Holder Now Aims to Sue North Carolina Over Voter ID Law

Holder Now Aims to Sue North Carolina Over Voter ID Law

Late last night word leaked to the Associated Press, The New York Times, and The Charlotte Observer that the U.S. Department of Justice plans to sue North Carolina over its recently passed Voter Identification Verification Act (VIVA), which among other things imposes a strict mandate on voters to have certain photo voter identification in their possession to access their ballots.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to make a full announcement about this today during a press conference in the state. According to the media outlets that broke the news last night, the Justice Department will aim specifically at VIVA sections that mandate photo ID, strip the first seven days and final weekend from early voting, ban same-day registration, and limit out-of-precinct voting. Civil rights advocates have criticized those provisions as unduly burdensome for people of color, college students, women, and elderly voters — all voting populations that tend to favor the Democratic Party.

It is not yet clear what form or fashion Holder’s legal challenge will come in, but he’s expected to declare the voter ID law a violation of the Voting Rights Act. A few lawsuits have already been filed against it, including one co-signed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Coalition for Southern Justice, another filed unilaterally by SCSJ, and one co-signed by the Advancement Project and the North Carolina NAACP state conference. The lawsuit filed by SCSJ alone argues that the law violates voting rights protections in the state’s constitution, while the other two make claims under the federal Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution. All of them target the same VIVA provisions that Holder’s legal challenge reportedly will focus on.

Holder has already intervened to enforce Voting Rights Act protections in a voter ID law case out of Texas. He’s also challenged that state’s redistricting law under the VRA. In both of those cases, federal courts had already struck the laws after finding both inadvertent and intentional racial discrimination in how they would be applied.

Courts reviewed and ruled against these laws when Texas was subject to VRA Section Five “preclearance,” which required the state to prove that its new election laws would not result in racially discriminatory disenfranchisement before implementing them. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Shelby v. Holder ruling in June invalidated Section Five’s coverage formula that captured all of Texas. In the new lawsuits, Holder is seeking for Texas to be re-entered into preclearance oversight under VRA’s Section Three.

In North Carolina, 40 of the state’s 100 counties were subject to the same Section Five preclearance auditing as Texas. Holder reportedly will request a Section Three preclearance bail in, but it’s not yet clear if will seek that for the entire state or for the 40 counties recently covered under Section Five.

Holder has announced on a number of occasions since the Shelby ruling that he would vigorously enforce the remaining tools of the Voting Rights Act to protect voters of color. Sen. Hagan, a Democrat, has not been alone in asking Holder to use those tools in North Carolina: State Attorney General Roy Cooper, also a Democrat, has expressed objections to VIVA and started a petition asking Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to veto the bill before he ultimately signed it into law.

Read the rest at Facing South

The ‘Dream 30’ Risk Detention to Return to the U.S.

The 'Dream 30' Risk Detention to Return to the U.S.

Following up on last month’s action by the Dream 9, a new, larger group of undocumented immigrants will attempt to return to the United States today. The so-called Dream 30 will attempt to cross the border at the Laredo, Tex., port of entry with the goal of a chance to stay in the U.S. through some form of legal relief. The youngest of the crossers is 13-year-old Ingrid Gallegos. Her 16-year-old sister, Jessica, will be crossing as well. The two sisters became involved with the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA), the group organizing the action, after their mother encountered the Dream 9 at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona last month.

The Dream 30 crossing is different from the NIYA’s previous action; the group won’t enter Mexico with the express purpose of crossing back into the United States. They’ve all been deported or they’ve left the United States under dire circumstances such as the serious illness of a loved one in Mexico. But it’s very likely that, like the Dream 9, the Dream 30 will spend time in an immigration detention center.

One member of the Dream 30, Lorena Vargas, has been out of the United States for more than a year. Last Thursday, Vargas was in Nuevo Laredo, directly across from Laredo, Tex., in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, participating in a legal training. She took a break to speak with me by phone. 

“I know people will say we’re doing this for attention, but unfortunately they’re just ignorant to what our reality is” she told me. “This is a really delicate and difficult situation.”

Vargas was just six years old when she and her mother, Mirna, left Michoacan, Mex., for Tucson, Ariz. Her mother became a U.S. citizen in 2010.

After securing citizenship, Vargas’s mother hired a lawyer to prepare her daughter’s immigration papers. They traveled to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mex., to apply for Lorena’s visa. Mother and daughter did just that in February 2012. They expected to return to Tucson the same day, but Lorena was denied entry.  

