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#SocialJustice
Social Justice Discussions For The 21st Century

The US Government Deliberately Made The Desert Deadly For Migrants

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      In prior comments, I've touched upon the fact that our border policy has been designed to weaponize the desert against migrants, leading to so much death and suffering.

      We could easily change our immigration, refugee, and asylum policies to make it so that they don't have to go through hostile land, using dangerous methods, to escape brutal, lethal living conditions and deprivation. We intentionally design our policies to make people go those routes, and then when they get here we pack them into freezing cells like sardines with only mylar blankets, and then you act like we're entirely innocent whenever people in our care end up dying, as many have.

      Many more are lying dead in the desert, their bones bleaching and being gnawed on by coyotes, because we've designed it so that's the route they take. Tens of thousands.

      https://www.yabberz.com/post/7-year-old-guatemalan...


      This is a map of just Arizona, each red dot marks a body, often several from the same group.

      Source: https://humaneborders.org/migrant-death-mapping/

      This is an excellent article from The Grauniad that talks about the specifics of that, the actual policy began in earnest under Bill Clinton in the nineties.


      A border patrol agent looks at the body of a Guatemalan migrant Misael Paiz, 25, who died in the Sonoran desert in Pima county, Arizona, in September. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

      When trying to make sense of these two tragic deaths – and while details are still emerging – one thing is clear: the journey they undertook is designed to be deadly. In the 1990s, then president Bill Clinton introduced Prevention Through Deterrence, a border security policy which closed off established migrant routes. This forced migrants like Jakelin and her father through more remote and trying terrain. Jakelin and Felipe would probably not have died had it not been for the extreme conditions that Prevention Through Deterrence forces migrants to withstand.

      As the No More Deaths spokeswoman, Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler, notes: “Crossing from the US border in any location, there’s no physical way as a human being to carry the kind of water you’ll need to survive those conditions for three, four days of walking.” Those who survive the immediate journey still face significant health risks if they are not immediately granted medical treatment – at present, border patrol relies on self-assessment, and, as in Jakelin’s case, the documentation is often in a language they can’t read.

      Prevention Through Deterrence meant tremendous investments in surveillance and border militarization, with the aim of pushing migrants ever deeper into the unforgiving Sonoran desert. Though the border patrol denies accountability for deaths along the US-Mexico border, their very metrics for success under the policy include “fee increases by smugglers”, “possible increase in complaints”, and “more violence at attempted entries”. These children’s deaths were by no means unpredictable. Violence is built into the plan.

      Hundreds disappear each year, their remains too decomposed to be identified

      The immigrant advocacy group No More Deaths charges that the US border patrol uses the desert as a weapon. Armed with night-vision equipment, border patrol agents chase migrants blindly into hostile desert terrain. In the ensuing chaos, migrants fall to their deaths, or get hopelessly lost. Hundreds disappear each year, their remains too decomposed to be identified.

      Prevention Through Deterrence has done little to curb migration, but it has led to an explosion in needless suffering. As accessible routes are abandoned in favor of remote terrain, what was once a straightforward journey becomes life-threatening. In 1994, the year of the strategy’s inception, there were an estimated 14 deaths alongside the US-Mexico border. Last year, a staggering 412 deaths were documented in the region. As migrants are funnelled deeper into remote areas, they face not only the capricious desert terrain, but fatigue, dehydration and a host of heat-related ailments. Seizing on an influx of vulnerable, disoriented travellers, cartels lie in wait to extort and kidnap their next victims. Stories of rape along the migrant trail are so overwhelmingly common that many take contraceptives before the journey.

      Prevention Through Deterrence assumes that migrants will simply stop coming if the journey is difficult enough. But migration is as old as human history itself. While the US decries an explosion of immigrants, policymakers would do well to consider their role in perpetuating migration flows. From exploitative trade deals – Nafta put more than 1 million Mexican farmers out of work – to outright imperial aggression – see US-backed coups in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala and Honduras, among others – the US is a harbinger of death and destruction across the continent. To turn away those who flee the disastrous results of our policies is victim blaming of the most vile sort.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec...

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      Working-Class Journalism In The Age Of Oligarchs

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          As Diane says, "She’s a person I’ve mostly really enjoyed reading. She even wrote a good book about breast cancer [Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America], and she’s the one ... [who] said at her age she’s not going to go through heroic medical care anymore. Or even some tests."

