The siblings say their brother’s extremist views on immigration and his comments about a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., prompted them to take action.
In September 1943, German Wehrmacht troops slaughtered some 5,200 Italian soldiers on the Greek isle. The massacre was a turning point in Greece and Italy’s relationship, but the bloody event was downplayed for years.
“I think my brother has traded a lot of the values we had at our kitchen table,” she says. The Gosar siblings fell out with their brother after he espoused rightwing conspiracy theories about George Soros, claiming the financier who backed Hillary Clinton over Trump betrayed his fellow Jews to the Nazis in the second world war. When Paul Gosar backed the far-right marchers whose rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 resulted in the death of a counter-protester, his siblings wrote to an Arizona paper to say: “We are aghast that Paul has sunk so low.”
More than 1,25,000 working spouses of immigrants, mainly Indians, remain on tenterhooks after the Department of Homeland Security told a federal court on Friday that its decision to revoke work permits to H-4 visa holders is on track and new rules would be announced within three months.
“It doesn’t surprise me one bit that for more than 30 years, Christine Blasey Ford didn’t talk about the assault she remembers, the one she accuses Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of committing,” Ms. Davis wrote. She added: “Perhaps the aging men who are poised to interrogate her, unless they hide behind surrogates, should pause for a moment and think about the courage it takes for a woman to say: Here is my memory. It has haunted me for decades. It changed my life. You need to know about it now because of what is at stake for this country.”
Por Alexandra Mendoza
Con “Mexamérica: Una Cultura Naciendo”, la autora e investigadora Fey Berman busca describir a una diáspora mexicana que va más allá de los estereotipos.
Recientemente, la escritora mexicana visitó la región San Diego-Tijuana para presentar su libro que es una compilación de ensayos, reseñas, crónicas y perfiles elaborados en la última década.
Berman, quien nació en la Ciudad de México y ha radicado en Nueva York desde hace más de 30 años, acuña el término “mexamericano” para referirse precisamente a los millones de inmigrantes mexicanos que se han adaptado a la vida estadounidense. De ahí, el deseo de indagar más a fondo.
La cónsul general de México en San Diego, Marcela Celorio, reiteró esta idea.
“Fey Berman no es mexicana ni es americana, es mexamericana”, señaló al introducir a la escritora frente a quienes acudieron a la presentación del libro en la Universidad de California San Diego (UCSD).
Dicho término explora aquel concepto del “ni de aquí, ni de allá”. Ni son 100 por ciento “americanos”, ni son 100 por ciento “mexicanos”, explica Berman.
“Creo que la percepción en México de que somos mexicanos del otro lado, en territorio gringo, que somos idénticos a nuestros familiares en Pátzcuaro nada más que hablamos spanglish es una ilusión”, enfatizó.
Los mexamericanos llegaron a Estados Unidos para quedarse. Para el 2050, se anticipa que habrá unos 80 millones de ellos y si “Mexamérica” fuera un país, ocuparía lugar 38 entre los más poblados.
Su estatus migratorio varía, pues Berman afirma que sólo el 16 por ciento de los mexamericanos están en el país sin documentos. La diáspora está en todos los campos: ciencias, artes, negocios y académico, por mencionar algunos.
Por ende, la imagen trasciende de solamente los tacos, mariachis y remesas, considera la autora. “Eso describe una parte importante, sin embargo, no es la totalidad”, afirmó Berman.
El cómo se preservará esta identidad en las siguientes generaciones está por verse.
“Creo que el contexto político y social que estamos viviendo ahora te hace sentir que no quieres ser parte de esa identidad”, comentó Berman. “Tiene mucha importancia que tan versado es uno en la cultura mexicana y norteamericana para saber destruir esos estereotipos”, agregó.
“Creo que depende mucho cómo se está transmitiendo de una generación a otra, dentro de las familias, de las universidades y cómo nos perciben el resto de los pobladores de este país”.
Este libro se encontraba próximo a publicarse cuando el entonces candidato -hoy presidente- Donald Trump emergió en la escena política con aquel discurso que ofendió a muchos mexicanos.
