn more about Al Otro Lado or find out how you can volunteer, please visit their website.

If you have concerns about your immigration status, or any other immigration matters, contact the immigration lawyers at Hughes Law at (215) 454-6680.

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