Things That Matter

PHOTOS: People Are Showing Up All Over The Country To Tell Trump To #CloseTheCamps

As Fourth of July came and went, Americans reconsidered what it meant to be An American. The U.S. claims to be based on liberty and justice for all yet, migrant families are detained in deplorable conditions and children are caged in federal concentration camps. The Fourth of July parades around the country reflected American concern and outrage over recent images of children in cages, and the parades aren’t stopping anytime soon.

Mass days of action, organized by advocacy group MoveOn, have been scheduled, and this week saw 185 mobilizations alone. Here are the most visceral, powerful photos of the #CloseTheCamps protests thus far.

In case anyone is desensitized to seeing photos of brown kids in cages, here are some white kids in a cage speaking out.

Credit: @jacobsoboroff / Twitter

The photo, taken in Ojai, California during a Fourth of July march, caused a huge stir on social media. These are children, just like anyone else’s child, who absolutely, never ever belong in cages.

This Independence Day Lady Liberty was passing out flyers for the July 12 demonstrations.

Credit: @RiveraSunAuthor / Twitter

“I was Lady Liberty inviting everyone to stand up for the freedoms of all people,” tweets @RiveraSunAuthor. It doesn’t take a large number of people to make and a big and lasting impact. Just do your part and raise awareness immediately around you.

While this protester in Maine wanted to remind the President of the actual law.

Credit: @Individisble_MDI / Twitter

It’s called human rights, and for most, it’s obvious, but this Lady Liberty wants to spell it out for the bobos in the back. There is power in knowledge and the more we all know the better we can exist as a society.

That same Maine protest committed to showing children’s clothes on a laundry line questioning the meaning of freedom.

Credit: @Individsible_MDI / Twitter

“Freedom? Family? Fun? Close the Camps,” the clothing line reads. This is the kind of civil demonstration that people are looking for right now.

Never Again Action made a culinary masterpiece to fuel their demonstration.

Credit: @NeverActionActn / Twitter

Never Again Action is a Jewish activist group that ensures that #NeverAgain starts right now. The group acknowledges that the “detention centers” fit the criteria for concentration camps that target a group of individuals and jail them without due process. 

“Good Shabbos! Let’s all get the rest we need,” tweeted the advocacy group, “so we can enter next week reenergized and focused on demanding our government #CloseTheCamps.”

Over 30 Jewish activists have been arrested thus far for their protests.

Credit: @SanctuaryDMV / Twitter

The group has been adamant in reminding folks that Anne Frank didn’t die in the gas chambers. She died from typhus spread by lice because of filthy, unsanitary and crowded conditions. Over twenty immigrants have died in federal custody since the family separation policies began.

Latinos can’t see red stripes without seeing bars.

Credit: @VotoLatino / Twitter

For so many, Independence Day felt like a day of grief. It feels wrong to celebrate freedom when traumatized children are denied the basic human dignity of a bed, soap, and toothpaste. Children deserve better and the U.S. government has failed to give them the most basic needs.

Famous actress Padma Lakshmi made this very American pie on the Fourth.

Credit: @PadmaLakshi / Twitter

“A truly American pie for the bbq today,” she tweeted. Liberty looks a whole lot like #closethecamps.

Just three hours after seeing Lakshmi’s pie, this little girl made a cake of her own.

Credit: @rafaelshimunov / Twitter

“Just three hours after my daughter Nadia saw @PadmaLakshmi’s #CloseTheCamps #July4th pie,” tweets Nadia’s mom. Seeing so many American children who understand the horror of Family Separation raises their fists in the airs is what America looks like.

This Kentucky family came out on July 2nd with a baby-sized protest sign fit for an actual baby.

Credit: @ACLUofKY / Twitter

The Kentucky division of the ACLU tweeted out the photo saying, “Louisville families joined people in 183 other cities today for Close the Camps protests! They demand the closure of migrant detention centers and an end to inhumane conditions. #closethecamps #familiesbelongtogether”

This dedicated protester wants other tax-payers to know that $750 a day per child goes to a private detention company.

Credit: @PaulineHill01 / Twitter 

This group has demonstrated against the current administration every single week for two years. “Today we are in solidarity with others across the country who are against separating children from families. #FamiliesBelongTogether,” tweets Pauline Hill.

This protest group crowded Grant Central station to get the administration’s attention.

Credit: @BPie7 / Twitter

The only way to do that is to get media attention. Every single one of these protests has garnered media attention that starts local and grows to the national press. Once the administration feels public pressure, they’re more obligated to take action.

READ: A Week After AOC Compared Detention Centers To Concentration Camps, Jewish Activists Arrested For Protesting ICE

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Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

Entertainment

Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

The media advocacy group Define American recently released a study that focused on the way immigrant characters are depicted on television. The second-annual study is entitled “Change the Narrative, Change the World”.

Although the study reports progress in some areas of onscreen representation, there is still a long way to go.

For example, the study reported that half of the immigrant characters depicted on television are Latino, which is consistent with reality. What is not consistent with reality, however, is how crime-related storylines are still an overrepresented theme in these storylines.

