HRSP (Human Rights and Special Prosecution, under the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice) launched an initiative 15 months ago to ensure that immigrants living in our communities know that justice might be served in the United States for atrocities that happened long ago and far away. To that end, HRSP has hosted, together with U.S. Attorney’s Offices, FBI and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), meetings throughout the United States with immigrant and refugee service providers. At the meetings, the Department of Justice explains that victims and witnesses of persecu-tion that occurred overseas can report those events to the U.S. government. The meetings bring together stakeholders, including refugee resettlement professionals, immigration attor-neys, NGOs, and representatives from local law enforcement and state agencies to brain-storm about ways to work collaboratively to provide for the safety of refugees while seek-ing accountability for human rights violators.
The latest session, co-hosted by U.S. Attorney Wilfredo A. Ferrer for the Southern District of Florida, took place on November 3 in Miami and was entitled “No Safe Haven: Keeping Immigrants Safe From Human Rights Violators.” As U.S. Attorney Ferrer stated: “We know that human rights violators remain among us in our community – and that is why we are here today. We cannot bring human rights violators to justice and ensure that victims feel safe in their community without you; we must expand our reach to combat human rights violations with our community partners.”
During the roundtable held in Brooklyn on September 20, 2016, U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers (EDNY) stated that he hoped the meeting would “foster dialogue between law enforcement and members of the community we serve so they can better understand the challenges of these cases and what tools law enforcement has to assist in the pursuit of justice.”
Prior roundtables occurred in Chicago, Newark (NJ), Baltimore, and Brooklyn – all cities with large immigrant populations. The next roundtable, scheduled for April in Seattle, will be co-hosted with the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington. Additional roundtables are currently being planned. Since the initiative launched, HRSP has received many actionable tips, including several that led to active investigations. Reminder – victims and witnesses with information about persons who committed atrocities overseas can report here: HRSPtips@usdoj.gov or toll-free 1-800-813-5863, or through the HSI tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or HSI’s online tip form www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp. For more information about HRSP and our outreach efforts, please visit https://www.justice.gov/criminal-hrsp.