Let’s just all agree that we are happy NOT to have to defend Donald Trump.
Helen Aguirre Ferré sat down with José Díaz Balart on “Enfoque with Jose Diaz Balart” to talk about her new position within the Republican National Committee. Aguirre Ferré recently became the Director of Hispanic Communication, and has found herself having to defend Trump to Latinos as part of her job. That is arguably one of the toughest jobs on the planet at the moment. Rather than giving some good, strong answers about why Trump is the best candidate for Latinos, Aguirre Ferré stuck to the “Clinton is so bad” narrative. In short, Aguirre Ferré spent the whole interview evading any question about Trump, and mentioned Hillary Clinton so much you’d think she was working for the DNC.
So, what did she say when Diaz Balart asked her if there is division in the Republican Party over Trump? “Everyone has to make their own decision in this campaign, and that isn’t different from any other year,” Aguirre Ferré said in Spanish. “The Republican Party, like I said, is united in defeating Hillary Clinton and that is what unites all of us.”
And what does she have to say about defending Trump directly? “Look, the Republican Party and the work of the Republican National Committee is to represent the Republican Party, and we support all of our candidates, and I’m proud to be a member of the Republican Party,” Aguirre Ferré explained, trying to mention the word “Republican” as much as possible.
Let’s not forget that this is the same woman who was very anti-Trump just a few months ago.
When applying to most local, federal, and government jobs, one of the skills that a majority of employers look for is whether or not the applicant speaks Spanish. Being bilingual in English and Spanish in this country is beneficial to the employer, their customers, and the employee because typically the job is supposed to have a better salary. There are also some places in the country that have large populations of people who speak Spanish and are more comfortable functioning in that language.
There are an estimated 41 million people that speak Spanish in the U.S., or 13 percent of the population, according to Babble. So, speaking Spanish isn’t — at least it should be — a big deal, in fact, it’s quite common. But in Trump America, it’s another story.
Seven female workers with the Florida Department of Health are coming forward to say they have gotten direct instructions not to speak Spanish in the office.
The women say that even though they were hired because of their Spanish-speaking skills, so they could communicate better with their patients, they are now told not to speak the language with one another in the office.
“We speak in English to the Anglo-Saxons because we are polite, but we speak Spanish with each other because we think in Spanish,” MairylÍ Miranda, a nurse, told El Nuevo DÍa. “But one day they gathered us all together and warned us that if we continued to do so, we would be fired. But there is no law that bans us from speaking Spanish.”
The seven women on the complaint work at a Florida Department of Health clinic in Haines City, and are also all Puerto Rican.
Aside from nurses, the employees on the complaint include an administrative assistant and a secretary. The Florida Department of Health has yet to make a public comment about these allegations. They also allege that management has been on them to stop speaking Spanish for quite some time, but it has only gotten worse in the past year. An official harassment report has been filed to the police department, but the women said nothing has yet to be done.
“It feels like you’re a criminal like you’re doing something that is wrong,” Miranda said, according to Bay News 9. “Never in my life did I think I was going to go through a situation like this one.”
Some people may assume that these employees are speaking Spanish in a way that others may think is rude. But they claim they are very professional at work and never speak Spanish around someone that may not understand them.
While these claims aren’t surprising, especially under this tense and traumatic Trump-era racism, it’s reassuring to know that state and local officials are supporting these employees.
“Haines City is a well-diversified community,” Haines City Mayor Morris West said in a conference, according to the Palm Beach Post. “The facility that’s in question is in Haines City but is not a city of Haines City facility. I stand on behalf of these nurses that’s been [facing] allegations of discrimination against them. Haines City and my staff stand ready to support you nurses from any discrimination.”
Other advocates of these women include Respeta Mi Gente Coalition, which includes Alianza for Progress, Boricua Vota, Hispanic Federation, Misión Boricua, and Organize Florida. U.S. Rep. Darren Soto is also backing these women.
It’s important to note that the United States does not have an official language.
There is nothing in the Constitution that states people in the United States, both citizens or otherwise, have to speak English and English only. Scholars say that the Founding Fathers didn’t include a clause about the English language because immigrants of the 13 colonies spoke other languages, including Dutch, French, and German. Native Americans spoke different languages as well.
