Obama Administration Must End Raids on Homes of Central American Immigrants NOW

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sunday, January 3, 2016
CONTACT: Carlos Vogel, (202) 239-2133, cvogel@communitychange.org

Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) Denounces Raids

(WASHINGTON)—The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) is appalled, outraged and heartbroken that President Obama has put in place his administration’s plan to raid the homes of Central American immigrants targeted for deportation.

FIRM has received confirmed reports that women and children were taken from their homes in Georgia and Maryland and placed in detention centers on Saturday.

“FIRM demands that President Obama, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and ICE Director Sarah Saldana immediately put an end to this reported plan to raid people’s homes, terrorize families and rip them apart,” said FIRM spokesperson Kica Matos. “If these families are deported —  and most of them would be women and children, they would be returned to places they fled to escape being killed, raped or tortured.”

“These families came to the United States seeking refuge and better lives, like countless millions of other immigrants. That is what has made America the great country that it is. Rounding up these families to deport them back to a region marked by extreme violence is inhumane,” Matos added.

“FIRM will do everything in its power to stop this reported plan from being implemented. We cannot and we will not remain silent when our families are living in fear of being separated and sent back to face possible harm, including death,” Matos said. “President Obama, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and ICE Director Sarah Saldana betrayal of the Latino and immigrant communities is one that will mark his legacy and that of this administration.”

Afghan Women’s Writing Project | Racist, Shame on You!

God created us as equal humans, but we divided our humanity into thousands of categories of color, race, tribe, culture, tradition, and religion because of our ethnocentric thoughts.

God created us, but we created racism, and we let it divide our homes, our countries, and the world.

I want to use my words to take a stand against racism, to say:

Shame on you, racism.

Shame on you, racists!

The virus of racism affects our families, friends, schools, universities, and offices, as well as relationships between our tribes and nations. I lose sleep thinking of it and get up at night to write about how it makes me feel. Tonight I sat up until midnight trying to forget the racist words I heard today from an educated and stylish Pashtoon man who sees me as inferior, a freak, based on my tribe. Cheap Tajik, he called me.

Often people in our tribes have cultural differences in that they know different languages and wear different styles of clothing or some tribes have facial features that appear more Asian.

Pashtoons are one of the most populated tribes of Afghanistan. They consider themselves as the native citizens of Afghanistan, as “real Afghans.” Some of them will imply that people who are Tajik, Uzbek, or Hazara are non-native Afghans from central Asia. They think these groups are the descendants of Chinese warlord Ghengis Khan.

Some Pashtoons like to point out that they descend from kings and rulers of Afghanistan for hundreds of years. They often are conservative about their views of women. I think Tajiks are often more openminded—men and women can eat together and shake hands.

All four tribes have cultural differences, but we all share the same religion and our national languages of Dari and Pashto.

Pain fills my chest and sorrow fills my thoughts, and I wish I could banish that man’s words from my mind. I write to empty my heart, to put the bitter words on paper. How sad and disappointing to experience racism from an educated person; what can we expect from the uneducated?Racist, burn your clothes and throw away your tie, your name-brand shoes. Shame on you.

I suffer an escalating shock every time I experience racism. I will take a stand against it. Racism is the seed for the crop of un-civilization. Civilization emerges from fair thinking. Racism is not civilized at all.

Racists of the world, wherever you are, when you look at me you seem to forget that I am like you: one head, two legs, two arms.

When you look at me you see a label, a single word tied to a tribe or color: black or white, Tajik, or Hazara. Hazaras were long oppressed but today Hazara girls are being educated more than some other groups that still believe in old, discriminatory practices against women such as honor killings.

You categorize me by caste and class and religion. You ignore my human value and try to bully me for my own heritage, all because of a single word.

Shame on you, racists!

Shame on you, racism!

By Paana

Photo by Balazs Gardi

Source: Afghan Women’s Writing Project | Racist, Shame on You!

DHS Secretary speaks out about deportation raids as children and parents are rounded up | Latina Lista

{He fails and so do we all on all accounts for not giving refuge to families suffering from violence that began with US intervention in their home countries}

I know there are many who loudly condemn our enforcement efforts as far too harsh, while there will be others who say these actions don’t go far enough. I also recognize the reality of the pain that deportations do in fact cause. But, we must enforce the law consistent with our priorities. At all times, we endeavor to do this consistent with American values, and basic principles of decency, fairness, and humanity ~ Sec. Jeh C. Johnson.

Source: DHS Secretary speaks out about deportation raids as children and parents are rounded up | Latina Lista

Argentina seeks negotiations with UK over Falklands | News | DW.COM | 04.01.2016

Argentina is firmly committed to “peacefully settling its differences” and to “international law and multilateralism,” the nation’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.The statement confirmed that the new Argentinean government would continue to press its territorial claim on the Falkland Islands, with the conflict remaining the key stumbling block between Buenos Aires and London.The administration “invites the United Kingdom to resume, as soon as possible, the negotiations aimed at settling the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas [Falklands] islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich islands and surrounding territorial seas fairly and definitively,” the ministry said.

Source: Argentina seeks negotiations with UK over Falklands | News | DW.COM | 04.01.2016

Middle East – Protests over Saudi execution of Shiite cleric turn deadly in Iraq – France 24

{No question any longer that Saudi Arabia aids ISIS and its terrorism by further dividing Sunni and Shia Muslims.}

The spark for Sunday’s attacks appears to have been Nimr’s execution a day earlier, which triggered angry reactions in Shi’ite-led Iraq and Iran.Saudi Arabia cut ties with regional rival Iran on Sunday after protesters attacked the kingdom’s embassy in Tehran. Bahrain, the Shi’ite-majority Gulf state ruled by a Sunni family, and Sudan followed suit on Monday.The attack on a mosque in central Hilla destroyed its dome and several walls, according to a Reuters TV cameraman who visited the site. Provincial council member Falah al-Khafaji and a police source said a guard in the building was killed.“We saw smoke rising from the dome of the mosque. We found all the walls destroyed and the furniture inside in shambles,” said resident Uday Hassan Ali.Another mosque in Hilla’s northern outskirts was also attacked, and a Sunni cleric was killed in a separate incident in Iskandariya, about 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, Khafaji and the police source said.“We have leads and security measures will be taken near mosques,” said Khafaji, pledging to rebuild the buildings.

Source: Middle East – Protests over Saudi execution of Shiite cleric turn deadly in Iraq – France 24

Islamic Development Bank supports polio elimination with $90 million grant | Vaccine News

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) recently granted $90 million in funds to help Pakistan implement the latest step of its polio elimination program through 2018. This decision was made by the IDB’s board of executive directors during a meeting at their headquarters in Jeddah. At the meeting, they evaluated the program’s status and chose to donate the finances. The IDB previously promised $227 million so that Pakistan could implement various disease elimination programs until 2015. In the past year, approximately 80 percent of the world’s wild poliovirus cases were located in Pakistan. A report from the World Health Organization showed serious vaccination gaps inside South Waziristan, Peshawar, Khyber Agency, northern Sindh, Karachi, and regions in Balochistan.

Source: Islamic Development Bank supports polio elimination with $90 million grant | Vaccine News