Genocide Prevention

           Throughout this course, we examined how the Trump Administration has engaged with the Ten Stages of Genocide outlined by Genocide Watch President Gregory Stanton. As we previously discussed, the Administration has not reached the Extermination Stage, and therefore cannot engage with the Denial Stage. The purpose of this section of the course is to evaluate genocide prevention methods, which may counteract any progression by the Trump Administration in this process. As of today, the people of the United States still have the opportunity to intercede the Administration’s path towards genocide. In this section, we will review the genocide prevention measures outlined by Gregory Stanton for each stage, as immigration advocacy groups operating in the United States.

Stage One Classification:

          The main preventive measure at this early stage is to develop universalistic institutions that transcend ethnic or racial divisions, that actively promote tolerance and understanding, and that promote classifications that transcend the divisions. The Roman Catholic Church could have played this role in Rwanda, had it not been riven by the same ethnic cleavages as Rwandan society. Promotion of a common language in countries like Tanzania has also promoted transcendent national identity. This search for common ground is vital to early prevention of genocide.

Stage Two Symbolism:

          To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be legally forbidden (swastikas in Germany) as can hate speech. Group marking like gang clothing or tribal scarring can be outlawed, as well. The problem is that legal limitations will fail if unsupported by popular cultural enforcement. Though Hutu and Tutsi were forbidden words in Burundi until the 1980’s, code words replaced them. If widely supported, however, denial of symbolization can be powerful, as it was in Bulgaria, where the government refused to supply enough yellow badges and at least eighty percent of Jews did not wear them, depriving the yellow star of its significance as a Nazi symbol for Jews.

Stage Three Discrimination:

          Prevention against discrimination means full political empowerment and citizenship rights for all groups in a society. Discrimination on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, race or religion should be outlawed. Individuals should have the right to sue the state, corporations, and other individuals if their rights are violated.

Stage Four Dehumanization:

           To combat dehumanization, incitement to genocide should not be confused with protected speech. Genocidal societies lack constitutional protection for countervailing speech, and should be treated differently than democracies. Local and international leaders should condemn the use of hate speech and make it culturally unacceptable. Leaders who incite genocide should be banned from international travel and have their foreign finances frozen. Hate radio stations should be jammed or shut down, and hate propaganda banned. Hate crimes and atrocities should be promptly punished.

Stage Five Organization:

          To combat this stage, membership in genocidal militias should be outlawed. Their leaders should be denied visas for foreign travel and their foreign assets frozen. The UN should impose arms embargoes on governments and citizens of countries involved in genocidal massacres, and create commissions to investigate violations, as was done in post-genocide Rwanda, and use national legal systems to prosecute those who violate such embargos.

Stage Six Polarization:

          Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders or assistance to human rights groups. Assets of extremists may be seized, and visas for international travel denied to them. Coups d’état by extremists should be opposed by international sanctions. Vigorous objections should be raised to disarmament of opposition groups. If necessary they should be armed to defend themselves.

Stage Seven Preparation:

          Prevention of preparation may include arms embargos and commissions to enforce them. It should include prosecution of incitement and conspiracy to commit genocide, both crimes under Article 3 of the Genocide Convention.

Stage Eight Persecution:

          At this stage, a Genocide Emergency must be declared. If the political will of the great powers, regional alliances, or U.N. Security Council or the U.N. General Assembly can be mobilized, armed international intervention should be prepared, or heavy assistance provided to the victim group to prepare for its self-defense. Humanitarian assistance should be organized by the U.N. and private relief groups for the inevitable tide of refugees to come.