Berman, al igual que muchos, no pensó que Trump obtendría la candidatura de su partido y mucho menos que llegaría a la Casa Blanca, pero aun así, quiso apurarse a publicar el libro y la presencia del ahora mandatario sólo derivó en el cambio de “tres o cuatro frases” en la introducción.
La tarea pendiente para Berman es una adaptación del libro dirigida al público no hispano mostrar las contribuciones hechas por los mexamericanos.
“Somos embajadores y que podemos hacer realmente más importante ese rol que puede ser benéfico no solamente para nosotros sino para el resto de Estados Unidos en su conexión con el resto del mundo en donde hablan español”.
DRC announces Ebola case near Ugandan border
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Arizona health officials threatened on Wednesday to revoke the licenses of 13 federally funded immigrant children shelters, accusing the facilities’ operator, Southwest Key, of displaying an “astonishingly flippant attitude” toward complying with the state’s child protection laws.
But a day after the state sent its blistering letter to Southwest Key CEO Juan Sanchez, it became clear that any shutdown would create a tumultuous chain of events for federal and state regulators, who lack options for housing tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who cross the border every year.
“Shutting down the shelters would create a crisis for the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is charged with housing children caught at the border,” said Maria Cancian, deputy assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families from 2015 to 2016.
Southwest Key is the country’s largest operator of immigrant youth shelters, housing more than 5,000 children in Arizona, Texas and California. As many as 1,600 children currently reside in its Arizona facilities.
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The Texas-based nonprofit has become an increasingly critical asset for the federal government as the number of children in its custody has reached record numbers — even as the Trump administration has ended the practice of separating children from their parents. Southwest Key has received more than $1.3 billion in federal grants and contracts for the shelters and other services in the past five years.
Arizona’s investigation showing the company has been lax in protecting children in its care highlights the government’s fraught reliance on shelter operators — and the power those operators have, even in the face of failures. The federal government desperately needs every shelter as tougher immigration policies have put the system near capacity, housing five times as many children as last summer. Former HHS officials said closing 13 shelters in Arizona at once would throw the system into chaos.
It would create a “humanitarian crisis,” said one former official, forcing federal officials to scramble to find safe, licensed housing with trained and vetted staff for 1,600 children.
Arizona launched its investigation of Southwest Key’s shelters after news reports raised questions about background checks and other issues. A ProPublica story in August detailed the charges against Levian Pacheco, a former Southwest Key employee who is accused of molesting eight boys at a Mesa shelter over an 11-month period. Pacheco, who is HIV-positive, went without a background check for nearly four months. He was convicted earlier this month of 10 sex offenses connected to the molestation.
In response to media attention and complaints, Arizona health officials reviewed records on background checks at every Southwest Key facility across the state. Of the 13 shelters, the state found two additional facilities also had problems with background checks. In mid-August the company agreed it would verify that all employees had complete background checks by mid-September.
Arizona health officials also found that Southwest Key hadn’t vetted all employees by interviewing their previous employers and hadn’t ensured all employee files contained proof of tuberculosis testing. At some facilities, officials discovered bedroom and bathroom doors missing and problems with the size of residents’ rooms.
In Wednesday’s letter, Dr. Cara Christ, the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, told Sanchez that his organization had failed to comply with the mid-August agreement.
“Southwest Key’s lack of ability to deliver a simple report on the critical protections these children have against dangerous felons demonstrates an utter disregard for Arizona law,” Christ wrote.
Jeff Eller, a Southwest Key spokesman, said the nonprofit has requested a meeting with state health officials to discuss the matter. “We have apologized to DHS for missing the reporting deadline and are serious about ensuring that never happens again,” he said in a statement. Eller declined to comment on the substantive issues raised in Arizona’s investigation. The state’s move to revoke the licenses was first reported by Arizona media outlets.
Gov. Doug Ducey’s office said in an email on Thursday he expects licensed facilities to comply with the law or his administration will hold them accountable.
