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A report by the National Domestic Workers Alliance revealed 90% of domestic workers lost their jobs by the end of March 2020, and three out of four were the primary breadwinners within their households. About a third of the domestic workers in the U.S. are Latina, while half of house cleaning workers are foreign-born and 62% of them are Latinas. But their numbers have dropped during the pandemic. Less than a third of Spanish-speaking domestic workers received stimulus checks while over 90% didn’t receive unemployment benefits. The Lily spoke with five Latina immigrant housekeepers about how they have survived throughout the pandemic. The Lily
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Texas Raised $54M in Private Donations for Border Wall
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to raise private donations to build a border wall reached $54 million, with nearly 98% of the fund coming from an out-of-state billionaire who had financed attempts to defend controversial immigration laws in the past. According to public records, Timothy Mellon, a member of one of America’s richest family dynasties, donated $53.1 million in stock to Texas in August. Before Mellon’s massive donation, Abbott had collected about $1.25 million. The Texas Tribune reported that Mellon doesn’t appear to have close connections to Texas, but he was a top donor for former President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and has donated money to defend legislation targeting immigrants. The Texas Tribune
Two Haitian Families’ Stories Diverged at the Southern Border
Alie Sajous and Macdalla Renois left Haiti years ago but decided to start a new journey in the U.S. this summer. Both families dealt with difficulties crossing the jungle area between Colombia and Panama, facing the end of a pregnancy and a toddler being hospitalized. But despite going through similar paths, the families ended up in different locations. U.S. immigration officials handcuffed and loaded Renois and her family onto a plane back to Haiti even though they haven’t been there in years. Renois said no U.S. official asked if she wanted to seek asylum or was afraid of going back to Haiti. Meanwhile Sajous and her family were released to relatives in Florida. Reuters
California’s Ban on Private Detention Centers Blocked by Federal Court
A federal appeals court in California ruled that the state law barring private detention facilities can’t be enforced because it can interrupt the federal government’s immigration authority. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit’s 2-1 decision also reverses a previous trial court’s dismissal of a challenge to the law. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed the ban into law back in 2019. It sought to diminish the state’s relationship with the federal government on immigration detention centers. The Biden administration continued the lawsuit begun under the Trump administration even though President Joe Biden promised to terminate privately run detention centers. NPR
Immigrant Advocates Announce Statewide General Strike
Voces de la Frontera, a Wisconsin-based immigrant rights group, is planning to hold a statewide general strike Oct. 11. The strike and student walkout will be included in the nationwide days of action and will be used to highlight immigrants’ contributions to the U.S. economy. This strike will also pressure Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and congressional Democrats to include a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in their budget reconciliation bill. “Day Without Immigrants” and “Day Without Latinos” has been used since 2006 to demonstrate how the U.S.’s economy depends on undocumented immigrants. Wisconsin Examiner
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