 Stage Nine Extermination:

          At this stage, only rapid and overwhelming armed intervention can stop genocide. Real safe areas or refugee escape corridors should be established with heavily armed international protection. (An unsafe “safe” area is worse than none at all.) The U.N. Standing High Readiness Brigade, EU Rapid Response Force, or regional forces — should be authorized to act by the U.N. Security Council if the genocide is small. For larger interventions, a multilateral force authorized by the U.N. should intervene. If the U.N. Security Council is paralyzed, regional alliances must act anyway under Chapter VIII of the U.N. Charter or the UN General Assembly should authorize action under the Uniting for Peace Resolution GARes. 330 (1950), which has been used 13 times for such armed intervention. Since 2005, the international responsibility to protect transcends the narrow interests of individual nation states. If strong nations will not provide troops to intervene directly, they should provide the airlift, equipment, and financial means necessary for regional states to intervene.

Stage Ten Denial:

             The best response to denial is punishment by an international tribunal or national courts. There the evidence can be heard, and the perpetrators punished. Tribunals like the Yugoslav, Rwanda or Sierra Leone Tribunals, the tribunal to try the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, or the International Criminal Court may not deter the worst genocidal killers. But with the political will to arrest and prosecute them, some may be brought to justice.  When possible, local proceedings should provide forums for hearings of the evidence against perpetrators who were not the main leaders and planners of a genocide, with opportunities for restitution and reconciliation. The Rwandan gaçaça trials are one example. Justice should be accompanied by education in schools and the media about the facts of a genocide, the suffering it caused its victims, the motivations of its perpetrators, and the need for restoration of the rights of its victims.

Immigration Advocacy Groups in the United States

           The most effective tactic to prevent genocide is to educate and mobilize those who may be bystanders to speak out against atrocities against targeted groups. Below is a list of resources currently fighting for the rights of immigrants in the United States. As you review the organizations, contemplate how you or those you know could engage with these resources to contribute to the combat against the dehumanization and criminalization of Hispanic immigrants by the Trump Administration.  

Immigration Legal Assistance Organizations

Immigration Advocates Network 

          The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), a program of Pro Bono Net, is dedicated to expanding access to immigration legal resources and information through collaboration and technology. IAN was created in 2007 by leading immigrants' rights organizations, to increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and strengthen the capacity of organizations serving them. We create our own tools, build platforms for others, and work with partners to harness the power of technology and collective action to better support immigrants and their advocates.

National Immigration Law Center

           Established in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is one of the leading organizations in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of immigrants with low income.

American Immigration Council

          The American Immigration Council works to strengthen America by shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration and by working toward a more fair and just immigration system that opens its doors to those in need of protection and unleashes the energy and skills that immigrants bring.

1. We operate a non-traditional pro bono model of legal services that directly represents immigrant mothers and children detained at the 2,400-bed South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. The Dilley Pro Bono Project, a local partner in the Immigration Justice Campaign, recruits and organizes groups of volunteers to assist the pro bono legal team at the immigration detention center. The vast majority of families detained here are fleeing extreme violence in Central America and elsewhere and are seeking asylum in the United States.

2. We use the courts to demand a fair process for immigrants. The Council works to achieve justice and fairness for immigrants under the law.  The Council is highly respected for its willingness and ability to bring cutting-edge lawsuits that hold the government accountable for unlawful conduct and restrictive interpretations and implementation of the law. 

3. We use the facts to educate the public on the important and enduring contributions that immigrants make to America. The Council is a national leader in challenging the myths and misinformation that too often dominate the political and public debate around immigration. Through research and analysis, the Council promotes the development of fair and rational immigration policies that reflect fundamental American values. 

4. We use communications strategies to change hearts and minds on the issue of immigration.  We employ audience-centered communication strategies and community engagement to change the way people think about and act toward immigrants and immigration.  Our work is informed by multiple disciplines and grounded in the values of inclusion. 

5. We use cultural exchange to connect American businesses with the global market of ideas and innovation. The Council sponsors interns and trainees for programs that secure the prosperity and cultural richness of a globally engaged society. Our experts provide direct support and training to participants, host communities, and attorneys involved in the Exchange Visitor Program. 

