Posts tagged with "president"

TPS Holders Sue Trump Administration

Six adults with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and two U.S. citizen children of TPS holders filed a class-action lawsuit today seeking to stop the unlawful termination of TPS for over 100,000 TPS holders from Honduras and Nepal and prevent the separation of tens of thousands of U.S. citizen children from their TPS-holder parents. The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and ACLU Foundation of Northern California in the release, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and Sidley Austin. [Read the filing here]

In October of 2018, the Court enjoined the termination of TPS for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador, finding substantial evidence that the terminations were motivated by racism and violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Plaintiffs in Bhattarai v. Nielsen allege that the terminations of TPS for Honduras and Nepal suffer from the same legal flaws and should be set aside. Plaintiffs also allege that the terminations are unconstitutional because they require the U.S. citizen children of TPS holders to choose between their country and their family.

Plaintiff Keshav Raj Bhattarai, a member of Adhikaar and Nepali TPS holder shares, “I am proud to be a part of this lawsuit, for all the other Nepali TPS holders like me. With TPS I have been able to build a new life here with my family and I have a found a stable job. When I see so many people’s lives at risk in losing TPS, I am troubled to see that this country would harm its hardworking workers and people. I wish to continue working to support this country, and also continue supporting the rebuilding of Nepal, which is still recovering from the earthquake.”

The complaint filed today alleges that, in terminating TPS for Honduras and Nepal, political appointees in the Department of Homeland Security deliberately ignored recommendations from U.S. Ambassadors and evidence of conditions on the ground. Instead, they predetermined that TPS must be terminated to further the President’s “America First” policy, which seeks to exclude non-white, non-European immigrants. The complaint recites a litany of racist statements made by President Trump in reference to Latin American and South Asian countries and immigrants, including referring to immigrants as snakes and animals, mispronouncing Nepal as “nipple,” and faking an Indian accent in imitation of Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi.

Plaintiff Donaldo Posadas Caceres, a member of the Painters’ Union (IUPAT DC21) with TPS from Honduras explains, “I’m taking part in this lawsuit not just for myself and my daughter but for everyone who would be hurt by our TPS being taken away. Forcing our children to choose between the life they have here or a country they don’t know is unfair. Sending all of us to danger and instability is unjust. I’m proud to have been a union painter for two decades in this country and it does not feel right to see all of that just cut away.”

Jessica Bansal, NDLON’s Co-Legal Director, said: “The Trump Administration is illegally trying to gut the humanitarian TPS program, but TPS holders are fighting back. They have already won a temporary reprieve for hundreds of thousands of TPS holders. With today’s filing, they seek to protect tens of thousands more.”

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are members of diverse organizations fighting to defend TPS in the courts and in Congress, including Adhikaar, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), AND the National TPS Alliance.

Jenny Zhao, Staff Attorney at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, said: “The Trump Administration’s plan to end TPS for Honduras and Nepal must be stopped before it causes immeasurable harm to TPS holders, their families, and their communities.”

Minju Cho, Staff Attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles said: “TPS holders are valued members of our communities. They are parents to tens and thousands of U.S. citizen children. TPS is vital to people’s ability to work and provide for themselves and their families. We are proud to stand alongside these communities in their fight against the Trump administration’s unconstitutional attempt to take TPS away.”

Ahilan Arulanantham, Senior Counsel at the ACLU of Southern California, said: “We are proud to represent these courageous U.S. citizen children and their parents who held Temporary Protected Status before the Trump Administration unlawfully stripped it away. They ask only that our government respect their due process rights. We hope the Court will uphold the rule of law and grant them the protection they deserve.”

AGWS Makes Presence At 2019 NADA

American Guardian Warranty Services, Inc. (AGWS), part of the American Guardian Group of Companies and leading finance and insurance (F&I) products and services provider, will be exhibiting at the 2019 NADA Show from Jan. 24 – 27, booth #5558N at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.

Conference attendees who visit the AGWS booth during NADA can put their golf skills to the test on the putting green. For each attendee who makes 3 out of 5 putts, AGWS will donate $100 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The putting green contest follows AGWS’ Pars for a Purpose fundraiser, which raised $280,000 for St. Jude in 2018.