          I loved her book Nickle and Dimed but did not like Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth About Everything. This--her acceptance speech when presented with an award named after Erasmus, probably the first religious humanist--is well worth reading:


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          A Happy Ending For One Migrant Caravan Family

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              www.kcrg.com/content/news/Migrants-from-central-Am...

              Welcome to Iowa Ms. Torres - Toro and best of luck with your upcoming hearing

              ~czook

              IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) -- One family who was part of the controversial migrant caravan from central America is now living in Iowa City. They are staying at the Catholic Worker House.

              The Catholic Worker House in Iowa City is now home for Jackie Torres-Toro, 30, and her 10-year-old son Isaac. The family's journey from Honduras was nearly 2,000 miles long.

              Torres-Toro said she made the decision to leave her home country in October after gangs tried to extort her family.

              'They gave (me) 24 hours to live." she said. Torres-Toro knows what the gangs are capable of and she blames them for the murder of her husband eight years ago.

              Mark Petterson, with the Iowa City Catholic Worker House, is the reason Torres-Toro and her son are in Iowa. Petterson went to San Diego just before Christmas where he connected with the Torres-Toro family. Petterson helped them get temporary legal status and arranged for them to come to Iowa City as they await an asylum hearing.

              "We had their name and their contact info but not much more than that," said Petterson.

              Torres-Toro sid there is no validity to President Trump's concerns about fellow migrants entering the country.

              The Torres-Toro's family story was brought to the attention of Johnson County Republican Chair Cynthia Michel. Michel believes the family took the right steps to come to the U.S. through the asylum system.

              "Do it the legal way and I welcome with open arms," said Michel.

              President Trump disagrees and wants to block those asylum requests.

              Torres-Toro's hearing is scheduled to take place next month.

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              An Update On Molly Tibbetts Who Was Murdered By An Undocumented Immigrant

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                  When Molly Tibbetts was murdered last summer in Brooklyn Iowa, Trump used this tragedy to whip up hate against immigrants. Governor Reynolds spoke to Laura Calderwood, sounding sympathetic and supporting while weeping with Laura. A few hours later, she too spewed hate against the "predators"

                  Laura Calderwood puts things back on the bed in Mollie's bedroom, where everything has been kept as it was. She still sits there, looking at the walls covered with photos. After Mollie died, Laura faced a decision of whether to take in an immigrant teenager whose parents fled the dairy farm where her alleged killer worked. Laura asked herself what Mollie would do.(Rachel Mummey/For The Washington Post)

                  Ulisses Felix had lived with his parents in a trailer at the farm where they and the killer had worked. Fearing reprisal from locals, his parents decided to leave, but Ulises called his friend, Molly's brother Scott, and told him that he didn't want to go. Scott told him to come live with his family.

                  This is the story of Laura's struggle to come to terms with her daughter's murder and with all she's learning about the killer from Ulisses, who knew him well and whose cousin is the mother of the killer's child.

                  ~czook

                  https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/mi...


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                  Time To Make Life Hard For The Rich

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                      Hamilton Nolan is just a touch too uncomplicated for me to fully agree with (slightly too confident of a claim, too easily dismissed as doctrinaire Marxism, that income inequality is the sum total of all our problems). But he makes the Bolshie case quite well, and even the blindly devoted capitalists who think the market solves all problems should read this, if only to understand the counter-arguments. And democratic socialists like me (who are perhaps a bit closer to the center than Nolan) can revel in it. Clearly laid out, with wit and adult language and inspiring, so well worth your time to read:

                      https://splinternews.com/time-to-make-life-hard-fo...

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                      911 Emergency: Man Handcuffed For Trying To Cash His Check.

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                          Every now and then I stumble across a story about how easy it is for black males to end up being questioned, handcuffed, or worst, shot and killed all because someone other determined, for some invalid reason, that something about them is suspicious. Here is another. Enjoy.

                          Will y'all cash my check? --"Yeah, if you don't have an account with us we will need two forms of ID an we will have to keep a record of your finger print on file.

                          Okay -- "This check isn't fake is it?"

                          No, is there a problem? -- "What is your employers phone number"'

                          Are you going to cash it. I've met all of your request? -- "They didn't answer"


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                          5 Judges Whose Sexual Assault Rulings Land Them In The Hall Of Shame

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                              Despite all the hurdles and difficulties in reporting rape, victims have increased their level of reports, but the number of rapes and attempted rapes have not resulted in improved levels of prosecutions and convictions. As a result, conviction rates have decreased, meaning victims have less access to justice.