Families for Freedom

            Founded in September 2002, Families for Freedom is a New York-based multi-ethnic human rights organization by and for families facing and fighting deportation. We are immigrant prisoners (detainees), former immigrant prisoners, their loved ones, or individuals at risk of deportation. We come from dozens of countries, across continents. FFF seeks to repeal the laws that are tearing apart our homes and neighborhoods; and to build the power of immigrant communities as communities of color, to provide a guiding voice in the growing movement for immigrant rights as human rights. FFF has evolved into an organizing center against deportation. We are a source of support, education, and campaigns for directly affected families and communities -- locally and nationally.

Groups for Human Rights along the Southern Border 

South Texas Human Rights Center

          The South Texas Human Rights Center is a community based center dedicated to the promotion, protection, defense and exercise of human rights and dignity in South Texas.

  •  STHRC is the only human-rights effort in Texas that works to prevent migrant deaths through advocacy, organizing and public-education that targets the root causes of regional migration.

  • Placed over 150 water stations at the South Texas/Mexico border with plans to open 200 more by 2020.

  • Systematizing forensic data collection of unidentified human remains and mapping unknown graves in 18 Texas border counties.

No More Deaths

          No More Deaths is a humanitarian organization based in southern Arizona. We began in 2004 in the form of a coalition of community and faith groups, dedicated to stepping up efforts to stop the deaths of migrants in the desert and to achieving the enactment of a set of Faith-Based Principles for Immigration Reform. We later developed into an autonomous project. Since 2008 we have been an official ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson.


          The mission of No More Deaths is to end death and suffering in the Mexico–US borderlands through civil initiative: people of conscience working openly and in community to uphold fundamental human rights. Our work embraces the Faith-Based Principles for Immigration Reform and focuses on the following themes:

1. Direct aid that extends the right to provide humanitarian assistance

2. Witnessing and responding

3. Consciousness raising

4. Global movement building

5. Encouraging humane immigration policy


          Our volunteer-based projects address different dimensions of the suffering caused by current policies toward migration, immigration, and border policing. Please contact us if you would like to get involved in one of these projects or would like more information.


          No More Deaths maintains a year-round humanitarian presence in the deserts of southwestern Arizona. We work in the remote corridors into which migration has been pushed, where people are walking 30 to 80 miles. Volunteers hike the trails and leave water, food, socks, blankets, and other supplies. Under the direction of our medical team, volunteers provide emergency first-aid treatment to individuals in distress.


          In northern Sonora, we provide phone calls and first aid to deportees and northbound migrants. We have an informal check-cashing service for those deported with an uncashable prison check. To those planning to cross the desert, we distribute simple tools for reducing damage to health.


          Volunteers research, document, and expose patterns of abuse against people crossing the border at the hands of Border Patrol and other government agencies. We have published three reports documenting abuse in short-term Border Patrol custody: Crossing the Line (2008), Culture of Cruelty (2011), and Shakedown (2014). We are currently working on the third installment of the report series Disappeared: How US Border Enforcement Agencies are Fueling a Missing Persons Crisis, a collaborative project with La Coalicion de Derechos Humanos.


           Keep Tucson Together is a biweekly legal clinic that works side by side with community members applying for status or facing deportation and that trains participants to help each other through the immigration court process. KTT also works with the national movement to give sanctuary to those facing removal, and to stop the raids and deportations.


          We minister to incarcerated migrants and their families by helping them recover their personal effects from the US Border Patrol, belongings that would otherwise be lost. We pick them up, safeguard them, and mail them home.


          In partnership with the Missing Migrant Project of La Coalición de Derechos Humanos, we respond to emergency calls and mobilize search teams when Border Patrol and local law enforcement refuse to respond.


          In coalition with People Helping People, a grassroots campaign in Arivaca, we operate the Arivaca Humanitarian Aid Office, which offers resources and organizing space to borderlands-community residents. We work in coalition with border communities to resist militarization.

