Washington, D.C.—This morning, millions of people who came to the United States to flee violence and seek economic opportunities awoke with a sense of dread. The victory of President-elect Donald Trump makes their futures more uncertain than ever, as they wait to see if and how he implements his tough talk on immigration. WOLA believes that xenophobia should have no place in U.S. politics, and that all of us in the Americas should be treated, by governments and by our fellow citizens, with dignity and respect.
The election’s outcome has also raised alarm bells across the hemisphere among people and communities working to advance human rights in the Americas, who fear that important progress will be undone.
While there is uncertainty ahead, one thing is clear: WOLA is more committed than ever before to its mission of working with partners in the hemisphere to advance policies that protect human rights and recognize human dignity in the Americas.
Doing so will mean fighting to defend important gains that have been made in recent years. While the people of the hemisphere continue to confront major challenges, and while U.S. policy toward the hemisphere is by no means perfect, the United States has made progress on promoting human rights and social justice in Latin America. The U.S. government has promised historic levels of aid to address poverty, violence, and impunity in Central America, and supported a major peace deal in Colombia. It has begun a historic process of engagement with Cuba after 50 years, and adopted a careful rather than confrontational approach to Venezuela’s political crisis. These policies, among many others that impact the people of our hemisphere, should be maintained and expanded, not reversed.
WOLA is well-prepared to defend these gains. We have fought to advance human rights and social justice in this hemisphere for over 40 years, and in that time we have worked with courageous partners throughout the region who have overcome incredible odds to stand for democracy. This work will continue in the years to come and while there are challenges ahead, WOLA is confident in our values and will push for a future where justice overcomes violence and hatred, and where the rights of all are respected.