Things That Matter

An American Teen With Leukemia Was Made To Fight Her Cancer On Her Own After Her Mother Was Deported To Mexico

The tragedy at the United States’ southern border has brought to light countless cases of human rights violations and downright unethical practices by the Customs and Border Protection Agency. Stories from these centers have encouraged comparisons to World War II concentration camps, and for good reason. Reports of family separation have included stories of men, women, and children dying in US Border custody have caused an outcry from citizens around the world. The refusal to provide basic hygienic and medical care to detainees has proven that the goal of detention is to dehumanize these migrants as much as it is to contain them. 

The heartache created by these accounts seems to be never-ending as we get a greater look at the lives impacted by the border crisis.

Most recently, the story of a young girl battling leukemia alone because of the Customs and Border Protection Agency has left us both heartbroken and enraged; but, luckily, it has a happy ending. 

Twitter / @ABC7

Ixcell Sandoval Perez is a 14-year-old cancer patient who is battling leukemia at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina. However, up until this morning, she has been doing so without her mother by her side. Her mother, Dalia Perez, was stuck across the border and was denied access to visit her daughter — despite Ixcell’s worsening condition. 

Ixcell was born in Raleigh, North Carolina but spent much of her girlhood in Chiapas, Mexico because her mother’s US visa expired back in 2010. The family was living in Mexico when Ixcell was diagnosed with the aggressive form of cancer. They made the decision to seek treatment back in the United States. However, getting back into the country was harder than it should have been for the American citizen. 

When the pair arrived at the border in Tijuana, Mexico, they were denied entry into the United States and detained.

Twitter / @RedTRaccoon

The pair was detained at the border facility for two days. During that time, Ixcell grew steadily worse and her mother received no information about when her daughter would be granted access to treatment. 

“They took everything away from us,” Dalia lamented in a video produced by Solidarity Now, a group that advocates for human rights for detainees at the southern border. “They took us into a room. In the afternoon, they left us in a cold room but it was so cold and my daughter was feeling so sick. I pounded on the door and shouted for them to open it, but no. My child was so thirsty but no one would listen to me.”

A relative living in the United States was eventually able to help Ixcell cross the border but her mother remained in Mexico. 

Twitter / @ACLU

Several petitions to allow Dalia into the States were made but she was denied every time. Local churches   such as Shepherd United Church of Christ in Cary came to the aid of the mother and daughter; visiting Ixcell and advocating for Dalia’s sake. 

“I just keep thinking that it’s unbelievable,” Pastor Carla Gregg-Kearns told local news team, ABC11. “I can’t believe or imagine what sort of reason there could be for her not being granted permission to come into the country to be with her daughter. Our faith makes it a no-brainer: of course you’re going to want to intervene and advocate on behalf of a child like this. We believe that our God is a god of life and desires that life is flourishing for all people.”

Back in June Ixcell’s cardiologist sent formal letters to Customs and Border Protection insisting that the reunion of mother and daughter was needed to help Ixcell’s prognosis. Congressman David Price also became involved in fighting for the unification of the mother and daughter.

All that fighting has paid off as Ixcell and her mother were finally reunited early Thursday morning. 

Twitter / @JoshChapinABC11

After months apart, the mother and daughter are finally in each other’s arms again. According to Customs and Border Protection, Dalia reapplied yet again for admission at the San Ysidro port of entry on August 27. The mother was then granted a temporary humanitarian waiver in order to enter the United States and rejoin Ixcell. Miles4Migrants, a donated frequent flyer program from migrants, helped provide the airline miles to bring Dalia home to her daughter. Additionally, Lawyer Moms of America and the ACLU applied pressure to Customs and Border Protection in order to have the temporary pass issued to Dalia.

The emergency pass is only issued in the direst of cases and it’s not clear for how long Dalia’s humanitarian waiver will keep her in the US. Hopefully, she will be able to be by Ixcell’s side all throughout her recovery.

