Human rights groups and activists issued dire warnings about the state of democracy in Hungary—and the rest of the world—after the nation’s parliament on Monday approved a sweeping emergency law handing far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orbán dictatorial powers as the European country battles the coronavirus pandemic.
The new law indefinitely suspends elections and parliament, imposes up to five years in prison for anyone who intentionally spreads what the government classifies as misinformation, and gives Orbán the authority to suspend laws by decree as he works to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The law easily passed Hungary’s parliament, which is dominated by Orbán’s far-right Fidesz party, by a vote of 137 to 53. Continue reading →
In audio obtained by ProPublica, an ICE detainee described harrowing conditions as fears over coronavirus spread. The ICE detention center in New Jersey gives detainees one bar of soap per week. If they want more, they have to buy it.
In an audio recording obtained by ProPublica, an immigrant held in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention in New Jersey complains that he and other detainees are on a hunger strike to try to obtain soap and toilet paper in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic — and that guards reportedly have told detainees, “Well, you’re going to have to die of something.”
The audio was recorded when Ronal Umaña, a 30-year-old immigrant from El Salvador currently being held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in New Jersey, placed a personal call to an advocate on Sunday. The advocate provided the audio to ProPublica. Continue reading →
US – Canada border crossing. Photo: bbmcshane/flickr/cc
As legal advocates filed an emergency suit on behalf of families and children detained by ICE, activists around the U.S. demonstrated against the continuing detention of immigrants by the federal agency as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the nation.
The agency’s detention centers are known for their danger in spreading deadly disease to prisoners and it’s a matter of when—not if—the disease arrives at a facility and infects hundreds or thousands of people. Continue reading →
Delays and long lines at polling places during recent presidential primary elections – such as voters in Texas experienced – represent the latest version of decades-long policies that have sought to reduce the political power of African Americans in the U.S.
Following the Civil War and the extension of the vote to African Americans, state governments worked to block black people, as well as poor whites, from voting. One way they tried to accomplish this goal was through poll taxes – an amount of money each voter had to pay before being allowed to vote. Continue reading →
An armed ICE agent through the peephole of an apartment . Photo: Annie Correal/Twitter
Operation Palladium has begun. Hundreds of agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have entered New York and other sanctuary cities in a fresh attempt to round up undocumented immigrants. The directive,according to officials, is simple: arrest as many undocumented immigrants as possible and “flood the streets” with officers. Beginning a 24/7 surveillance and detention program, ICE leadership has requested over 500 special agents who normally work fighting trafficking and organized crime to bolster the agency’s numbers. This follows an earlier decision to deploy immigration SWAT teams to round up undocumented immigrants in sanctuary cities.
“I have gotten frantic texts from people that they are spotting ICE in their New York City buildings knocking on doors. They are terrified. This is happening TODAY. RIGHT NOW. People [are] being hunted down,”said journalist Maria Hinojosa. Continue reading →
A Wisconsin appeals court overturned a ruling that would have allowed the purge of more than 200,000 from the state voter rolls before the 2020 general election. (Photo: Penn State/flickr/cc)
Voting rights advocates applauded a Wisconsin appeals court ruling Friday which is set to stop a voter purge from going forward—sparing more than 200,000 people from having their names removed from voter lists.
A three-judge panel unanimously rejected a lawsuit filed by conservative law group Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty arguing that the voter purge of about 209,000 should go forward ahead of the 2020 election.
The decision represented “good news for democracy for all,” tweeted Mary Kay Henry, president of the SEIU. Continue reading →
Rights advocates expressed outrage and severe concerns after the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday it is creating an official task force devoted to “denaturalization”—the process by which the government strips citizenship from foreign-born Americans, or naturalized citizens.
“Of all the dystopian shit—a department of denaturalization at DOJ might take the biscuit,” tweeted activist Joel Braunold. “Means immigrant Americans (such as myself) will always have a threat to displace us if we step out of line.” Continue reading →
On Monday, forty organizations signed a letter calling on an independent government watchdog to recommend a ban on U.S. government use of facial recognition technology.
The letter was drafted by the digital privacy advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and signed by organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Color of Change, Fight for the Future, Popular Resistance, and the Consumer Federation of America. The letter calls on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) to “recommend to the President and the Secretary of Homeland Security the suspension of facial recognition systems, pending further review.“ Continue reading →
“The Trump administration’s policy could quite literally kill people by making them too afraid to seek life-saving medical care, and the Supreme Court seems to agree such a cruel system is acceptable.”