                              However, in spite of the difficulty in prosecuting rape cases (Rape almost always takes place in a private location, away from possible witnesses. It’s a shaming experience for many victims, so they might not come forward while there is still physical evidence) sometimes there will be convictions or serious witnesses or more than one complainant toward an alleged perpetrator.

                              There are many examples of how poorly our system appears to handles sexual assault. The following piece is the authors' opinion of five of the judges that deserve the Hall of Shame for their poor decisions. Brett Kavanaugh is included, and I would add a few to her list:
                              Judge John McKeon of Montana who gave a father convicted of incest 60 days in jail; Judge Patrick Butler who allowed James Wilkerson 2 years of work/school release for raping an intoxicated female student; Judge Edward Cashman who gave Mark Hulett 60 days for repeatedly raping a girl during her years as a 7 to 10 year old child (the judge claimed he "no longer believes in punishment;") and Judge Jeanine Howard sentenced Sir Young to 45 days in jail for raping a 14 year old girl.

                              There are many more cases that are like these.
                              .

                              JUDGES HALL OF SHAME

                              By: Lauren Longo December 18, 2018

                              .

                              There are a lot of decent, fair judges out there, but there are a lot of terrible ones too, especially when it comes to sexual assault cases. Far too often, judges are making headlines for giving rapists shockingly lenient sentences or blaming victims for their own assaults. Around the world, judges are letting rapists off the hook and treating victims with horrible disrespect.

                              A judge cleared a man of rape because he didn’t orgasm during the assault. A judge acquitted a man of sexual assault because the victim didn’t “betray emotion” during the assault. In several cases, judges have dismissed cases because they believed the young victims looked or acted older than they were or that their bodies were “well-developed.”

                              There were a lot of contenders for worst judges on sexual assault cases, but these are five whose actions should land them in the Hall of Shame.

                              Image result for judge cartoon images

                              .

                              1. JUDGE RALPH STROTHER

                              Just last week, Texas Judge Ralph Strother allowed accused rapist and 23-year-old former frat boy Jacob Walter Anderson to plead no contest to the lesser charge of unlawful restraint.

                              Anderson was accused of repeatedly raping his then 19-year-old victim his fraternity threw in 2016. He then left her outside, unconscious, face-down in her own vomit. Despite this, Anderson was offered a plea deal which judge Strother then accepted, ignoring pleas from the victim.

                              Strother has been lenient toward rapists in at least two other cases. Earlier this year, Strother sentenced a rapist to 30 days of jail but said he could leave on the weekends. Another time, he allowed a rapist to avoid jail time altogether, if he payed for his victim’s counseling.

                              .

                              2. JUDGE PAUL MEYERS

                              A Canadian teenager sexually assaulted a girl in a bathroom stall, injuring her so severely she was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The perpetrator was also convicted of sexually assaulting another girl just a few months earlier. Judge Paul Meyers sentenced him to two weeks behind bars, saying that the teen already faced “social ramifications” and will not be able to graduate with his peers.

                              .

                              3. JUDGE AARON PERSKY

                              Who could forget Judge Aaron Persky, who let convicted rapist Brock Turner serve only three months in jail?

                              A jury found Turner guilty of three felony sexual assault charges, and as a result the prosecution recommended a sentence of six years in prison, stating Turner posed a “continued threat to the community.” Instead, Judge Persky sentenced him to only six months in county jail because “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him.” Perksy has since been removed from the bench following a recall vote.

                              .

                              4. JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH

                              In this case, the Hall of Shame nominee is both the judge and the predator.

                              As Kavanaugh was nominated for the Supreme Court, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. Ford claimed Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were teenagers. Following this news, several other women came forward with allegations against Kavanaugh. Despite decent people (and many others) all agreeing that Ford was credible, Kavanaugh was still confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.

                              5. JUDGE ROBIN CAMP

                              Last year Canadian judge Robin Camp submitted his resignation because of a 2014 case in which he asked a 19-year-old rape victim, “Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?” He also later told her “sex and pain sometimes go together.” When the victim told the court that the assault occurred in a bathroom sink, the judge asked her why she hadn’t put her “bottom down into the basin so he couldn’t penetrate you.”

                              All of the above judges have onging petitions demanding their resignation,.

                              https://www.care2.com/causes/5-judges-whose-sexual... (light editing - illustrations)

                              https://www.bustle.com/articles/182145-5-sentences...

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