Justice Updates August 20, 2019

Human Trafficking come in many forms. This story about Fedelina is heartbreaking.   Fedelina was 81 years old when she collapsed of malnourishment and fatigue at the hospital while caring for her employer. For decades, she had been held captive as a domestic servant in Los Angeles. She began her life of servitude as a teenager and later was brought to the US where her passport and other forms of identification were stripped from her. She was kept as a domestic worker for one extended family for 65 years without ever being paid. Fedelina had cared, cooked, and cleaned for four generations of one family. In return, she was kept captive for almost her entire life through carefully honed and extremely effective methods of control that are all too common.

A huge reason is the domestic work workforce’s near total lack of legal options and protections — unfair wage deductions, no requirement for paid time off, no realistic recourse for sexual harassment, and nowhere to turn. Of the 8,000 labor trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, almost 25% involved domestic workers.

The National Domestic Workers Alliance is sponsoring a Bill of Rights for Domestic Workers. Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Senator Kamala Harris have introduced companion bills.   Call your representative and ask her/him to support these bills.

American Magazine editors write “The Trump administration’s immigration policies consistently betray not only a profound misunderstanding of what drives the tired and poor to our shores and borders but what they long for—and have historically achieved—when they arrive.” Read their article The myth of the self-sufficient immigrant that’s fueling the White House’s draconian policy.

Despite the over 250,000 comments including those submitted by our sisters decrying these rules, the administration is planning to implement new rules to deny green cards to immigrants needing public assistance. Any possibility that an immigrant may need public assistance may result in the inability to get more permanent status.  For the details.

Tom Roberts writes that language can enable white nationalism and threaten others. Read his article here.

Justice for Immigrants Campaign is suggesting that Monday be “Migration Monday” and that we use this day for personal prayer, fasting, and almsgiving on behalf of the children detained at the U.S. border and in the various camps around the country. You can see pictures of children who have died and a prayer for them here.

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It examines the legacy of slavery on American and consists of poems, essays, and stories.   To access these resources, click here and then scroll down to see the various items. Click on the page to read an essay or poem.

Tennessee executed Steven Michael West last Thursday, August 15. Margaret Renkl reflects “my own reason for wanting to end the death penalty is simpler than any of these arguments, as compelling as they truly are. As a Christian, I keep coming back to exhortations like “Thou shalt not kill” and “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone” and “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” It seems to me that Jesus was very clear on this question of mercy. At his own execution, he prayed, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” Read the rest of her reflections.

Save the Dates.  The annual School of the Americas gathering will be November 15-17 in Ft. Benning, Georgia. In addition to training officers in foreign countries, Fort Benning is being considered as a detention center facility for children.  US trained military are part of the root problems plaguing Central American especially Honduras. Here is more information about what’s happening in Honduras.  If you are interested in the SOA Watch, click here.

 

 

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