organization:american civil liberties union

  • Congress Is Debating—Again—Whether Genes Can Be Patented
    https://www.wired.com/story/congress-is-debating-again-whether-genes-can-be-patented

    In 2013, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down patents on two human genes—BRCA1 and BRCA2—associated with breast and ovarian cancers. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the court at the time that isolated DNA “is a product of nature and not patent eligible.” The historic decision invalidated patents held by Myriad Genetics, the defendant in a 2009 lawsuit brought by dozens of patients and researchers represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, breaking the company’s virtual monopoly (...)

    #Google #Amazon #Facebook #génétique #législation #brevet #ACLU

  • Nearly All U.S. Visa Applicants Now Required To Submit 5-Year Social Media History | HuffPost
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/visa-social-media-state-department_n_5cf4898ce4b0e8085e3bfde1

    Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, said the new policy was a “dangerous and problematic proposal.”

    It “does nothing to protect security concerns but raises significant privacy concerns and First Amendment issues for citizens and immigrants,” Shamsi told the Times. “Research shows that this kind of monitoring has chilling effects, meaning that people are less likely to speak freely and connect with each other in online communities that are now essential to modern life.”

    #etats-unis #visas#démocratie#leadership #monde_libre

  • Why Is Border Patrol Planning to DNA Test Asylum Seekers ? - Pacific Standard
    https://psmag.com/news/why-is-border-patrol-planning-to-dna-test-asylum-seekers

    Next week, at two locations along the United States’ southern border, authorities will begin swabbing the cheeks of migrants and asylum seekers traveling as families to complete DNA tests. The new pilot program, first reported by CNN, seeks to identify what the Department of Homeland Security calls “fraudulent families.” The DNA tests can provide results in as little as 90 minutes.

    For months, the Trump administration has claimed that some asylum seekers arriving on the border with children are not actually families, but rather adults traveling with unrelated children. The administration argues that these people hope to take advantage of laws that limit the amount of time children and families can remain in detention.

    Why Civil Rights Advocates Are Worried

    Some advocates are suspicious of the administration’s motives. In the past, immigration authorities have made fraud claims and separated legitimate parents from their children. Others say that the administration is exaggerating the scale of the problem: According to BuzzFeed News, immigration officials say they have identified 3,100 fraudulent families in the last year—but that represents less than 1 percent of the 256,821 family units apprehended. Some say the number should be even lower, because officials consider a family fraudulent if they believe that a child is not actually under 18 years old. (In the past, immigration authorities have been accused of ignoring evidence that people in adult detention facilities are actually minors.)

    Arguing that the DNA tests are unnecessary, the American Civil Liberties Union says the new plan represents another attempt by the administration to “intimidate and deter” asylum seekers. “Forced DNA collection is coercive and intrusive, and it raises serious privacy and civil liberties concerns,” Vera Eidelman, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, writes in a statement sent to Pacific Standard.

    Why Civil Rights Advocates Are Worried

    Some advocates are suspicious of the administration’s motives. In the past, immigration authorities have made fraud claims and separated legitimate parents from their children. Others say that the administration is exaggerating the scale of the problem: According to BuzzFeed News, immigration officials say they have identified 3,100 fraudulent families in the last year—but that represents less than 1 percent of the 256,821 family units apprehended. Some say the number should be even lower, because officials consider a family fraudulent if they believe that a child is not actually under 18 years old. (In the past, immigration authorities have been accused of ignoring evidence that people in adult detention facilities are actually minors.)

    Arguing that the DNA tests are unnecessary, the American Civil Liberties Union says the new plan represents another attempt by the administration to “intimidate and deter” asylum seekers. “Forced DNA collection is coercive and intrusive, and it raises serious privacy and civil liberties concerns,” Vera Eidelman, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, writes in a statement sent to Pacific Standard.

    #ADN #Vie_Privée #Société_contrôle #Données_personnelles

  • Anti-BDS bill passed Senate, but trouble awaits in House
    Some Democrats are convinced the decision to tie the controversial bill together with motions on aid to Israel and Jordan and sanctions on Syria was designed to spark intra-Democratic fighting
    Amir Tibon Washington
    Feb 10, 2019 11:52 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-anti-bds-bill-passed-senate-but-trouble-awaits-in-house-1.6920012

    WASHINGTON – The Senate passed a bill last week that encourages state governments across the U.S. not to sign contracts with supporters of boycotts against Israel and its settlements in the occupied West Bank. The bill has since been introduced in the House of Representatives, but Congressional sources from both parties told Haaretz in recent days they doubt it will pass the House any time soon.

