Flyers, allegedly placed by ICE, began showing up around Washington D.C. on Thursday, warning residents that it was a “violation of law” to protect or harbor “aliens.” Failing to report “aliens,” the flyer warned, could result in up to 10 years imprisonment. Photos of the flyer were posted to Twitter by user @BalkansBohemia, and quickly picked up by several news outlets, like NBC News.
Though they looked official, the flyers were not placed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
With all that’s going on across the country – between a national health crisis and social unrest in response to the continued murders of unarmed Black men – you’d be forgiven for forgetting that we’re still in the middle of an election year. In fact, we’re still in the middle of a primary season. I know, it seems like 2020 has already dragged forever but we still have a ways to go.
Thankfully, despite all the challenges the country is facing, millions of voters still stepped out yesterday to let their voices be heard in the primary process.
In D.C., people lined up to vote despite protests, a pandemic, a city-wide curfew, and threats of police violence.
I anticipation of continued anti-police brutality demonstrations, all of D.C. was under a 7 p.m. curfew for a fifth consecutive day. However, Mayor Muriel Browser pointed out on social media and in interviews that residents would be allowed to cast ballots no matter the hour as long as they were in line before 8 p.m. Essential workers and journalists are also exempted from the city’s curfew.
More than four hours after polls closed for D.C.’s primary election, some District voters throughout the city were still waiting in line to cast their ballots, as the June 2 primary stretched into June 3.
In one part of the city, Ward 4, more than 100 people remained in line to vote as of 11:15 p.m. According to several elections volunteers however, most people at the polling center were sticking it out and “people are really positive and patient.”
The precinct is one of many across the city where people waited upwards of four hours to vote.
Police allegedly threatened D.C. voters who were in line to vote, despite being exempt from the city’s curfew.
The Mayor’s order made it very clear that as long as you were in line to vote before the 8 p.m. poll closing time, you would be able to cast your vote no matter the hour. Basically, anyone who was out past the 7 p.m. curfew to vote was exempt from the curfew order.
But according to some reports, some police didn’t seem to know or care about this exemption. Many took to Twitter to share that while waiting in line, police were harassing them and demanding they return home.
Meanwhile, in Iowa, Republicans finally drove racist and anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King from office.
King’s defeat was the top headline in Tuesday’s primaries. The nine-term congressman with a history of racist and anti-immigrant remarks was ousted after the GOP establishment lined up in support of his challenger, Randy Feenstra.
King’s defeat doesn’t necessarily mean a progressive candidate will take his place. Most pundits expect his Iowa district to remain in Republican control come the general election in November – Trump carried the district by nearly 30 points in 2016.
But getting rid of King is a win for all sides. He had a history of hate rhetoric targeting Black and Latino communities. But only after a New York Times interview in January 2019, in which the congressman questioned why the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” were offensive, did he finally lose the support of GOP leaders.
In 2013, in response to proposed immigration legislation, King said this of migrants, “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds—and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
Yesterday’s primaries also revealed challenges states face in the upcoming general election caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic presents states with two immense challenges: how to deal with the wave of mail ballots from voters who don’t wish to travel to their polling place in person, and how to accommodate those who do show up and follow the necessary medical precautions.
Yesterday, lines stretch on for hours. So states need to figure out how to safely accommodate the increase in voters and provide them with social-distant ways to vote.
Obviously, it’s fantastic that Americans are voting in record numbers. We need everyone to vote to be able to achieve the kind of change that we want and need to see in this country. But all of this means that come November, America may not know who wins the presidency on Nov. 3.
Share this story with all of your friends by tapping our little share buttons below!
COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the globe and governments are desperately trying to get a handle on the virus. More than a third of the world’s population are living under lockdown conditions in more than 20 countries on all continents. Thirty-two states are currently under lockdown orders as of April 1 and Florida’s lockdown will take effect the night of April 2. That translates to about three out of every four Americans living under some form of lockdown orders.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is demanding ICE release migrants in detention centers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Now, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to step up and release migrants in detention. There are thousands of migrants currently in detention centers in the U.S. and documented overcrowding of the facilities is cause for alarm during a health pandemic.
According to a report from ICE, four detainees and five agents have tested positive for COVID-19. Immigration advocates have been calling for ICE to release detainees to protect migrants from contracting COVID-19.
“ICE’s failure to reduce detention numbers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 has a real possibility of creating a severe health crisis for detention centers and overwhelming local health care facilities,” Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Texas said in a statement.
As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 spreads across the globe, there is one population the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of San Diego and Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) is trying to protect: migrants. The virus, which is highly contagious, has infected more than 127,000 people across 6 continents. More than 68,000 people have recovered from the virus. To date, more than 4,700 people have died from the disease and the ACLU wants to make sure detained migrants don’t die because of the virus.
The ACLUF-SDIC is calling on the U.S. federal government to create a plan to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in migrant detention centers.
The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is spreading across the globe triggering strong reactions from governments seeking to limit the spread. Italy has locked down the country to tell everyone in the country to quarantine.
So far, more than 1,300 people in the U.S have tested positive for COVID-19 and 38 have died. Most of the fatalities were in Washington state where 21 deaths happened in Seattle-area long-care facilities.
The ACLUF-SDIC is calling on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to develop a detailed plan to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 in detention centers.
The ACLUF-SDIC wants a written plan to prove that immigration officials have the migrants’ health in mind.
“ICE detention facilities in San Diego and Imperial counties must act quickly to put in place a comprehensive emergency plan that protects people in their custody from COVID-19,” Monika Langarica, immigrants’ rights staff attorney for the ACLUF-SDIC, is quoted in a release. “The spread of the virus into a detention center would have devastating consequences for the people locked up inside.”
The ACLUF-SIDC is concerned about the inadequate medical care and overcrowding could lead to a serious outbreak of COVID-19 within the detained migrant population.
Other ACLU chapters are calling on ICE to work with migrants to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The ACLU of Louisiana has asked ICE to offer expedited hearings for the elderly detained migrants to preserve their health.
“Given the CDC’s warnings about avoiding confined spaces and the threat COVID-19 poses to the frail and elderly, immediate steps must be taken to safeguard the health and well-being of incarcerated people across the state,” Alanah Odoms Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana executive director is quoted in a statement. “We know that confining people in close quarters increases the risk of infection, but right now thousands of Louisianans are incarcerated based on the mere accusation of a crime and an inability to pay bail. In the interests of public health, we’re calling for expedited parole hearings for the elderly in state prisons and for the immediate release of people who are being jailed pretrial based solely on their inability to pay bail. We look forward to working with state, federal, and local officials to ensure the health and well-being of all people under correctional control in our state.”
For more information about COVID-19 and how you can prevent it, click here.