Things That Matter

Menstruating Girls Being Detained At The Border Are Being Denied Sanitary Napkins

Since the crisis at the border began, we’ve heard a lot of horror stories coming out of border detention centers. Among these stories, reports of basic hygiene products being denied to migrants have especially outraged us. The Trump administration had to be taken to court before it was decided that they would legally have to provide child detainees basics such as toothpaste and soap. Access to medication and healthcare has been limited, resulting in an epidemic of treatable illnesses throughout these camps. It has become obvious that part of the mission in detaining these humans is to treat them as inhumanely as possible.

Unfortunately, it seems that these stories are just the start of the cruel treatment these migrants are being inflicted with.

The newest reports from the border tell that detained girls are being denied the access they need to feminine hygiene products such as tampons and pads.

Twitter / @AuthorKimberly

A lawsuit that has been filed by 19 states reports that detained migrant girls are being given limited access to the supplies needed while menstruating. One of the girl’s interviews for the lawsuit claimed that they were only given one tampon or sanitary pad per day. If they bled through these products, the girls “had no choice but to continue to wear [their] soiled underwear.”

In the lawsuit, testimony from civil rights investigator, Alma Poletti, was included. Among her testimony, Poletti said one young woman who was having her period at the time was only allowed to shower after 10 days.

“She recalls there was another girl at the facility who was also on her period. They were each given one sanitary pad per day. Although the guards knew they had their periods, they were not offered showers or a change of clothes, even when the other girl visibly bled through her pants,” Poletti reported in the lawsuit. “This girl had no choice but to continue to wear her soiled underwear.”

Washington’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson, is among those behind the lawsuit that pushes for human treatment of these children and for their release to occur after no longer than 3 weeks of detention.

Twitter / @C_doc_911

Ferguson has compared the immigration policies of the current administration to “shameful chapters in American history — the internment of Japanese Americans, and the forced separation of Native American families.” He cited other atrocities as well such as the “lack of toothbrushes, soap or access to shower…extremely cramped cells, younger kids put in cages as punishment and guards throwing food on the ground for children to fight over.”

The current administration’s suggested policy is indefinite detention of these migrants and to ignore the Flores Agreement   a 1997 detention standard for children. According to the president, this new proposal is meant to deter migrants from attempting to come into the United States. However, using cruelty to deter migration is downright immoral and  — at this point illegal.

“Detaining families indefinitely and needlessly inflicting trauma on young children is not an immigration policy — it’s an abhorrent abuse of power,” Ferguson declared in response to the proposed policy. “The president’s actions and policies are cruel, inhumane and illegal.”

Ferguson isn’t the only one outraged and sickened by these claims. Twitter was just as disgusted by the reports coming from detention centers.

Twitter / @TracyGarland

Besides being a moral issue, this is a healthcare issue. As this Twitter user explains, forcing the girls to only use one tampon or sanitary pad per day could lead to TSS Toxic Shock Syndrome. Failure to change sanitary products can result in this dangerous condition and could lead to death. This is a potentially life-threatening act of negligence.

Some users online were outraged about the mental anguish being inflicted onto these girls.

Twitter / @JenLuvsAmbition

Menstruation can be an emotional part of a young girl’s life. Especially if they don’t have their mothers, grandmothers, aunts or other female family members to walk them through it. These girls are already in a vulnerable place and now they have to suffer extra embarrassment by being denied their rights to general hygienic items and bathing. No doubt, this will cause lifelong trauma that is completely avoidable.

This Twitter user compared the treatment of these young girls to those in the American prison system.

Twitter / @DRHBashur

The prison system imposes similar rules on menstruating women as these detention centers are now doing. We also have to consider the girls who have begun menstruating while in detention. How devastating that must be to experience this change without the right emotional support and without the needed supplies.

Since detention centers will not accept donations of any kind, we can only sympathize with these girls and hope that this lawsuit wins out in the end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFtOyWcvNJo

ICE Is Offering A Master Class To The Public On How To Handle Weapons And Arrest Immigrants

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ICE Is Offering A Master Class To The Public On How To Handle Weapons And Arrest Immigrants

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By mid-October, there could be professionally trained armies of ordinary citizens patrolling the streets looking to arrest immigrants. And they’d be doing the dirty work of ICE – which has launched a program in Chicago specifically to help train and equip the public on the skills and knowledge needed to do it effectively.

According to ICE, the program is little more than a chance to educate and enlighten the public on the challenges the agency faces on a daily basis. They claim that their work is grossly misunderstood. Yet the description of the six-week-long program literally describes familiarizing recruits with firearms and how to make targeted arrests.

Chicago’s ICE office announced a “citizen’s academy” to teach the public on how to arrest immigrants.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is launching a class for private citizens in Chicago on how to arrest undocumented immigrants.

The course, which begins on September 15 and will run one class a week for six weeks, will train non-agents in firearms, defensive training and how to make ‘targeted arrests.’ ICE plan to roll out the program to cities across the country.

The Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Chicago Citizens Academy is a six-week program modeled after similar trainings held by other law enforcement agencies. ICE will select 10 to 12 participants for the training, which is set to start in September.

Many Chicagoans have received letters inviting them to apply. During the program, according to the letter, “participants will gain insight into the many facets and responsibilities of ICE/ERO operations, and hopefully an awareness and appreciation of the issues our officers face every day in the performance of their duties.”

But immigration activists aren’t buying the story ICE wants to tell.

Several of Chicago’s elected officials have come out strongly against the program, saying there is no room for this academy in the city of Chicago.