    The bill in question is called the Combating BDS Act. It passed the Senate as part of a “package” of Middle East-related bills after being introduced by Republican Senator Marco Rubio. The other bills in the package deal with non-controversial, consensus issues such as military aid to Israel and Jordan, and sanctions on the Assad regime in Syria.

    Rubio and Senate Republicans added the anti-BDS bill into the package, setting the stage for an intense fight about it on Capitol Hill. The reason is that civil rights organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union are concerned that the Combating BDS Act is unconstitutional and harms American citizens’ freedom of speech.

    The bill encourages the implementation of local legislation passed in recent years by half of the states in the U.S., putting limits on state governments’ abilities to sign contracts with supporters of boycotts against Israel or the settlements. Two such laws have been frozen by federal courts in Arizona and Kansas, following lawsuits by state contractors who said the laws harmed their freedom of speech. Similar lawsuits have recently been filed in Texas and Arkansas.

    When the package bill came up for a vote last week, 23 senators voted against it, including one Republican, Rand Paul of Kentucky. Many of those who voted against it clarified that if every aspect of the bill had been voted on separately, they probably would have supported the bills on assistance to Israel and Jordan and on sanctioning Assad, and would have only objected to the BDS bill, mainly because of concerns surrounding freedom of speech.

    Such a vote could take place in the Senate, where Republicans hold the majority, but not in the House, according to the Congressional sources who spoke with Haaretz. Democrats are convinced that the entire purpose of the Republican decision to add the anti-BDS bill into the broader Middle East package was to orchestrate an intra-Democratic fight over the issue, and force many Democrats to choose between their position on the free speech criticism of the bill, and their general opposition to BDS.

    The Democratic leadership in the House, which has a majority ever since the midterm elections, will most likely break up the package into a number of separate bills. That will allow the House to approve the non-controversial bills on security aid to Israel and sanctions on Syria, without immediately setting the stage for a new round of internal party tensions on the “constitutional right to boycott” question.

    While the other bills are probably going to see quick and easy approval, the anti-BDS bill could be up for a lengthy period of debate in the relevant House committees. There could also be an amendment process. In the Senate, for example, one Democratic senator, Gary Peters of Michigan, offered an amendment that would make it absolutely clear that the bill only refers to large companies, not to small businesses or sole proprietors. Another amendment offered to distinguish in the bill’s language between Israel proper and the settlements in the occupied West Bank.

    Lara Friedman of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, one of the most vocal opponents of the legislation, told Haaretz last week that Democrats in the House “can see what happened in the Senate and take a good guess that it will be even more controversial” in their chamber. “The only ones who benefit from seeing Democrats fight amongst themselves on this issue are the GOP and folks in the U.S. and Israel who want to see Israel turned into a weapon for partisan gain,” she added.

    AIPAC, the powerful lobby that supports the Israeli government, is urging Congress to pass the legislation. The organization wrote in its monthly publication, the Near East Report, that “Congress should take up and pass the Combating BDS Act as quickly as possible. This important bipartisan bill seeks both to protect states against claims they are preempting federal authority, and to demonstrate Congress’ strong support for state measures consistent with Congress’ historic commitment to oppose boycotts of Israel.”

    #BDS

    • En complément : attaquer Omar, Tlaib et Ocasio-Cortez, par imputation d’antisémitisme, pour explicitement diviser les Démocrates : McCarthy pressures Democrats to rebuke two Muslim lawmakers over alleged anti-Semitism
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/mccarthy-gop-challenge-house-democrats-to-denounce-alleged-anti-semitism/2019/02/08/aef28514-2bae-11e9-b2fc-721718903bfc_story.html

      Republicans are focusing their ire at the two Muslim women in Congress, accusing them of anti-Semitism and pressuring Democratic leaders to rebuke the lawmakers as attitudes in the party toward Israel shift from unquestioned support.

      The pressure on Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is part of a larger GOP effort to drive a partisan wedge into the traditionally nonpartisan relationship between the United States and Israel. Republicans are casting themselves as the more resolute defender of Israel, heightening the party’s appeal to traditionally Democratic Jewish voters.

      […]

      Ralph Reed, the head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and an ally of the Trump White House, said Republicans are working to “change the center of gravity in the American electorate on the issue of Israel.”

