Things That Matter

Four Guatemalan Children Have Died On Their Way To The U.S. Since December. What’s Happening?

An unidentified 2-year-old Guatemalan toddler has died one month after being detained by U.S. officials. According to a spokesperson from the Guatemalan consulate in Del Rio, Texas, the child died from complication from pneumonia.

Juan de León Gutiérrez, 16, made the dangerous trip to the U.S. hoping to be able to earn some money and provide a better life for his family back in Guatemala. They had been surviving on just one meal a day and with severe drought conditions, there was little hope of things getting better.

In December, two Guatemalan children died in U.S. custody making them the first children to die in custody in a decade. Seven-year-old Jakelin Caal died in a children’s hospital in El Paso, Texas. Eight-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo dies on Christmas Eve in a New Mexico hospital after being ill with vomiting, cough, and a fever.

Families are heartbroken and grieving for the loss of their children who simply wanted to help make their lives better.

Credit: @RAICESTEXAS / Twitter

Juan had left his drought-stricken village in Guatemala and began a journey to the U.S. He had hopes of earning money to send back to his family so they could buy corn and salt. According to his mother, Juan was a good boy who loved his family.

The family, who survives on farming, has been struggling for years as drought takes hold of the region.

Credit: @rafaelshimunov / Twitter

Juan spent most days working the farm with this father, where the family grew maize, beans, and coffee plants on their modest plot of land.

Each year when school started, Juan would beg his mother to scrounge up the $130 needed to continue studying, a privilege his own parents never had. But this year, Juan said he wanted to migrate to the U.S. to help earn money that would help the family. His mother tried to convince him to stay but eventually gave in, aware she couldn’t offer him a better life in Guatemala.

Fifteen days later, the teenager was apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol near El Paso after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a statement from Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry. He was transferred to a local hospital after a doctor at a government-run detention center noticed he was sick.

On April 30, after an operation at a Texas-area children’s hospital, de León Gutiérrez died. In an interview with CNN, his father said, “He went seeking life, but found death.”

The outpouring of grief on social media tells a story of how much the immigration laws of the U.S. need to change.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

Many expressed sadness and anger over Juan’s death.

The detention center where the boy was being held has an alleged history of abuse.

Credit: @rebekahentralgo / Twitter

Experts agree that temporary detention facilities at the border – often called “hieleras” because of their cold temperatures – are not equipped to safely care for children. Aside from having to deal with cold temperatures, migrants often face verbal abuse from guards and are forced to sleep on cold baren floors. Migrants are also threatened with violence from other detainees.

Several Twitter users have pointed out that the U.S. is supposed to be a welcoming place for immigrants.

Credit: @anotheresquire / Twitter

The Trump administration is doing everything in its power to not only deter immigrants and asylum seekers from coming to the U.S., but they’re also making their lives a living hell once they arrive.

While some have called out the cruel policies of the Trump administration and pointed out the inaction of Congress.

Credit: @CrisAlexJimenez / Twitter

Short of a miracle, the Trump administration isn’t going to adjust its approach. In fact, the administration has recently announced new measures designed to be even crueler towards immigrants.

Congress must stand up to cruelty and find ways forward to ensure deaths like these no longer happen.

Juan was the fourth Guatemalan child to die in U.S. custody since December.

Credit: @vicenews / Twitter

The uptick in death of minors has triggered outrage and grief in the U.S. The Trump administration started separating families at the border and it seems the policies at the border have gotten more extreme and the care of children is dipping.

Their deaths have sparked outrage among many who question how the same people who say every life is valuable and are passing illegal and restrictive abortion bans can allow the deaths of these innocent children.

Meanwhile, in the face of pointed questions, Homeland Security officials have been unable to adequately account for how many people have been harmed in detention due to this administration’s policies.