Humane Borders Fronteras Compasivas

          Humane Borders, motivated by faith and the universal need for kindness, maintains a system of water stations in the Sonoran Desert on routes used by migrants making the perilous journey here on foot. Our primary mission is to save desperate people from a horrible death by dehydration and exposure and to create a just and humane environment in the borderlands. We locate our water stations on government and privately owned land with permission from the landowners.

         Founded in the summer of the year 2000, Humane Borders, Inc. is a non-profit corporation run almost exclusively by volunteers. Donations to Humane Borders are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law, and we depend upon gifts from individuals and religious groups of all faiths to continue our work.


Colibri Center for Human Rights

           The Colibrí Center for Human Rights is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization with the mission to end disappearance and uphold human dignity along the U.S.-Mexico border. Colibrí works in solidarity with the families of the disappeared to find truth and justice through forensic science, investigation, and community organizing. Colibrí bears witness to this unjust loss of life, accompanying families in their search and holding space for families to build community, share stories, and raise consciousness about this human rights crisis.

            Our work approaches the crisis on the border through a human rights perspective, focusing on three main program areas: The Missing Migrant Project & DNA Program, The Family Network (La Red de Familiares), and Historias y Recuerdos. 

Groups for Immigrant Rights & Migrant Support

Angry Tias & Abuelas

The Angry Tias and Abuelas’ mission is to provide basic necessities for health and safety, and support for human dignity and justice, to individuals and families seeking asylum at our borders and as they embark on their journeys to designated destinations in the US.

Our purpose, based on this mission, is to deliver the following services and provisions: 

  1. Financial and labor support to our local shelters

  1. transportation to and from bus stations, airports, shelters

  1. emergency food, water, clothing, toiletries, and other necessities for comfort

            In addition to information about basic human rights and legal rights, to those waiting for entry onto and across international bridges; similar and emergency provisions (including cash funds where needed) and information regarding rights, as well as general information about travel and other needs, to individuals released from ICE detention and delivered to bus depots or shelters in Brownsville and in McAllen; financial support to refugee shelters in the RGV and selected immigrant shelters in Matamoros and Reynosa.

Derechos Humanos

           Derechos Humanos is a grassroots organization that promotes the human and civil rights of all migrants regardless of their immigration status. Consequently, we fight the militarization of our southern border home and combat the discrimination and human rights abuses of both our citizen and non-citizen brothers and sisters.

           In the context of an increasingly militarized border and the criminalization of immigration, Derechos Humanos works to empower those most directly impacted to create change and promote justice, challenging the borders that seek to divide us.

Our goals include:

1. Strengthening the capacity of the border & urban communities to exercise their rights and participate in public policy decisions

2. Increasing public awareness of the magnitude of human rights abuses, deaths and assaults at the border resulting from U.S. policy

3. Seeking changes in government policies that result in human suffering because of the militarization of the U.S. border region

The Border Network for Human Rights

            The Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) is one of the leading immigration reform and human rights advocacy organizations in the United States. Based in El Paso, Texas, the BNHR has a membership of more than 1,000 families, or close to 7,000 individuals, in West Texas and Southern New Mexico. It also helps organize other civic-minded groups along the border and is the force behind the Texas-wide Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance.

            The BNHR’s mission is to organize border communities through human rights education and to mobilize our members to ignite change in policy and practice. The BNHR has three ongoing campaigns -Comprehensive immigration reform; Accountable and responsible border policy; and Protection and Promotion of civil and human rights.

            The strength of the BNHR lies in its grassroots organizing and its willingness to work within the system to combat human rights and civil rights abuses, and to bring about change to our broken immigration system. BNHR members can speak firsthand of the suffering of immigrants under current laws, and now have the tools to advocate for reform.

            The BNHR is currently participating in the nation-wide effort to push once again for a comprehensive immigration reform by educating elected officials at every levels of government about the needs of border communities. BNHR members want the border to have a voice in this important debate because the consequences of immigration policy are felt on the border every day.

