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Posts tagged "immigration"


Trans Immigrants Disproportionately Subject to Deportation and Detention, Suffer Special Gender-Related Harms in these Processes

Barriers to Getting any Legal Immigration Status:

  • employment-based immigration not available because of job discrimination
  • family-based immigration not available because trans people’s family members often reject them, trans marriages not seen as valid, chosen and extended family not recognized
  • asylum and other claims often not available because of lack of access to trans-friendly legal help, less connections with immigrant communities to get information combined with strict timelines, bias and harassment from immigration officers

Criminalization of Trans People:

  • most convictions and some arrests can make people deportable, even if they have status
  • trans people falsely arrested for lack of proper identity documents or for using bathroom
  • police profiling of trans people as violent, prostitutes
  • committing survival crimes because lack access to legal employment or education (sex work, drugs, theft, etc)

Trans immigrants likely to be detained and/or deported:

  • trans people disproportionately HIV positive, if from country where no access to HIV meds, deportation is death sentence. also, deportation can lead to serious transphobic violence, persecution, and imprisonment in home country.
  • in detention trans people often isolated and/or targeted for rape, harassment abusive searches and other violence by staff and other detainees. gender misclassified based on genitals in sex segregated system
  • can’t access hormones and other medical treatments while detained. forced to change gendered characteristics of appearance (cut hair, give up prosthetics, etc.). results in mental anguish and increased violence because appearance may conform even less to gender identity. 

infograph via the Sylvia Rivera Law Project www.srlp.org info@srlp.org 212.337.8550

pdf version of above chart available here: http://srlp.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/disprop-deportation.pdf

(via 18mr)


Pre reading before class. Gender Borders: Latinas and Globalization ♡♡♡ #latinas #books #globalization

(via yosimar-deactivated20140312)

Among the legal barriers that today’s dramatic Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage sends tumbling down is the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage-based immigration benefits. As Congress debates immigration reform, the rights of LGBT immigrants and their U.S. citizen partners have been a central sticking point, with Republicans threatening to kill the immigration bill if Democrats insist on legislating LGBT rights. Today’s historic decision, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, largely puts that debate to rest, by allowing gay and lesbian U.S. citizens to apply for legal residency for their partners.

Immigration through marriage has long been a core component of U.S. citizenship policy. Under existing law, U.S. citizens in opposite-sex marriages can sponsor their immigrant husband or wife to come to the U.S. or remain here with legal authorization. But same-sex couples have been excluded and countless partnerships have been thrown into limbo.

Twelve states currently have laws that permit same-sex marriage. This limits the reach of the court’s decision, because the remaining 38 states retain heterosexist marriage laws. The decision does not create a constitutional right to marriage and thus does not immediately impact laws in those states. But the decision is likely to have a ripple effect, as states may now move to pass marriage equality laws. And the court’s DOMA decision means that marriages performed in one of the 12 states that recognize same-sex unions will be considered valid for federal benefits, even if couples reside in another state.

After making the decision to table his same-sex couple amendment, Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, reintroduced the same-sex marriage amendment last week on the Senate floor. Few observers think that provision has a chance of passage in the current effort to garner Republican support for the bill. Instead, advocates of equal rights for all couples took to watching the court for a remedy. The Supreme Court decision today changes the calculus for Democrats like Leahy, basically making the decision for lawmakers. Whether conservative elected officials like it or not, married same-sex couples will have the same rights as opposite-sex couples to sponsor non-citizen husbands and wives for green cards.

Seth Freed Wessler, “DOMA Ruling Clears Path For Binational Couples,” Colorlines 6/26/13

To be in proximity to any NBA franchise during a championship run, for lots of kids in our sports obsessed culture, is a dream come true, especially if you are from the city of San Antonio. That could be said for mini-Mariachi phenom Sebastien de la Cruz, who sang the national anthem yesterday for game 3 of the NBA finals. A former participant in the show America’s Got Talent, de la Cruz, in many ways, represents the city of San Antonio most perfectly. Of the 1.3 million people who call the city home, 27% are people under the age of 18 and 63.2% are Hispanic or Latino/a (2010). The Spurs or Los Spurs, as they are often affectionately referred to by their Hispanic fan base, are keenly aware of the diversity that makes up the city of San Antonio, the other major ethnic groups in the city non-Hispanic whites at 26.6% and African Americans at 6.9%. They have been successful at cultivating a fierce loyalty to the franchise that is mindful of these demographics. San Antonio is a huge Hispanic market hub that brokers commerce between the U.S. and Latin America, and the Spurs franchise intimately understands this, and goes to great lengths to have the city’s diversity and economic interested reflected in the city’s NBA team.

So why are people outraged that 10-year old Sebastien de la Cruz sang the National Anthem in a Mariachi outfit? Simply put, because the figure of the Latino/a child citizen subject bounds with possibility, represents a position of vulnerability, and thus is a potential threat to the nation. Never mind that the city of San Antonio was part of the Spanish American empire until 1821, or that it was part of Mexico until the founding of the Republic of Texas in 1836, or that many of the individuals who fought for Texas Independence were Mexican. As hundreds of tweets referred to him as “the little Mexican kid” or the kid that “snuck in the country like 4 hours ago and now he singing the anthem” we see the vitriol and hatred that have become a response to the shifting demographics in this nation. Not surprisingly, many of the twitter haters were minorities or individuals with Spanish surnames, showing that there is a clear divide about immigration politics and minority communities. If people knew the history of San Antonio, and of Texas, they would know that Sebastien represents both the past and future of the state, one that is simultaneously American and basketball loving and yet tinged with a very real Hispanic past. This young man representing his multiple cultures and experiences were cultivated in U.S. schools, reinforced every time he says the pledge of allegiance, and takes the standardized tests required of school-aged children in Texas. So why is he any different? As the tweets suggest, he is brown, young, a threat, a potential criminal, and not worthy of protection. Instead, these rants against a Latino/a child represent the gendered and racialization of how moral discourses about childhood are not universal. Instead they are predicated on phenotypically ideas of belonging, whiteness, and gender. He is different, a child, and thus a vulnerable and easy target for hate speech.

