US Mexico Border

Texas Governor Orders National Guard To Assist With Arrests At US-Mexico Border

Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the state’s national guard members to help assist the Department of Public Safety in arresting undocumented immigrants at the US-Mexico border. 

Abbott’s order was a part of a letter sent to Major General Tracy R. Norris of the Texas Military Department. The order itself expands upon Abbott’s June declaration which directed the DPS to enforce all federal and state criminal laws. These laws include anything involving criminal trespassing, smuggling, and human trafficking. 

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“That declaration had allowed the use of all available state resources to assist state and local law enforcement in protecting Texans from criminal activity and property damage,” according to news reports. 

“To respond to this disaster and secure the rule of law at our Southern border, more manpower is needed,” Abbott wrote in the letter

“DPS needs help in arresting those who are violating state law. … I hereby order that the Texas National Guard assist DPS in enforcing Texas law by arresting lawbreakers at the border.”

The order comes after the Biden Administration announced its plans to tackle the surge of migration and illegal contraband coming into the country through the border. 

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“President Biden’s open-border policies have paved the way for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to pour into our communities,” Abbott said in a statement.

In June, border authorities stopped around 188,800 crossings, which was the highest for the entire year. The previous high of about 180,000 was set in May of this year. 

“People think that this is a border-related issue and it is, but this is also an issue that affects counties across the entire state of Texas.”

Abbott held a security briefing at the Texas state house in Austin this month, where sheriffs from local communities have expressed concern over a lack of manpower, jail space, and judges on the local level. So while the governor is focusing on combating illegal activity at the border, local authorities are struggling to protect their own communities.

US Immigration Label

Joe Biden Faces Long Uphill Battle To Reform Immigration After Four Years Of Trump

Between the constant talks of building a multi-billion dollar border wall and families being separated from their kids who are then kept in cages, the last four years have been a major nightmare for immigrants all throughout the US.

TV Remote with TV

Study Finds An Over Emphasis Of Criminality In Immigrant Representation On TV

A new study performed from the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center’s Media Impact Project, which is titled “Change the Narrative, Change the World: How immigrant representation on television moves audiences to action,” examined 129 immigrant characters from 59 different narrative TV shows that have aired within the past two years. The goal of studying through 97 episodes of television was to better understand how Hollywood generally portrays immigrants/immigration in some of its most popular programs; such as Orange Is The New Black, Madam Secretary, and The Conners. 

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The study found that there has been a major improvement in quantity of immigrant representation on TV, however, there’s a continued over-emphasis of criminality in practically all immigrant characters on these shows, and a majority of these characters only receive centralized plot lines if they’re undocumented. 

Specifically, the study found that about one-fourth (22%) of immigrant characters on the shows studies were associated with criminality to some degree and 11% with incarceration (either were imprisoned on the show or were previously imprisoned). In 2018, however, the same group performed a similar study and found that the number of incarcerated immigrant characters went down from 34% to that 11%. 

There was also a major emphasis in the study on how television still has an over-representation problem when it comes to portraying immigrants as undocumented. Of the TV characters observed 63% were claimed to be undocumented on their shows, compared to only 24% of American immigrants. 

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The representation of immigrants as being undocumented and being profiled as such, however, has also increased during a time in politics where immigration is a major point of contention for many. For example, in Orange Is The New Black’s final season, a major portion of the episodes were spent in an ICE detention facility and was extremely graphic in terms of how these immigrant characters were treated by officers; while the show’s themselves are fictional, the real-life situations occurring at our border now that these plots are based on is unsettling for viewers. 

Half of the immigrant characters on TV in 2019 were of Latinx origin which is actually representative of the situation in the US, however, Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants continue to remain under-represented on TV, taking up only 12% of the characters observed. 

The study also discussed how practically every show ignored the very real reality of what it’s like to be a transgender or gender non-conforming immigrant, as well as undocumented black immigrants. These demographics of individuals are some of the most severely treated individuals in this country, however, you’d never know based on the lack of representation/coverage in mainstream media. There are currently 600,000 undocumented black immigrants in the US and a fifth of them are currently facing deportation in the middle of a pandemic. 