According to Daniel Aguilera, Mirna Vargas’s boyfriend, officials at the U.S. Consulate told the family that they believed Lorena had gone to the Mexico in April 2002 to process her birth certificate. Leaving the United States would make her ineligible for a visa. Aguilera says they have plenty of evidence to the contrary including Lorena’s school attendance records, but the consulate’s office won’t budge. In fact, he says, they’ve barred her from applying for reentry until 2022.

“We even got Senator John McCain to try to intervene,” says Aguilera, a U.S.-born citizen who helps people file legal documents—including immigration papers—for a living. He says the family even wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. But the consulate operates under the auspices of the State Department and has no appeals process.

In Mexico Lorena Vargas’ life was swiftly turned upside down. She first stayed with a family friend in the state of Hermosillo. Weeks later, however, the federal police mistook her for a person working in organized crime, which is rampant in the area where she was residing. She was arrested and held for three days until her mother came down from Tucson to clear the matter. Vargas was released without charges and the family decided that she would be safer in her own apartment. They picked one in Agua Prieta, Sonora. Then she was sexually assaulted. 

“It’s kind of hard to talk about it,” Vargas told me. “It was a horrible experience.”

After the assault, Vargas reached out to her paternal grandfather in the state of Michoacan. At first, she made strides in reconnecting with family she hadn’t seen since she was six years old. But progress came to a halt when they realized that Vargas is a lesbian. “My grandfather basically told me that he didn’t want to know anything about me ever again,” Vargas said. For the last few weeks, she’s been staying with yet another family friend. 

“I still can’t get it in my head that Mexico is somehow my country,” Vargas said. “But we’re coming home. We are coming home.”

Obama Administration Tells Colleges: Don’t Be Afraid to Use Affirmative Action

Obama Administration Tells Colleges: Don't Be Afraid to Use Affirmative Action

In an official guidance issued by the Department of Education today, the Obama administration encouraged colleges and universities to continue to use race-conscious admissions policies to compose their incoming classes. The guidance is the administration’s first clarification to schools on how to proceed after the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Fisher v. Texas this summer.

“The Departments of Education and Justice strongly support diversity in higher education,” the letter said. “Racially diverse educational environments help to prepare students to succeed in our increasingly diverse nation.  The future workforce of America must be able to transcend the boundaries of race, language, and culture as our economy becomes more globally interconnected.”

With its guidance, the Department of Education is trying to head off colleges’ skittishness about how to use race-conscious admissions policies after the Supreme Court essentially opened the door to future legal challenges this summer.

Epic Documentary Charts Past Decade of Immigration Reform

Epic Documentary Charts Past Decade of Immigration Reform

At the upcoming New York Film Festival, award-winning filmmakers Michael Camerini and Shari Robertson, the team behind “Well-Founded Fear,” will premier a series of nine documentaries charting the past decade in U.S. immigration reform efforts. The series is part of the “How Democracy Works Now” segment, and takes a close look at the politicians and activists behind one of the nation’s most explosive and controversial political issues. Highlights include exclusive interviews with the late Senator Ted Kennedy, and intimate conversations with Cecilia Muñoz, who now works for the Obama administration but was still an immigration activist during filming. 

The New York Film Festival opens on September 27, and the immigration series will be screened at locations throughout the city October 11 to 13. 

(h/t Feet in Two Worlds)

Judge Threatens Sikh Man With Jail For Not Removing ‘That Rag’ Off His Head

Judge Threatens Sikh Man With Jail For Not Removing 'That Rag' Off His Head

The U.S. Constitution guarantees religious freedom, and therefore bars law enforcement officers from discriminating against people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin or faith. But Mississippi traffic cops and Pike County Court Judge Aubrey Rimes apparently weren’t going to let that little old document deter them from harassing and humiliating a Sikh truck driver named Jagjeet Singh after pulling him over. And now the ACLU of Mississippi and United Sikhs want state officials to investigate Singh’s treatment.

