Things That Matter

Here’s A Brief History About The Feud Between President Trump And California

President Donald Trump has made no mystery about his discontent with the state of California. The president has tried to talk down to the most populated state in the country boasting 12 percent of the population. Not to mention, California is the fifth largest economy in the world surpassing Great Britain last year.

There are several speculations about why Trump is so angry with The Golden State. Conversations around the City of Angels point to his perceived snub at the Emmys since “Celebrity Apprentice” never won an award. It is such a sore subject for the president that Hillary Clinton mentioned the snubs during the 2016 campaign.

Another sore spot for the president is the overwhelming and crushing defeat his presidential run experienced in California. Clinton figuratively stomped Trump with her 2.8 million vote win of the popular vote. In California, Clinton beat Trump by more than 4 million votes.

Not to mention all the times that California has taken Trump to court and blocked several of his measures aimed at hindering immigration and the environment.

Here’s a brief look at the feud between Trump and California that has transpired in the past couple of years.

On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his run for president and did so by saying that Mexicans were rapists and drug dealers.

Trump said in 2015: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

He also said that he would: “terminate President Obama’s illegal executive order on immigration, immediately.”

This statement alone set into motion a narrative that is against Mexicans, Latinos in general, and all immigrants.

Trump’s anti-immigration agenda included going after sanctuary cities, many of which are in California.

With the help of Attorney General Jeff Sessionswho’s always been outspoken about immigration and sanctuary cities — the Trump administration issued a harsh stance against undocumented people and the city officials who protect them.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have conducted several raids throughout the country, particularly in California including the Bay Area, Central Valley, and Los Angeles.

One of the ways California fought back against Trump targeting immigrants in that state was by passing the California Values Act.

On Oct. 5, 2017, Governor Brown singed the California Values Act, Senate Bill 54, which prohibits local officials and resources from aiding federal officials in carrying out raids.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the law “ensures that no state or local resources are diverted to fuel any attempt by the federal government to carry out mass deportations and that our schools, our hospitals, and our courthouses are safe spaces for everyone in our community.”

There’s been so much pushback from California that Trump has threatened to pull ICE out of the state.

“If we ever pulled our ICE out, if we ever said, ‘Hey, let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves,’ in two months they’d be begging for us to come back,” Trump said during a press conference. “They would be begging. And you know what, I’m thinking about doing it.”

Interestingly enough James Schwab, an ICE spokesman for the San Francisco Division, resigned yesterday saying he was basically told to lie.

“I just couldn’t bear the burden — continuing on as a representative of the agency and charged with upholding integrity, knowing that information was false,” Schwab said on CNN.

Schwab said he had a particular issue with the number that was being thrown around by Sessions and ICE director Tom Homan. Both officials said they wanted to detain 800 undocumented immigrants, but because Oakland Mayor announced the raid beforehand, they couldn’t get all of their targets.

“It’s a false statement because we never pick up 100 percent of our targets. And to say they’re a type of dangerous criminal is also misleading,” Schwab said on CNN.

One of the biggest contested issues between Californians and Trump is the border wall. Neither the U.S. or Mexico has agreed to pay for it.

Since the beginning of his campaign, Trump has demanded more security and a “stronger” border. But the main problem — which has yet to be resolved — is that no one wants to pay for it. Not Mexico or the U.S.

In 2017, California Sen. Ricardo Lara introduced a bill that would blacklist any state company that worked on Trump’s wall.

“If you’re a business that wants to do work with Trump’s proposed wall, then quite frankly, California doesn’t want to do business with you,” Lara said last year, according to NPR.

In 2018, California really stepped up their vigorous challenges against the president like during the time of inhumane family separations.

California was one of 17 states to bring lawsuits against the Trump administration over the zero-tolerance policy implemented by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Trump administration tried to act like they didn’t create the crisis at the border but the policy made it clear that they were to blame. As a result, federal courts ordered the Trump administration to reunite family but it was discovered that would be difficult because the administration did not properly register all the families separated. Some families are still indefinitely separated under the brutal and inhumane policy.

California has also been relentlessly fighting against the war on women perpetrated by the Trump administration.

By stripping federal funding from women’s healthcare centers, low-income women are going to be impacted. The Trump administration has made Planned Parenthood their greatest enemy and there doesn’t seem to be an end to their attacks in sight. Fortunately, states are standing up for their residents and fighting the Trump administration on their behalf.