In addition to the putting contest, dealers and agents will have the opportunity to win a golf getaway for four to the Reunion Resort in Orlando, Florida. Dealers and agents who visit the AGWS booth will receive one half of a puzzle piece containing a portion of a unique promotional code; the remaining-half of the puzzle piece and code will be available at EcoProProducts’ booth #7753W. EcoProProducts offers superior F&I appearance protection products. Once attendees have secured both puzzle pieces, they will be able to complete the special code, which can then be used to enter the drawing for a chance to win the AGWS-sponsored golf trip.

“The AGWS team is looking forward to exhibiting, meeting with our dealer and agent partners, and creating new business relationships at this year’s expo,” said Jon A. Anderson, President and Chief Operating Officer of American Guardian. “Our booth will feature a new look, showcasing our products and services, including Vehicle Service Contracts (VSC) and Ancillary F&I Products, Dealer Capital Advance Program, Dealer Certified Lifetime Program, Appearance Protection Products, Limited Warranties, and more.”

The AGWS executive team and sales, and ownership personnel will be in attendance at the AGWS booth (#5558N) throughout the three-day expo, as well as at the Friday night party for NADA attendees interested in learning more about the company’s products and services.

 For more information, visit www.agwsinc.com or the AGWS University at www.agwsu.com.

 

Spotlight: Anand Patel

As the President/CEO of the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau, Anand Patel skills in tourism, marketing, hospitality management, and finance.

Before his position at the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau, Patel worked as the General Manager of the Hawthorn Inn & Suites in Napa, CA and also the General Manager and managing partner of the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Fairfield, CA.

Patel’s ambition for hospitality traces back to his childhood as his family was involved in the hotel business and still, as of today, continues to own and operate hotels all over the country.

As for his other involvements, Patel was on the formation committee for the original tourism business improvement district (TBID) originally formed under the 1989 Act in 2003, creating the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau with a 2% assessment.

For his undergraduate years, Patel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an option in Finance and minor in Economics (B.S.). Furthering his education, he later received his Master’s in BA at Summa Cum Laude.

During school, Patel became a life member of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity where he held positions such as the Secretary, Treasurer, and President.

With all of this accomplished, Patel maintained his his commitment to his organization and soon served for the Alumni Corporation Board President each year.

Patel’s leadership involvement continues as he is involved with various non-profit organizations such as the Governmental Affairs Committee (Calif. Hotel & Lodging), Chairman of the Board of Directors (Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce), Treasurer (Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau), and Treasurer (Central Valley Tourism Association).

Patel is an outstanding individual with a high professional and experienced background. He possesses a career and volunteer history that exemplifies his ability to multitask and prioritize. His numerous leadership positions prove nothing but greatness and absolute devotion to what drives him. With his experiences and accomplishments, it is to no surprise of how an inspiring person he is today.

Charles Wachter

Charles Wachter is the Emmy Award-winning founder and president of Hard Twenty. He has produced over thirty television series, most recently he served as the executive producer and show-runner for Apple’s Planet of the Apps, MTV’s Fear Factor, as well as numerous network and cable television shows including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution for ABC, King of the Nerds  for TBS, and the reboot of American Gladiators for NBC. Prior to alternative television, Charles was an English major at Yale, a Sundance Film Festival Institute Finalist, and has a graduate degree in film from NYU. He lives in Los Angeles with his family.

Honoring Mandela in South Africa

2018 is a momentous year for South Africa with the Nelson Mandela Centenary marking what would have been 100 years since the iconic leader’s birth.

Officially July 18, 2018 – Mandela Day – marks this historic milestone as throughout the nation, and across the world, people celebrate South Africa’s first black President who was an inspirational anti-apartheid revolutionary and one of the greatest human rights advocates the world has ever seen. This year, South African Tourism invites US travelers to explore his legacy.

In Mandela’s honor, national celebrations will see a series of high-profile events and memorials. In New York, the One World Trade Center’s spire will be lit with the colors of the South African flag to honor the occasion.

On July 17, a day before Mandela Day, former US president Barack Obama will deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg. The theme will be “Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World,” and will honor the centennial of Mandela’s birth.

In other recent news, The Global Citizen Festival will expand from its regular location in New York City to Johannesburg for a special Mandela 100 edition this December, with Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Ed Sheeran and Chris Martin as headliners in honor of his legacy.

