Fierce

AOC Has Receipts For Abuelas That Breakdowns The Thousands Of Dollars Worth Of Reasons Why You’re Not Having Kids

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is always here to break down complex ideas into digestible ones for constituents. A true public servant, AOC highlighted why millennials aren’t having children in a single tweet. However, while millennials might be the first generation in the United States with a lower birth rate, fertility rates around the world have been steadily dropping. 

It’s no surprise, in a modern world where information is accessible and social services are not, having children is a much easier decision than bringing a child into an unstable world. Population decline has pros and cons. With increasing concerns about water, land, and food scarcity caused by climate change, fewer resources require fewer people in need. Nevertheless, civilizations are meant to proliferate in order to function. Fewer births mean a smaller labor force to ensure the society operates healthily. Moreover, when less young people are able to contribute to social services for the elderly, like Medicare, they suffer as well. 

Now you might be able to see how a simple issue of fewer people having babies, can have a negative domino effect with serious economic implications. Countries like Japan, where birth rates have declined to reach new lows, are already experiencing similar effects. While we each have a right to decide if we have kids or don’t, it is clear that if people were inclined to believe their children might have a future better than theirs, they might choose differently. 

AOC reveals why millennials don’t have children.

“When people chastise millennials for not having or delaying starting their families after growing up in a recession, here’s one big reason why,” AOC said in reference to Washington Post opinion writer Elizabeth Bruening’s near $8,000 medical bill after giving birth. This was the cost after insurance. 

Meanwhile, 40 percent of Americans don’t have more than $400 in their savings account, how can anyone be expected to pay for such a massive expense with or without health insurance? This, of course, doesn’t include the cost of childcare, and the loss of income most women who have children experience after taking leave from the workforce. 

Childcare is too expensive.

TheNew York Times surveyed 1,858 men and women millennials between the ages of 20 and 45. When asked why they are delaying having children or not having children at all, 64 percent said childcare is too expensive, 44 percent said they can’t afford to have more children, and 43 percent financial instability was the cause. All of these reasons are related to money. Moreover, Pew Research has connected lower fertility rates to a poor economy since the 2008 recession. 

The world’s population is expected to nearly stop growing.

According to Pew Research, the world’s population is expected to nearly stop growing by the year 2100. This is the first time such a thing has happened in modern history. The population is expected to reach roughly 10.9 billion by the end of the century, but annual growth is expected to be 0.1 percent, a huge decline. Since 1950 the population has increased between 1 percent and 2 percent — that’s 2.5 billion more people. 

Immigration has often been a remedy for declining populations. But we live in a time where xenophobia is heightened, and even citizens don’t get to live out the so-called “American dream.” 

In the future, everyone is a senior citizen. 

“Between 2020 and 2100, the number of people ages 80 and older is expected to increase from 146 million to 881 million,” according to the United Nations’ 2019 World Populations report. “Starting in 2073, there are projected to be more people ages 65 and older than under age 15 – the first time this will be the case.”

This is not good. When one age group becomes the dominant culture it can have a stronghold on the direction of that society. Consider the fact that the reason why our political landscape looks the way it has (bad) for so long is because the Baby Boomer generation has been the largest voting bloc up until 2018 (any coincidence that’s when the Blue Wave happened?), thus it is their values, priorities, and beliefs that are best represented in the United States. 

“The Latin America and Caribbean region is expected to have the oldest population of any world region by 2100, a reversal from the 20th century,” according to the UN report. 

While we all get older, progress is often instigated by younger generations. This is why Republicans fear college campuses. Without young people to steer us away from unhealthy traditions and values, what will become of us? These are structural issues the government must repair. So if you want to solidify a future for your child or future child, in 2020 vote for a candidate who makes children a priority. (Spoiler: that candidate probably won’t belong to the party that lets little children die in cages.) 

Trump Administration Hikes Up DACA Renewal Fee To Support U.S. Immigration And Customs Enforcement

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Trump Administration Hikes Up DACA Renewal Fee To Support U.S. Immigration And Customs Enforcement

Juan Escalante @JuanSaaa / Twitter

A new proposal brought forth by immigration officials might hike up the cost of immigrants entering the United States as children. According to a New York Times report, the Trump administration proposal would increase fees for applicants by more than 60 percent and handover more than $200 million to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

On Friday, the Trump administration proposed increasing a “range of fees” tacked onto applications for those seeking legal immigration and citizenship.

If it is sent into motion, the proposal would increase citizenship fees by more than 60 percent. Under the new plan, fees for applicants would skyrocket from $725  to $1,170. The proposal would also allow the government to charge asylum seekers $50 for applications and $490 for work permits. Such a rule would make the United States one out of four countries in the world to force asylum seekers to pay for applications. Australia, Fiji and Iran all charge for asylum protection. 

If instituted, the proposal would be yet another roadblock implemented by the Trump administration to restrict immigration through legal means.

Over the past few months, immigrants and immigration advocates have seen similar attempts at hacking through the rights of immigrants before. Recently the Trump administration issued a series of policies that work to withhold permanent residency to immigrants in the United States have been deemed incapable of financially supporting themselves. They have also blocked entry to immigrants applying for visas on the basis of health insurance status. On October 4, 2019, Trump published a Presidential Proclamation that prevents entry to visa applicants are unable to provide proof of their ability to obtain health insurance within 30 days of entering the United States. 

“Healthcare providers and taxpayers bear substantial costs in paying for medical expenses incurred by people who lack health insurance or the ability to pay for their healthcare.  Hospitals and other providers often administer care to the uninsured without any hope of receiving reimbursement from them,” the proclamation read. “The costs associated with this care are passed on to the American people in the form of higher taxes, higher premiums, and higher fees for medical services.  In total, uncompensated care costs — the overall measure of unreimbursed services that hospitals give their patients — have exceeded $35 billion in each of the last 10 years.”

