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Imagine Giving Birth While Shackled to a Bedpost

October 21, 2010
By Steph Drahan , National Women's Law Center Can you picture it? Neither can I. But for pregnant inmates in many states, this is how motherhood begins: with their legs shackled to metal hospital bedposts. For Shawanna Lumsey, this isn’t an exercise in imagination, but in fact her experience when delivering her son, Jordan. My name is Shawanna Lumsey and I was shackled when I gave birth to my son. I’ve made some mistakes in my life, but no expectant mother, no woman, no person should ever be treated the way I was. Eight years ago, I was convicted of credit card fraud and received a six-year...
Thao Nguyen's picture

One Way to Support the DREAM Act

August 11, 2010
(Pictured: Ivan Nikolov awaits deportation to Russia, even though he barely speaks the language and considers the United States his only home.) When I was at the Netroots Nation conference , I had the privilege of meeting the many young people who would be helped if Congress passed the DREAM Act , which would grant conditional temporary residency to undocumented college students. I met students like Matías Ramos, Prerna Lal, Lizbeth Mateo, and Yahaira Carrillo, who stood before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in quiet protest. They are all hardworking and high-achieving students who were...
Elisa Batista's picture

What Would Our Nation's Founders Say? Arizona, Human Rights, Children and Mothers

July 30, 2010
"All mothers want their children to live a better life than theirs; to give them the opportunity to fulfill their hopes and dreams. Throughout my childhood my mother worked countless double-shifts flipping burgers and scrubbing toilets at the local fast food joint. We never talked about the cockroach-ridden apartments or the yearning to see our family back in Colombia. Instead we smiled through the grit, the tears and the heartache. As the years passed, I realized our story was not unique. Thousands of immigrant mothers, for hundreds of years, endured what we had overcome for exactly the same...
Kristin's picture

Connecting at Netroots Nation

July 27, 2010
The Net is about connecting. It’s about reaching. It’s an electronic whisper in an ear that wants to know. And then wants to know more. And then wants to reach out to others. It’s about making a whisper a shout and giving form to the shout so it becomes a mighty chorus working in harmony to do something to help.
Lily Eskelsen's picture

Racial Profiling in the Name of Immigration Law Enforcement

July 22, 2010
I attended a lively, well-attended and diverse -- meaning age, Latino background and allies -- Latino Caucus at the Netroots Nation Convention in Las Vegas today. The caucus was headed by Nicole Rivera, who is a field representative for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and it did not disappoint. At the heart of the conversation was how to pass the DREAM Act to help undocumented Latino college students -- who were represented at the caucus, by the way! -- achieve conditional permanent residency. Also, we discussed coalition-building to pass comprehensive immigration reform to meet the demand...
Elisa Batista's picture

In Speech to Professional Women, Arianna Huffington Equates Empathy With Success

June 18, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO – Over Memorial Day weekend, I participated in a blog carnival here at MomsRising on Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law and the fallout of immigration policies that break up families. In one of the stories’ threads, I engaged in a conversation with a woman named "Carla," who said she was simply becoming educated on the issue, although she thought undocumented men without families in the United States should be deported. At one point, she asked me what I thought should be done about the problem of those who come to the country illegally. I answered her truthfully that...
Elisa Batista's picture

We should all be strongly opposed to Arizona’s SB 1070. Why?

June 11, 2010
Because it is an unconstitutional and costly measure which jeopardizes the public safety of everyone in the state, even those who are just visiting. It violates the civil rights of all Arizonans, regardless of their immigration status. Instead of promoting effective and fair approaches to enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws, it perpetuates a climate of fear and hatred against Latinos and newcomers. Many of the provisions of SB 1070 give local police responsibilities for enforcing federal immigration laws that will divert them from the important job of fighting crime and protecting...

Why is the Arizona Immigration Law a Women's Issue?

June 3, 2010
With the recent passage of possibly the most far-reaching state immigration law in the country, Arizona and the immigrants who live there are on everyone’s minds. Among many extreme policies, the law allows for local law enforcement to detain anyone about whom they have a “reasonable cause” to believe may be in the state illegally. Reasonable cause is left up to the discrimination (no pun intended) of each individual police officer – it could be the color of one’s skin or someone’s accent. As Silvia Henriquez, the executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health...

Korean Americans Marching in Solidarity under the Phoenix Sun

June 3, 2010
On April 25, two days after SB 1070 became law, the Korean Resource Center (KRC) and the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) rapidly organized a bus of children, mothers, working people and seniors from Los Angeles to Phoenix. The story of that journey was captured eloquently by Hector Tobar of the Los Angeles Times and sharply in our memories. Until something is done soon, SB 1070 will be implemented starting July 29. In truth, however, we have heard reports that intimidation and profiling has already begun with police cordoning off neighborhoods and...

Ripping Families Apart

June 3, 2010
At 7am one January morning last year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents knocked on Shirley Tan's front door. The agents had come to deport her back to Philippines because her application for asylum, filed years earlier, had been denied. In front of her twin boys, ICE handcuffed her and threw her into a waiting van. Turns out Tan had no idea her application had been denied. Tan’s partner, Jay Mercado, an American citizen, could not sponsor Shirley for residency. Both are women-- who have been together for more than two decades. Same-sex partners can’t do what straight Americans...