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The U.S. Government Has Ended A Program Designed To Help Child Immigrants From Central America

ABC15 / Arizona

In 2014, President Obama’s administration responded to an influx of unaccompanied Central American minors immigrating to the U.S. by creating the Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee/Parole program. Under the program, unmarried people under the age of 21 who came to the U.S. were eligible to apply for refugee status. If their refugee status was denied, they were automatically applied for parole to stay in the U.S. under the CAM Parole program.  Effective August 16, 2017, the parole program is no more because of President Trump’s January 25 immigration executive order, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that children currently in the U.S. could stay under humanitarian parole but their status would have to be renewed in order to stay.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, humanitarian parole, like the one that was offered for Central American Minors, is a last ditch effort when all other avenues to enter the U.S. have been exhausted. It is only granted “for urgent humanitarian reasons or for significant public benefit.” It is possible to go from a parolee to permanent status under certain circumstances, including political asylum or having a relative in the U.S. Being in the U.S. under parole is temporary but can be renewed if there is a significant risk to the individual whose parole has expired.

The program being canceled has impacted 2,700 minors who had been “conditionally approved” to come to the U.S. — many of them being El Salvador — according to Reuters. Reuters also reports that since the program started, 1,400 children have been granted parole status, allowing them to travel to the U.S. Now that the program has been canceled, thousands of Central American minors remain in danger of returning to areas where gang violence that has crippled neighborhoods.

“We’re talking about children who were found to be in danger, or to fear for their lives,” Lisa Frydman, the Vice President, Regional Policy and Initiatives with Kids In Need Of Defense, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “This program was launched really as a way to provide a safe and orderly path for Central American children in danger to arrive in the U.S. as an alternative for the dangerous migration journey.”

(H/T: The San Diego Union-Tribune)

READ: Central American Refugee Children Were Coming To The U.S. Legally, But Trump’s Executive Order Ended That

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The Brazilian Government Is Forcing Black People To Prove Their Blackness When Applying For Government Jobs

Things That Matter

The Brazilian Government Is Forcing Black People To Prove Their Blackness When Applying For Government Jobs

Brian Godfrey / Flickr

“I hope that they see that I’m not white.”

In 2012, Brazil enacted a law that makes requires 20 percent of federal jobs be given to black applicants, but how do they decide who is and isn’t black when applying for the job?

NPR’s new podcast, “Rough Translation,” explored how people applying for jobs have to prove their race if they want to get a federal job. White Brazilians are having to prove they are white to get a job, shining a light on the problematic nature of forcing applicants to prove they are black enough to receive one of the designated federal positions for black Brazilians.

Podcast host Gregory Warner explains that unlike the U.S. segregating blacks and whites, in the late 1800s, colonial authorities in Brazil not only accepted interracial coupling between white male colonizers and black and indigenous women (largely against their consent), it was encouraged before and after slavery was abolished as a way of erasing blackness in the country.

According to the UN Chronicle, Brazil never stopped miscegenation, which is the term for the mixing of races. It’s something the country prides itself on. This idea of racial mixing in Brazil led to what is known as a racial democracy. The result is a population of people in South America now trying to decide who qualifies for affirmative action for college and federal jobs based on race.

When affirmative action got passed, many Brazilians applied as black that others considered white. In response, people now have to have their race verified if they try to apply for something as a black Brazilian.

Warner explains that judges are given the power to decide if people are black or indigenous. Judging tribunals go as far as measuring skull shape and nose width to make determine applicants’ blackness, according to Foreign Policy.

This has led to major discussions about mixed-race people and whether they are seen as black or white. As Warner puts it, judges “try to see each candidate as a racist would see them,” ironically reinforcing racism in order to provide federal assistance aimed at abolishing racism.

Listen to the podcast above to learn more about the disc Brazilians are coming to terms about what race is and how it is defined.

READ: These Peruvians Are Embracing Their Afro-Latino Pride Like Never Before

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