Tag Archives: ACLU

Federal judge issues a preliminary injunction against family separation policy; 17 state attorneys general sue Trump administration

The ACLU’s class action lawsuit Ms. L v. ICE to end immigrant family separation and immediately reunite children and parents has reached a pivotal point. The San Diego Union Tribune reports, San Diego federal judge orders separated children reunited with parents within 30 days:

A San Diego federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union that calls for all children affected by the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy to be reunited with their parents within 30 days.

In a toughly worded opinion, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw wrote “the facts set forth before the court portray reactive governance — responses to address a chaotic circumstance of the government’s own making. They belie measured and ordered governance, which is central to the concept of due process enshrined in our Constitution.

“The unfortunate reality is that under the present system migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property. Certainly, that cannot satisfy the requirements of due process,” he added.

Continue reading

ACLU case against Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy can proceed

Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tried to visit an immigration detention facility in Brownsville, Texas on Sunday, but was denied access into the building. Sen. Jeff Merkley denied entry into one migrant detention facility, claims he saw kids caged in another:

This prompted a letter and 19 questions from Sen. Merkley to the Office of Refugee Resettlement about what’s going on behind closed doors at some of the country’s detention facilities amid concerns about the separation of children from their parents who have attempted to cross the border illegally.See the letter and all 19 questions. The senator requested a response by June 15.

Merkley live-streamed his arrival at a detention facility run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement in Brownsville, Texas on Sunday, which he said was housing children who had been separated from their families at the border. During Merkley’s live stream, the senator introduced himself to guards outside the building, identifying himself as a member of Congress and asking for permission to enter. The windows at the facility appeared to be blacked out.

“I was barred entry,” Merkley said. “Asked repeatedly to speak to a supervisor — he finally came out and said he can’t tell us anything. Police were called on us,” he added in a tweet.

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 2.08.09 PM

“I wanted to be able to visit the facility where apparently upwards of 1,000 children are being held in that massive building, a former Walmart, and the federal government, President Trump and team, Attorney General Sessions, Homeland Security, they do not want members of Congress or the public to know what’s going on,” Merkley later told CNN in a phone interview on Monday.

Continue reading

ACLU Report: Arizona Charter Schools Illegally Discriminate

Arizona charter schools are illegally choosing students who fit their mold by applying exclusionary policies, failing to fulfill their “school choice” promise that all students have an equal opportunity to enroll, according to a new report by the ACLU of Arizona.

The report, Schools Choosing Students, exposes Arizona’s 543 charter schools and their discriminatory—and sometimes unlawful—policies, which create barriers to enrollment for low-income students, English learners, students with disabilities, and other vulnerable student populations.

Schools Choosing Students found that at least 262 charter schools, or 56 percent, have policies that are clear violations of the law or may discourage the enrollment of some students. Some of the troubling findings include:

  • At least 19 charter schools have policies or language in their enrollment documents that may prevent or discourage the enrollment of students who have struggled academically in the past. Arizona law prohibits schools from choosing students with high test scores or grades over other students.
  • At least six charter schools place an enrollment cap on the number of students with special education needs, violating federal law and an Arizona statute that states charter schools shall not limit admission based on a student’s disability.
  • Under the Arizona Constitution, students have a right to a free public education; however, at least 35 charter schools charge fees for a range of items without giving parents a waiver option.

The report gives specific examples of discrimination against students with disabilities, special education needs, a need for academic assistance, and kids who “don’t fit the mold” (which is code for “not good enough for the school.”)

Arizona charter schools operate independently, but they are part of Arizona’s public education system and use taxpayer funds. They must be open to all students. Education leaders must act to remove discriminatory barriers to enrollment so that all students have equal opportunity to enroll at a charter school if that’s what the student’s family wants.

“School choice” means families choose schools, not the other way around.

Read Schools Choosing Students in its entirety, available in English and Spanish, on the ACLU of Arizona website.

Free showing of “1984” film at Loft Cinema

Free Screening!

1984

nineteen_eighty_four_xlg

Join us for a special free screening of the classic film version of George Orwell’s chillingly prophetic novel, 1984, on April 4th, the day Orwell’s protagonist Winston Smith begins rebelling against his oppressive government by keeping a forbidden diary.