And, most recently, there is the matter fo the citizenship question, which California is suing about.

Trump’s desire to question people about their citizenship on the census has been embroiled in legal battles since it was announced. Critics of the question say that the move will disproportionately impact states with high immigrant populations. The question could lead to some states losing billions in federal funds and lowering their representative and electoral college numbers.

READ: Jeff Sessions Held A Press Conference To Discuss The Lawsuit Against California’s State Laws About Undocumented Immigrants

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Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

Things That Matter

Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

This past March, according to El Pais, migrants crossed the Rio Grande at an all-time high not seen in the past 15 years. US government reports underlined that a total of 171,000 people arrived at the southern border of the United States in March. Eleven percent were minors who made the journey by themselves.

Reports say that this vulnerable group will continue to grow in size with recent shifts in the Biden administration child immigration policies. Five migrants girls recently found by the river recently became part of this group.

An onion farmer in Quemado recently reported that he found five migrant girls on his land.

The girls were each under the age of seven, the youngest was too small to even walk. Three of the girls are thought to be from Honduras, the other two are believed to have come from Guatemala.​ Jimmy Hobbs, the farmer who found the girls, said that he called the Border Patrol gave the children aid by giving them water and food and putting them in the shade.

“I don’t think they would have made it if I hadn’t found them,” Hobbs told US Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-Texas) in a New York Post. “Because it got up to 103 yesterday.”

“My thoughts are that it needs to stop right now. There are going to be thousands. This is just five miles of the Rio Grande,” Hobbs’ wife added in their conversation with Gonzalez. “That’s a huge border. This is happening all up and down it. It can’t go on. It’s gonna be too hot. There’ll be a lot of deaths, a lot of suffering.” 

“It is heartbreaking to find such small children fending for themselves in the middle of nowhere,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Austin Skero II explained of the situation in an interview with ABC 7 Eyewitness News. “Unfortunately this happens far too often now. If not for our community and law enforcement partners, these little girls could have faced the more than 100-degree temperatures with no help.”

According to reports, the Customs and Border Protection stated that the five girls​ ​will be processed and placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.​

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‘For Rosa’ Unravels The Madrigal Ten’s Fight For Reproductive Justice After Forced Sterilizations In California

Entertainment

‘For Rosa’ Unravels The Madrigal Ten’s Fight For Reproductive Justice After Forced Sterilizations In California

It’s 1970. Groans of discomfort permeate a Los Angeles County Hospital hallway as a Mexican-American woman is in labor. This is going to be her first child.

Little does she know that it’ll also be her last.

Courtesy of Kathryn Boyd-Batstone.

“This is an example of erasure,” director Kathryn Boyd-Batstone told mitú.

For Rosa, details a harrowing reality for many women of color in 1970s California. Inspired by the 1978 Madrigal v. Quilligan case, the story follows Eva, a mother faced with the pivotal decision to join the Madrigal Ten after discovering she was unknowingly sterilized.

Wanting to highlight each individual experience, Boyd-Batstone described her heroine as “a fictional composite character” inspired by multiple plaintiffs from the Madrigal Ten.

At first glance, Eva’s story prominently resembles the experience of plaintiff Melvina Hernández.

Hernández, at 23, signed a document that allegedly consented to an emergency C-section. Fearmongering by doctors and nurses highlighted a perceieved risk of mortality, pressuring her to sign a document she couldn’t read.

Four years later, she was informed that she had actually signed for a tubal ligation.

The history of eugenics is an ugly one, acting as a form of silent genocide.

In Eva’s case, medical professionals take advantage of her. Doctors and nurses took advantage of her language barrier and the pain of child labor.

The story, while historical, is relevant in the current context of the Trump era’s immigration policies.

Last year, an ICE nurse whistleblower reported the nonconsensual mass hysterectomies of migrant women detained at the border.

In the U.S. and Canada, Indigenous women have continuously been sterilized despite pro-sterilization policies ending in the 1970s.

“Although the court case happened over fifty years ago, we are still in a time where reproductive rights are not respected,” Boyd-Batstone said. “This is not an issue of the past, and so the fight continues.”

California’s eugenics laws disproportionately targeted Latinas.

California was one of the leading states in eugenics-informed practices.

