Things That Matter

America Showed How Empty The Country Would Be Without Immigrants

Immigrants and immigrant allies nationwide are on strike today as part of the #DayWithoutImmigrants protest. The protests are in response to President Trump’s continuous attacks on immigrants, both undocumented and legal. Americans from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles are closing stores, missing work, skipping school and protesting by the thousands in solidarity with all immigrants. Here are some photos and tweets from the multiple protests.

Many immigrant-run neighborhoods in major U.S. cities turned into ghost towns.

Immigrants and their supporters used Feb. 16 as a day of protest and strike against President Trump and his immigration policies. Since taking office, Trump has banned immigrants and refugees from 7 predominately-Muslim countries and Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested more than 600 people within a week.

Schools saw major drops in attendance as parents kept children home is support of the protests.

According to the New York Times, KIPP Austin Comunidad, a majority-Latino public charter school in Austin, Texas, only 60 percent of the students were in class.

Several museums covered or removed all works of art that were produced by immigrants further showing the impact of Trump’s immigration policies if they are expanded.

@WBUR / Twitter
CREDIT: @WBUR / Twitter

According to USA Today, museums like Davis Museum at Wellesley College works of art by people who immigrated to the U.S. will not be on display for a few days as protest.

The protesters were all ages but they had the same message: love and acceptance.

❤️ ❤️ ❤️

Twitter users were using the hashtag to thank their immigrant parents.

Tbh, that is most of us.

And speaking of parents, many people were protesting for their immigrant family members.

This is what makes America already a great nation.

As the Chicago protesters chanted, “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido.”

Translation: “The people united will never be defeated.”

This viral photo made a reappearance.

S A V A G E !

The nation’s capitol was alive with protesters taking to the streets.

Protests in D.C. resulted in many eating establishments for the Pentagon, White House and Capitol Hill to close or operate on limited menus putting a squeeze on government officials, according to CNN.

Homestead, Fla., which is about an hour south of Miami, saw their own demonstration.

There were also demonstrations in North Carolina.

“The really important dynamic to note is this is not antagonistic, employee-against-employer,” Janet Murguia, the president of the Hispanic rights group National Council of La Raza, told The Charlotte Observer. “This is employers and workers standing together, not in conflict. Businesses cannot function without immigrant workers today.”

Protesters are hoping that the nationwide demonstration will show the Trump administration just what it will look like if there were no immigrants.

“It just shows that people are anxious, that people want to raise their voices in opposition to Trump’s policies and they’re not OK with what he’s been pushing and they’re going to have their voices heard one way or another,” Jose Lara, the dean of students at the Santee Education Complex south of downtown L.A., told LA Times.

For the thousands marching, it seems that la lucha sigue.

Stay safe out there, everyone.

READ: Tech Workers Protested Trump’s Immigration Ban In San Francisco

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President Joe Biden Signs Executive Order To Preserve DACA

Things That Matter

President Joe Biden Signs Executive Order To Preserve DACA

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

January 22, 2021

The Trump administration spent years trying to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Obama-era program was important in helping young undocumented adults who came to the country when they were children. President Joe Biden has restored it.

President Joe Biden has restored DACA to its original 2012 form.

President Biden was with President Obama when DACA was passed to protect the young adults who benefit from the program. President Biden’s executive order is giving hundreds of thousands of young adults protections and the ability to work once again.

“This memorandum, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) guidance, deferred the removal of certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, have obeyed the law, and stayed in school or enlisted in the military,” reads the memorandum posted on the White House website. “DACA and associated regulations permit eligible individuals who pass a background check to request temporary relief from removal and to apply for temporary work permits. DACA reflects a judgment that these immigrants should not be a priority for removal based on humanitarian concerns and other considerations and that work authorization will enable them to support themselves and their families, and to contribute to our economy, while they remain.”

Original: During the 2020 election, Latinos were a massive electoral voting bloc. In fact, for the first time ever, the Latino vote outnumbered the Black vote. According to the Pew Research Center, there are now 32 million eligible Latino voters and that accounts for 13 percent of all eligible voters. 

And, Latinos helped deliver the presidency to Joe Biden. So it can be expected that the community has high expectations for Joe Biden to deliver on his campaign promises of immigration reform.

During a recent speech about his first 100 days in office, Joe Biden outlined his priorities once he’s sworn in on January 20th, and said he would “immediately” send an immigration bill to congress.

Joe Biden promises swift action on immigration reform as soon as he takes office.

