Photo: Paul Miller
ACA Ruled constitutional, undocumented still left out
The Affordable Care Act was ruled constitutional on the last day of the Supreme Court season. ACA will expand coverage for citizens and legal immigrants, however, undocumented immigrants, including children will not be included in this expanded coverage.
Further discussion on SCOTUS SB 1070 decison
After the decision, both immigrants’ rights, and anti-immigrant groups declared victory. Several provisions were rejected, some were kept. As the Nation highlights, many immigrants rights activists are rightfully concerned about the racial profiling that will likely come out of the “reasonable provision.” National immigrants rights network NNIRR agrees in a press release that warns about the implications of the SCOTUS decision.
Another development on the federal level is the decision to end 287g, to expand Secure Communities. The program that deputizes local law enforcement as immigration agents will end, but will coincide with the expansion of the program (SCOMM) that shares fingerprints of local law enforcement subjects with federal immigration databases.
Photo: National Immigrant Youth Alliance
California DREAM Graduation in San Francisco
In San Francisco on June 30th, young undocumented activists celebrated their accomplishments with Angela Davis in front of City Hall in San Francisco. The DREAMers have a lot on their mind, from the SB1070 SCOTUS Decision to the recent deferred action memo, but their activism is not done yet. As one graduate, Mohammad Abdollahi was quoted in the Huffington Post, “We need to stand up for our human rights”
Supreme Court Ruling on Arizona’s SB1070
The Supreme Court has upheld the provision of Arizona’s SB1070 that requires law enforcement to check papers of “suspected” individuals. The case against SB1070 was based solely on issues of federal preemption, not discrimination. Therefore, there are still opportunities to challenge the law because, as ACLU of Arizona Executive Director Alessandra Soler stated: “It will be impossible to enforce this law without engaging in racial profiling.” The other provisions, such as the one that made it a crime to work without legal documentation, were struck down. For more information, see the ACLU’s inforgraphic. Immigrant rights groups are moving forward with challenging the law as anti-immigrant groups are hailing the ruling a victory. On Sunday, in anticipation of the ruling, activists rallied outside of Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Apraio’s notorious tent city to bring attention to the human rights abuses that have take place under his leadership. This is likely the first of many actions that will continue to speak out against this discriminatory and harmful law.
California attempts to block SComm with Trust Act
This week the New York Times’ editorial page voiced support for California’s Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools (Trust) Act. Currently making its way through the state legislature, the bill would require that local police release undocumented individuals once their bond is posted or their sentencing is completed. Instead of holding these individuals for ICE. The Trust Act is another promising attempt by a state to block Secure Communities. It has garnered support from local law enforcement, in addition to immigration rights groups, labor unions and religious groups.
Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian and Vietnamese communities lack access to financial institutions
Family financial stability is important for good health, both because it reduces stressors from financial problems and provides families with their own safety-net. Having access to banks and other financial institutions allows families to establish financial assets and financial stability. However, a recent report by the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) found that members of California’s Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian and Vietnamese communities faced significant barriers in accessing these institutions. Specifically, linguistic isolation makes it difficult for many immigrants to set up their own bank accounts or access financial services. In addition, Hmong and Cambodian Californians have some of the highest rates of poverty in the state.
Activist groups respond to President Obama’s Deferred Action policy
As President Obama went on to address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed about immigration, DREAM activists around the country took stock of his new policy. While there is widespread acknowledgement that this is a step in the right direction and could bring relief to many young people, many are also expressing their hesitation and scepticism about what the policy may actually look like once it is implemented. In particular, there is concern that it is all too reminiscent of last August’s prosecutorial discretion memo that has resulted in only 2% of deportation cases being halted. The week was filled with ongoing reports of young immigrants who are currently facing deportation and questions of how this new policy will affect them. Behrouz Saba of New America Media called the policy “a patently miserable substitute” for comprehensive reform.