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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

Five Truths About Voter Suppression

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An election official checks a voter's photo identification at an early voting polling site in Austin, Texas, February 2014. AP/Eric Gay

 

The strength of American democracy depends on the ability of citizens to express their fundamental right to vote. Instead of pursuing the myth of voter fraud and encouraging tougher restrictions on voting, the Trump administration should work to fight voter suppression and expand the electorate.

Connor Maxwell and Danielle Root, American Progress

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May 12, 2017 | The United States has a troubled history of voter suppression. Prior to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many states used policies such as poll taxes and literacy tests to prevent African Americans from voting. Even after the voting barriers of the Jim Crow era were removed more than 50 years ago, some lawmakers continue to pursue policies that would undermine our nation’s progress.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Millian%20Fists%20%7C%20Illusion.jpg Under the guise of tackling voter fraud, 14 states adopted measures to restrict voting ahead of the 2016 election. These measures, including strict voter ID requirements and reductions in early voting opportunities and polling places, created barriers for tens of thousands of low-income citizens and citizens of color. Alarmingly, five of the 14 states have a history of racial discrimination in voting and previously had to seek federal approval before changing their voting laws and procedures.

Connor Maxwell  is a Research Associate for Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress. Danielle Root is the Voting Rights Manager for the Democracy and Government team at the Center.

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Special Report | Disability : Hundreds of Thousands of People with Disabilities Blocked from College Aid

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  • When offices set up to assist people with disabilities become obstacles.
  • Eligible but Got Nothing
  • Related: US Education System Fails Students with Disabilities

Meredith Kolodner, The Hechinger Report / AlterNet

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September 27, 2016 | Wendy Thompson always knew she wanted her son to go to college, but she didn’t realize so many people would disagree.

Her son was born with cerebral palsy, a disease that has him using a wheelchair, but has little impact on his academic abilities. He graduated from high school with a Regents diploma in 2013 — a feat accomplished by only 18 percent of students with disabilities in New York City that year, compared to 70 percent of students without disabilities.

Meredith Kolodner was an education reporter at the N.Y. Daily News for three years. Before that she covered the United Federation of Teachers and several other city unions for The Chief-Leader newspaper.

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Related:

US Education System Fails Students with Disabilities, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday focuses his quest to improve classroom performance on the 6.5 million students with disabilities, including many who perform poorly on standardized tests.
  • Part 1: These States Are Failing To Follow Disability Law, U.S. Says
  • Part 2: Why Are Huge Numbers of Disabled Students Dropping Out of College?
  • Colleges are full of it!

Tomgram: Aviva Chomsky, The Criminalization of Immigrants From Clinton to Trump

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Making Sense of the Deportation Debate

Aviva Chomsky, TomDispatch 

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https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.presente.org/images/stopdeportations.jpg April 25, 2017 | From his “big, fat, beautiful wall” to his travel bans, much of Donald Trump's push to isolate America, like so much else in his program, has hit a series of ugly speed bumps. Not only won’t the Mexicans “pay” to build that much-promised wall, but even Congress is unlikely to do so, as its price tag soars by the week. Of course, much of what Trump wants to do when it comes to keeping “them” out, or throwing “them” out, has (as TomDispatch regular Aviva Chomsky writes today) already been done. Our last president wasn’t given the moniker of “deporter-in-chief” by his critics for nothing, and as for that wall, a far more sophisticated, layered version of it is already in place, complete with advanced sensors, cameras, drones, biometrics, spy towers, radar systems -- much of the technology tested on America’s distant battlefields -- as well as actual walls.  Even if there isn’t a single old-fashioned wall along the full length of the U.S.-Mexican border, the construction of the layered “wall” that does exist began in the years of Bill Clinton's presidency and its expansion has continued in a bipartisan fashion ever since.