Black And Latino Neighborhoods Are The Most Affected Communities By Covid-19

Things That Matter

Black And Latino Neighborhoods Are The Most Affected Communities By Covid-19

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The novel coronavirus known as Covid-19 is still spreading in the U.S. and claiming lives. New York is the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S. and the U.S. is the country with the most infections and deaths. At the time that this post was written, more than 1,583,000 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the U.S. and more than 95,000 people have died. This means that about 1 in every 3 people infected with Covid-19 lives in the U.S.

Covid-19 is devastating the U.S. with more than 1.5 million people testing positive for the deadly virus.

The U.S. is the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic with more deaths and infections than any other in the country by far. The second closest country in terms of infections is Russia with more than 326,000 infections. A new study found that had the U.S. taken safety measures one week earlier, 36,000 lives could have been saved.

Black and Latino communities have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez represents one of the hardest-hit districts in the U.S. Her district is a majority Black and Latino district in New York has seen a devastating wave of Covid-19 infections and death. Economic inequalities have exacerbated the issues of Covid-19 and it is clear that it is having a deadly consequence.

Part of the problem is the kind of work and living conditions in these communities.

Latino and Black neighborhoods in New York are seeing infections and death rates disproportionate to the population within the state. As states begin to reopen, many Latinos are further put at risk. According to the LA Times, a large percentage of essential workers are people of color meaning that they have been putting themselves at risk during the pandemic. Now, more at being told to go to work while the virus continues to spread in the U.S.

According to data from New York, the rate of death for Latinos is 259.2 out of 100,000. This is second to Black residents experiencing 265 deaths per 100,000. For reference, whites in New York are experiencing a death rate of 160 per 100,000.

The trend of Latino communities facing a significant wave of Covid-19 is reflected across the country. According to The New York Times, Latinos in Iowa make up 20 percent of Covid-19 infections while only representing 6 percent of the population and in Washington state Latinos are 13 percent of the population but 31 percent of Covid-19 cases.

In late March, AOC called out President Trump’s lack of a response as setting the country up for thousands of preventable deaths.

A scientific study examined the Covid-19 response in the U.S. and how it could have gone differently. According to the study, had the Trump administration led and implemented social distancing measures one week sooner, 36,000 lives could have been spared.

READ: A Rail Worker Died Of The Coronavirus After A Man Who Said He Had COVID-19 Spat On Her

A Rail Worker Died Of The Coronavirus After A Man Who Said He Had COVID-19 Spat On Her

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A Rail Worker Died Of The Coronavirus After A Man Who Said He Had COVID-19 Spat On Her

@bakerloormt / Twitter

A police investigation has been launched by the British Transport Police after a railway ticket office worker died from Covid-19.  According to reports, the 47-year-old woman named Belly Mujinga had been on duty when a man purposefully spat and coughed on her. He also told the women that he had the virus which has caused a worldwide pandemic and thousands of deaths.

Mujinga had an underlying health condition and was working for Govia Thameslink Railway on the station concourse when the attack took place.

The incident happened on March 22 and included another working colleague of Mujinga’s. Overall, the attack highlights an especially disturbing problem in the UK, which involves COVID-19 and race. According to CNN, Black people in the UK four times more likely to die from Covid-19 than white people, new data shows.

“Belly and her colleague begged to be let to work from inside the building with a protective barrier between them and the public for the rest of that day,” Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) said in its statement. “Management said they needed people working outside and sent them back out onto the concourse for the rest of their shift.”

When both of the women returned to their shift, they do so without any personal protective equipment.

In a statement about Mujinga’s death, the TSSA said the GTR was aware of her condition and accused the train system of only allowing Mujinga to leave when her physician called her employers around March 25.

“As a vulnerable person in the ‘at risk’ category and her condition known to her employer, there are questions about why GTR didn’t stand her down from front line duties early on in this pandemic,” Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary said in an accusatory statement on behalf of the TSSA. “There are serious questions about her death, it wasn’t inevitable.”

Mujinga’s death has highlighted the roles deemed as “essential” during current times, putting into question their need to be put into operation.

It’s imperative, now more than ever, that governments and ruling bodies put protections in place for all people. Particularly those deemed essential.