READ: Separated Immigrant Children Young As 3 Years Old Ordered To Appear In Court Alone

A New Study Shows That Children Of Migrants Are Able To Achieve The ‘American Dream’ Within A Generation

Things That Matter

A New Study Shows That Children Of Migrants Are Able To Achieve The ‘American Dream’ Within A Generation

One of the foundations of the social and historical construct of the United States of America is the idea that everyone who arrives, regardless of their race, creed or life circumstances, can build a new life. Popular media is inundated with stories of people who looked for a second (or third!) chance and became financially stable and socially respectable through hard work. Many small and large businesses are owned by migrants who made America home and have contributed to the economy. Others are as hard working as it comes! (you probably know a few share of hombres y mujeres trabajadores!). 

But migrants have also been historically demonized, even more so during the Trump administration and its iron fist approach to immigration, which borderlines racism in that it targets mostly people coming from the Global South. But the idea of migrants being a threat is old and feeds hate. However, a new study proves that social mobility is still a key element of the migrant experience. 

Science doesn’t lie! A new study argues that the adult children of migrants move up the social scale.

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A study conducted by Stanford University’s Ran Abramitzky; Princeton University’s Leah Platt Boustan and Elisa Jácome; and the University of California Davis’ Santiago Pérez  reveals that particularly the most economically challenged migrants show upward social mobility down the generations. The children of migrants do better than their parents, so the huge emotional, physical and intellectual efforts of migrants pay off down the road. The researchers gathered census data, publicly available administrative data and federal income tax data. They traced the income of millions of parents and offspring, all the way dating back to 1880. 

The results highlight a revealing fact: children of migrants progress further than the children of people born in the United States.

Credit: latintouchnewtonma / Instagram

It might be surprising for some, but the children of migrants advance further up the social scale than the sons and daughters of people born in the United States. In particular, this trend is present in the lowest socio-economic sectors, which shows that hard work still pays off even if the economic situation in recent times (ever since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008) has been dire to say the least. 

So what is the “American Dream” anyway?

This data contradicts the Trump administration’s populist rhetoric, which asserts that rather than contributing, migrants drain the system. The paper reveals that migrants generate wealth and inject dividends into the financial system. They are living, breathing examples of the American Dream. This term was coined by historian James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book “Epic of America”. French historian Alexis de Tocqueville defined it as “The chance of anticipated success”. The idea, which is in the ethos of the foundation of the United States, has suffered a few hits along the way, but seems to remain relevant according to the data. 

So why do migrants succeed? It goes beyond mere cultural traits.

Credit: The Ringer

Many people assume that having a strong work ethic is the only explanation for migrant success. But it is far more complicated than that. It has to do with location primarily, according to the researchers. Because migrants don’t have deep roots in the host country, they are willing to locate in the hubs where there are more opportunities.

As reported by Vox, Leah Platt Boustan, one of the authors said: “We don’t even have to reach for these cultural explanations. A lot of it has to do with immigrants being willing to move anywhere and choosing locations where there are growing industries and a good set of job opportunities for their kids. Those are choices that immigrants are making that are different from the US-born and that could be a feature of immigrant success.”

The trend continues regardless of the ethnic background, a push against racist notions that some migrants are better than others.

The researchers concluded that this upward mobility is present regardless of the ethnic background of the parents who arrived in the US. There are some pretty misleading notions that, for example, Asian immigration is “better” than Latin Americans or Africans.

This harmful notion has been perpetuated by popular political discourse, with even President Trump saying that some people come from “shithole countries” like El Salvador and African nations, while advocating for more migrants from Norway. But misconception is far from the truth, as Vox reports: “In fact, immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, and African nations such as Nigeria are all performing better than the US-born. And in past waves of immigration, immigrants from Norway actually performed worse than the US-born”. Wow, nothing like some good old social science to counter racist views. 

After His Comments About Her Virginity, T.I.’s Daughter Just Unfollowed Him On Instagram

Fierce

After His Comments About Her Virginity, T.I.’s Daughter Just Unfollowed Him On Instagram

princess_of_da_south / Instagram

Rapper T.I. lost the respect of quite a few fans last week when he joked about conducting a hymen check on his daughter. This week he’s lost at least one Instagram follower: his daughter, Deyjah Harris. 