TUESDAY, APRIL 4 AT 7:30PM | FREE ADMISSION at Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

Presented by the University of Arizona Department of English and The Loft Cinema.

“A dystopian, futuristic society trapped in a state of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation.    A tyrannical political leader known as “Big Brother.”  An average citizen who dreams of rebellion.

Join us for a special free screening of the classic film version of George Orwell’s chillingly prophetic novel, 1984, starring John Hurt and Richard Burton. The screening date of April 4 is also the day Orwell’s protagonist Winston Smith begins rebelling against his oppressive government by keeping a forbidden diary. Over 90 independent cinemas in the U.S. will be banding together to screen 1984 on April 4.

Following the film will be a talkback and panel discussion on the novel’s relevancy to our current political climate, featuring Christopher Cokinos, UA Department of English; Marcia Klotz, UA Department of English; and Bradley Schauer, UA School of Theatre, Film and Television.

Come early to meet representatives from local organizations doing important work in our community at an outdoor Activist Fair, starting at 6:00pm and presented by The Loft Cinema.   Groups scheduled to appear include ACLU of Arizona; Colibri Center for Human Rights; Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona; Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation; Tucson Audubon Society; and YWCA Tucson.  Copies of Orwell’s novel will also be available for sale at this event, courtesy of local independent bookstore, Mostly Books.

This stunning screen adaptation of George Orwell’s prophetic 1948 novel envisions a world in which the government completely controls the masses by controlling their thoughts, altering history and even changing the meaning of words to suit its needs. The film is set during April of 1984 in post-atomic war London, the capital city of the repressive totalitarian state of Oceania. Winston Smith (John Hurt) is a government bureaucrat whose job is rewriting history and erasing people from existence. While his co-worker Parsons (Gregor Fisher) seems content to follow the state’s laws, Winston starts to write in a secret diary despite the fact the Big Brother is watching everyone at all times by way of monitors. He silently suffers and tries to comprehend his oppression, which forbids individual human behaviors such as free thinking and sex. He meets Julia (Suzanna Hamilton), who works for the Ministry of Truth, and they engage in a stoic love affair. They are soon found out, and Winston is interrogated and tortured by his former friend O’Brien (Richard Burton in his final film appearance). This second adaptation of Orwell’s classic novel (the first was released in 1956) was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Michael Radford (Il Postino: The Postman). (Dir. by Michael Radford, 1984, UK, 113 mins., Rated R)”

Special thanks to our community partners:

ACLU (local website/national website)

Colibri Center for Human Rights

Planned Parenthood (local website/national website)

Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation

YWCA Tucson

Tucson Audubon Society

America’s descent into the darkness of ‘Trumpism,’ the new American fascism

On Friday, International Holocaust Remembrance Day no less, No mention of Jews in White House’s Holocaust Remembrance Day tribute, and with no sense of irony, our Dear Leader Donald J. Trump announced his long-anticipated Muslim travel ban and an unconstitutional religious test for entry into the United States. Trump Bars Refugees and Citizens of 7 Muslim Countries:

President Trump on Friday closed the nation’s borders to refugees from around the world, ordering that families fleeing the slaughter in Syria be indefinitely blocked from entering the United States, and temporarily suspending immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries.

In an executive order that he said was part of an extreme vetting plan to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists,” Mr. Trump also established a religious test for refugees from Muslim nations: He ordered that Christians and others from minority religions be granted priority over Muslims.

“We don’t want them here,” Mr. Trump said of Islamist terrorists during a signing ceremony at the Pentagon. “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country, and love deeply our people.”

Continue reading

Lewis Black: Voter Suppression? Not on My Watch!

Comedian Lewis Black is ACLU spokesperson against voter suppression.

Comedian Lewis Black is ACLU spokesperson against voter suppression.

Acerbic political comedian Lewis Black backs the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) fight against voter suppression. Check out the video after the jump.

From the ACLU…

At a photo shoot with ACLU’s Voting Rights Project Director Dale Ho, ACLU voting rights ambassador Lewis Black gets so f#%!in’ tired of politicians trying to deny people the right to vote. 

The ACLU is fighting against bad voter suppression laws across the country.

The rules of voting are still in flux in many states, so to make sure you know your rights when you vote, go to https://www.aclu.org/letmevote

Continue reading