United We Dream

            United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led community in the country. We create welcoming spaces for young people – regardless of immigration status – to support, engage, and empower them to make their voice heard and win!

            We have an online reach of over 4 million and are made up of over 400,000 members as well as 5 statewide branches and over 100 local groups across 28 states. Over 60% of our members are womxn and 20% identify as LGBTQ. We are made up of fearless youth fighting to improve the lives of ourselves, our families and our communities. Our vision is a society which celebrates our diversity and we believe in leading a multi-ethnic, intersectional path to get there.

           Whether we’re organizing in the streets, building cutting edge technology systems, opening doors for LGBTQ immigrant youth, clearing pathways to education, stopping deportations or creating alliances across social movements, United We Dream puts undocumented immigrant youth in the driver’s seat to strategize, innovate and win.

Southern Border Communities Coalition

            Formed in March 2011, the Southern Border Communities Coalition brings together 60 organizations from San Diego, CA to Brownsville, TX.As the government continues to pour more and more resources into the U.S. Border Patrol without providing appropriate accountability and oversight, border communities have borne the brunt of these policies, which have adversely impacted businesses, our residents’ human rights, the environment and international relations.

Southern Border organizations and community leaders have come together to:

  1. Ensure that border enforcement policies and practices are accountable and fair, respect human dignity and human rights, and prevent the loss of life in the region.

  1. Promote policies and solutions that improve the quality of life in border communities.

  1. Support rational and humane immigration reform policies affecting the border region.

Abolish ICE Advocacy Groups

Movimiento Cosecha

            Cosecha is a nonviolent movement fighting for permanent protection, dignity, and respect for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Our name, "harvest" in Spanish, honors the long tradition of farmworker organizing and the present-day pain of the thousands of undocumented workers whose labor continues to feed the country. Committed to winning real victories for our community, Cosecha believes in using non-cooperation to leverage the power of immigrant labor and consumption and force a meaningful shift in public opinion.

             Our movement emerged from a year and a half of strategic planning by immigrant rights and Dreamer organizers who have watched politicians battle for our votes, only to stall legislation year after year. For this reason, Cosecha doesn't rely on traditional tactics or dance with political parties. Instead, we're going on the offensive and calling for a series of strikes and boycotts to show that this country cannot function without immigrants. Our campaigns are multifaceted but all focus on building the power of the immigrant community and activating the public to our support strategy and cause. 

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Rise and Resist

           Rise and Resist was formed in response to the 2016 U.S. election. We are a direct action group made up of both new and experienced activists committed to opposing, disrupting, and defeating any government act that threatens democracy, equality, and our civil liberties. We work collaboratively, creatively, respectfully, and with all the joy we can muster for the health of the people and the planet.

            We reject State sanctioned violence, bigotry, and systemic discrimination in all its forms, including those directed at people because of their disability, gender identity/expression, immigration status, race, religion, sex, and sexuality. We condemn all the oppressive policies that define the current government regime. We strive to intentionally honor the complex challenges we face. Join us in fighting for justice!

Never Again Action

             This past June, 10 Jews from across the country got on the phone to talk about organizing a Jewish response to the concentration camps at the border and ICE’s daily violence against our immigrant neighbors.  We knew from our own history what happens when a government targets, dehumanizes and strips an entire group of people of all their civil and human rights. We recognized the signs, and we could feel it in our guts — the words that we learned in Hebrew school and from our grandparents: “Never Again.” We knew that we needed to act. It turned out that tens of thousands of other people were ready to act with us. Jews, allies, and our immigrant partners like Movimiento Cosecha took to the streets around the country, and Never Again Action went from a hashtag to a movement. 

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American Friends Service Committee

        We work both to address the economic and political drivers of migration in multiple countries and to support migrant and refugee communities. Our immigration programs include legal services, training, human rights monitoring, humanitarian relief, immigrant-led organizing, and advocacy for humane immigration policies.

Last modified: Monday, 2 Mar 2020, 23:19