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Latina Activist, Undocumented Immigrants Will Attend President Trump’s State Of The Union

AnaMariaArchil2 / AOC / Twitter

After weeks of postponement due to the government shutdown, President Donald Trump will be addressing the public in his State of the Union Feb. 5. While it has yet to be determined what the president will be discussing, speculators say immigration will be at the center of his speech. One indication that his focus will be on immigration and the border wall is by the president himself.

People are already assuming that immigration will be the focus of President Trump’s State of the Union address.

The president also hinted at the possibility of demanding billions for the border wall by declaring a state of emergency, which would bypass a Senate vote and give him direct access to the money. Whatever Trump discusses during the State of the Union, he will have to face some very important people in the audience.

Regardless of Trump’s focus, all eyes have been on who elected officials will bring as their guest.

Lawmakers are allowed to bring a guest to the event and usually use the moment to bring people who have been impacted by the recent governmental decisions. The guests usually fuel the political discourse and shed light on issues ongoing in the country.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s guest will be activist Ana Maria Archila, who confronted Republican Jeff Flake during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

“I’m proud to announce that my #StateOfTheUnion guest will be @AnaMariaArchil2,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Ana Maria is the NY14-er who famously jumped into the elevator with Sen. Flake to elevate the stories of survivors everywhere. She‘s living proof that the courage within all of us can change the world.” She added: “She wasn’t planning on leaping into that elevator ahead of the Kavanaugh vote, but after hearing the stories of survivors across the country, she went in. A defining moment.”

About the invite, Archila told The Intercept: “I just feel particularly moved that in her first participation in the State of the Union, she is inviting me to join and inviting that moment of the elevator, my confrontation with the men who do not understand the life of women and the lives of people who are not in power, that she’s inviting that into the imagination of people again.”

California Rep. Jimmy Gomez said he will bring Trump’s former employee who disclosed her undocumented status.

“When I first met Sandra, I was inspired by her story and her courage,” Gomez said in a statement. “It’s no small feat for a migrant from Costa Rica to stand up to a bully and hypocrite in the White House. She is living proof that President Trump couldn’t be more wrong — both morally and factually — when he demonizes those who come to America seeking a better life. Apparently, the Trump Organization had no problem with hiring undocumented immigrants like Sandra to polish their golf clubs, serve them drinks, and make their beds. Treating these hardworking people with dignity, however, was clearly a bridge too far.”

California Rep. Gil Cisneros invited student and DACA recipient Miriam Tellez

“It is a privilege to host Miriam at tomorrow’s State of the Union Address,” Rep. Cisneros said in a statement. “She is a leader in her community at CSU Fullerton as an advocate for supporting our DREAMers and TPS holders who are seeking higher education degrees. DREAMers are students, service members, neighbors, and our friends. Above all, they are real people. And it is crass and inhumane for the President to try and leverage them, their families, and the DACA program he is responsible for ending to extract a senseless border wall. DREAMers are so much more than bargaining chips, they are valued community members who want nothing more than to contribute to the country they love.”

New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman will bring another undocumented former Trump employee.

“Immigrants, by and large, are hardworking, trustworthy, and skilled people who simply want to work and build better lives here,” Watson Coleman said in a statement. “For years these kinds of people were loyal and dedicated enough to be Trump Organization employees. I hope that in his State of the Union address, Donald Trump will finally acknowledge the real face of immigrants in this country — women, and children fleeing violence, law-abiding, tax-paying people who would do almost anything to be Americans. And if he can’t, I’ve invited Victoria so that he may look her in her eyes to tell his lies to a familiar face.”

Other guests for Feb. 5’s SOTU include trans servicemembers, parents who lost their children in the Parkland high school shooting, and federal workers affected by the government shutdown.

Trump’s State of the Union will air Feb. 5 at 9:00 p.m. EST/6:00 p.m. PST on all local channels.


READ: These Tweets Show The Impact Trump’s Government Shutdown Is Having On American Families

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Say Their Names: This Father-Daughter Pair Were Found Dead, Washed Up On Banks Of Rio Grande After Attempting To Swim Across

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Say Their Names: This Father-Daughter Pair Were Found Dead, Washed Up On Banks Of Rio Grande After Attempting To Swim Across

mexicodailynews / Twitter

Just hours after news broke that a woman and three children were found dead at the US-Mexico border, we have confirmation of two more deaths.

This time it’s a father-daughter pair who died a horrific death trying to find a better life in the United States.

Across social media, horrific pictures are circulating showing the victims’ lifeless bodies drowned in the Rio Grande.

Heartbreaking images reveal the tragedy of a father who drowned with his 23-month-old daughter as he went back to try and save her in the Rio Grande while her mother watched on.

Credit: @dailymailuk / Twitter

Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and his daughter Valeria were found face down in shallow water on the Mexico side of the river across from Brownsville, Texas on Monday morning.

Their deaths are the latest in a string of migrant deaths at the US-Mexico border.

Just yesterday, the bodies of four undocumented people, one 20-year-old woman, two infants, and a toddler, were found near the Rio Grande.

The father had successfully taken his daughter to the US side of the border but the little girl followed her father back as he returned for the mother.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

After waiting desperately for two months in a migrant camp Ramírez crossed the lethal currents near Matamoros first with his child before returning to other the side for his wife Tania Vanessa Ávalos, 21.