In Cape Town’s City Hall, a life-sized statue of Madiba will be unveiled on 24th July in the place where he had his first speech upon release from his imprisonment in Robben Island.

Internationally, the world’s largest musical tribute will also take place on Mandela Day through a series of charitable concerts held live across the world in support of improving literacy among poverty- stricken children. This important musical tribute is organized by Mandela Concerts with the goal of raising millions of dollars towards various projects including building 100 new library units in South Africa’s most vulnerable schools, developing a high school skills program, and providing 200 Toddler Trolley library programs for 5 to 6 year-old South African children by 2021.

Travelers interested to follow in Mandela’s footsteps can download Madiba’s Journey app. South African Tourism, in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, recently re-launched the app to include 100 historic landmarks and sites that influenced Mandela’s life. From the Eastern Cape to Johannesburg to Cape Town and beyond, the app allows users to customize their own itineraries and helps guide them through key landmarks, offering context, photos and curated audio narration about Mandela’s life and the 27 years he spent as a political prisoner. A few notable landmarks are highlighted below:

The Eastern Cape: Explore Nelson Mandela’s birthplace – an area of outstanding rugged beauty with pristine coastline, virgin bush and subtropical forests.

Robben Island: Tour the jail cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life, through the eyes of those who experienced it first-hand. Many tours are led by ex-political prisoners.

Constitution Hill in Johannesburg: Formerly used as a prison, it was here where hundreds of political prisoners were held, including Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo. Constitution Hill is now a living museum and home to South Africa’s Constitutional Court.

The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg: Acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th century South Africa, the museum tells the apartheid story.

KwaZulu-Natal: Visit this province to see the Nelson Mandela Capture Site. After being on the run for 16 months, Madiba was captured and arrested here in August 1962.

Voting Line Sculpture in Port Elizabeth: A tribute to the thousands of South Africans who participated in the nation’s first democratic elections in 1994.

South African Tourism encourages travelers to celebrate, honor and explore the legacy of Mandela through Mandela themed travel packages.

To book a Nelson Mandela inspired trip, speak to your travel agent or advisor. As a sample, South African Airways Vacation is currently offering a 10-day Mandela’s Journey to Freedom which gives visitors a first-hand, cultural experience following his footsteps as founding father of the New South Africa. Starts at US $2,999* per person. *Terms and conditions apply*

Miami Art Week Sneak Peek

The nation’s leading exhibitions and event production, media, and marketer for the global fine art community, Redwood Media Group, announces a unique and newly formed partnership with Mana Wynwood. Together, they will have a permanent new home for its flagship artshows–two of the longest running independent art shows during Miami Art Week.

With a new and long-term location at Mana Wynwood, Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami will offer an exceptional and elevated world-class experience for both exhibitors and art enthusiasts during this year’s Miami Art Week, which takes place December 5-9.

The venue featuring ‘Two Shows in One Location” during the art week will cover more than 100,000 square feet of exhibition space and be even more accessible for visitors on foot and by car, all within walking distance from Wynwood’s trendiest restaurants, bars, and retail boutiques.

The new and improved features for his year’s five-day fine art extravaganza will include:

  • low traffic location for easy accessibility
  • hundreds of paved parking spaces on site
  • indoor air conditioning and restrooms
  • café and lounge space with seating
  • easy access to the adjoining PINTA art fair

“We are excited to announce a unique alliance with Mana Wynwood, one of the region’s most progressive organizations in property development and the creative arts. Returning to the Wynwood Arts District for the first time since 2015 perfectly positions Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami within one of the country’s leading lifestyle and cultural destinations for both residents and visitors to Miami. Our New indoor location and pristine exhibition space will offer a truly premium experience for exhibitors and art enthusiasts alike. This is a strategic and long-term partnership and location for our flagship shows and we look forward to welcoming the art world to our new home,” says the president of Redwood Media Group, Eric Smith.

Red Dot Miami is a curated gallery-only contemporary art show. Now in its 13th year, it will be located inside Mana Wynwood. Red Dot Miami presents ILLUMINATE as the curatorial theme for this year’s show. From works that inspire awe and wonder to sweeping series that reveal fresh trends to artists who throw light on the roots of imagination through unlimited creativity, Red Dot Miami features more than 75 galleries representing over 500 leading contemporary artists from primary and secondary markets worldwide. The Spotlight Program will be included as it offers a focused look at several cutting-edge galleries chosen by the Redwood Media Group selection committee.

