Welcome to This Week in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
Hillary Clinton and a few 2020 Presidential candidates visited Selma on Sunday the commemorate the anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Meanwhile, the Senate is likely to pass a resolution opposing President Trump’s national emergency declaration, new reports have revealed disturbing details about ICE detention centers and violence against immigrant women at the border, and Democrats in Congress have introduced legislation to end certain forms of forced arbitration.
Senate likely to pass resolution opposing Trump’s national emergency declaration, as Rand Paul becomes fourth Republican to signal support. Senator Rand Paul announced that he would support a resolution to end President Trump’s national emergency declaration, making it likely that the resolution will pass the Senate. The resolution passed the House last week. President Trump has said he will veto the measure. (NPR)
Hillary Clinton, 2020 candidates gather in Selma for the 54th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. On Sunday, Hillary Clinton, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, and Sherrod Brown were in Selma for the 54th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. All talked about the need to realize the vision of the Civil Rights movement, particularly when it comes to voting rights. (CNN)
Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General report reveals serious health and safety concerns at Newark immigration detention facility. A new report from the Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security revealed disturbing details about staff at an immigration facility in Newark serving contaminated and spoiled food to detainees. The report also found issues of mold in the showers and “dilapidated beds.” (Washington Post)
New York Times report reveals the harrowing stories of sexual violence on the border. A new report from the New York Times has revealed the reality of sexual violence along the border, perpetrated both by smugglers and, in some cases, by on-duty Border Patrol agents. The report also revealed that most of the perpetrators have never been found or prosecuted. (New York Times)
Woman delivers stillborn baby at immigration detention center in South Texas. A 24 year old immigrant from Honduras gave birth to a stillborn baby in an immigration detention center in South Texas. According to ICE, she was scheduled for a “humanitarian release,” but went into labor during processing. Prior to a January 2017 Executive Order from President Trump, ICE maintained a “presumption of release” for pregnant women. The release of pregnant women is now decided on a “case-by-case” basis. (Washington Post)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Hank Johnson introduce the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act to eliminate multiple forms of forced arbitration. On Thursday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Hank Johnson introduced a bill that would make unenforceable predispute arbitration clauses “with respect to an employment dispute, consumer dispute, antitrust dispute, or civil rights dispute.” Businesses would still be allowed to include arbitration clauses in many of their agreements and the parties could mutually agree to arbitration after a dispute arises. (ThinkProgress)
The U.S. Senate confirms former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as the next EPA Administrator. On Thursday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Andrew Wheeler to lead the EPA. At his confirmation hearing, Wheeler downplayed the importance of addressing climate change. The former coal lobbyist received pushback from Democrats and environmental groups. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was the sole Republican to vote against him. (Reuters)
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announces plan to create new tax breaks for individuals and corporations who contribute to private-school scholarships. On Thursday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced a proposal, introduced in Congress by Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Bradley Byrne, that would provide a 100 percent tax credit for individuals and corporations contributing to private-school scholarships. The proposal does not include a plan to offset for the lost tax revenue. (Washington Post)
Rapper Meek Mill speaks about criminal justice reform at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. On Friday, rapper Meek Mill spoke at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference about his efforts to reform the criminal justice system. Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin joined him at the event. The two are working together on the REFORM alliance, a group pushing for changes to probation and parole laws at the state level. (Boston Globe)
House Democrats release new Medicare-for-All bill. On Wednesday, Representative Pramila Jayapal introduced a Medicare-for-All proposal that would create a single-payer healthcare system within two years by eliminating the Medicare cutoff age. The proposal did not include a mechanism to pay for the spending increase. (CNBC)
Bill to prevent transgender high school students in South Dakota from playing on sports teams based on their gender identity dies in the state legislature. A bill introduced in South Dakota that would have prevented transgender high school students from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity has died in the legislature. However, civil rights groups remain concerned about anti-transgender bills that have been introduced in other states, specifically Tennessee and Texas. (CNN)
Sen. Kamala Harris says she supports the decriminalization of sex work. In an interview with The Root last Tuesday, 2020 Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris became the first major candidate to support the decriminalization of sex work. She added, “When you are talking about consenting adults, I think that, you know, yes, we should really consider that we can’t criminalize consensual behavior as long as no one is being harmed.” (Washington Post)
Dolores Huerta joins movement pushing “right-to-die” in New Mexico, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York. Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta has joined a push to legalize medically assisted suicide. She will be featured in social media videos as part of a bilingual campaign, focused in part on urging Latino voters to support legalization. (U.S. News and World Report)