While there have been several LGBT+ identifying immigrant characters in TV within the past year, none of them identified as transgender or gender non-conforming. Transgender immigrants are often placed in the wrongly gendered detention camp, much like they are placed in wrongly gendered prisons. The issue has always existed in America, and yet Hollywood and the media has remained silent. While representation of these characters has improved over the past few years, there’s still a lot of work to be done.


It’s Time The World Took Another Look at The Way We Look After Refugees

This month UN Secretary-General António Guterres spoke to the Global Refugee Forum about the way the world looks at refugees, and how we must ‘reboot’ our approach to them. At the first meeting of its kind in Geneva, Mr Guterres said we should be doing more to understand the reasons why so many people are feeling the need to flee their homes while respecting their rights and protecting them where possible.

“Now more than ever, we need international cooperation and practical, effective responses. We need better answers for those who flee, and better help for communities and countries that receive and host them.”

After ‘a decade of displacement’ the global forum – defined as the ‘blueprint’ for restoring the human rights of refugees – comes as Mr Guterres calls for joint action, describing the Global Compact on Refugees as “our collective achievement and our collective responsibility. It speaks to the plight of millions of people. And it speaks to the heart of the mission of the United Nations.”

UN data states that there are currently over 70 million people who have been forced to leave their homes, an increase of 2.3 million from last year and double the amount 20 years ago. Over 25 million have become refugees, unable to go back home thanks to civil unrest, war and persecution, desperately trying to make a new home in thousands of refugee camps throughout many other countries across the world.

Although there are international agreements that were created decades ago, Mr Guterres stated that we need to “re-establish the integrity of the international refugee protection regime.”

“Indeed, at a time when the right to asylum is under assault, when so many borders and doors are being closed to refugees, when even child refugees are being detained and divided from their families, we need to reaffirm the human rights of refugees.”

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Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the event’s co-host has also called on the world to ‘reboot’ the way it deals with people who need protection.

“Injustice, conflict and violence. This is why we are here. Our world is in turmoil, and 25 million refugees are looking to us for solutions.”

Mr Grandi also stated that there are “71 million people uprooted from their homes globally, inside and outside their countries, it’s time to reboot our responses.’ Yet instead of helping those in most need, the responsibility had been passed onto the poorest countries by those ‘with more resources.”

With this outlook “refugees are pushed aside too…often in camps, cut off from the social and economic life of the communities hosting them. Humanitarian aid helps, and remains vital, but is not enough and not adequate to turn the tide from despair to hope.”

Switzerland Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis confirmed that his country has dedicated $125 million to refugee protection for the next four years and gave his support for more countries to share the burden.

Currently 8 in 10 refugees are taken in by developing countries however Swiss cities and towns are continuing to provide assistance in the integration into communities.

Speaking on the crisis Mr Cassis quoted a saying from one of the most famous refugees, Albert Einstein:

“Life is like a bicycle; you have to move forward to avoid losing your balance…This applies to all of us, we must not lose our balance and look ahead.”

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Mr Cassis went on to highlight how religious partners could play a positive role when helping find ways to solve refugee issues including integration and protection, quoting the ‘unique’ written agreement, based on ‘ethics and solidarity’ between the country’s Muslims, Christians and Jews.

While Heiko Mass, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs spoke for Germany, saying the refugee ‘burden’ should be shared amongst ‘a greater number of shoulders’.

However Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan brought the forum’s attention to the struggles that developing nations were facing stating that the amount of vulnerable families heading over their borders ‘causes problems that cannot be imagined by richer countries.’

Although Pakistan currently houses nearly three million refugees in ‘a country with massive unemployment’ Mr Khan commented that Europe was also struggling to cope with refugees, thanks to the new trend of socialist politicians who ‘cashes in on public distress’.

Confirming his desire for a rethink into the way the world looks at refugees, Mr Guterres declared:

“This is a moment for ambition. It is a moment to jettison a model of support that too often left refugees for decades with their lives on hold: confined to camps, just scraping by, unable to flourish or contribute. It is a moment to build a more equitable response to refugee crises through a sharing of responsibility. One might say that as refugees go, so goes the world. Today we must do all we can to enable that humanitarian spirit to prevail over those who today seem so determined to extinguish it.”