In June, Gladys Diaz was detained by ICE after authorities claimed to answer an ad for her homemade piñata business. Aburto Gutierrez alleges that Diaz, thinking she was meeting a prospective customer, was actually set up by ICE. The Chinook Observer — a local online publication — interviewed Aburto Gutierrez about his girlfriend’s detainment. The publication didn’t quote him by name, but rather his nickname “Rosas,” which is the name that ICE referred to him months later.
When reached for comment, ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley told The Seattle Times that they “don’t retaliate” when undocumented immigrants speak to the media. Haley also implied that Aburto Gutierrez was not detained earlier because he had to take care of their children. Haley added, “This does not mean an alien is exempt from future immigration enforcement.”
After over a decade of lobbying, The National Domestic Workers Alliance’s (NDWA) work is on the verge of paying off. This week, Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced legislation that would establish the first-ever National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
The bill would effectively include domestic workers as worthy of the same rights as other American workers–including “paid overtime, safe and healthy working conditions, meal and rest breaks, earned sick time, and freedom for workplace harassment,” according to NDWA.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal is leading the charge to ensure this bill is passed into law.
“Did you know most domestic workers are not covered by federal anti-discrimination and sexual harassment laws? Well we’re pushing back to change that,” tweets Rep. Jayapal. “My #DomesticWorkersBillofRights will give domestic workers the protections they deserve!”
The bill would grant basic worker’s rights to 2.5 million people in the U.S.
Of those 2.5 million people, 91 percent are women, mostly women of color. Given that domestic workers aren’t required to be paid even minimum wage, and that their work doesn’t include benefits like health insurance, it’s important to make sure every worker earns a living wage. According to NDWA, 70 percent of domestic workers are paid less than $13 an hour.
The workers who do the heavy lifting in the shadows of our economy may finally be recognized as worthy of rights.
NDWA has worked hard over the years to make it easier for domestic workers (home care workers, nannies and house cleaners). They even created a web app that would allow clients to contribute to a PTO and benefit fund for domestic workers. This bill would ensure that the government is advocating for every worker, so that domestic workers don’t have to fight so hard to advocate for themselves.
Members of the group broke off to meet with their representative.
“We had a powerful meeting with @timkaine where our members in Virginia shared stories about abuse and exploitation in the workplace,” the organization tweeted. “Every single worker deserves to work safely and with dignity. Onward to a National #DomesticWorkersBillOfRights!”
The group met with AOC, who opened up about how the bill would help “little girls like [her].”
“My mom was a domestic worker,” she tells the group. “As a child I grew up reading books on the staircases of other people’s homes, and doing homework on other people’s dinner tables, because my mom was pursuing domestic work so that I could go on field trips and have a future.”
For AOC, this bill is about reparations for a group of people who often go unseen in this world.
She praised the group for their advocacy, saying, “When you all are fighting for this, you’re fighting for little girls like me. You’re putting a shirt on a little girl like me’s back. I can’t tell you the reparations it has to see people who are used to being unseen and that’s what this bill does.”
The group also live-tweeted a conversation between several domestic workers and Rep. Jayapal.
The stories were shocking. A nanny named Thaty shared her experience, saying that “being a nanny takes so much hard work. I don’t know many people who can handle caring for 5 kids under 5 years old! But our work is still considered unskilled. We need to bring our work out of the shadows — so everyone can know what we do and how hard we work.”
Jayapal touched on something deeper than granting legal rights–this issue is about overdue respect.
So many families rely on domestic workers to come home to a clean home, safe and cared-for children, and more. They’re often not seen as employees but rather, “the help.”
But “The Help” encounter medical issues and injuries while on the job, without any legal protections.
Domestic workers are not included in federal protections for workers injured while on the job. So when Sylvia shared that she never fully recovered from a bad fall on the job, and though it impedes her ability to continue to work, she just has to grimace through it.
That same Sylvia is an inspiration. She told Rep. Jayapal that her experience “meeting workers who felt too vulnerable at work to raise their own voices forced me to be brave enough to raise my own voice, for me and for them. That’s why I’m part of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.”
