Cultivating Fear: A Report on Farmworker Women and Sexual Violence
Human Rights Watch’s new report details the abuses suffered by farmworker women in fields by compiling interviews with farmworker women, social service providers, health workers, police, and others in New York, California, and North Carolina. The interviews describe the toxic social environments the fields can become. These conditions are a result of weak labor protections and immigration laws. With few protections, sexual assault and sexual violence are a common experience for farmworker women.
Civil Right Organizations Oppose House GOP version of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization
VAWA is up for its third reauthorization. It is a bill that provides money to prevent domestic violence and protect victims. One important component of VAWA is the U-Visa which gives temporary legal status to victims of certain crimes, including domestic violence. The senate version of the bill passed 68-31 with 15 Republicans voting for it. The house measure has been modified by the GOP to reduce provisions concerning confidentiality of immigrant women applying for the U-Visa, eliminating provisions for LGBT individuals, and eliminating a provision that would allow abusers to be held accountable in Native American courts. Planned Parenthood and other civil rights organizations strongly oppose the GOP version of the reauthorization for VAWA.
US Border Patrol unveils 2012-2016 Strategy
The US Border Patrol has released a new strategic plan to prevent immigrants from entering the United States. With immigration reaching a net-zero, the Border Patrol may have felt pressured to rebrand its mission. The strategy continues a policy of border militarization using sophisticated weaponry, pushing migrants into the most dangerous border crossing areas.
Immigration Reform: Auction for Work Permits
This week UC Davis economist Giovanni Peri proposed an alternative to comprehensive immigration reform by auctioning work-permits. Instead of deciding visas by family connections, the visas would be purchased by employers. Highest bidder wins the workers. There would be a set quota of visas given out every quarter. Permits would start at $1,000 for low-skilled workers (farmwork, poultry processing, etc.), and $7,000 for high-skilled workers (tech). Peri argues “It (work permits) would certainly generate more awareness and clarity on the economic value of immigrants.” Visas given to family members, and thus, family reunification would decrease with Peri’s proposal.