During an incredibly cringe-worthy interview last week, T.I. bragged about knowing the status of his daughter’s virginity.

princess_of_da_south / Instagram

In a recent interview, the rapper boasted about his desire to keep his 18-year-old daughter “pure” and said that he does so by accompanying her to her yearly gynecologist appoints. As if the whole interview couldn’t have gotten worse, T.I. proved his ignorance by saying that, despite all of the doctors in the world that says that the absence of a hymen does not provide viable of proof a woman’s sexual activity, he makes the doctor report on its status.

In an interview with Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham for their podcast Ladies Like Us, TI gave the most bizarre and nasty response to a question about whether or not he had the “sex talk” with his daughter yet.

“Have I? This is the thing: Deyjah’s 18, just graduated high school now and she’s attending her first year of college, figuring it out for herself,” he replied. “And yes, not only have we had the conversation, we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen.”

His response promoted laughter from the two hosts of the podcast, but T.I. made it clear that he was as serious as the heart attack that I had when I heard this.

“This is what we do. Right after the birthday, we celebrate,” T.I. continued “Usually like the day after the party she’s enjoying her gifts. I put a sticky note on the door: ‘Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30.’”

Following her father’s comments, Deyjah Harris has unfollowed her dad on Instagram.

 According to E! News, Harris, 18, unfollowed her father after telling the world that he check the status of her hymen. While she has yet to comment about her father’s gross interview she has reportedly liked several tweets that have lambasted T.I. after the “Ladies Like Us” podcast aired.

We’re not sure when Harris made the decision to unfollow her father.

But fans have pointed out that she hasn’t just stuck to clicking the “unfollow” button on her father. Harris no longer follow’s  T.I.’s wife, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, or her stepsister Zonnique Pullins.

There’s no easy way to prepare you for what disgusting thing rapper T.I. just said about his daughter, her hymen, and her virginity, so just get ready for what you’re about to read. According to the rapper, he accompanies her to every appointment with her so that he can hear the doctor’s prognosis on her hymen himself. He even pressures his daughter into signing a released statement that will allow him to obtain this information. 

“We’ll go and sit down and the doctor will come and talk, and the doctor is maintaining a high level of professionalism,” he explained. “He’s like, ‘You know sir, I have to… in order for me to share information…’”

“I’m like, ‘Deyjah they want you to sign this. They want you to sign this so we can share information. Is there anything you wouldn’t want me to know? Okay. See doc? No problem.’”

As most of us know, there are many ways for a hymen to be broken that don’t include sex. 

princess_of_da_south / Instagram

According to one Psychology Today article most young girls experience a wearing away of the hymenal tissue that surrounds their vaginal openings. “Most hymenal tissue wears away as a result of washing, walking, athletics, self-exploration, and masturbation, though little bits may remain around the vaginal opening, particularly in the area closest to the anus (hymenal tags).” But these facts aren’t enough to keep T.I. from thinking about his daughter’s private parts.

“I say, ‘Look doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports, man. Just check the hymen please and give me back my results, expeditiously.’”

As if all of this information about his prying interest in his daughter’s private life isn’t humiliating, T.I. claimed in his interview that he knows 100% his daughter’s hymen is still intact. 

“I will say as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact,” T.I. declared on the podcast.

And just when we thought the conversation couldn’t have gotten worse, T.I. went onto shame his daughter and virgins further when the hosts replied suggested that his decision to “keep her a virgin” would put his teenager at risk for “vultures.”

Not so, claimed T.I. “They’re no fun. Who wants a virgin?” he insisted. “Like really? All that work.”

The rapper is the father of six children with three different women.

Of course, it didn’t take long for T.I.’s bizarre interview to go viral.

Women and men were quick to slam the rapper for his behavior and violation of his daughter’s privacy. 

“This is disgusting and horrible. Rapper T.I. says that he takes his daughter to the gynecologist to make sure her hymen is still intact!” New York Magazine writer Yashar Ali wrote. “Even after her 18th birthday (not that it makes it ok before her 18th birthday).  Twitter user and essayist Candice Marie Benbow wrote: “This is absolutely disgusting and perverted and vile and ignorant and just plain wrong. TI is a sick, controlling narcissist and there is absolutely NO way Deyjah, her mother or any woman in TI’s life should be okay with this.”