Lawmakers in the past, as recent as 2006, have attempted to make English the official language but thankfully, because of our democracy, the votes have never gone past the House. That doesn’t mean local and government officials haven’t tried to force English on everyone. It’s just part of our assimilation whether we like it or not.
So the next time someone is yelling racist things such as “stop speaking Spanish” just yell back “English is not the official language of this country. Bye!”
At this point, we sound like a broken record talking about the Trump administration’s immigration policies and the traumatizing effects such policies have on migrants traveling to the U.S. seeking a better life. Every week brings either gun violence against communities of color (made easier under the influence of Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric against these same communities), more cases of ICE raids throughout the country, and even more cases of families being separated at the border.
The most inhumane part of all of this continues to be the ways the Trump administration completely disregards children.
Guatemalan mother Maria Domingo-Garcia has been in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody for nearly a week.
She’s the mother of three and has been separated from her 4-month old daughter who she still breastfeeds. Maria Domingo-Garcia ended up in detention since being picked up during an ICE raid at Koch Foods in Morton, Mississippi. She was among the 680 undocumented immigrants that were detained earlier this month.
According to CNN, Domingo-Garcia is being held at a facility in Jena, Louisiana. The facility is nearly 200 miles from Morton. The Mississippi Clarion Ledger, who first reported the story, followed the 4-month-old baby’s father new journey in having to raise his three young children on his own, after Domingo-Garcia’s detention. However, he’s still facing his own deportation proceedings with his next court date set for 2021.
Now, the 4-month-old baby girl is left without her breastfeeding mother. According to CNN, when a woman is breastfeeding, the body continues to produce milk and if the milk isn’t “expressed” then it could cause pain and swelling.
According to an ICE spokesman, all detainees receive a “medical screening upon intake” and if a woman says that she’s breastfeeding or nursing, she may be released.
However, ICE is reportedly saying that Domingo-Garcia answered “no” when she was asked this question.
But Domingo-Garcia’s attorney’s (Ray Ybarra Maldonado and Juliana Manzanarez with Justice For Our Neighbors) are saying that “ICE is, once again, lying. She said nobody’s asked her—not even one time—if she’s been breastfeeding.”
Dalila Reynoso, an advocate with Justice For Our Neighbors and the two attorney’s are working with the family’s immigration case. “They hope the circumstances — the age of the infant, the breastfeeding and the woman’s lack of a criminal history — could convince immigration officials to let her out on bond quickly,” according to the Clarion Ledger.
Many on social media took to condemn ICE and the administration for keeping this mother away from her month-old daughter and other children.
“The Trump administration is keeping a mother from her four-month-old baby, who is still breastfeeding, and two other children after the ICE raids in Mississippi,” one tweet read.
2020 Democratic Presidential nominee Kamala Harris also tweeted about the abuse of human rights by our own government.
“When will it end?” the California senator tweeted.
Of course, it didn’t take long for Ivanka Trump to share a social post that was severely ill-timed and out-of-touch.
The daughter of the president posted a photo of herself with her kids on the same week the news broke. Editor-in-chief of Rewire News, Jodi Jacobson, was quick to remind her of the mother being detained in ICE custody away from her children. Ivanka’s tweet could have been a coincidence but an ill-timed one at that.
Twitter user Juan Escalante shared the story, adding that while she’s in her father’s care—her father is fighting his own deportation as he continues to raise the rest of his children without their mother.
According to Domingo-Garcia’s attorney’s, the mother is devastated knowing she can’t properly care for or nurture her daughter.
Domingo-Garcia, originally from Guatemala, has lived in the U.S. for over 11 years. Aside from her 4-month-old baby girl, she has two songs, ages 3 and 11.
Her lawyers told CNN that the mother is “feeling the effects of having to suddenly stop breastfeeding.” The lawyer’s report, after visiting her in detention, that she’s “really depressed” and in pain from not being able to pump or breastfeed her baby girl.
While her 4-month-old daughter and 3-year-old son might not fully grasp what’s happening to their mother right now, her 11-year-old son is a lot more aware and understands that his mother is gone. According to Domingo-Garcia’s lawyer’s, the 11-year-old son has said, “I want my mom back home. I don’t understand why they’re keeping her. She didn’t do anything wrong. We need her here.”
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