Singh was driving through the state in January when he was pulled over for a flat tire. After officers detained him they called him a “terrorist” and mocked the articles of faith he wears and carries. In a letter (PDF) sent to state officials on Wednesday, ACLU-Mississippi’s legal director Bear Atwood detailed Mississippi officers’ degrading treatment of Singh. It’s worth reading every word:

As a devout Sikh, Mr. Singh wears a turban and carries a kirpan.  A kirpan is a small, spiritual sword that is sheathed and sewn to the waistband. It is designed and worn as an article of faith, much as a cross is worn by devout Christians. Contending, wrongly, that his kirpan was illegal, the officers demanded that Mr. Singh remove it. When Mr. Singh explained that he was a Sikh and that the kirpan was a sacred religious article, the officers laughed at him and mocked his religious beliefs. One officer declared that all Sikhs are “depraved” and “terrorists.” They continued to taunt him, and forced Mr. Singh to circle his truck with his hands on his turban while they searched the vehicle. Finally, not content with this humiliation, they arrested him, claiming that Mr. Singh had refused to obey an officer’s lawful command.

…When he returned to Mississippi on March 26, 2013, for his court date at the Pike County Justice Court, he once again suffered humiliation, harassment, and discrimination because of his religious beliefs. Waiting for his attorney in the back of the courtroom, he was stunned when four Highway Patrol officers approached him and ordered him to leave the courtroom. The officers stated that Judge Aubrey Rimes had ordered them to eject Mr. Singh from the courtroom because he did not like Mr. Singh’s turban. Moreover, they told Mr. Singh that Judge Rimes would punish him if he failed to remove his headdress.

When Mr. Singh’s attorney went to Judge Rimes’s chambers to inquire about the matter, he readily confirmed that he had expelled Mr. Singh from the courtroom because of his turban. He further stated that Mr. Singh would not be allowed to re-enter the courtroom unless he removed “that rag” from his head and threatened to call Mr. Singh last on the docket if he continued to wear the religious headdress.

Singh’s experience is hardly isolated. Hate crimes toward and bias-based bullying and discrimination of Sikhs are all too commonplace occurrence in this post-Sept. 11 era. The ACLU of Mississippi also plans to ask for a separate investigation and sanctions when it files a formal complaint with the Mississippi Judicial Commission.

New Car Cameras Being Tested for U.S. Border Patrol

New Car Cameras Being Tested for U.S. Border Patrol

In response to criticism over the use of deadly force, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is now testing out dashboard cameras and overhauling basic training. According to the Associated Press, the response came from a series of reviews done by outside agencies as well as the department’s inspector general. At least 19 deaths have been attributed to CBP since 2010, among them a 16-year-old who was shot in the back at least seven times after a rock-throwing incident. 

In a statement released this week, the ACLU says the new measures are insufficient, and made additional recommendations such as the use of cameras worn on the body.  CBP says the new trainings will involve more real-life scenarios, and increased use of non-lethal weapons.


Yelp! Joins ALEC Amidst Ongoing Criticism

Yelp! Joins ALEC Amidst Ongoing Criticism

The online review site Yelp! recently joined the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as a private sector member as at least 50 corporations and nonprofits have cut ties with organization. The controversial right wing organization is best known for promoting “Stand Your Ground” and voter ID laws, but are also connected to Arizona’s SB1070 and anti-union laws. 

It has just been discovered that Yelp! paid ALEC at least $10,000 to join the organization on the same week as the Trayvon Martin case began, making the timing of their decision even more peculiar.

As Colorlines previously reported, ALEC has consistently disregarded the racial implications of the legislation they promote, most notably the “Stand Your Ground” law that was pivotal in the Trayvon Martin case. ALEC and Yelp! have joined forces to promote anti-SLAAP laws (strategic lawsuits against public participation), which are often used to intimidate people making statements on public forums.

There is a new website for people who want to encourage Yelp! to stop working with ALEC.

(h/t Color of Change)

Meet a 16-Year-Old Coming Home with the Dream 30

Meet a 16-Year-Old Coming Home with the Dream 30

The Dream 9 drew a lot of attention last month when they very publically crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. The nine were taken into detention but sent home to their various communities across the U.S. after just 17 days. 

Now, an even bigger group of people will cross on Monday. Three of the estimated 30 crossers are minors—one is just 13 years old. The other two are just a bit older. They’re participating in the National Immigrant Youth Alliance’s new Bring Them Home campaign.

16-year-old Javier Galvan has called Jacksonville, Florida home for most of his life. He arrived when he was just three years old. But two years ago, when his grandmother fell ill in Michoacan, Mexico, he returned to be with her. 

