Our media report this month focuses on the Trump administration’s proposed changes to asylum, which would effectively gut what remains of the asylum process and system; the troubling realities surrounding how heavily the coronavirus impacts Latino communities in the U.S., and a call to anti-racism from a Jesuit priest in the wake of the recent and tragic murders of Black people in the United States.
1) Proposed and sweeping changes to asylum: On June 10, the Trump administration proposed sweeping changes to asylum in alignment with the overall trend to limit migration to the United States. The proposal would change how people are able to qualify for asylum and other forms of relief through a variety of restrictive tactics, including judges being able to dismiss cases without hearings if the documentation is considered too “weak”; raise the threshold for initial screenings; and changing definitions for asylum, especially around the categories of political opinion and “membership in a particular social group.” If it goes through, this would be the effective end of asylum. Read more here: https://www.wsls.com/news/politics/2020/06/10/trump-administration-proposes-sweeping-asylum-restrictions/
2) Latino vulnerability to the coronavirus: Throughout much of the U.S., Latinos (in addition to other vulnerable demographics) are at a particularly high risk for contracting COVID-19 and for developing complications related to it. A distinctly high percentage of Latinos work in industries such as food factories, trucking, and cleaning, meaning that social distancing and working from home are much harder. Additionally, many lack some combination of documentation, medical insurance, or the possibility of sick time from work, meaning that it is harder to seek care once ill. Finally, Latinos are at a higher risk for losing their jobs during the economic downturn than most other racial groups. Read more about the disparities here: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/public-health/2020/05/28/on-the-front-lines-latinos-fight-the-coronavirus-poverty-and-vulnerability-as-contagion-rages-through-texas/
3) Some steps to confront white supremacy in your community: Our media report typically features immigration and border-related stories. However, given the magnitude of the events of late May in the United States, it is important to acknowledge the overwhelming sin of racism in the United States and to work together to name its reality and take whatever steps we can to construct a more just society. We know the work is hard and complex, but as this piece makes clear: “Just because we cannot do everything doesn’t mean we should not do something. We are not as helpless as we fear. Moreover, helplessness is an emotion that we cannot afford to indulge. As James Baldwin believed, despair is an option that only the comfortable can afford to entertain.” Read more here: https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/assumptions-white-privilege-and-what-we-can-do-about-it