And yet, even if Donald Trump never builds his wall, his attitude, whether toward Mexicans or Muslims, and the spirit of nativism and authoritarianism he’s released in those who police and bureaucratically control America’s borders, along with a bully-boy language that relies on phrases like “extreme vetting” and on demands to turn over personal passwords for electronic equipment at the border, will go a significant way toward walling this country in.  Take tourism.  Just the other day, Dubai’s government-owned airline, the largest in the Middle East, announced that it was significantly cutting back on its flights to the U.S. because interest among its customers had fallen radically and bookings were way down.  (“The recent actions taken by the U.S. government relating to the issuance of entry visas, heightened security vetting, and restrictions on electronic devices in aircraft cabins, have had a direct impact on consumer interest and demand for air travel into the U.S.”)

Aviva Chomsky is professor of history and coordinator of Latin American studies at Salem State University in Massachusetts and a TomDispatch regular. Her most recent book is Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal.

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Special Report | Disability Rights Advocates Accuse Washington Post Of Perpetuating ‘Myths’ About Benefits

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Francis Dean / Getty Images

  • Disability rights activists worry about the ammunition stories like the one in the Post could give to benefit-averse Republicans, who now control the White House and Congress.
  • They are perpetuating the same myths that have been debunked over and over again without regard for how misleading reporting can affect people with disabilities already living on the financial edge. --Rebecca Vallas, Center for American Progress
  • Related: Special Project | Disability: Disabled, Shunned and Silenced in Trump’s America

Daniel Marans

http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/propaganda-lies.png 04/22/2017 | Disability rights advocates and a leading Democratic think tank are livid at The Washington Post over a March 30 front-page story on the prevalence of disability benefits in rural America.

The newspaper claimed that “as many as one-third of working-age adults” in rural communities receive disability benefits. But as the Center for American Progress calculated ― and The Huffington Post confirmed by looking at the raw data ― that proportion holds true in only one county in the entire country.

Daniel Marans, Reporter, Huffington Post

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Special Project | Disability: Disabled, Shunned and Silenced in Trump’s America, Melissa Blake, New York (NY) Times 

  • I’m a woman. I’m physically disabled. And I’ve never been more scared than I am right now.
  • Related: Trump Scrubs Civil Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Climate Change from WhiteHouse.gov

This Mom Of 4 With No Criminal Record Was Deported After Following ICE’s Rules

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Maribel Trujillo Diaz is a mother of four from Ohio. Courtesy of Trujillo Diaz Family 

Maribel Trujillo Diaz’s kids never got a chance to say goodbye.

Carol Kuruvilla, Huffington Post

04/20/2017 | Despite vigils, social media campaigns, and strong statements of support from church members, prominent politicians and faith leaders, the simple truth is this: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will show no mercy ― even to a mother of four American children with no criminal record.  

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Maribel Trujillo Diaz, who has peacefully lived in the United States for 15 years, was deported to her native Mexico on Wednesday, her lawyers confirmed

Carol Kuruvilla, Religion Reporter, Huffington Post

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ACLU | Why the Only Way to Fix the Muslim Ban Is Not to Have a Muslim Ban, Cody Wofsy, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) / Rise Up Times

  • Instead of abandoning this odious idea in response to widespread criticism and outrage, Mr. Trump candidly explained that he would change the wording of his proposal but not its substance.   
  • Related: Trump Scrubs Civil Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Climate Change from WhiteHouse.gov

ACLU | Why the Only Way to Fix the Muslim Ban Is Not to Have a Muslim Ban

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JFK Muslim Ban Protest  Photo: ACLU

  • Instead of abandoning this odious idea in response to widespread criticism and outrage, Mr. Trump candidly explained that he would change the wording of his proposal but not its substance.   
  • Related: Trump Scrubs Civil Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Climate Change from WhiteHouse.gov

Cody Wofsy, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) / Rise Up Times 

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March 10, 2017 | Today President Trump signed a new Muslim ban. The new executive order is a major retreat by the administration, reflecting that, as courts around the country have recognized, the original order was deeply flawed and totally unjustified. But the fundamental truth of this new order, like the old one, remains unchanged: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and the ban is his attempt to make good on that unconstitutional and indefensible goal.