On the other side we have Spectrum Miami, which presents more of an upscale and urban curated contemporary art show. Now in its 8th year, it will be located adjacent to Red Dot Miami at Mana Wynwood. Spectrum Miami will offer special programs and site specific exhibitions that showcase the thriving art landscape of the city, informed by the 2018 curatorial theme ALLURE. Atmospheric abstracts, provocative photographs, seductive sculptures–the allure of contemporary and modern art is mysteriously and undeniable powerful. Spectrum Miami includes Art Labs and Art Talks as well as the Spotlight Program, providing collectors with a focused look at a variety of prominent exhibitors.

Both Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami have evolved to become the ultimate destination for the fine art industry where professional and contemporary art enthusiasts who collectively seek a more accessible experience.

The annual Opening Night Preview Party for both will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at Mana Wynwood located at 2217 NW 5th Ave, Miami, FL 33127. It will feature innovative contemporary art together with Louis Jadot Wines, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and DJ entertainment. Tickets for this event are priced at $50 by ordering online and will be $60 at the event paying by door,

For ticket ordering/information, visit spectrum-Miami.com and reddotmiami.com

For more information on Redwood Media Group, visit redwoodmg.com.

Michael Savage: Stop Mass Hysteria

In his forthcoming book, STOP MASS HYSTERIA: America’s Insanity From the Salem Witch Trials to the Trump Witch Hunt (on sale October 9, 2018), #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Savage not only deconstructs the Left’s response to traditional American values like borders, language, and culture, but takes the reader on an unprecedented journey through the long history of mass hysteria in the United States. From Christopher Columbus to the Salem witch trials to the so-called “Red Scares” of the 1930s and 40s and much more, Dr. Savage recounts the many times collective insanity—often prompted by sinister politicians with ulterior motives—has gripped the American public.

Dr. Savage provides vital context for the common elements of dozens of outbreaks of mass hysteria in the past, their causes, their short- and long-term effects, and the tactics of the puppet masters who duped gullible masses into fearing threats both real and imagined. By shining a light on the true nature and causes of American mass hysteria in the past, Savage provides an insightful look into who and what is causing dangerous unrest in our lives—and why.

Dr. Savage is available for interviews, and can discuss:

• WHY Americans can be so easily duped into believing unbelievable things

• How the internet has contributed to the polarization of America

• What his callers tell him about the deep divide between themselves and their neighbors

• Moments from history that presage our current crisis

• What we as Americans can do to stop mass hysteria

• And much more

About the Author:

In 2016, after twenty-two years on the air, Michael Savage was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, an honor that Dr. Savage calls “the capstone of my life.” The Savage Nation, the country’s #1 streaming radio show, is one of the top programs in America, with millions of listeners and broadcast on over 230 stations, including WABC and KSFO. A prolific New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Savage has been profiled in Playboy and The New Yorker, and he has been awarded the Freedom of Speech Award from Talkers Magazine. He received his PhD in epidemiology and nutrition sciences from the University of California at Berkeley.

Travel to South Africa in Honor of Mandela’s Centenary 

2018 is a momentous year for South Africa with the Nelson Mandela Centenary marking what would have been 100 years since the iconic leader’s birth. Officially July 18, 2018 – Mandela Day – marks this historic milestone as throughout the nation, and across the world, people celebrate South Africa’s first black President. Mandela’s legacy as an inspirational anti-apartheid revolutionary and one of the greatest human rights advocates the world has ever seen, cemented his place as one of the 20th century’s most important political figures. This year, South African Tourism invites US travelers to explore this legacy.