      “The leftward drift of the grass roots of the Democrat Party, away from wholehearted and robust support of Israel, means you have people in that party who see Israel through the prism of apartheid and occupation,” he said. “That’s an opportunity for Republicans to say, ‘That’s not how we see Israel.’ ”

      Some Republicans have pointed to a recent phone call between Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the high-profile young leader of her party’s hard-left wing, to British lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the Labour Party who has come under intense criticism for tolerating anti-Semitism in his ranks.

      (Accessoirement donc : internationalisation de la manipulation anti-Corbyn…)

  • Trump Admin Says It’s Too Hard To Reunite Thousands Of Separated Families : Court Filing | HuffPost
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/report-trump-admin-does-not-plan-to-reunite-families-separated-befor

    On Friday, officials from the Trump administration said it would require too much effort to reunite the thousands of families it separated before implementing its “zero-tolerance” policy in April, according to a declaration filed as part of an ongoing lawsuit between the American Civil Liberties Union and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Last month, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services released a report stating that “thousands” more immigrant families had been separated than the government had previously disclosed. In the declaration submitted Friday, HHS officials said they don’t know the exact number of children who were taken from their parents before “zero tolerance” and that finding them would be too much of a “burden” since there was no formal tracking system in place.

    “The Trump administration’s response is a shocking concession that it can’t easily find thousands of children it ripped from parents and doesn’t even think it’s worth the time to locate each of them,” said Lee Gelernt, the lead lawyer in the ACLU’s ongoing lawsuit against ICE, in a statement. “The administration also doesn’t dispute that separations are ongoing in significant numbers.”

    Nous vivons une époque où les salauds ont pris le pouvoir. Le cynisme et la goujaterie des « commentaires » sur les tweets de gauche ou antiracistes nous montre que cette sapolperie est largement partagée par une partie de la population. Quand les dirigeants perdent tout repère éthique, les vannes sont ouvertes pour que la désagrégation se répande.

    “They are saying they just don’t care,” said Michelle Brané, the director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission. “It’s shocking from a human rights perspective for a government to behave this way.”

    “I think the policy of taking the children away in the first place was cruel,” said Gelernt, the ACLU lawyer, “but to not even have a system to return the parents to the children just increases the magnitude of the cruelty.”

    #Trump #Migrants #Tolérance_zéro #Folie #Barbarie

    • ça correspond aussi à une des case qu’on coche sur la liste des symptomes qui décrivent les psychopathes (l’absence d’empathie)

      Officials said they don’t know the exact number of children who were taken from their parents before “zero tolerance” and that finding them would be too much of a “burden” since there was no formal tracking system in place.

    • Une absence de scrupules totale, l’irresponsabilité absolue, pire le déni de toute responsabilité : c’est la faute aux démocrates et à leur politique d’immigration laxiste.

      On n’est pas loin du crime contre l’humanité.

      Cerise sur le gâteau, il n’est pas exclu qu’il y ait des pressions du business de l’adoption pour ne pas même essayer d’entamer le processus de recherche.

  • Fascism in Chicago | WTTW Chicago
    https://interactive.wttw.com/playlist/2018/09/06/fascism-chicago

    September 6, 2018 - by Daniel Hautzinger - Last year, a pair of Chicago aldermen proposed renaming a Chicago street to honor the journalist and anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, and in July of this year the proposal was approved for a stretch of Congress Parkway. But Congress wasn’t the street originally considered for renaming; rather, it was Balbo Drive.

    7th Street became Balbo Drive in 1934, in recognition of Italo Balbo, a leading Italian Fascist under Benito Mussolini. There’s also Balbo Monument east of Soldier Field, a 2,000-year-old column donated by Mussolini to the city the same year. Why does Chicago have a street and monument honoring a Fascist?

    In 1933, Balbo led twenty-four seaplanes on a pioneering sixteen-day transatlantic journey from Rome to Chicago, flying over the Century of Progress World’s Fair before landing in Lake Michigan near Navy Pier. Balbo and the pilots were celebrated by Chicago’s high society over the next three days. Chief Blackhorn of the Sioux, who was participating in the World’s Fair, granted Balbo a headdress and christened him “Chief Flying Eagle;” Balbo gave the Chief a Fascist medallion in return. He and his pilots then continued on to New York City. Balbo was featured on the cover of Time magazine and had lunch with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    The following year, Mussolini sent the column to Chicago to commemorate Balbo’s flight, and it was installed in front of the Fair’s Italian Pavilion. 40,000 people attended its unveiling, and a speech by Balbo was broadcast by radio from Italy. After the defeat of the Fascists in World War II and the revelation of their crimes, Italy’s ambassador to the United States suggested that marks of respect on the column to Balbo and the Fascist government be removed. Despite those changes, the monument still stands, and Balbo Drive retains its name despite the proposal to change it, being a point of pride for many Italian Americans in Chicago.

