RNC Convention, TRUST Act, barriers to abortion, and the plight of young border crossers, 8/23 – 8/29

30 Aug

Republican party votes on anti-immigrant platform planks
Republicans have convened this week in Tampa to officially appoint Mitt Romney as the party’s presidential nominee.  Before the vote for Romney, however, the party voted last week in favor of several planks in its political platform that are hazardous to the well-being of our nation’s immigrants.  The planks include denying federal funds to universities that allow undocumented immigrants to enroll at in-state tuition rates; completion of the border fence at the US-Mexico border; requiring nationwide use of the E-Verify employment system; and requiring proof of citizenship at time of voter registration.  In an open letter to the Republican Party, Jorge Ramos, a Univision news anchor, warns Republicans that their stances on immigration will only further isolate them from Latino voters in 2012 and into the future.
California TRUST Act Heads to Governor’s Desk
As the TRUST Act awaits a signature by Governor Brown, activists are mobilizing around the state to pressure him to sign it.  Tuesday was a day of action in Sacramento and an online petition has been launched on presente.org.  If signed into law, the TRUST Act would prevent many undocumented immigrants who are detained by police from being handed over to ICE, essentially ameliorating the impact of Secure Communities in California.
Internal border checkpoints a barrier to abortion access
Women who live in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas must travel north if they need an abortion after 16 weeks.  However, as recently reported in The Texas Tribune, the road north is blocked by internal border checkpoints.  Within US borders, these checkpoints function like a border crossing and, as a result, pose a major barrier for undocumented immigrants seeking abortions or other health care outside of their communities.
Increasing number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border, facing deportation
The New York Times released an extensive report on unaccompanied minors who face deportation.  Numbers indicate that, despite the overall decrease in immigration across the US-Mexico border, there has been an increase in unaccompanied minors.  As the video that accompanies the Times report and NACLA Report photographs illustrate, many of these young people are fleeing violence and poverty in Central America.  Others are young children.  So far in 2012, over 11,000 unaccompanied minors have been placed in deportation proceedings. This is double the number from last year.  Because immigration law does not include provisions for legal representation, young children are facing immigration court with no support.

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