In Mandela’s honor, national celebrations will see a series of high-profile events and memorials. On July 17, a day before Mandela Day, former US president Barack Obama will deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg. The theme will be “Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World,” and will honor the centennial of Mandela’s birth.
In Cape Town’s City Hall, a life-sized statue of Madiba will be unveiled on July 24 in the place where he gave his first speech upon release from his 27 year imprisonment.
Internationally, the world’s largest musical tribute will also take place on Mandela Day through a series of charitable concerts held live across the world in support of improving literacy among children. This musical tribute is organized by Mandela Concertswith the goal of raising millions of dollars towards various projects including building 100 new library units in South Africa’s most vulnerable schools, developing a high school skills program, and providing 200 Toddler Trolley library programs for 5 to 6 year-old South African children by 2021.
Often respectfully referred to by his Xhosa clan name Madiba, travelers interested in following in Mandela’s footsteps can download the Madiba’s Journey app. South African Tourism, in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, recently re-launched the app to include 100 historic landmarks and sites that influenced Mandela’s life. From the Eastern Cape to Johannesburg to Cape Town and beyond, the app allows users to customize their own itineraries and helps guide them through key landmarks, offering context, photos and curated audio narration about Mandela’s life and the 27 years he spent as a political prisoner. A few notable landmarks are highlighted below:

  • The Eastern Cape: Explore Nelson Mandela’s birthplace – an area of outstanding rugged beauty with pristine coastline, virgin bush and subtropical forests.
  • Robben Island: Tour the jail cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life, through the eyes of those who experienced it first-hand. Many tours are led by ex-political prisoners.
  • Constitution Hill in Johannesburg: Formerly used as a prison, it was here where hundreds of political prisoners were held, including Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo. Constitution Hill is now a living museum and home to South Africa’s Constitutional Court.
  • The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg: Acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th century South Africa, the museum tells the apartheid story.
  • KwaZulu-Natal: Visit this province to see the Nelson Mandela Capture Site. After being on the run for 16 months, Madiba was captured and arrested here in August 1962.
  • Voting Line Sculpture in Port Elizabeth: A tribute to the thousands of South Africans who participated in the nation’s first democratic elections in 1994.

South African Tourism encourages travelers to celebrate, honor and explore the legacy of Mandela through Mandela themed travel packages. A selection of curated experiences are included below:

  • Gate 1 – 8 Day South Africa Tour with Game Drives & Flights — 8 days and 6 nights Enjoy the best of Cape Town by exploring Table Mountain and then visit either the Winelands or Cape Peninsula. After a few days in the “Mother City,” head on to Johannesburg to transfer to the safari portion of your trip in Limpopo Province. You’ll be able to spot all kinds of wildlife while enjoying South Africa’s natural beauty. $1799/ Per person sharing (includes $280pp savings with promo code SATD280) *Terms and conditions apply
  • Africa Answers – Celebrating Mandela’s 100th — 8 days 6 nights On this cultural journey to South Africa, discover Nelson Mandela’s struggle, perseverance, and determination to lead South Africa to Freedom. Explore the bustling city of Johannesburg and spend 3 amazing nights in the cultural rich city of Cape Town. From US $2,499* Per Person Sharing (add a 4th Night FREE in this air-inclusive, 8 night package) *Terms and conditions apply
  • Goway Travel – Walking in his Footsteps – Mandela’s Centenary –10 days and 9 nights Explore the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela with this unforgettable journey into in South Africa. Traveling between Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town, you’ll have the opportunity to trace Mandela’s journey from freedom fighter to president and learn about the hardships of apartheid as well as its collapse and the birth of the new Rainbow Nation. From US $3,197* Per person sharing *Terms and conditions apply

For more Nelson Mandela themed packages, visit SouthAfrica.net/deals

For more information about Madiba’s Journey app, visit madibasjourney.southafrica.net

Donald Trump × a “March on Washington”

Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), is calling on “all people of good will”, who are outraged by President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policies, to join the SCLC at its 60th Annual Convention July 12 -15, 2018 in Washington, which will focus on the current conditions of global racism and poverty. Dr. Steele, who heads the organization co-founded and first led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., believes the people’s desire to send a strong message about immigration, poverty and other critical matters in the U.S. could lead to another massive March on Washington like the historic rally inspired by Dr. King nearly 55 years ago on August 28, 1963.

“We’re witnessing partisan political gamesmanship when we should be talking about protecting children,” said Dr. Steele regarding President Trump’s most recent “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has spark hundreds of demonstrations across the nation. “Separating children from their parents at the border is an abomination! This is a humanitarian disgrace.”