“I think it’s outrageous that they are trying to do this in Chicago. This is a sanctuary city that we’ve fought so hard for,” said Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez, in an interview with Fox 11.

Rodriguez read the letter and said she was concerned about the language in the letter, which reads, in part, “attendees will participate in scenario-based training and exercises conducted in a safe and positive environment, including, but not limited to defensive tactics, firearms familiarization, and targeted arrests.”

“What it sounds like to me is a vigilante academy,” Rodriguez said. “We need to be educating the community so that they don’t sign up for it. I think the city needs to speak out against this programming. This isn’t welcomed in Chicago.”

Another of Chicago’s aldermen, Jesús ‘Chuy’ García, wonders if the course is part of ICE’s plan to have neighbors spy on others to see if they’re undocumented and report back to the agency.

Although the program is outrageous, it’s been taking place in Los Angeles for years.

The program was just announced in Chicago last week but it has been in operation for several years in other cities across the country. In fact, Los Angeles – another sanctuary city – has had a similar academy in place since 2016. However, unlike Chicago’s program which will be run by the ERO, LA’s program is managed by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division.

Regardless of who is running the program, many are rightfully worried about its implications. Silky Shah, executive director of Detention Watch Network, said in a statement, “ICE is recruiting an army of ‘citizens’ to fuel its propaganda machine and forge hatred in our communities. The outcome of this program will be more terror unleashed upon immigrant communities and people of color.”

California, Harvard, MIT File Lawsuits To Challenge Government’s International Student Visa Announcement

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California, Harvard, MIT File Lawsuits To Challenge Government’s International Student Visa Announcement

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Update: The State of California has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration against the announcement to deport international students. The Golden State filed after Harvard and MIT filed a lawsuit against the same announcement.

A judge has set the hearing date for the lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT for Tuesday.

A federal judge in Boston will start hearing the arguments for an injunction against the recent announcement from the federal government Tuesday. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ordered that all international students will be stripped of student visas if their classes go completely online.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that he will be filing a lawsuit as well.

Attorney General Becerra argues that the decision is arbitrary and only causes undue harm to the people impacted by the decision. Part of the argument is the disregard of the health of those who would be forced to leave. The U.S. has the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world and the health risks of making thousands of international students suddenly leave the U.S.

Original: Just as students begin to contemplate what a fall semester might look like amid a global health pandemic, the Trump Administration has thrown another curveball at foreign university students. In a new rule issued by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, foreign students must return to their home country if their school will no longer be offering in-person learning, effectively forcing students to decide between full classrooms or international travel during a health crisis.

Once again, a cruel and poorly thought out, hastily announced rule change has thrown the lives of hundreds of thousands into doubt.

The Trump Administration announced new rules that require foreign students in the U.S. to be part of in-person classes.

Despite the global pandemic that is currently spiraling out of control in the U.S., the Trump Administration has issued new immigration guidelines that require foreign students to be enrolled in in-person learning. With this new rule, foreign students attending colleges that will operate entirely online this fall semester cannot remain in the country to do so.

The new comes just as college students begin to contemplate what their upcoming semester might look like and leaves them with an uncomfortable choice: attend in-person classes during a pandemic or take them online from another country. 

And for students enrolled in schools that have already announced plans to operate fully online, there is no choice. Under the new rules, the State Department will not issue them visas, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not allow them to enter the country. 

“Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status,” read a release from ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program. “If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings

Already, several major universities have announced their intention to offer online learning because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

The strict new rule comes as higher education institutions are releasing information on their reopening plans. Schools are preparing to offer in-person instruction, online classes or a mix of both.

Eight percent of colleges are planning to operate online, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, which is tracking the reopening plans of more than 1,000 U.S. colleges. Sixty percent are planning for in-person instruction, and 23% are proposing a hybrid model, with a combined 8.5% undecided or considering a range of scenarios. 

Harvard University is one of the latest institutions to unveil its plans, announcing on Monday that all undergraduate and graduate course instruction for the academic year will be held online. Joining Harvard’s stance are other prestigious universities, including Princeton and the University of Southern California.

The U.S. has more than 1 million international students from around the world.

The U.S. is the number one destination for foreign students around the globe. More than a million foreign students are enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities, although that number has dipped slightly in recent years – largely attributed to the election of Donald Trump.

Mexico sends more than 15,000 students to the U.S. and Brazil is responsible for 16,000 foreign students in the country. By contrast, China and India send a combined almost 600,000 students to study in the U.S.

The new rule is expected to cost U.S. colleges and universities more than $4 billion.

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Putting aside the very real health implications of forcing students to decide between attending in-person classes or traveling back to their home country amid a global pandemic, the U.S. economy is also going to take a hit.

International students in the U.S. contributed nearly $41 billion to the national economy in the 2018-2019 academic year. According to the Institute of International Education, the vast majority of funding for international students comes from overseas, rather than being funded by their host institutions, meaning that international students are big business for American universities. While students will still be required pay tuition fees, it’s possible that a hostile policy towards people seeking to study in the US could discourage prospective students.

If fewer international students are able to study in this country, it could spell trouble for the colleges that bank on them. Over the last decade, deep cuts in state funding for higher education have put pressure on schools to admit more students who need less aid, which is why so many schools have come to rely on the revenue from foreign students, who typically pay top dollar. 

“Those students are also, by and large, paying full tuition to study in this country,” Lakhani said. “That’s a really valuable tuition base.”