The study shows that on television 22% of immigrant characters have crime storylines show up as part of their narratives. These types of storylines further pedal the false narrative that immigrants are criminals, when in reality, they’re just everyday people who are trying to lives their best lives. Ironically, this statistic is an improvement on the previous year’s statistics in which crime themes made up 34% of immigrants’ stories on TV.

These numbers are further proof that the media feels stories of Latino immigration have to be about sadness and hardship in order to be worth watching.

According to Define American’s website, their organization believes that “powerful storytelling is the catalyst that can reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.”

They believe that changing the narratives depicted in entertainment media can “reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.” 

“We wanted to determine if seeing the specific immigration storylines influenced [viewers’] attitudes, behavior, or knowledge in the real world,” said Sarah Lowe, the associate director of research and impact at Define American to Variety. “And we were reassured and inspired to see the impact it had.” 

Define American’s founder, Jose Antonio Vargas, is relatively optimistic about the study’s outcomes, saying that the report has “some promising findings” and the numbers “provide [him] with hope”. He added that there are still “many areas in which immigrant representation can improve”.

via Getty Images

Namely, Vargas was disappointed in television’s failure to take an intersectional approach to immigration in regards to undocumented Black immigrants. 

“Black undocumented immigrants are detained and deported at higher rates than other ethnic groups,” Vargas told Variety. “But their stories are largely left off-screen and left out of the larger narrative around immigration.” 

“Change the Narrative, Change the World” also showed that Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants are also under-represented on television compared with reality. Also worth noting, male immigrants were over-represented on television compared to reality, while immigrants with disabilities were also under-represented.

The study also showed that when viewers are exposed to TV storylines that humanize immigrants, they’re more likely to take action on immigration issues themselves. 

The effect that fictional entertainment narratives have on viewers further proves that representation does, indeed, matter. What we watch as entertainment changes the way we think about other people’s lived experiences. And that, in turn, can change the world.

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Court Says That ICE Needs To Follow The Constitution When Making Arrests And Here’s Why That’s Such A Big Deal

Things That Matter

Court Says That ICE Needs To Follow The Constitution When Making Arrests And Here’s Why That’s Such A Big Deal

Gerald Herbert / Getty Images

In what many are calling a landmark decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals just handed a major victory to migrant’s rights advocates. Although the major ruling seems simple on paper, it has major legal implications and could truly change the way that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrest undocumented immigrants.

However, the decision is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court – where it would face an uncertain legal future given the possible future makeup of the nation’s highest court.

The 9th Circuit Court just issued a landmark legal decision that could greatly affect ICE arrests.

Credit: Eric Risberg / Getty Images

Long-standing rules for arresting migrants may soon need to change, thanks to a recent ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court says that ICE needs to align its arresting and detention procedures with those of all other law enforcement agencies in the country, which are guided by rules within the U.S. constitution. When police arrest people for suspected crimes, the constitution requires them to show probable cause to a judge within 48 hours. But ICE does not do that. When ICE arrests people, it typically holds them for weeks before any judge evaluates whether ICE had a valid legal basis to make the arrest.

But ICE’s policies may no longer be legal.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the usual constitutional rules that apply to normal police all over the country also apply to ICE. “The Fourth Amendment requires a prompt probable cause determination by a neutral and detached magistrate,” the court said. This really shouldn’t be a big deal. Prompt independent review by a judge of whether the government has a legal basis to take away a person’s freedom is an essential safeguard against tyranny.

ICE’s arrest and detention policies have long come under scrutiny for seemingly skirting constitutional rules.

Credit: Joseph Sohm / Getty Images

For almost 200 years, immigration enforcement has existed in a sort of grey area, where the usual rules never applied. For example, when ICE arrests people, individual officers have much more legal discretion than other law enforcement authorities. Detainees may be held for weeks or months before going to a judge who will ask the person how they plead to ICE’s allegations against them.

Only then, long after the initial arrest, might ICE actually be required to show a judge any evidence to back up its case. The person would have spent all of that time detained, likely at a private detention center in a remote area.

For any other person in the U.S., this procedure goes against every legal protection in the constitution. But ICE has gotten away with treating immigrants this way for generations.

The ruling comes as other courts are making it easier for ICE to abuse migrant’s constitutional rights.

The ruling by the 9th Circuit comes less than a week after the 1st Circuit overturned a ban prohibiting ICE from arresting undocumented immigrants at courthouses in Massachusetts.

In 2018, ICE created a policy of attempting to arrest undocumented immigrants when they appeared at state courthouses for judicial proceedings. However, a district court granted an injunction against the policy after migrant advocates filed a lawsuit against ICE. They claimed that ICE was in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and lacked authority to make civil arrests at courts.

Meanwhile, ICE has resumed large-scale enforcement operations, announcing roughly 2,000 arrests over several weeks amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The 9th Circuit’s decision raises an obvious question: How many of those people were detained for more than 48 hours without a review by a judge?

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