Since then, he’s faced a hard time trying to speak Spanish, especially in school. He’s endured verbal bullying and physical attacks. He says he wants to come back home to Jacksonville to finish school and eventually study medicine. 

Issa Rae’s New Web Series Draws Criticism For Christian Rap Song

Issa Rae's New Web Series Draws Criticism For Christian Rap Song

About a month after Awkward Black Girl’s Issa Rae debuted her new Web series called “The Choir,” the new show is already drawing criticism. The series is a dramedy about one church’s attempts to rebuild its dormant choir, but a recent episode that features a new song called “Christ WALK” by Rae that some find to be an insulting parody of Christian rap.

“Aside from it being disrespectful to put Christ’s name in a profanity-filled rap, Issa, you ought know better than to trivialize gang violence,” wrote one commentor on YouTube. “So many of our young urban youths are dying in the streets because they don’t see the seriousness of taking human life. This is very disappointing. Not funny in the least.”

(h/t Clutch Magazine)


TAGS: Issa Rae

Tupac’s Mom Sues for More than $1 Million in Royalties

Tupac's Mom Sues for More than $1 Million in Royalties

Afeni Shakur, the mother of slain hip-hop icon Tupac and co-executor of his estate, has filed a $1.1 million lawsuit against Entertainment One and Death Row Records. The suit alleges that the defendants didn’t pay royalties for more than four years and refused to return the masters of unreleased recordings.

It’s a complicated story. Death Row Records filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and Tupac’s original 1995 contact with the company has gone through a slew of different owners. Still, the label has released four Tupac albums since the rapper’s death. In her lawsuit, Afeni Shakur seeks an injunction, an accounting, and damages for breach of contract and unfair competition. 

(h/t Okayplayer)

San Francisco Chinese Couple Wins Eviction Reprieve

San Francisco Chinese Couple Wins Eviction Reprieve

Late Wednesday Gum Gee Lee and Poon Heung Lee, an elderly Chinese couple in San Francisco who are being forced from their home by a real estate developer, outlasted the sheriff’s deputies sent to enforce the tenants’ scheduled eviction. They were able to stay the night in their home. And together with housing and Asian-American community advocates, are ramping up the keep them there.

“It was our victory for the day,” Omar Calimbas, an attorney with Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus and the Lees’ attorney said in an e-mail. But Calimbas cautioned, the Lees can’t rest just yet. “The situation is very uncertain, because the sheriff’s policy is not to re-notify the tenants of the new eviction date.”

The Lees have lived in their San Francisco apartment for 34 years, and still care for an adult daughter with disabilities there. It wasn’t so easy for them to pack up and leave when a real estate devloper named Matthew Miller with a track record of buying San Francisco apartment buildings to flip into luxury condos bought their building, then offered the family a buyout to leave. After the Lees decided to try to stay in their home, Miller moved to evict them. 

The Lees eviction galvanized tenants’ rights advocates and the Asian-American community, and many fed up with the accelerated gentrification of the city that’s been spurred by nearby Silicon Valley’s tech boom. As new transplants flush with tech money move in, it’s families like the Lees who’ve been forced out of their homes.

The California Supreme Court affirmed that Miller was acting within his legal rights to evict the Lees, but the Lees have appealed that ruling, Calimbas said. In the meantime, Calimbas told Colorlines, “Organizers are prepared to mobilize again when a new eviction date is set.  We plan to have the same turnout as yesterday when that happens.”

Watch Big Freedia Set the World Record for Twerking

Watch Big Freedia Set the World Record for Twerking

The Queen of Bounce made history this week by setting the Guinness World Record for “Most People Twerking Simultaneously.” Big Freedia coordinated 358 people to gather in New York’s Herald Square yesterday to compete for the title by twerking in unison for two minutes straight. A judge from Guinness World Records was on hand to ensure participants were following strict guidelines. And it was amazing. 

Apparently, Freedia’s title has already been challenged. It might be time for a twerk-off. 

(h/t Fuse TV)

Five Quotes to Celebrate Gloria Anzaldúa’s Birthday

Five Quotes to Celebrate Gloria Anzaldúa's Birthday

Queer Chicana theorist, activist and writer Gloria Anzaldúa was born 71 years ago today. Here are some of Anzaldúa’s many quotes—feel free to add your favorite in the comments section! 




































































Shellie Zimmerman Says She Now Doubts Husband’s Innocence

Shellie Zimmerman Says She Now Doubts Husband's Innocence

In an exclusive interview with NBC News today, George Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, discussed her recent altercation with her husband, and expressed doubts about the outcome of the Trayvon Martin verdict. 

