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Our Asylum Representation Program, which recruits and trains lawyers to represent refugees on a pro bono basis, is one of the largest and most successful programs of its kind in the country. Its impact could hardly be more profound: liberty instead of oppression, and sometimes life instead of death, for thousands of people. And beginning with the Refugee Act of 1980, which we helped draft, we’ve been at the forefront of all major reforms to the asylum system. Photo: AP.

From Gitmo’s inception more than a decade ago, we’ve been out front making the case that the prison is a grave threat to both human rights and U.S. national security. President Trump wants to keep using it, but we’ll keep pushing until we succeed. Photo: AP.

To provide military leaders a vehicle to advocate counterterrorism policies that respect human rights, we’ve assembled a coalition of more than 65 retired admirals and generals. Because of its pivotal role in altering the national debate over torture, President Obama invited the coalition to stand with him as he signed the executive order banning the practice. We continue to work with the coalition to champion security policies that uphold the rule of law.

After 9-11, the U.S government embraced the use of torture, renouncing its global leadership role on this issue. Thanks in part to the work we did in partnership with military leaders and interrogation and intelligence professionals, President Obama signed an executive order banning torture. In time, the landmark Senate Intelligence Committee torture report was released, documenting a program that was far more brutal and widespread than Americans were led to believe. Since then, the Obama Administration and Congress have passed legislation to make loophole lawyering impossible and ensure that our country never tortures again.

Republicans and Democrats, religious groups and civil liberties groups, military officers and peace activists, prosecutors and defense attorneys: we’ve worked with all of them at key moments to forge progress and to advance our long-term project of building a broad pro-human rights constituency in the United States. Learn about our coalition of retired military leaders.

Hate crime violence not only alters, and sometimes ends, individual lives; it creates fear that can oppress entire communities. The U.S. government has credibility on this issue, which is should leverage by helping other governments put in place laws and systems that can effectively combat prevent hate crime.  Photo: AP.

Many countries have instituted blasphemy laws in the name of protecting religious freedom. But these laws are often used to persecute religious minorities and suppress freedom of expression. We press the U.S. government to vigorously oppose them, and why we led a successful effort at the U.N. to oppose a “defamations of religious” measure—a global blasphemy code. Photo: Corbis.

In both Europe and the United States, xenophobic rhetoric and hate crimes are on the rise. In Europe, xenophobia fueled by far-right parties is part of growing tide of hatred against migrants, Muslims, Jews, and Roma. We press the United States to work to combat hate both at home and abroad, instituting laws and practices to keep xenophobia at bay without violating free speech protections.

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