Over the weekend, President-Elect Joe Biden promised he would take swift action when it comes to immigration reform and rolling back many of the cruel and dangerous policies put into place by the Trump administration.

“I will introduce an immigration bill immediately,” he said in a news conference on Friday.

Although he didn’t go into detail regarding the proposed legislation, he’s previously committed to ending Trump’s ban on immigration from predominantly Muslim nations, and that he wants a path to citizenship for Dreamers, and an increase in guest worker permits to help bring undocumented agricultural workers – many of whom are now considered “essential workers” – out of the shadows.

Biden had already promised an immigration overhaul within the first 100 days of his presidency but this commitment definitely increases the pressure on him and congress to get things done.

Biden also said his justice department will investigate the policy of child separation.

During the same press conference, Biden said that his Justice Department will determine responsibility for the family separation program, which led to more than 2,600 children being taken from caregivers after crossing the U.S. southern border, and whether it was criminal.

“There will be a thorough, thorough investigation of who is responsible, and whether or not the responsibility is criminal,” Biden said. That determination will be made by his attorney general-designate, Merrick Garland, he added.

During the campaign, Biden finally took responsibility for many of his administration’s immigration failures.

Nicknamed the “Deporter in Chief,” Obama deported more immigrants than any other president in U.S. history with over 3 million deportations during his time in office. 

But as part of that administration, Joe Biden is also complicit. That’s why during the campaign he seemed to acknowledge at least some of the pain the duo caused.

“Joe Biden understands the pain felt by every family across the U.S. that has had a loved one removed from the country, including under the Obama-Biden Administration, and he believes we must do better to uphold our laws humanely and preserve the dignity of immigrant families, refugees, and asylum-seekers,” Biden’s immigration plan reads. 

While Obama’s methods pale in comparison to the cruel tactics like family separation, inhumane conditions, and targeted raids, the impact the deportations have had on families is cannot be quantified.

Biden, like any Vice President, is put in the position of having to defend his president, but also himself as the future president. This isn’t a bad thing, Biden must distinguish himself from his predecessor but if the shadow of Obama’s legacy is buying him goodwill, it might be difficult to undermine that administration’s stances.

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Trump Supporters March on Washington in ‘Million MAGA March’ to Protest Biden Win

Things That Matter

Trump Supporters March on Washington in ‘Million MAGA March’ to Protest Biden Win

Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Over the weekend, thousands of Trump supporters took to the streets of Washington, D.C. to gather in what they dubbed the “Million MAGA March”. Protestors cheered as Trump’s motorcade drove by the crowds on his way to his golf course in Virginia.

The “MAGA March” Trump supporters gathered to protest what they believe is a “rigged” election.

They are united under the phrase “Stop the Steal,” which is inspired by the President’s assertations that the election was “stolen” through various nefarious methods. The “methods” Trump has alleged are massive voter fraud (untrue), faulty voting machines (untrue), and shady election workers (untrue).

Unfortunately, due to the sea of misinformation on the internet, these MAGA marchers are convinced that democracy has been thwarted. They don’t believe there is any way that Trump could have lost the election if the election was free and fair. No matter what evidence they are presented with, their world view remains the same: Trump was cheated.

According to reporters on the ground, dozens of members of the Proud Boys group were in attendance–the white nationalist group that Trump gave a shout-out to during the first presidential debate.

Also in attendance were QAnon conspiracy theorists, boogaloo boys, and Confederate sympathizers. And of course, there were just those who were there to support the president without being part of any far-right groups.

After nightfall, smatterings of violence broke out between the marchers and counter-protestors. According to The Washington Post, activists “spewed profanity and shouted threats, threw punches and launched bottles.” At least 20 people were arrested. According to The Post, at least one counter protestor was stabbed.

While the protestors (and Trump himself) boasted to the public that there were hundreds of thousands of attendees, the Washington D.C. park service estimates that less than 12,000 people were present. For comparison, roughly 470,000 people attended the 2017 Washington Women’s March after Trump was elected.

The diminutive size of the so-called “Million MAGA March” got more than a few laughs on the internet.

Once again, Twitter users got a kick out of Trump’s insistence that the crowds he draws are huge–when they’re usually pretty underwhelming.

Jokes abounded about the Trump’s counting skills–which seemed to have been failing him a lot lately.

Is it possible that he got his diploma at one of his defunct for-profit universities? That would explain his struggle identifying simple figures.

But this man made an astute observation about the amount of people there.

No matter how you count it, the numbers add up in the end.

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