Two weeks ago Zimmerman called police after her husband allegedly punched her father in the nose, smashed her iPad, and motioned toward what she believed was a gun. She says she “saw a look in his eyes I’ve never seen before” on that day.  She also said that she regrets not having pressed charges against Zimmerman, but was told by police that she would have been taken to jail if she did because she’s currently on probation after pleading guilty to perjury charges. 

In her interview, she also says she now has doubts about the Trayvon Martin verdict. 

“I think anyone would doubt that innocence. Because I don’t know the person I’ve been married to.” 

Zimmerman’s lawyer has been trying to serve her husband with divorce papers, but hasn’t been able to track him down

(h/t NBC News)

Marissa Alexander Gets a New Trial

Marissa Alexander Gets a New Trial

Marissa Alexander was denied immunity under Florida’s Stand Your Ground defense—and was subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a warning shot in the air during an altercation with her ex-husband, Rico Gray. Alexander made clear that she feared for her life during the incident. Gray had twice been arrested for domestic abuse against Alexander; one of those times included an attack during a time when Alexander was pregnant. 

But an appeals court ruled that the jury received flawed instructions—which means Alexander will get a new trial.

The case against Alexander was prosecuted by Angela Corey—the same attorney who also oversaw the prosecution in the George Zimmerman murder trial that resulted in a jury finding Zimmerman not guilty in connection to the killing of Trayvon Martin. The cases drew striking parallels about Florida’s justice system. 

Alexander’s supporters have been demanding that she either be pardoned, or be released pending a new trial. The appeals court ruling is separate from a bail hearing, which could mean that Alexander may soon be released while she prepares for her new trial. 

Nevada GOP Leader: ‘Minorities Will Not Turn Out’ to Vote in 2014

Nevada GOP Leader: 'Minorities Will Not Turn Out' to Vote in 2014

There are so many examples of GOP leaders admitting publicly that they count on suppression of voters of color for their victories, from Pennsylvania to Florida. The latest exhibit is Nevada, where GOP assembly leader Pat Hickey told a radio show host on Tuesday that 2014 will be “a great year for Republicans,” because “a lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in a non-presidential” election year.

Hear the full audio where Hickey explains his low-turnout hopes.

Also in that radio show interview, Hickey derided the Democratic Party for being diverse and inclusive. As reported in HuffPost, Hickey said, “We Republicans look at our Democratic counterparts on the other side. They have the big tent philosophy and have a rainbow stripe on the top of the tent and some nutty characters inside.”

The Democratic National Committee responded via their spokesperson Kiara Pesante: 

“With these comments, Pat Hickey is making it even clearer why Republicans across the country are working so hard to restrict voting rights. From North Carolina to Ohio, Republican governors and legislatures are enacting harsh voter ID laws that make it more difficult for seniors, young people and people of color to vote. With the twisted logic that Hickey so prominently put on display, Republicans believe that shutting people out is the best way to grow their party’s influence and win elections. Meanwhile, Democrats are leading the charge to expand voting rights for all eligible voters. The GOP’s tactics didn’t pay off in 2012, and it’s hard to see them paying off in 2014 with this backwards, exclusionary approach.”


Little Miss Hispanic Delaware Stripped of Her Crown

Little Miss Hispanic Delaware Stripped of Her Crown

It’s been a controversial pageant season. On August 31, seven-year-old Jakiyah McKoy won the title of Little Miss Hispanic Delaware. But last week news surfaced that she had been stripped of her title and crown because pageant officials couldn’t prove her Latina heritage. The response to her win has brought up issues of racism toward Afro-Latinos and complications faced by descendents of undocumented immigrants. 

According to Latino Rebels, which spoke to pageant sponsor Nuestras Raíces Delaware, the pageant cannot prove McKoy’s Latina roots because her Dominican grandmother, who is deceased, was undocumented and they have no paperwork confirming her country of origin. Blogger *Dash Harris, quoted El Tiempo Hispano as saying the public who attended the pageant said McKoy was “not representative of Latin beauty,” and that she was the only contestant who was required to give proof of her ethnic heritage.