    The World’s Fair was also the site of a subtle protest against fascism in Europe, when a pageant dramatizing Jewish religious history took place in Soldier Field in July of 1933. According to the Chicago Daily News, the event drew 150,000 people of various faiths, and the “spiritual kinship” and “fine fellowship” between Christians and Jews there would “carry rebuke to those who oppress the Jew” in “Hitler’s Germany.”

    Two years later, Soldier Field saw a different kind of demonstration that does not seem to have been explicitly anti-Semitic but did feature the Nazi swastika. In 1936, a “German Day” rally included a march with both the American flag and a flag bearing the swastika. But the German American community in Chicago mostly laid low during World War II, careful to conceal their ethnicity and avoid experiencing some of the anti-German sentiment they had already experienced during World War I. However, in 1939 a rally in Merrimac Park supporting the German-American Bund, an organization sympathetic to Nazism and Hitler, attracted several thousand people.

    Decades later, a tiny flare-up of support for fascism in Chicagoland attracted outsized national attention. In 1977, a small neo-Nazi group called the National Socialist Party of America sought to hold a demonstration in the northern suburb of Skokie, which had a large population of Jewish people, including some 7,000 survivors of the Holocaust. The suburb originally planned on letting the demonstration happen and moving on, but was convinced by members of its Jewish community to prevent it. (In 1966, the head of the American Nazi Party came to Chicago to march against Martin Luther King, Jr. as Dr. King protested unfair housing practices in the city.)

    After passing ordinances that would prevent the demonstration, Skokie was challenged in court by the neo-Nazis, who were supported by the legal backing of the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU did not support the views of the group, but rather sought to protect the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. David Goldberger, the ACLU lawyer who led the case, was Jewish.

    30,000 members of the ACLU resigned in protest, and financial support for the organization dropped precipitately. Yet the lawyers persevered, fearing that any denial of free speech was a slippery slope. Through various courts, injunctions, and proposed legislation, the neo-Nazis eventually won the case, which even made it to the Supreme Court.

    But the neo-Nazis never demonstrated in Skokie. Instead, they staged two marches in Chicago, one downtown and one in Marquette Park. Counter-protesters vastly outnumbered the ten or twenty neo-Nazis in both cases. The leader who spearheaded the marches and garnered the media’s attention during the Skokie case was later convicted for child molestation. (The hapless National Socialist Party of America is famously satirized in the 1980 film Blues Brothers.)

    In the wake of the Skokie case, Illinois became the first state to mandate Holocaust education in schools. And in 2009, Skokie became the site of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, an implicit rebuke to the attempted Nazi demonstrations of three decades prior.

    #USA #Chicago #fascisme

  • Un intéressant éditorial du New York Times contre les tentatives du Sénat américain de criminaliser BDS

    Opinion | Curbing Speech in the Name of Helping Israel - The New York Times

    A Senate bill aims to punish those who boycott Israel over its settlement policy. There are better solutions.

    By The Editorial Board
    The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/opinion/editorials/israel-bds.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    One of the more contentious issues involving Israel in recent years is now before Congress, testing America’s bedrock principles of freedom of speech and political dissent.

    It is a legislative proposal that would impose civil and criminal penalties on American companies and organizations that participate in boycotts supporting Palestinian rights and opposing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

    The aim is to cripple the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as B.D.S., which has gathered steam in recent years despite bitter opposition from the Israeli government and its supporters around the world.

    The proposal’s chief sponsors, Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, and Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, want to attach it to the package of spending bills that Congress needs to pass before midnight Friday to keep the government fully funded.
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    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a leading pro-Israel lobby group, strongly favors the measure.

    J Street, a progressive American pro-Israel group that is often at odds with Aipac and that supports a two-state peace solution, fears that the legislation could have a harmful effect, in part by implicitly treating the settlements and Israel the same, instead of as distinct entities. Much of the world considers the settlements, built on land that Israel captured in the 1967 war, to be a violation of international law.

    Although the Senate sponsors vigorously disagree, the legislation, known as the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, is clearly part of a widening attempt to silence one side of the debate. That is not in the interests of Israel, the United States or their shared democratic traditions.