We’re rooting for you!
As Latinos, so many of our own moms, tías or abuelas have driven this industry that, frankly, serves as the backbone to our economy. They offer support to middle and upper-class families who have money but don’t have time, and their work supports our families. Time to give some respect.
Does the Trump administration ever take a break from being downright harmful and problematic? Apparently not. On Tuesday, Kelly Conway asked a reporter about his ethnicity outside of the White House after the reporter asked a question about Trump’s racist tweets last weekend aimed toward AOC and three other congresswomen of color.
Now, critics and users online are calling out the counselor to the president for a question that many do not truly know what to make of.
In an attempt to defend Trump’s racist remarks, she ended up saying something problematic herself and dug herself into an even bigger hole.
“Following up on the previous question, if the President was not telling these four congresswomen to return to their supposed countries of origin, to which countries was he referring?,” asked White House reporter Andrew Feinberg.
To which WH counselor Kellyanne Conway asked, “What’s your ethnicity?”
Feinberg responds, “Um, why is that relevant?” Then Conway goes on to tell the reporter and the cameras, “My ancestors are from Ireland and Italy.” The reporter tells Conway that his ethnicity is not relevant to the question he asked.
Following his racist tweets from the weekend, Trump tweeted on Tuesday that his tweets were “NOT racist” and that he does “not have a racist bone” in his body. To which AOC responded in another tweet, “You’re right, Mr. President – you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head, and a racist heart in your chest.”
According to People, Trump also told reporters that the backlash he received from his racist tweets “doesn’t concern me, because many people agree with me. All I’m saying is if they want to leave, they can leave now.”
Instead of answering the reporter’s original question yesterday, Conway felt evidently provoked and reacted defensively by going on a tirade.
–Wich at this point, isn’t unusual or surprising from the Trump administration.
“He’s put out all of tweets and he made himself available…,” Conway told the reporter. “He’s tired. A lot of us are sick and tired of this country –– of America coming last… to people who swore an oath of office. Sick and tired of our military being denigrated. Sick and tired of the Customs and Border Protection people I was with, who are overwhelmingly Hispanic by the way being … criticized.”
The rest of (sane) America, however, is also sick and tired of Trump, Conway, and the rest of the Trump administration’s foolish behavior, racism, and bigotry.
Feinberg spoke to CNN‘s Don Lemon to discuss the incident. “I was thinking that this is bizarre, I’ve been a journalist in Washington for about 10 years and I’ve never had any government official speak to me that way or ask such an inappropriate question.”
Unfortunately, the White House reporter isn’t the only person who has felt this way during the Trump administration –– following his racist tweets aimed at four congresswomen of color, saying, “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came… you can’t leave fast enough.”
Lemon replied to Feinberg’s comment and said, “It seemed that she proved exactly what the critics of the president were saying by asking you that question, am I wrong?” To which the reporter responds that this isn’t the first time Conway has asked him an “inappropriate” or “irrelevant” question in response to one of his questions.
CNN Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza also put it perfectly: “That Conway actually uttered the words “what’s your ethnicity” to a reporter — and refused to drop her line of inquiry –– amid an ongoing racial firestorm sparked by Trump’s own willingness to tell non-white members of Congress to go back where you came from is stunning, even coming, as it did, from an administration that has repeatedly shown there simply is no bottom.”
Since asking the reporter, “What’s your ethnicity?” Conway addressed it in a tweet saying, “This was meant with no disrespect. We are all from somewhere else ‘originally.’ I asked the question to answer the question and volunteered my own ethnicity… Like many, I am proud of my ethnicity, love the USA, and grateful to God to be an American.”
People also took to social media to rightfully criticize Conway and the irrelevant and inappropriate question she asked the White House reporter.
Folks on social media also shared their own personal instances when someone has asked coded questions about someone’s nationality and/or ethnicity. However, all while expressing that although these are often questions asked by anyone but a government official –– especially one working for the White House.
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