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Children Left Behind: Number of Children in Foster Care Due to Parents’ Detention Climbs

November 22, 2011
Emily Butera is the Senior Program Officer for Detention and Asylum at the Women's Refugee Commission Maribel was driving in Virginia with her one-year-old child when she was pulled over by a police officer, who asked to see her driver’s license. A Mexican citizen living in the U.S. without a visa, Maribel was arrested for driving without a license. She was quickly transferred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody and agreed to be deported. Maribel only wanted to take her child—a U.S. citizen—with her. Her child, however, was placed in foster care because Maribel was not...
Emily Butera's picture

Let the Conversation Begin....

November 14, 2011
The day Arizona Governor Brewer signed SB 1070 was the day that I decided to leave "traditional" journalism to pursue a career as an independent journalist reporting on issues that impact the Latino community. My hopes are to tell stories that accurately portray the community and bring a balanced and fair dialogue to the negative rhetoric. Recently, I moved back to my hometown of Chicago after having worked at CNN for 4 years and another 4 at Univision. My career in mainstream media has been full of ups and downs – a bit of disillusion and a bit of triumphs. What motivated me to become a...

A Wish for the Holidays

November 9, 2011
Do you have a wish for this holiday season? I do. I wish that all families can stay together. That’s why I’m participating in A Wish for the Holidays, a campaign to gather 5,000 letters from kids asking our nation’s leaders to ensure that families stay together. For me, holidays all boil down to spending time with my large extended family. Honestly, I don’t know how we all crowd into my Gramma’s 2-bedroom, one-story home, but most holidays, we manage to all squeeze in and enjoy a crazy day full of laughter, teasing, eating, and sharing. Like that one Christmas, when an innocent game of White...
Chris Harley's picture

Frightening Children in Alabama

October 17, 2011
I do not understand deliberate cruelty. I understand it exists. I understand that those who practice it can often justify it as excusable and even noble. But cruelty to a child? This is beyond all understanding.
Lily Eskelsen's picture

Bernard’s Story: Moms are Vital in the Fight for Family Unity

October 14, 2011
The strength of motherhood has struck me whenever I’ve encountered the stories of young people being threatened with deportation to countries they no longer know - their mothers and the mothers in their communities are among the most powerful advocates in keeping families together. Several years ago I worked at a public elementary school assisting the principal with three early-childhood programs. Our pre-k and kindergarten classes were bursting with over 350 students. Many of them were first generation Americans whose parents hailed from Bulgaria, Mexico, Poland, and even Iraq. As those who...
Jill Garvey's picture

Governor Brown Signs AB 131 California Dream

October 10, 2011
On October 8, in response to Governor Jerry Brown's signing of AB 131 (Cedillo), the second half of the California DREAM Act, the California Immigrant Policy Center issued the following statement: We heartily applaud Governor Brown's historic decision to sign AB 131. We agree with the Governor that "...The Dream Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us." The California DREAM Act will assist talented young people who have excelled in school and are Americans - and Californians - in all but paperwork. The Act will nurture the...
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Alabama's new law and the impact on immigrant families

October 4, 2011
Fifty years ago, Alabama found itself at the center of a national battle for justice and civil rights. The bus boycotts, freedom rides and efforts to integrate schools and universities are widely looked upon as watershed moments in the march towards equality. The history books tell us that progress on this front has been significant and sustained. Yet once again, Alabama is a focal point in a controversy over civil and human rights, the outcome of which could have far-reaching implications for families and communities across the country. Judge Sharon Blackburn’s decision not to block...
Emily Butera's picture

Human and Civil Rights Violations in the Name of Immigration Law Enforcement

September 27, 2011
Cross-posted from my blog, MotherTalkers.com . The grave consequences of not protecting the human and civil rights of immigrants, including those without papers, has weighed heavily on my mind lately. Our organization, MomsRising , is part of a delegation of women in Georgia, shedding light on an Arizona SB1070 copycat law. I've also seen a lot of news stories lately on the fallout of such laws: parent-child separation, workplace and home raids, racial profiling, economic consequences due to the stigma such laws bring to a state, and child and spousal abuse -- as victims are afraid to call...
Elisa Batista's picture

If Eleanor Roosevelt were going to Georgia…

September 27, 2011
As part of the We Belong Together delegation, I am going to Georgia to try to channel Eleanor Roosevelt. This is a tall order, but if there is ever a moment when her wisdom, passion and commitment was needed, this is it. A pioneer for human rights in her time, Eleanor was a principal drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first document to spell out a set of rights that attach to all people. The horrors of the Holocaust had recently shown what can happen when a state assigns rights based on distinctions like race, political opinion, sexuality or nationality. The Universal...

My Story-Our Story

September 27, 2011
As an immigrant, a woman, a social worker and a professor who teaches about the immigrant experience in the United States, I feel very connected to other immigrants throughout this country on many levels. Restrictive immigration policies such as HB 87 in Georgia, HB 497 in Utah, SB1070 in Arizona and HB56 that is about to go into effect in Alabama are oppressive to immigrants and is a reactive response to the complexities of the immigration issues in this country. My mother migrated to the New York when my sister and I were 8 and 10 years old respectively. During the five years we were...

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