2 American women sue U.S. claiming they were detained after speaking Spanish in Montana

Ana Suda and Martha “Mimi” Hernandez, who were both born in the United States, have said they were detained by a Border Patrol agent after he heard them chatting in Spanish while buying groceries at a store in Havre, Montana, in May. 

…The ACLU also says in the complaint that the agent’s actions violated the women’s rights to equal protection and their Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure because there was “no legitimate reason to detain” them.

“Agent O’Neal singled them out based on race, relying on their use of Spanish as a justification and proxy for race,” the suit says.

…The lawsuit asks that the defendants — the CBP, its commissioner, the agent and others — be stopped from detaining individuals on the basis of race, accent or speaking Spanish, except for when when there are specific and reliable suspect descriptions.

2 American women sue U.S. claiming they were detained after speaking Spanish in Montana

Our hope is not only that they prevail and cause serious and prohibitive consequences be imposed on the offending officer and all of his superiors and supervisors but that this is the first of many suits against un-American conduct by officers of the law,


New California Gov. Gavin Newsom slams brakes on San Francisco-to-Los Angeles bullet train

When state voters approved the massive bullet-train plan in 2008, the project was envisioned to open in 2029 at a cost of $32 billion. But the California High-Speed Rail Authority last year pushed the completion date back by four years and said it would cost at least double.

Newsom on Tuesday blamed oversight failures and a lack of transparency, saying he wasn’t “interested in repeating the same old mistakes.”

He said he would name Lenny Mendonca, his economic development director, as the authority’s next chairman, with a mandate to “hold contractors and consultants accountable to explain how taxpayer dollars are spent” and to put all expenses online “for everybody to see.”

New California Gov. Gavin Newsom slams brakes on San Francisco-to-Los Angeles bullet train


Deported parents’ stolen children to be forced into immoral adoptions by strangers, because the US is being run by what might as well be Satan, investigation finds

…An anguished Araceli Ramos Bonilla burst into tears, her face contorted with pain: “They want to steal my daughter!”

…She was arrested crossing the border into Texas and U.S. immigration authorities seized her daughter and told her she would never see the girl again. [emphasis: Peanut Gallery]

An Associated Press investigation drawing on hundreds of court documents, immigration records and interviews in the U.S. and Central America identified holes in the system that allow state court judges to grant custody of migrant children to American families — without notifying their parents. [emphasis: peanut gallery]

…States usually seal child custody cases, and the federal agencies overseeing the migrant children don’t track how often state court judges allow these kids to be given up for adoption. But by providing a child’s name and birthdate to the specific district, probate or circuit court involved, the AP found that it’s sometimes possible to track these children.

…Three days after [mother and child’s forced] separation, court records show, the U.S. government labeled [the child who had entered the country with her mother] an “unaccompanied minor,” which meant she entered the bureaucracy for migrant youth, typically teens, who arrive in the U.S. alone. The toddler was issued a notice to appear on “a date to be set, at a time to be set, to show why you should not be removed from the United States.”

…[The mother’s] case was assigned to Oakdale Immigration Court in Louisiana, where the three judges had denied 95 percent of all asylum requests that year, compared to the national average of about 50 percent. She said she called the list of pro bono lawyers she was provided, to no avail.

Without a lawyer, her chance at asylum slipped away. Like everyone else around her, she was being deported.

The federal government offers all deported parents the chance to take their children with them, but [the mother] said she was ordered to sign a waiver to leave [her child] behind. “The agent put his hand on mine, he held my hand, he forced me to sign,” she said.

…At the time, it was unusual for parents to be deported while their children remained behind in federal foster care, but that occurred again and again this summer. More than 300 parents were deported to Central America without their children this summer, many of whom allege they were coerced into signing paperwork they didn’t understand, affecting their rights to reunify with their children. Some parents also contended that U.S. officials told them their children would be given up for adoption.

“And the reality is that for every parent who is not located, there will be a permanent orphaned child, and that is 100 percent the responsibility of the administration,” U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said in August while overseeing a lawsuit to stop family separations.

…When [the agency] placed [the child] in the Barrs’ home, the couple signed a form promising they would not try to seek custody because the Office of Refugee Resettlement was legally responsible for the child. But eight months later, [high on their own self-importance and mired in what appears to be abject racism,] that is exactly what they did.

…”The Barrs obtained their temporary guardianship order in violation of federal law,” U.S. prosecutors argued. The Barrs’ attorney and the Michigan judge also violated federal law by seeking and granting guardianship, and failed to inform Ramos or Alexa’s lawyers about the proceedings, they wrote.

…Children traumatically separated from their parents are more likely to suffer from emotional problems throughout their lives, according to decades of scientific research. And some more recent studies have found that separation can damage a child’s memory.

Deported parents may lose kids to adoption, investigation finds


The wind in my hair: one woman’s struggle against the hijab

The irony, though, was that Masih’s parents were dedicated supporters of the revolution. “They were poor, they wanted better jobs, they wanted greater opportunities for equality, and they thought the revolution would bring these changes. But before the revolution there was social freedom, women were allowed to participate as equals in much of life – they could do sport, they could go to the gym, there were female judges. The people who backed the revolution wanted political freedom, and they ended up not getting that – plus, they lost their social freedom.”

…The revolution, she says, was a revolution against women. “The first thing that happened was the introduction of the compulsory hijab and everything else came after that, because it was the most visible and essential way of controlling the women. The revolution took our bodies hostage, and it is taking them hostage still.”

…To people who tell her that the hijab is just a bit of cloth, and there are much bigger problems to be faced in the Middle East, Masih has this message: “This is about a government that’s controlling a whole society through women. It makes me so sad when people say it’s a small thing, because everything starts from that infringement of our rights.” A whole culture of intolerance, she says, is built on that; and women bear its brunt, from the age of seven.

The wind in my hair: one woman’s struggle against the hijab | Global | The Guardian