“On any given day, about 300 immigrants are held in solitary confinement at the 50 largest detention facilities that make up the sprawling patchwork of holding centers nationwide overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, according to new federal data…While Immigration and Customs Enforcement places only about 1 percent of its jailed immigrants in solitary, this practice is nonetheless startling because those detainees are being held on civil, not criminal, charges. As such, they are not supposed to be punished; they are simply confined to ensure that they appear for administrative hearings.” To continue reading, click here.
“During his State of the Union address last month, President Obama challenged the assembled lawmakers to tackle comprehensive immigration reform. The issue has proven a divisive one in our national political discourse, and most of the discussion focuses on the political ramifications. Pundits have discussed how immigration reform might impact the Latino vote, as well as what types of immigrants would be eligible for citizenship, and what the role of border security is, to name a few hotly-contested questions in the current debate. Amid this political maelstrom, few have considered how comprehensive immigration reform might affect the nation’s health. Understanding the health implications of immigration reform may contribute to the public discourse on the topic, and may also provide insights that are relevant to the equally divisive health reform debate.” To continue reading, click here.
On February 28, 2013, Congress renewed the Violence against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA is the primary federal law providing legal protection to counter domestic abuse and sexual violence. Congress has reauthorized VAWA twice since it originally passed in 1994. The bill includes protections against discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) victims, and expands protections for immigrant victims. Specifically with regards to immigration, the bill expands protections for immigrant women by adding stalking to the list of serious crimes covered by the U visa, a temporary visa allowing an immigrant victim of a serious crime to stay in the US to assist law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting the crime. To read more, click here.