FIFA MUST COME OUT AND SAY IT
Use of anti-gay epithet in the soccer field is not unique to Mexico’s supporters but massive World Cup audience gives FIFA members a great chance to teach tolerance and understanding
Los Angeles, CA – The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) urged the International Federation of Associations Football (FIFA) and its member associations to take advantage of the world stage at the World Cup in Brazil to actively campaign against homophobia, transphobia, and otherwise insulting and demeaning use of language and behavior that strikes at the dignity of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) individuals.
The following are statements for Angelica Salas, CHIRLA executive director.
“The world is passionately watching and enjoying soccer right now presenting FIFA with a golden opportunity to score big against anti-LGBT language and behavior. Just as FIFA has stood firm against racism, we expect an unequivocal rebuttal to any and all uses of language and behavior that demeans, insults, and pokes fun at LGBT persons by an individual or thousands all at once.
There’s nothing culturally-acceptable about homophobia, intolerance, and discrimination in the beautiful world of soccer. As various countries meet at the World Cup for fame, glory, and the honor of being the best sports team, we call on all players, managers, executives, and fans to dignify the sport by exercising respect, sensitivity, and humanity to everyone involved.
To be passionate about a sport we love is understandable and encouraged. To be a misinformed bigot while passionately rooting for our team cheapens the sport, endangers the convivial and multicultural nature of competition, and insults the human condition.”
Los Angeles, CA -- On Thursday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's Financial & Oversight Subcommitee released a startling, bipartisan report detailing how the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) had been compromised in its crucial mission of overseeing DHS' deportation machine and more. In particular, the Subcommittee found that OIG had lost its independence when investigating the misnamed "Secure Communities" (S-Comm) deportation dragnet.
The following is a statement by Joseph Villela, CHIRLA Policy Director.
"This devastating report takes us back in time to 2011/12, when CHIRLA and its allies' opposition to the fatally flawed S-Comm was beginning to bear fruit. Since 2009, when this deportation dragnet was secretly imposed on Los Angeles and then the rest of California, we began to see community members 'disappeared' after seemingly routine local police encounters while selling hot dogs or driving their children to school. By mid-2011, awareness of S-Comm's brutal impact had reach such a level that DHS was compelled to create a Task Force to suggest "reforms" to it. The Task Force came to Los Angeles and heard countless tales of families being separated indiscriminately.
At the same time, Members of Congress began to look closer at S-Comm - Representative Zoe Lofgren requested that the DHS OIG take a close look at the program and how it was forced upon unsuspecting communities across California and the country. The Senate report now reveals that, as suspected back in 2012, that the OIG's investigation was nothing but a sham, whose content and findings were dictated by then DHS Secretary (current University of California President) Janet Napolitano's lead counsel John Sandweg and Chief of Staff Noah Kroloff.
Aside from entirely discrediting the OIG report, the behavior of Secretary Napolitano's staff raises serious concerns about the Task Force as well. After several of its members resigned, the Task Force released tepid recommendations to "reform" S-Comm in ways that would have little effect on the ground, yet DHS did not even adopt these.
Fast forward to today in 2014, and we see that S-Comm continues to help deport just about anyone local police hand over to ICE. In other words, as the recently surpassed grim milestone of 2 million deportations under President Obama shows, nothing has changed. While the TRUST Act here in California is helping to protect many immigrants from deportation, most of the rest of the country has no such safeguards. It's high time to stop doing the same horrible thing over and over yet expecting rosy results. This sorry trip into history and the current sordid reality can only lead to one conclusion: the Obama Administration must end S-Comm now."
"Months after an immigration reform bill passed in the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, the House GOP leadership issues principles to fix our broken immigration system. Having learned little from their recent mistakes, Republicans once again wield a strong fist against family unity and reunification and mistakenly refuse to see the benefits of establishing a fair and accessible path to citizenship for the aspiring citizens living in the U.S. without documents. But words are not enough. We need the House leadership to act with courage, wisdom, and without delay enacting legislation that seriously and permanently resolves the inhumane, costly, and unwieldy disarray of immigration laws in desperate need of fixing.
First Anti-Immigrant Bill of 2014 Must be Defeated
Senate bill proposal by Senator Ayotte (R-NH) and Coats (R-IN) would strip away Child Tax Credit (CTC) from two million immigrant families and impact more than four million U.S. born children, many of whom are Latino. Vote on the measure expected Tuesday or Wednesday.
The following is CHIRLA’s reaction to the proposed changes:
"CHIRLA strongly opposes this anti-children and anti-immigrant proposal which would affect an unimaginable amount of immigrant families. Two million families and four million US-born children would be directly affected. The debate is about how to keep American families out of poverty in a time of need and stripping this tax benefit would do just the opposite. More than 60% of the families using the refundable portion of this tax credit earn less than $25,000 annually.
The CTC has proven to be effective in assisting these families in need. We urge the Senate to oppose this proposal and any similar anti-family proposal. We must continue to support our most vulnerable families and not create policy changes that would put them at an even greater disadvantage."
Out of Crisis Mode, California Must Invest in Health for All Families
Governor Brown’s proposed budget is a step in the right direction but California must ensure immigrant families have access to health care, safety net programs, and naturalization services
Los Angeles, CA – The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) reacted with tempered optimism to Governor Brown’s budget announcement Thursday and issued his Administration an urgent call to invest in the health of millions of California families left out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As details of the budget proposal begin to emerge, CHIRLA commended Governor Brown’s foresight to increase funding for higher education, health care and some safety-net social programs, and the Department of Labor and DMV.
After the break, a statement for Joseph Villela, CHIRLA policy director.
“We are pleased to see the underpinnings of a financial blueprint that invests in California’s education, health care, road safety, and worker’s rights. We are cautious as to the breadth and scope of the proposed budget priorities and remain committed to working with the Legislature and the Governor to ensure California immigrant families have access to health care, safety net programs, and naturalization services.
We are intrigued by a few of the budget’s proposals:
Whereas the governor’s budget proposes a 5 percent increase in safety-net programs we are unsure if the grants will benefit immigrant programs such as the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants or the California Food Assistance Program.
The Governor’s proposed $26.3 billion for higher education comes with the caveat that community colleges, CSU, and UC system must undergo reforms. What reforms he is asking for in exchange for the new funds is yet unknown but increased access to higher education by high school students, including undocumented immigrants, must be prioritized.
Proposed budget items, such as the $117.6 million to pay for changes in labor law regulations benefitting minimum wage earners and domestic workers, as well as the $64.7 million for the implementation of the new driver’s license which is expected to benefit 1.4 million drivers, indicate California is ready to buttress our state’s road safety and lead on protecting the rights of all workers
As more details emerge, CHIRLA will work alongside our partners in the State Legislature and the Governor’s office to ensure this budget continues to reflect a re-emergence from the dark days when, sometimes unwisely and cruelly, many Californians and immigrant families especially, were left out in the cold for the sake of financial solvency.”