Have you ever wondered where you could get help if you were an immigrant who suffered a human rights abuse? Or how you would go about getting legal help for such a situation? These are very real questions for many of the immigrants who have fled to the Unites States, and for those who have suffered human rights abuses at the hands of citizens of the United States. Would the court system take immigrants seriously, or would they simply side with the citizen of their ow country? What has to be done to even bring such a case to the courts? That is where the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas (HRI) steps in.
Founded in 1999, HRI, represents immigrants and their families, who have suffered human rights abuses and do not know their rights in the United States legal system, as well as providing them with knowledge of their rights in the United States of America. The clients that HRI serves are victims of domestic and/or international human rights abuses that range from domestic abuse and human trafficking to violence and injury, they are people who have chosen to flee the situations they were in to a place where they are not helped the way they should be. Those who have fled to the United States face challenges, that may be financial, cultural, linguistic, transportation-related, or legal. HRI provides legal assistance to immigrants by helping them obtain an immigration status within the U.S. system or helping connect them with lawyers who can assist them in legal representation against U.S. citizens who have abused them.
On itself website, HRI states that “HRI of North Texas provides legal and support services to refugees and immigrants who have suffered human rights abuses. We also advocate for justice and promote international human rights for all.” HRI does this through its network of volunteer lawyers and consultants who provide their services free of charge to the client, as well as through its donors. In 2015, HRI had 448 consultations, 1014 cases processed/in-process, 563 individual clients served, 76 new asylum cases, as well as 613 new cases for women and children. Furthermore, it had a 100% approval rate for almost all of their women and children’s programs, as well as a 93.3% approval rate for its asylum program.
The work that HRI does for the immigrant community in North Texas helps immigrants earn back their rights to be considered people in the eyes of the law as well as to gain fair trials and proper legal assistance with their traumas. HRI helps immigrants gain back their personal security, and also works to keep children and families safe. HRI has a shelter in Fort Worth, TX, that houses children separated from their parents by U.S immigration authorities or those who arrived here without their parents. Though it is yet unclear what the U.S. immigration authorities are going to do with unaccompanied minors and those who have been separated, HRI commits that it “will be here ready to represent children in court when the time comes.”
HRI's stated vision is “to see a world in which abuse, torture, assault, or other forms of violence are no longer used as tools to overpower and control any human being,” and HRI is doing everything they can to right those wrongs that have already occurred.
 Hrionline.org; www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=9189
Robert Miller, "Agency Founded by Two Dallas Women Helps Asylum Seekers," Dallas Morning News, May 14, 2006.
 HRIonline.org; "Universal Declaration of Human Rights", articles 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 16(3)
2018 Charity Navigator – Human Rights Initiative. 05 01. Accessed Pct., 9, 2018 www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=9189
www.hrionline.org Human Rights Initiative of North Texas. Accessed October and November 2018.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations General Assembly. December 10, 1948.
Miller, Robert. "Agency Founded by Two Dallas Women Helps Asylum Seekers," Dallas Morning News, May 14, 2006.