President Trump’s intentions regarding the Muslim ban have been clear. In a statement “On Preventing Muslim Immigration” posted to his campaign website — and still available on it as I write — then-candidate Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Again and again, he refused to disown this proposal, expressing his opinion that “Islam hates us” and that there are “problems with Muslims coming into the country.”

Cody Wofsy: Skadden Fellow, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project

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In earnest,

Dave & the Crew

 



Trump Scrubs Civil Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Climate Change from WhiteHouse.gov, David A. Love, The Grio / Black Commentator

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  • "These dramatic changes to the White House website mirror the drastic and draconian cuts this president plans to make to the government. To sum it up, he’s getting rid of everything."
  • Censorship already begun.
  • Related: Disabled, Shunned and Silenced in Trump’s America

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In wake of immigration orders, a Minneapolis charter network offers 'worst-case' training for students

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Hiawatha Academies has been nationally recognized for its success in closing the opportunity gap that characterizes much of the public school sector in Minnesota. MinnPost photo by Erin Hinrichs

  • “We’re the one who help navigate and build relationships with not just students, but families,” he said. “That’s a bond that’s really important and really special. If definitely makes it easier to say I’m gonna stand up and be there for you no matter what.” --Ryan Williams-Virden, a dean of students and social studies teacher at the network's high school. 
  • Related: New Study Found No Link Between Immigration and Increased Crime in Forty Years of Data,
  • Related: The Positive Effects of Sanctuary Policies on Crime and the Economy

Erin Hinrichs, MinnPost

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/INS%20Visa%20Approval%20Stamp.jpg  03/03/17 | Minnesota has long been home to school tornado drills. And in response to school shootings across the country, school lockdown drills have become commonplace as well.

Now, following President Donald Trump’s policy directives regarding immigration, Hiawatha Academies — a charter school network in south Minneapolis that serves a student population that’s 99 percent students of color and 64 percent English Language Learners — has added another “worst-case-scenario” training for students: What to do in the event of a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid or the detention of a family member.

Erin Hinrichs is MinnPost's K-12 education reporter. A Gustavus Adolphus grad, she also has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Hinrichs' coverage ranges from local school board meetings to national education policies, with a special focus on the efforts to improve outcomes for all students in Minnesota.

Full story … 

Related:

New Study Found No Link Between Immigration and Increased Crime in Forty Years of Data, Science News Journal

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  • Politicians often claim that there is a relationship between immigration patterns and increased crime. In a study done at the University at Buffalo however, no links were found between the two. According to the findings, immigration instead appears to be linked to reductions in some types of crimes instead.
  • Related: The Positive Effects of Sanctuary Policies on Crime and the Economy

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Can Customs and Border Officials Search Your Phone? These Are Your Rights

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(Photo: Deyvi Romero)  

  • Recent incidents have revived confusion and alarm over what powers border officials actually have and, perhaps more importantly, how to know when they are overstepping their authority.
  • Related: What you — yes, you! — can do to save America from tyranny.

Patrick G. Lee, ProPublica / Truth-out

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/One%20Nation%20Under%20Surveillance%20graphic.jpg Friday, March 17, 2017 | A NASA scientist heading home to the US said he was detained in January at a Houston airport, where Customs and Border Protection officers pressured him for access to his work phone and its potentially sensitive contents.

Last month, CBP agents checked the identification of passengers leaving a domestic flight at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport during a search for an immigrant with a deportation order.

And in October, border agents seized phones and other work-related material from a Canadian photojournalist. They blocked him from entering the US after he refused to unlock the phones, citing his obligation to protect his sources.

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Patrick G. Lee is a reporting fellow at ProPublica.

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Related: 

What you — yes, you — can do to save America from tyranny, Timothy Snyder, Dallas (TX) News

Here are 20 lessons from across the fearful 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

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