Nicole Guidotti-Hernandez, “Why Sebastien de la Cruz Should Be Respected And Protected,” The Feminist Wire 6/13/13

Israel plans to send thousands of African migrants to an unidentified country, according to a court document, in an attempt to address one of Israel’s more pressing issues: what to do with an influx of roughly 60,000 African migrants who have sneaked into Israel from Egypt over the past eight years.

Most of the migrants have come from Eritrea or Sudan, some fleeing repressive regimes and others looking for work.

Over the past year Israel has taken a series of steps to halt the influx. It built a fence along the border with Egypt and last year offered some migrants cash to leave voluntarily, warning they would be expelled otherwise.

According to the document, a state lawyer told the Israeli supreme court on Sunday that a deal had been reached with an unidentified country to absorb some migrants and that Israel was in talks with two other countries to secure a similar agreement.

Finally, fedoras for a good cause! Check it out:

Women wear many hats - as community leaders, mothers, workers, volunteers, and much more.  To celebrate this, the We Belong Together campaign is using the fedora as a metaphor for the many hats that women wear to create a brighter future for all.  It is also a symbol of the need for immigration reform that treats women fairly, and a declaration that though women wear many hats, on this issue we speak with one voice.

There are 11 million people living in the United States without legal status and more than half of these immigrants are women. Current immigration laws discriminate against women who want to work in this country; separate parents, children and partners; prevent families from reunifying as a result of endless family visa backlogs; and jeopardize women’s autonomy and safety. We now have the historic opportunity to transform conditions for immigrant women, LGBT families, and their loved ones.

Congress is poised to vote on immigration reform legislation this year. The Senate will debate and vote first, in the weeks following Memorial Day. Our goal is to pressure Congress to support a bill that fixes our immigration system and provides a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, while also treating women and LGBT families fairly.

We are more likely to achieve this goal if women, the LGBT community, and allies make our voices heard. The Fedoras for Fairness campaign (#Fairdora) is an effort to demonstrate our support while calling on others to join us.

We Belong Together is led by the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum,  and driven by the participation of women’s organizations, immigrant rights groups, children, and families across the country.

The next time someone tells you that the U.S. isn’t going after the people who cross the border, you can respond with a very simple answer.

They’re wrong.

Over the past 10 years, prosecutions for illegal entry and reentry have increased 1,400 and 300 percent, respectively, according to a recent report by Human Rights Watch.

Crossing the border without authorization is now the most prosecuted federal crime.

As the prosecutions have gone up, so has the percentage of non-criminals who are targeted — people whose only offense is crossing the border illegally.

The percentage of non-criminals prosecuted for illegal entry went from 17 percent of all prosecution in 2002 to 27 percent in 2011, according to the report.

“I never could understand why so much was being put into these particular individuals, who were not our high-level criminals,” said Terry Goddard, a former attorney general of Arizona quoted in the report. “It’s a use of resources disproportionate to the threat.”

Ted Hesson, “How Crossing The Border Gets More And More Criminalized,” Univision 5/24/13

More good news from the West Coast! From Greg Moore, Editor-In-Chief:

During the past decade I have had several conversations with groups and individuals that eventually landed on use of the term  to describe those who have unlawfully come to the United States. I have heard all kinds of arguments. I always tensed up when someone argued was the same as racial epithets used to describe blacks and Jews. I still believe those comparisons are wrongheaded. But other examples stayed with me. I remember once being told that a young girl cried upon seeing a relative described as an .

Yesterday, I decided The Denver Post will no longer use the term “illegal immigrant” when describing a person in the country unlawfully. If we know the actual circumstances we will describe them. The word “illegal” will not be applied to a person, only an action.

We began discussing this issue about a month ago after The Associated Press changed its policy. The AP’s action followed a number of other news organizations, such as NBC News, that had long abandoned the use of “illegal immigrant.” A cross section of staff was invited to discuss their views, and then we reviewed the usage in our own news organization. There were not many instances outside of quotations where we described a person as an illegal immigrant, and even rarer in a headline. Why? Because we generally don’t know a person’s status and it is not our practice to ask.

Some people say you can never win an argument with a newspaper. We certainly believe in what we do. But we also believe in listening and learning. We appreciate all of the thoughtful arguments mustered over these many years.

I feel good about how we got here. I am also thinking about that little girl I heard about a while back. She can wipe away those tears.



The Los Angeles Times will no longer use the term “illegal immigrant.” 


The Los Angeles Times will no longer use the terms “illegal immigrant” or “undocumented immigrant,” the paper announced Wednesday. While the Times has generally avoided such terms for some time, the new guidelines make the policy official. 

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Now, if we can get the New York Times to get with the times and drop the i-word…