Federal HHS spokesman Kenneth Wolfe said in an email Thursday that the agency was reviewing the letter and working with the shelters and Ducey’s office “to get all of the facts regarding the Arizona Department of Health Services audit to determine the next step.”
Former federal officials said they anticipate HHS will step in to help negotiate an outcome between Southwest Key and Arizona that will allow the children to remain in the facilities. Even Arizona officials acknowledged that the letter represents the beginning of what would be a long process.
In Texas, which has 16 Southwest Key facilities housing about 3,700 children, state health officials say they are not aware of similar issues with Southwest Key.
The Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission said its “monitoring inspections have not produced evidence of a pattern of background check deficiencies within any SWK [Southwest Key] operation, nor any patterns of failure to comply with minimum standard training requirements.”
California officials have not yet responded to requests for comment. The dust-up comes as the number of immigrant youth in federal custody has continued to grow. Immigrant advocates and former health officials say the record population doesn’t appear to be due to an influx of children at the border, but to the fact that children are staying in the shelters nearly twice as long as in the past.
They attributed that to a Trump administration policy that requires health officials to share information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to vet potential sponsors for children in the shelters. As a result, they said, many parents and relatives who have traditionally served as sponsors worry they’ll be turned over to ICE if they come forward.
Matthew Albence, who heads ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, gave credence to that fear at a Senate hearing on Tuesday when he testified that ICE had arrested 41 people who either came forward as sponsors or lived with them.
“Close to 80 percent of the individuals that are either sponsors or household members of sponsors are here in the country illegally,” Albence said. “So we are continuing to pursue those individuals.”
Arizona’s move against Southwest Key is just the latest in a series of bad headlines for the nonprofit.
In addition to ProPublica’s reporting on Pacheco, two other cases involving abuse at other Southwest Key shelters in Arizona surfaced in July. An employee at a Southwest Key facility in Phoenix was arrested on allegations that he sexually abused a 14-year-old girl by kissing her and rubbing her breast and crotch, according to Phoenix news outlets. And The Nation reported in July that a 6-year-old girl, who had been separated from her mother, was allegedly fondled by a boy at a Southwest Key facility in Glendale in June.
At other Southwest Key facilities, police reports and call logs from the last five years detail dozens of runaways, inappropriate relationships with staff, sexual contact among kids, and allegations of molestation by employees, ProPublica found. In one case, a 46-year-old youth care worker in Tucson was convicted of groping a 15-year-old boy who had arrived in the United States five days earlier.
In response to each of these reports, a Southwest Key spokesman said the organization immediately reports any abuse claim to police, that it cooperates fully with all investigations and that it educates children in its care of their right to be free of abuse.
And in August, UnidosUS, formerly known as the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, suspended its affiliation with Southwest Key.
Both UnidosUS and Arizona officials highlighted similar concerns about the Southwest Key officials’ attitude toward the scrutiny it is receiving. UnidosUS said the organization “failed to convey that it understands the gravity and magnitude of the situation” and had failed to apologize to the victims in its care.
In response to UnidosUs, Eller told the Austin American-Statesman in August that the company was disappointed in the group’s decision and said any insinuation that Southwest Key didn’t take allegations seriously was grossly incorrect.
A former HHS official with knowledge of how the refugee resettlement agency operates said the recent developments with Southwest Key raise serious questions about the organization’s ability to meet the government’s needs.
“It sounds like, based on their inability to respond or even communicate in a timely fashion that they have really significant internal operating challenges and that may or may not be indicative of the quality of care the children are receiving,” the former official said.
Nonetheless, other former officials said shuttering the facilities might not be in the best interest of the children. The state might have more effective options, such as increasing unannounced visits to shelters.
Claudia Flores, director of the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School who has studied the conditions faced by immigrant youth at the border, highlighted the difficult position the federal government and Arizona are in with Southwest Key.
“It’s not a response to say we can’t shut down the facilities when there are reports of abuse taking place,” she said. “It’s really not the kids in these facilities that should be suffering.”