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Archive for the ‘Latina RJ week of action’ Category

Following this year’s theme of Caminamos: Justice for Immigrant Women, our blog carnival focused on providing the much needed discussion as to what is “the real problem” in regards as to why immigrant women are scapegoated for societal problems. We would like to thank the countless people participated from all across the country stemming from Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Human and Health Services to activists on the ground such as Sonia Guinansaca, who is part of the NY LAN Network.

Some of the blog carnival highlights:

NLIRH’s own policy analyst, Veronica Bayetti Flores discussed reactionary immigration policy along with teen pregnancy efforts for immigrant women, as well as the needs of LGBTQ immigrants:

Latina Week of Action Takes on Reactionary Immigration Policy and Teen Pregnancy Efforts (RH Reality Check)
Don’t Ignore LGBT Immigrants’ Needs  (Ms. Magazine Blog)

Our partner organization Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights:

Salud reproductiva en las inmigrantes by Lorena Garcia, for Moms Rising

Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice’s youth leadership development team, SAFIRE, discussed their own personal experiences and why they believed immigrant women are scapegoated in society:

SAFIRE Youth speak out about scapegoating by Shanelle Matthews, ACRJ

Much of the discussion highlighted the many intersectional ties between RJ and race:

The real problem is silence by Hemly Ordonez, Advocates for Youth

The real problem is racism and our failure to act by Sarah Audelo, Advocates for Youth

Special thanks to RH Reality Check for cross-posting our blog carnival content! Take a look at all the other posts here.

By Heather Ramirez, Development and Communications Intern

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We’ve had great participation in the blog carnival this year, with over 25 posts submitted so far! Thanks to everyone who contributed to the dialogue.

Special thanks to RH Reality Check for featuring blog carnival content!
A full list of blog carnival posts is available here.

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The Week of Action is almost over, but you still have a chance to take action on behalf of immigration women.

Go here to sign our petition to Secretary Napolitano asking her to halt Secure Communities and 287(g), programs that put our communities at risk.

Thanks for your support!

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A new report from the Pew Hispanic Center provides interesting information about immigrants in the US. It’s known by many that Latinos are the largest minority group in the US and are growing, but what is often missing is an understanding of migration patterns and trends.

Many times because of the anti-immigrant discourse that permeates the media, communities and policies like SB 1070, one tends to believe that the problem is that day to day more undocumented people are crossing the border, or that there are women crossing the border solely to give birth in the US. In reality, this is not a real problem, nor the conversation that will find a real solution. Since these arguments simply generate more confusion and make it so that immigrants, who are key actors in political, economic and social development in the US, are seen as a menace or threat.

The problem is not immigrants, nor their families. The problem is that we have a immigration system that is not in agreement with the social reality of today.

Comprehensive immigration reform should establish means and policies that keep helping the familes that reside, contribute economically and make their lives in the US. Access to reproductive justice, family planning and education is also fundamental.

By Paola Martínez, Community Mobilization Intern

Read the post in Spanish after the jump!

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Is asking the government to pay for manicures and pedicures the same as requiring insurance companies to fully cover women’s health? No.

Women have been fighting tooth and nail to get equal coverage in health care for generations and now, when we have achieved some success in the recognition of what complete health care means for women, pundits are making it sound like women have received an undeserved windfall.

This week, Fox News’ America’s Newsroom hosted an “expert” who claimed that the new rules to fully cover women’s preventive care, including contraceptives, were the equivalent of giving women free pedicures and manicures.

Seriously? These services are central to women’s preventive care and should be covered in the same way that other services, including those for men and children, are already covered. A recent Guttmacher report found that virtually every woman in America will use at least one contraceptive method in her life; this includes religious women. Pregnancy is a primary health issue for women in our country who spend on average 30 years of their lives trying not to get pregnant. Spacing and timing of pregnancies plays an important role in women and children’s health and well being. To trivialize pregnancy and its health effects on women is sexist and wrong, and again creates negative rhetoric against women, their reproductive health and the families they create.

Women’s health care, including contraception, breast pumps and counseling for abuse, is not the equivalent of pedicures and manicures. They are the building blocks of preventive health for women. An expert panel of doctors and scientists found these services are central to women’s preventive health. It was 100% appropriate for HHS to include them in the preventive care regulations. The decision was welcome news for millions of Latinas and their families as they seek to plan and space their pregnancies, keep their pregnancies healthy, keep their infants healthy, or prevent deadly cancers and illness.

Being a woman has always been seen as a pre-existing condition in our for-profit health care industry and it is not only sensible, but also just for government to change this tide. The new health care reform law is leveling the playing field so that women can get their complete health care covered in a way that considers the fully scope of what women need. As representatives of Latinas in this battle, we fought through the extra process, effectively dispelled a constant campaign of negative rhetoric about Latina women’s reproductive health, and won a major step forward in equality in health care for women. Fox’s “experts” cannot take that away.

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It’s been a fantastic week of action so far, and we want to give a special shout out to all our fifty (!) organizational partners for signing on and supporting the week of action.

It’s not too late to become a partner! Go here to sign on.