 Ur Jaddou, former chief counsel at USCIS under the Obama administration called the new policy, “one more way under the administration that they are making legal immigration unattainable.”

“Currently, USCIS is conducting its biennial fee review, as required under the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, to study the agency’s revenue, costs and needs,” a spokesperson for USCIS told BuzzFeed News. “As always, USCIS will publicly communicate information on its fee review through a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published in the federal register, should a decision be made to adjust its fees. No determination has yet been made.”

Immigration advocates on social media have been quick to slam the proposal as unfair. 

“The proposal to get rid of fee waivers is a whole statement and stand against the poor. From the public charge stuff to this. Worse thing too is this is how people actually feel,” film director Angy Rivera wrote in a thread that lambasted the policy. “The Department of Homeland Security’s plan will be open to public comment for 30 days starting Nov. 14. Make sure to flood them!”

Other users who quick to underline the significance of taking the funds from these applicants and transfer them to  Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration plans to “transfer money raised through the new proposed fee schedule to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency under DHS that carries out deportations, workplace investigations and other immigration enforcement actions. The money would be used to root out any potential fraud in future applications for citizenship, green cards, asylum and other immigration benefits.” 

“At this point I feel like they are just putting numbers in hat, and tossing it around. This is money we use to live and maintain our families, minimum wage ass job won’t cover this. This is just business to make money, y’all taking advantage of us,” Cristal Ruiz Rodriguez wrote in a tweet.

There’s no doubt that the Trump administration’s latest attack on immigrants is a wealth tax.

The Trump administration’s new policy would not be applicable to immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and asking for asylum. 

Melissa Rodgers is the director of programs for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and told the Washington Street Journal that the proposed fees would be unaffordable for those who could have had a chance at citizenship.

“This is a wealth tax on becoming a U.S. citizen,” Rodgers said in a statement. “It’s part and parcel of the assault on the naturalization process.”

Latin America’s First Indigenous President Is Forced To Resign After Weeks Of Protests And Irregular Election Results

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Latin America’s First Indigenous President Is Forced To Resign After Weeks Of Protests And Irregular Election Results

José Luis Rodriguez / Getty

Protests are occurring throughout Latin America as calls for environmental and economic justice strengthen from Chile and Brazil to Venezuela and Ecuador. Now, Bolivia has become the latest flash point for the growing widespread movements across the region.

What started as a protest against President Evo Morales seeking an additional presidential term (he was constitutionally term-limited) has resulted in his abrupt resignation and in what many are calling a coup.

President Morales resigned the presidency after he lost support from the Bolivian police and military.

Bolivia’s political crisis deepened Sunday as President Evo Morales resigned amid allegations of “serious irregularities” during last month’s election and pressure from the country’s armed forces.

Morales faced mounting protests in the aftermath of the October 20 vote as demonstrators and the Bolivian opposition accused electoral authorities of manipulating the vote count in favor of the incumbent. He denied the allegations and declared himself the winner, but was eventually forced to resign

But what led to his resignation?

In the hours after polls closed, preliminary results showed Morales slightly ahead of his opponent, former President Carlos Mesa. But the opposition and international observers became suspicious after election officials stopped the count for about 24 hours without an explanation. When the count resumed, Morales’ lead had jumped significantly.

Electoral monitors from the Organization of American States (OAS) published a report Sunday alleging irregularities that impacted the official vote count.

In the aftermath of the report, Morales initially promised new elections would be held and the country’s electoral council replaced. However just hours later the president had resigned after the head of the Bolivian Armed Forces, Cmdr. Williams Kaliman, asked Morales to step down in order to restore peace and stability.

The decision follows weeks of raucous anti-government protests across the country. 

Demonstrators have burned down the headquarters of local election offices, set up blockades, and paraded a mayor barefoot through the streets after cutting her hair and showering her in paint.

Many are calling this an outright coup committed by the military and US-backed politicians.

The international reaction has been swift and vocal.

On Monday, Mr Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, struck a defiant note on Twitter, saying that “the Bolivian people have never abandoned me and I will never abandon them”. He has also said that he was the victim of a “civic coup”.

International allies of Mr Morales echoed his characterisation of what had happened. The Russian foreign ministry said that “the wave of violence unleashed by the opposition didn’t allow the presidential mandate of Evo Morales to be completed”.

Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard said that events in Bolivia constituted “a coup because the army requested the resignation of the president, and that violates the constitutional order of that country”.

Spain also expressed its concern over the role of Bolivia’s army, saying that “this intervention takes us back to moments in the past history of Latin America”.

But what do Bolivians actually think of all of this?

Mr. Morales, a former coca farmer, was first elected in 2006. He has earned praise for fighting poverty and improving Bolivia’s economy but drew controversy by defying constitutional term limits to run for a fourth term in October’s election, which is alleged to have been rife with irregularities.

The biggest criticism of Evo Morales was his lack of respect for Bolivia’s democracy – accused of overstaying his welcome and refusing to step down. 

But the fact that the military has called the shots on the president standing down does not do much for Bolivia’s democracy either. 

Now Evo Morales has gone, there is a power vacuum. Increasing numbers of his Mas party are resigning, and it feels like there is a need for retribution – for Evo Morales and his people to pay the price for the mistakes they made while in power.

His supporters have called this a coup – his detractors the end of tyranny. The priority now is to choose an interim leader, call new elections and bring a polarised Bolivia together or face yet more unrest and violence in the coming weeks.