But their youngster, misunderstanding why she had been left on the other side got back into the water and Ramírez fatefully went in to save her.

Ávalos could only watch in horror as her husband and daughter were swept a few hundred yards downstream to their deaths.

Credit: @CBSNews / Twitter

Photos from the scene show his black shirt hiked up to his chest with the girl’s head tucked inside. Her arm was draped around his neck suggesting she clung to him in her final moments. 

The family had been waiting nearly two months in an overcrowded migrant camp before finally deciding to make the dangerous crossing.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

Ávalos said the family left El Salvador on April 3 and that they spent the last two months in Mexico at a migrant camp waiting for an appointment to apply for asylum to enter the U.S.

A Tamaulipas government official said the family arrived in Matamoros early Sunday and went to the U.S. Consulate to try to get a date to request asylum. 

It’s not clear what happened to the family at the U.S. Consulate, but a shelter director said only about 40 to 45 asylum interviews were being conducted in Matamoros each week, while somewhere in the neighborhood of 800-1,700 names were on a waiting list.

Twitter lit up with reaction to both the devastating photo and the story behind it.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

The devastating news and shocking photo have generated tons of comments on Twitter.

Many are frustrated by the government’s inability to take action to help migrants.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

The issue of migrant deaths shouldn’t be fought along party lines. Each and every member of government should be able to agree that steps need to be taken, first and foremost, to stop people from dying.

While many on Twitter were outraged at the comments from people completely lacking empathy and compassion for the lives lost.

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

Sadly, there are still way too many comments on Twitter from people who say migrants shouldn’t risk the journey and that they’d survive. Too many people still don’t get it.

From the scorching Sonora desert to the fast-moving Rio Grande, the US-Mexico border has long been a deadly journey for migrants trying to cross into the US.

Credit: @fams2gether / Twitter

In recent weeks alone, two babies, a toddler and a woman were found dead on Sunday, overcome by the sweltering heat. 

Elsewhere three children and an adult from Honduras died in April after their raft capsized on the Rio Grande, and a 6-year-old from India was found dead earlier this month in Arizona, where temperatures routinely soar well above 100 degrees.

‘Very regrettable that this would happen,’ Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday in response to a question about the photograph. 

‘We have always denounced that as there is more rejection in the United States, there are people who lose their lives in the desert or crossing the river,” he added.

The tragic deaths come amid reports of squalid conditions and overcrowding at migrant shelters.

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

“The kids had colds and were sick and said they didn’t have access to soap to wash their hands. It was an alcohol-based cleanser,” Clara Long, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch said to CNN. “Some kids who were detained for 2-3 weeks had only one or two opportunities to shower. One said they hadn’t showered in three weeks. Hygiene and living conditions like this creates a risk of spreading infectious disease. It makes me very concerned about the public health emergency.”

Queer Latina Tiffany Cabán Makes History in Queens With New York District Attorney Primary Win

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Queer Latina Tiffany Cabán Makes History in Queens With New York District Attorney Primary Win

Instagram / @cabanforqueens

Tiffany Cabán, a queer Latina public defender, declared victory Tuesday night in a tight Democratic primary race for Queens district attorney.

“When we started this thing they said I was too young. They said I didn’t look like a district attorney,” Cabán, 31, said at her election-night party at a nightclub in Woodside, Queens. “They said we could not win, but we did, it y’all.”

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Cabán has currently received 39.6 percent of the vote, while the establishment’s favorite Melinda Katz garnered 38.3 percent. There are still 3,400 absentee ballots that need to be counted, which the Board of Elections said won’t be completed until next Wednesday.

Katz, who was endorsed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Queens Democratic Party chief Joe Crowley, who was ousted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) around this time last year, has refused to concede. She has also already made calls for a recount.

This has not stopped Cabán and her supporters from celebrating a victory.

“We’ve already won without knowing what the final tabulation is,” Maurice Mitchell, the national director of the Working Families Party, which backed Cabán, said. “We’ve already won. We’ve beaten the machine.”

Cabán, a democratic socialist, ran on a platform of “people-powered justice,” which included ending cash bail, not prosecuting subway turnstile jumping, prosecuting the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, closing Rikers Island and decriminalizing sex work.

“I am a 31-year-old, queer Latina public defender whose parents grew up in the Woodside Housing projects,” she said during her Tuesday night speech. “And I decided to run. I ran because for too long, too many communities in Queens hadn’t had a fair shot in our criminal-justice system.”

The Puerto Rican public defender received endorsements from progressive leaders like Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Most recently, the New York Times also backed the candidate.

“She is of Puerto Rican descent and is the first in her family to graduate from college. She would bring a perspective suited to one of the world’s most diverse communities, one where elected officials have rarely reflected that reality,” the publication said in its endorsement of Cabán.

Cabán’s likely six-person primary win would have her succeed the deceased Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and shift the borough’s, city’s and country’s tough-on-crime, prosecutorial approach in the DAs office.

Read: In New York, Queer Latina Tiffany Cabán Wants To Bring ‘Genuine Justice’ To The Queens District Attorney’s Office

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