Our biweekly lists lay out notable issues in the news and tell you what you can do about them.
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Hey Teen Resisters!
A lot has happened in the past few weeks! We've decided to focus on two main, longer topics for this list--updates on family separation and the possible dissolution of ICE, as well as a breakdown of everything that is currently happening with the Supreme Court.
Recently, however, a lot has happened with primaries for the midterm elections. Specifically, the victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the 14th House District in the New York Democratic primaries was incredibly telling of the direction that the Democratic party seems to be going in. Ocasio-Cortez, a former campaign manager for Bernie Sanders, beat incumbent Joseph Crowley by about 15 percentage points. Read more about Ocasio-Cortez’s victory here, and get an overview of what has happened and what is coming up in terms of the midterm primaries as a whole here.
We are also honored to have the chance to feature the June 2018 Teen Resister of the Month, Gaia Gamboa! Gaia is a member of NYC Says Enough and an immigrant herself. The recent detainment and separation of thousands of children at the U.S. boarder is an issue that she has a personal connection with--in the near future, Gaia and her family hope to foster a child that otherwise would be detained. She also marched with Gays Against Guns at the Pride parade, as one of the 104 'Humans in White' which commemorates those who lost their lives to gun violence, specially the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Gaia lives in Brooklyn, and in her free time loves swimming and reading quality books.
Educate, involve yourselves, and resist!
WHAT WENT DOWN
Family Separation, Immigration, and ICE
Perhaps the most pressing issue of right now is family separation at the border. We’ve all seen the photos of the babies crying as they are torn from their mother’s arms, heard the testimonies from parents not knowing where their children are, and many of us marched at one of the hundreds of rallies across the country. But what exactly is the current situation on immigration? Here, we break it down:
But the reunification process is very complicated and will not be an easy fix:
After all this, will Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) be abolished? The idea of ending ICE has become very popular among activists, but politicians’ views are mixed. Many Democrats do indeed support the abolishment, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (see __!), New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, but key leaders such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, California Senator Kamala Harris, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker support reforming the agency instead.
As for Republicans, Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have tried to argue that support for ending the agency equates to support for open borders, though Customs and Border Protection is tasked with monitoring the border, not ICE. This distinction is part of why many support eliminating the department.
What can you do?
Supreme Court-- Kennedy's Resignation, Muslim ban, and more
The Supreme Court recently ruled to uphold Trump’s Muslim ban. “Taking all the relevant evidence together,” wrote Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was driven primarily by anti-Muslim animus, rather than the Government’s asserted national-security justifications.” The ban itself “indefinitely suspends the issuance of immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to applicants from the Muslim-majority countries Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria and Yemen — plus North Korea and Venezuela.” Throughout his campaign, Trump thrived creating fear and bigotry. Assaults against Muslims in 2018 have surpassed levels seen in the past, and with this ban those numbers only stand to increase.
More worrying news came out of the Supreme Court recently in the resignation of swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy. On Wednesday, June 27th, the justice announced that he would retire, giving President Trump the chance to nominate a new, most likely conservative, justice to fill the bench. Justice Kennedy, 81, has acted as a swing vote for nearly three decades. He showed liberal views on gay rights, the death penalty, and abortion, and conservative views on voting rights, gun control, and campaign spending. Filling his vacancy with a conservative would not only lead all future cases in a conservative direction but also endanger many landmark Supreme Court precedents where Justice Kennedy voted on the liberal side.
Roe v. Wade specifically was the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, protected under the Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy. If it were overturned, regulation of abortion would revert to state legislatures. Four states would immediately ban abortions when the Supreme Court makes their decision; Mississippi, Louisiana, North Dakota, and South Dakota have “trigger laws” in place. Ten other states still have pre-Roe abortion bans that were never repealed. Trump is currently meeting with candidates, and said he would announce his nominee early next week.
What you can do:
And, finally, the puppy video.