After passing a law in 1909 that allowed medical practitioners to sterilize patients, the motives of cultural erasure became clear.

Hiding behind “good medicine” were racist and xenophobic incentives aimed to eliminate potential “welfare” cases.

Under this discriminatory pretense, Latinas were 59 percent more likely to be forcibly sterilized.

The United States has an extensive history of nonconsensual medical experimentation on Black and Brown communities.

Studies like the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male,” which lasted over 40 years, in part, shaped the mistrust between the Black community and the medical industry.

A mistrust that remains prevalent in the 21st century.

The Madrigal Ten is a testament to the fight for reproductive rights and women of colors’ autonomy.

In 1975, Dolores Madrigal alongside nine other women filed a class-action lawsuit against L.A. County-USC Medical Center for the nonconsensual tubal ligations that occurred during child labor.

A complicated ordeal that received little funding, 26-year-old Chicana Civil Rights attorney Antonia Hernández impressively took on the case. Boyd-Batstone who read the court documents said, “it became obvious that at the time the hospital did not have adequate steps in place to make sure their patients could give informed consent.”

Dr. Karen Benker, the only physician to testify against the hospital, told the New York Times in 2016 that “voluntary informed consent” didn’t exist in the early 70s.

That is until after the National Research Act of 1974 following public outcry from the Tuskegee study.

Following Roe v. Wade, the Madrigal Ten case sought to end the forced sterilizations of women of color, define informed consent and provide consent forms in Spanish at a reading level individuals could understand.

In 2016 PBS released a documentary on the case called “No Más Bebes,” which greatly inspired Boyd-Batstone to create For Rosa.

“The main feeling that stuck with me after watching the documentary was how much strength it must have taken these women to face someone who tried to take their identity and demand accountability,” she said.

Validating women of color’s experiences was essential for Boyd-Batstone. While the film mirrors the malpractices of the medical industry, brought upon by systematic racism and bias, she also hopes that women who have felt “diminished or uneasy around doctors” find the courage to speak out.

For Rosa, sheds light on traditional themes of womanhood and Chicana feminism.

“Stop Forced Sterilization” poster by Rachael Romero, 1977. // Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Simultaneously, the lawsuit took place during the rise in Chicana activism.

As tensions between mainstream white feminism and women of color peaked; Chicana activists put legislative reform and reproductive justice at the forefront. Furthermore, they brought awareness to discrimination as it intersects race, class, gender, and immigration.

Though on the sidelines, the case also harbored on the cultural question of defining femininity.

Worried for the state of her marriage, the correspondence of fertility with femininity felt dense. Heavily ingrained in machismo culture; the pain and frustration of no longer being able to conceive are palpable.

But the strength and courage to speak out defies all odds.

“As women, especially Latina women, I don’t think many stories show us how to do this,” Boyd-Batstone said. “So it was important to me to, one, honor the Madrigal Ten’s bravery but [to also] show young girls what it looks like to stand up and fight for your rights.” 

Though it has been nearly 50 years since the Madrigal Ten case, the fight for women’s autonomy and reproductive rights is ongoing.

Courtesy of Kathryn Boyd-Batstone

On June 7, 1978, the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the USC Medical Center. Judge Jesse Curtis stated that miscommunication and language barriers resulted in unwanted sterilizations.

Nonetheless, the lawsuit’s impact was potent. The California Department of Health revised its sterilization guidelines to include a 72-hour waiting period and issued a booklet on sterilization in Spanish.

In 1979, California abolished its sterilization law after 70 years.

More than 20,000 people of various races and ethnicities were sterilized during this time.

For Rosa ends with archival footage of Dolores Madrigal and Antonia Hernández announcing the lawsuit. Nevertheless, its timely release is indicative of the continual demands for justice today.

Now more than ever we must remember the narratives of the Madrigal Ten, and other Black and Brown activists who continue to pave the way for change.

“My hope is that For Rosa humanizes the women so that whatever culture or race or gender you are, you can empathize with the women as human beings,” Boyd-Batstone said.

“My hope is that every person who watches understands that these Latina women are deserving of respect.” 

Para Rosa (For Rosa) is available to stream on HBO Max.

READ: Joe Biden Says ‘Healthcare is Not a Privilege, It’s a Right,’ Donald Trump and the GOP Disagree

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