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By Jaspreet Chowdhary, Reproductive Justice Fellow (LSRJ), National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

I’ll admit. I’m totally a legal nerd. I love the Fourteenth Amendment so much that I took a course in law school devoted solely to the amendment.  I think you should love it too! The Fourteenth Amendment contains the Citizenship Clause which overruled the Supreme Court decision that said Blacks could not be citizens of the United States.  It also contains the Due Process clause which prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness. Finally, it has the Equal Protection Clause, which requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction That’s why all of us should be concerned about what some powerful and radically conservative lawmakers are trying to do to the Fourteenth amendment – turn it into a bludgeon to beat up on women and families.

Yet these attempts to change the amendment reveal the utter hypocrisy by those who support these measures.  For example, Kentucky freshman Senator Rand Paul had an almost singular focus on the Fourteenth Amendment at the beginning of his term.   First, he co-sponsored the Life at Conception Act, which would establish that a person’s life begins at conception and, thus declaring fetuses to be legal persons protected under the Fourteenth Amendment.    Paul hopes to override the constitutional right to an abortion that the Supreme Court found in Roe v. Wade.  Second, Paul also co-sponsored a resolution that would change the Fourteenth amendment to prevent children born to illegal immigrants from gaining automatic citizenship.

The two different approaches to the Fourteenth Amendment reveal a subtext of whose children are wanted and valued. The fetuses of white women are offered constitutional protection, while the lives of immigrant women of color are dismissed and demonized.  In the United States, immigrants are denied benefits while being blamed for environmental degradation, the recession, and lack of jobs.  They are also portrayed as coming to the United States solely for the purpose of having children who are then raised to be terrorists.   Anti-immigrant advocates are the same people who spout pro-life rhetoric and claim to be protecting family values.

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NYC folks, an event tonight not to be missed!

Fri, 08/05/2011 – 6:30pm – 9:30pm

145 East Houston Street
(between Eldridge and Forsyth Street)
New York, NY 10002

Nearby Trains: B, D, F, M

This year’s theme, Caminamos: Justice for Immigrant Women, will invite the nation to join NLIRH in moving toward a brighter future for immigrant women and their families.  Come meet other reproductive justice advocates, enjoy recession-friendly drink specials, and learn about ongoing activities that NLIRH is doing around the country.

We encourage you to participate in our silent auction. NLIRH has secured beautiful artwork and jewelry from two extremely talented in-kind donors – a photographer and a jewelry designer – who both care deeply about social justice, human rights, and Latinas.

RSVP HERE 

Feel free to bring a friend, colleague or family member.

*No cover and great drink specials from 6 – 9 pm

$4 Well Drinks & Beers

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The messages we receive from the media about immigrant women vary widely. Sometimes you hear that immigrant women don’t exist outside the family. Other times you hear that immigrant women use parenting as a way to manipulate the government and the system. Still other times you hear that immigrant women are criminals. Rarely do you hear the truth about our communities and understand the true lived experiences of immigrant women.

Media portrayal matters because they shape policy, and they shape the public’s opinion of immigrant women.

The media narratives about immigrant women sway from one pendulum to another, from victim to villain. In one article immigrant women are victims of a brutal recession that has left Latinos with the biggest losses. In another, they are criminals who come here to take advantage of our government through citizenship for their children.

These media portrayals perpetuate myths about immigrants. Myths like: immigrants don’t pay taxes, they take jobs away from other people in the US, and that they are a social service burden. Occasionally a media outlet works to break down these stereotypes, like this South Florida Times article. It reported, based on a study by New American Media, that many immigrant women are actually thriving and supporting the health of their families and communities. They are increasingly playing the role of breadwinner, raising their children on their own, working actively in and with their communities and fighting for the fundamental rights of all people.

What’s most important, though, is that we hear what immigrant women themselves have to say about their lives and their experiences. Until we find a way to respond to media’s discriminatory assumptions about immigrants, they will continue to spread, and the  dialogue around immigration and gender could stay on it’s dead-end course in the public realm.

By Luis Vargas, Community Mobilization Intern is supported by the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program

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In our society, where our workforce so heavily relies on immigrant labor, it is ironic that immigrants are at the same time scapegoated and blamed for societies problems. What is exactly “the root problem”? We live in a society that exploits the low income and working classes. The exploitation of the most vulnerable that are unable to fight back. In this case, it is immigrant workers, in particular, undocumented workers. The recent anti-immigrant climate, coupled with increased deportations, has created a culture of fear in regards to reporting working conditions.

Working conditions for workers have long been known to be unhealthy and safe. Undocumented workers are particularly vulnerable because they fear retribution if they report violations. Employers can use a worker’s citizenship status to threaten them. Immigrant women’s reproductive health is often uniquely threatened by these working conditions, as pesticides and other chemicals used in agriculture and manufacturing can have serious affects on her reproductive health.

NLIRH stands with all immigrant women as part of the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights.

It’s not too late to get involved in the Week of Action!

Join NLIRH today Thursday August 4 in our Washington D.C. Office for a documentary film screening of “Made in LA”, which follows three fierce Latinas working and organizing for better working conditions in garment factories in Los Angeles.

This documentary will open dialogue for the discussion following the film.

For more information about the rights of all workers, regardless of immigration status, Check out this pamphlet from the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

By Heather Ramirez, Development and Communications Intern

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