Helping Poor And Migrants Is ‘Equally Sacred’ As Fighting Abortion

Pope Francis: Helping Poor And Migrants Is ‘Equally Sacred’ As Fighting Abortion

Pope Francis issued a scathing rebuke of Catholics who prioritize some church laws and doctrines ― including those condemning abortion ― over fighting for the poor and the oppressed.

In an apostolic exhortation released Monday, Francis lamented that some Catholics think of protecting many marginalized groups as a secondary or superficial issue. The pontiff said that while efforts to restrict abortion are crucial, it’s just as important for members of his flock to fight for the rights of the “already born.”

Francis wrote in his exhortation, “Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.”

Read the entire article here.

Private Prisons

Private Prisons

In the early 1980s, the Corrections Corporation of America pioneered the idea of running prisons for a profit. “You just sell it like you were selling cars, or real estate, or hamburgers,” one of its founders told Inc. magazine. Today, corporate-run prisons hold eight percent of America’s inmates. Here’s how the private prison industry took off: read here.

Justice Department seeks increase in private prison beds

Last August, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced a plan to wind down the bureau’s reliance on private prisons after an inspector general report found that they posed higher security risks than public prisons.
“Private prisons served an important role during a difficult period, but time has shown that they compare poorly to our own [bureau] facilities,” Yates wrote in a memo. “They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security.”
Shortly after taking office, Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Yates’ directive.
“The memorandum changed long-standing policy and practice, and impaired the Bureau’s ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system,” Sessions said in a memo.
The official solicitation is expected to be posted later this month and contracts can take up to two years to be awarded.  Read more here.

What Rights Do Children of Illegal Immigrant Parents Have in the U.S.?

What Rights Children of Illegal Immigrant Parents Have in the U.S.

Updated By Ilona Bray, J.D., University of Washington Law School

The children of undocumented (often called “illegal”) immigrants in the U.S. typically had no say in their parents’ decision to move to the U.S., but must contend with the consequences nonetheless.

If those children were born in the United States, they are automatically U.S. citizens, and have all the rights that come with that.

Although many people assume that having a child in the U.S. (who is automatically a U.S. citizen) allows that parents to obtain lawful immigration status here, that is not the case. U.S. immigration law allows a U.S. citizen to petition for parents only upon turning 21. And in order to get through the financial-sponsorship aspects of the petition process, that child will need to be living in the U.S. and earning a high enough income to support his or her parents as well as any other household members.

Birthright Citizenship in the U.S.

The children of undocumented immigrants lucky enough to have been born in the U.S. will obtain what’s often called “birthright citizenship.” It is conferred automatically, solely by virtue of being born on U.S. soil. This right comes from the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

During various Congressional debates about immigration reform, there has been talk about eliminating or changing this right. In 2010, for example, some senators publicly announced their opinions that the Fourteenth Amendment needs to be amended. They argued that the amendment is being abused, citing instances where wealthy foreign nationals have come to the U.S. for a brief “vacation” and stayed just long enough to give birth to a child. Of course, they also mentioned the millions of immigrants who enter the U.S. without permission and have children, too.

Read more here.

Europe’s Child Refugee Crisis

Image result for child refugees in europe

Photo: UNICEF/Ashley Gilbertson VII

Europe’s Child-Refugee Crisis

At an age when most kids need supervision to do their homework, hundreds of thousands of minors are crossing continents alone.

BY  

Wasil awoke to the sound of a knife ripping through nylon. Although he was only twelve years old, he was living alone in a small tent at a refugee camp in Calais, France, known as the Jungle. Men entered his tent; he couldn’t tell how many. A pair of hands gripped his throat. He shouted. It was raining, and the clatter of the drops muffled his cries, so he shouted louder. At last, people from neighboring tents came running, and the assailants disappeared.

Wasil had left his mother and younger siblings in Kunduz, Afghanistan, ten months earlier, in December, 2015. His father, an interpreter for nato forces, had fled the country after receiving death threats from the Taliban. Later, Wasil, as the eldest son, became the Taliban’s surrogate target. Wasil was close to his mother, but she decided to send him away as the situation became increasingly dangerous. Her brother lived in England, and she hoped that Wasil could join him there. To get to Calais, Wasil had travelled almost four thousand miles, across much of Asia and Europe, by himself. Along the way, he had survived for ten days in a forest with only two bottles of water, two biscuits, and a packet of dates to sustain him. Before leaving home, he hadn’t even known how to prepare a meal.

Read more here.