    Critics of the legislation, including the American Civil Liberties Union and several Palestinian rights organizations, say the bill would violate the First Amendment and penalize political speech.

    The hard-line policies of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, including expanding settlements and an obvious unwillingness to seriously pursue a peace solution that would allow Palestinians their own state, have provoked a backlash and are fueling the boycott movement.
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    It’s not just Israel’s adversaries who find the movement appealing. Many devoted supporters of Israel, including many American Jews, oppose the occupation of the West Bank and refuse to buy products of the settlements in occupied territories. Their right to protest in this way must be vigorously defended.

    The same is true of Palestinians. They are criticized when they resort to violence, and rightly so. Should they be deprived of nonviolent economic protest as well? The United States frequently employs sanctions as a political tool, including against North Korea, Iran and Russia.

    Mr. Cardin and Mr. Portman say their legislation merely builds on an existing law, the Export Control Reform Act, which bars participation in the Arab League boycott of Israel, and is needed to protect American companies from “unsanctioned foreign boycotts.”

    They are especially concerned that the United Nations Human Rights Council is compiling a database of companies doing business in the occupied territories and East Jerusalem, a tactic Senate aides say parallels the Arab League boycott.

    But there are problems with their arguments, critics say. The existing law aimed to protect American companies from the Arab League boycott because it was coercive, requiring companies to boycott Israel as a condition of doing business with Arab League member states. A company’s motivation for engaging in that boycott was economic — continued trade relations — not exercising free speech rights.

    By contrast, the Cardin-Portman legislation would extend the existing prohibition to cover boycotts against Israel and other countries friendly to the United States when the boycotts are called for by an international government organization, like the United Nations or the European Union.

    Neither of those organizations has called for a boycott, but supporters of Israel apparently fear that the Human Rights Council database is a step in that direction.
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    Civil rights advocates, on the other hand, say that anyone who joins a boycott would be acting voluntarily — neither the United Nations nor the European Union has the authority to compel such action — and the decision would be an exercise of political expression in opposition to Israeli policies.

    Responding to criticism, the senators amended their original proposal to explicitly state that none of the provisions shall infringe upon any First Amendment right and to penalize violators with fines rather than jail time.

    But the American Civil Liberties Union says the First Amendment wording is nonbinding and “leaves intact key provisions which would impose civil and criminal penalties on companies, small business owners, nonprofits and even people acting on their behalf who engage in or otherwise support certain political boycotts.”

    While the sponsors say their bill is narrowly targeted at commercial activity, “such assurances ring hollow in light of the bill’s intended purpose, which is to suppress voluntary participation in disfavored political boycotts,” the A.C.L.U. said in a letter to lawmakers.

    Even the Anti-Defamation League, which has lobbied for the proposal, seems to agree. A 2016 internal ADL memo, disclosed by The Forward last week, calls anti-B.D.S. laws “ineffective, unworkable, unconstitutional and bad for the Jewish community.”

    In a properly functioning Congress, a matter of such moment would be openly debated. Instead, Mr. Cardin and Mr. Portman are trying to tack the B.D.S. provision onto the lame-duck spending bill, meaning it could by enacted into law in the 11th-hour crush to keep the government fully open.

    The anti-B.D.S. initiative began in 2014 at the state level before shifting to Congress and is part of a larger, ominous trend in which the political space for opposing Israel is shrinking. After ignoring the B.D.S. movement, Israel is now aggressively pushing against it, including branding it anti-Semitic and adopting a law barring foreigners who support it from entering that country.
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    One United States case shows how counterproductive the effort is. It involves Bahia Amawi, an American citizen of Palestinian descent who was told she could no longer work as an elementary school speech pathologist in Austin, Tex., because she refused to sign a state-imposed oath that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel. She filed a lawsuit this week in federal court, arguing that the Texas law “chills constitutionally protected political advocacy in support of Palestine.”

    Any anti-boycott legislation enacted by Congress is also likely to face a court challenge. It would be more constructive if political leaders would focus on the injustice and finding viable solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rather than reinforcing divisions between the two parties and promoting legislation that raises free speech concerns.

  • The Secret Service wants to test facial recognition around the White House
    https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/4/18126136/secret-service-dhs-white-house-facial-recognition-test-privacy

    The US Secret Service has revealed plans for a test of facial recognition surveillance around the White House, with the goal of identifying “subjects of interest” who might pose a threat to the president. The document was published in late November, but the American Civil Liberties Union publicized its existence today. It describes a test that would compare closed circuit video footage of public White House spaces against a database of images — in this case, featuring employees who volunteered (...)