McKoy supporters have started an online petition to demand the crown be returned to her. 

This article has been corrected to reflect the author of “Diaspora Dash” as Dash Harris, and to clarify that the quote “not representative of Latin beauty,” came from El Tiempo Hispano.

Middle Schooler to Obama Cabinet Member: ‘White People Are Taking Over’ My Neighborhood

Middle Schooler to Obama Cabinet Member: 'White People Are Taking Over' My Neighborhood

When Shaun Donovan, Barack Obama’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development, went to go visit Everett Middle School in San Francisco’s historically Latino Mission District, he probably expected to hear glowing things from students at a school that had drastically improved their academic performance in recent years. 

Donovan sat with the school’s principal Lina Van Haren and several students about what they like and dislike about their neighborhood. One 12-year-old student’s gave a brutally honest answer.

“The Mission District, around here, has changed a lot because there’s a lot of white people taking over the Mission,” said a 12-year old, when asked by her principal what’s changed in the surrounding area, according to the San Francisco Weekly. “I used to always see Latinos in the Mission — and, yeah.”

She continued, “People are moving out of the Mission because it’s getting more expensive since so many more white people are moving to San Francisco,” she continued. “And that’s why it’s harder to get to school and black people are moving out.”

A recent map of rental prices backs up the middle schooler’s claim. The median rental price per bedroom in the Mission is about $2,400.

(h/t SF Weekly)

Elderly Chinese Couple Takes On San Francisco’s Tech-Driven Gentrifiers

Elderly Chinese Couple Takes On San Francisco's Tech-Driven Gentrifiers

Before their scheduled eviction today, Gum Gee Lee and Poon Heung Lee, an elderly Chinese couple who’ve lived in their San Francisco apartment for 34 years, are putting up one last very public fight. They’re the last holdouts in a building that was bought by a real estate developer whose specialty is flipping old apartment buildings into luxury condos. Elected city officials, community members and the Lees are currently in front of the apartment building ready to engage in civil disobedience to protest their eviction, said Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus’ attorney Omar Calimbas, who represents the Lees.

The Lees worked in the city for decades, raised their family in their apartment and still care for a disabled daughter in their home. When developer Matthew Miller offered buyouts to the other tenants, the Lees tried to move as well. But as seniors on fixed incomes whose daughter is dependent on care she receives in San Francisco, Calimbas said, they didn’t have the kind of leverage they needed. So they decided to stay and fight. 

In a daylong protest outside their 1840-A Jackson Street apartment building the Lees, accompanied by politicians like San Francisco Supervisors David Campos and Jane Kim and community advocates including the Chinese Progressive Association and the San Francisco Tenants Union, protested their eviction. 

The Lees don’t actually have much legal recourse; under California law a landlord may evict tenants if they are pulling the unit off the residential rental market. But in San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area where the tech boom has forced a rent explosion, the law, called the Ellis Act, has facilitated the evictions of long-time San Francisco residents—particularly those who can’t afford to stick around in the new housing market. Ellis Act evictions and buyouts have increased three-fold since just the beginning of the year, the San Francisco Examiner reported. The Lees’ fight is about much more than just tenants’ rights. It’s also a protest against the gentrification that’s remaking the city into a luxury playground that few but the rich can afford.

“The goal here is to get the ear of City Hall and start working toward concrete proposals to set up safety nets for families like the Lees, those most at risk of being evicted,” Calimbas told Colorlines. “Especially when there is a rebound that makes rent-controlled propoerties very attractive to short-term high-yield flipping strategies.”

The Lees do not have a place to move to, Calimbas said. 

Applying for DACA? There’s an App for That

Applying for DACA? There's an App for That

Now, there’s a phone app for avoiding deportation. Immigration Advocates Network, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Council teamed up to produce Pocket DACA as part of the “Own the DREAM Campaign,” which is now available for iPhone and Android.  Applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA can be a cumbersome process, requiring a lifetime’s worth of documents such as school and medical records that prove continuous residence in the U.S. This app is meant to answer questions and help youth determine if they’re eligible to apply. 

Say what you will about DACA, which is starting to show some cracks. But Google Play users took the opportunity to share their thoughts on immigration reform, many giving the product a one-star rating because they said it “encourages criminal behavior,” and that illegal immigrants are likely to join gangs. Otherwise, the app seems to be getting mostly positive reviews from youth and organizers who’ve used it. 

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