Having spoke with hundreds of people around the world (on other teaching sites), I've noticed a common connection between the oppression of people's rights and the need and desire to learn English.
I have met LGBT students who are fleeing countries where it's very difficult for them to live as a gay or bisexual person. I have met many females in Saudi Arabia who want to leave their country to a different one. I have met people in very dogmatic-religious countries who want to emigrate to a different country where they won't feel pressured to worship a certain way.
It seems like, for many of these people, learning English is the stepping stone for a better life for them. It will enable them to find their own place (literally) in the world where they can be who they are and feel comfortable with their physical surrounding and way of life.
I stand with them. Every person, no matter who they love, who they worship or don't worship, or whether they are female or male, should be able to be who they are without fear, violence, or emotional trauma.