Dr. Steele, who has been actively involved with The Civil Rights Movement for more than 40 years, says he is hopeful that President Trump can find empathy for the thousands of immigrants affected by his policy.

“I recommend that the President considers the human aspect of this tragic situation and not merely the politics,” said Dr. Steele. “Immigrants are trying to get to America because they’re being terrorized in their own homes. They’re faced with daily violence, poor living conditions, and their human rights are being threatened every day.”

Dr. Steele, who is in Brazil examining the international concerns of poor people, added, “I will get a global perspective on the problems afflicting the poor and really highlight their concerns at this year’s conference.”

The 60th Annual Convention will also have a heavy focus on mobilizing large groups of people of color to “get out and vote”. There will be various workshops and panels on the power of voting.

“People are mad, people are moved, and people are fed up. It’s time to use this energy in a constructive manner,” said Dr. Steele, who believes if the people unify around another SCLC- inspired massive rally it can surpass the 250,000 who gathered in Washington in 1963.

The SCLC Convention will run from July 12 to 15 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C, 999 9th Street NW. For more information about the 60th Annual SCLC National Convention, please visit their website at nationalsclc.org.

ABOUT THE SCLC: Established in 1957, the SCLC, whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a now an international organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east, and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries.

Veteran US Diplomat Fears for Missing & Displaced Immigrant Children

Former U.S. Ambassador of Senegal Harriet L. Elam-Thomas, who currently sits on the advisory board of the University of Central Florida‘s The Center for the Study of Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery program, is concerned about the welfare of approximately 1,500 missing immigrant children, as well as the most recent group separated from their parents at the border.
As someone who has personally witnessed human trafficking, I know how crucial it is for us to police the police, says Elam-Thomas. What is the vetting process for those responsible for these children? Who is accountable for keeping track of them? There needs to be a thorough investigation into their safety, and the loopholes that make children vulnerable in a foreign country with no parent to protect them.
A Career Minister, with 42 years in the U.S. Department of Americas Foreign Service serving in France, Turkey, Greece and Africa, the former Ambassador is heartbroken by the inhumane treatment of immigrant families seeking asylum.
My heart is heavy, my soul is troubled and my faith in my country is being tested each and every day. Where is our conscience? Where is our sense of justice? Where are our morals? Where are we?
Historically, America has a different approach to non-Western or Eastern European refugees or laborers attempting to immigrate to the U.S. The Polish, Irish, Lithuanians, and other white immigrants had the privilege to acquire ambiguous last names and assimilate into society. Black, brown and yellow people cannot hide or become invisible.
Despite our frequent condemnations of other nations human rights violations, our history of human rights violations is not one for which we can be proud. A country that was founded on slavery, racism and unequal treatment of others is repeating the ugly history we would like to forget. I still remember images of children torn from their mothers’ arms and sold at the slave markets. The new Smithsonian Museum – The National Museum of African American History and Culture begins with that sobering history. Scores of people of all races visit there on a daily basis (8,000 per day). Sadly, our current Administration continues to be insensitive to the suffering of innocent children. I doubt the toddlers,orthose young teenagers seeking asylum with their parents, are members of M-13.
From 1942-1945, the U.S. Government instituted laws to intern Japanese citizens after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese internment camps have come to be considered one of the most atrocious violations of American civil rights in the 20th century.
Until the presidents recent executive order, America was guilty, yet again, of manifesting the total opposite of the values that supposedly sets America apart from so many other governments. I cannot imagine being abroad and trying to explain the U.S. Government policy to foreign audiences this past month, or year.
Silence is consent. The unanimous outrage of so many citizens sparked change. We all must continue to use our voices and speak out against the atrocities happening on American soil.
Ambassador Harriet L. Elam-Thomas is Director of the University of Central Florida Diplomacy Program and author ofDiversifying Diplomacy: My Journey from Roxbury to Dakar.” Elam-Thomas’ stellar career with the U.S. Department of America’s Foreign Service spanned forty-two years, during which time President Bill Clinton appointed her to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Senegal
The retired Ambassador will be in New York City from
June 25-July 2, 2018, to launch an initiative titled,
“CIVILITY STRATEGIES: HEALING APPROACHES THAT UNITE PEOPLE AND STRENGTHEN DEMOCRACY.