As A Child Of Immigrants, Seeing Families Ripped Apart Hits Me close to Home

As A Child Of Immigrants, Seeing Families Ripped Apart Hits Me close to Home

This is not the law, this is a violation of human rights.

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As a child of immigrants, this hits close to home for me. My parents immigrated to Atlanta, Georgia in the mid-nineties. Their home country of The Democratic Republic of Congo was, and still is, enduring a civil war. I've always spoken about my family's immigration story because this is what's happening all over the world. I stay away from politics because of how messy it gets, but this has escalated too far to say nothing.

The Trump administration's immigration policy over people coming to the border in Mexico has started to take effect. Families are being detained by the hour and thousands of children are being torn apart by their parents. We've seen the number of children unaccounted for or "missing" rise by the day and there are currently over 2,000 children.

The government has continued to deny this but in the last week we have seen what's really going on at these detention centers. This is what is happening to these children.

Inga Subac on Instagram: “I saw this pic on Facebook this morning. God my God... That's horrible... Those who do this or support this... they aren't humans... They…”

This is what's happening to these kids. From ages 4 to 10, children are being kept in cages and are forced to sleep with tarps on the floor. Babies are being snatched from their mothers and are being detained in detention camps.

These children are being traumatized, not knowing where their parents are, if they are alive or will ever see them again. These children didn't have a choice in coming here. They are being punished as criminals for something they are not responsible for. How is this the law? How can you label someone as a terrorist or a criminal for escaping violence and violation of human rights in their country?

This isn't a left vs. right argument. Both sides see this as inhumane actions and we are disgusting. This is an American problem that would've been silent if these visuals didn't come to light. This is beyond a party issue, this is a national issue.

You don't need to have family members from another country, you don't have to have children to care, you don't have to be a politician to have an opinion on this. You should be pissed off that this is happening under this government. I am ashamed to be a citizen and that we have lost humanity and empathy for human life. What has this country become where we've lost respect for human life?


CNN

This is not the law, these are violations of human rights. And to add on to the madness, the U.S. has withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council. This shouldn't be what America is. This country is not great, this country is a mess. I don't know about you but we aren't going to sit and watch this keep going. Call your representatives about the policy change, your words matter. Donate to the ACLU even if it's just a dollar. Go onto the streets and walk with fellow citizens in protest of this atrocity.

This is not America!!

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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