    #algorithme #CCTV #biométrie #vidéo-surveillance #surveillance #facial

  • Amazon scrapped a secret AI recruitment tool that showed bias against women | VentureBeat
    https://venturebeat.com/2018/10/10/amazon-scrapped-a-secret-ai-recruitment-tool-that-showed-bias-against-w

    Everyone wanted this holy grail,” one of the people said. “They literally wanted it to be an engine where I’m going to give you 100 resumes, it will spit out the top five, and we’ll hire those.”

    But by 2015, the company realized its new system was not rating candidates for software developer jobs and other technical posts in a gender-neutral way.

    That is because Amazon’s computer models were trained to vet applicants by observing patterns in resumes submitted to the company over a 10-year period. Most came from men, a reflection of male dominance across the tech industry.

    In effect, Amazon’s system taught itself that male candidates were preferable. It penalized resumes that included the word “women’s,” as in “women’s chess club captain.” And it downgraded graduates of two all-women’s colleges, according to people familiar with the matter. They did not specify the names of the schools.

    Amazon edited the programs to make them neutral to these particular terms. But that was no guarantee that the machines would not devise other ways of sorting candidates that could prove discriminatory, the people said.

    The Seattle company ultimately disbanded the team by the start of last year because executives lost hope for the project, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Amazon’s recruiters looked at the recommendations generated by the tool when searching for new hires, but never relied solely on those rankings, they said.

    Their goal was to develop AI that could rapidly crawl the web and spot candidates worth recruiting, the people familiar with the matter said.

    The group created 500 computer models focused on specific job functions and locations. They taught each to recognize some 50,000 terms that showed up on past candidates’ resumes. The algorithms learned to assign little significance to skills that were common across IT applicants, such as the ability to write various computer codes, the people said.

    Instead, the technology favored candidates who described themselves using verbs more commonly found on male engineers’ resumes, such as “executed” and “captured,” one person said.

    Gender bias was not the only issue. Problems with the data that underpinned the models’ judgments meant that unqualified candidates were often recommended for all manner of jobs, the people said. With the technology returning results almost at random, Amazon shut down the project, they said.

    Some activists say they are concerned about transparency in AI. The American Civil Liberties Union is currently challenging a law that allows criminal prosecution of researchers and journalists who test hiring websites’ algorithms for discrimination.

    “We are increasingly focusing on algorithmic fairness as an issue,” said Rachel Goodman, a staff attorney with the Racial Justice Program at the ACLU.

    Still, Goodman and other critics of AI acknowledged it could be exceedingly difficult to sue an employer over automated hiring: Job candidates might never know it was being used.

    #Intelligence_artificielle #Amazon #Ressources_humaines #Recrutement #Gender_bias #Discrimination

  • Une juge fédérale d’Arizona décide que les Etats (des USA) ne peuvent pas punir une entreprise pour le boycott d’Israël
    Isaac Stanley-Becker, Washington Post, le 1er octobre 2018
    http://www.france-palestine.org/Une-juge-federale-d-Arizona-decide-que-les-etats-des-USA-ne-peuven

    Dans sa vie professionnelle, cependant, il était tenu par une loi promulguée par l’Etat d’Arizona en 2016 exigeant de toute entreprise sous contrat avec l’État qu’elle certifie qu’elle ne boycottait pas Israël. Il a contesté la directive devant les tribunaux, affirmant qu’elle violait ses droits au titre du premier amendement.

    Un juge fédéral en Arizona a jugé sa plainte fondée. La juge américaine Diane Humetewa a émis une injonction la semaine dernière, bloquant l’application de cette mesure qui oblige toute entreprise passant un contrat avec l’état à fournir une garantie écrit qu’elle ne participe pas à des activités de boycott visant Israël.

    Cette conclusion est la deuxième cette année à revenir sur une vague de lois au niveau des Etats, qui utilisent les fonds publics pour décourager les activités anti-israéliennes. Elle est dans la lignée d’un jugement similaire prononcé en janvier, lorsqu’un juge fédéral du Kansas a statué pour la première fois que l’application d’une disposition de l’Etat obligeant les contractants à signer un certificat de non-boycott violait le droit d’expression garanti par le Premier amendement. Selon l’American Civil Liberties Union, des dispositions similaires sont en vigueur dans plus d’une douzaine d’États, dont le Maryland, le Minnesota et la Caroline du Sud.

    A propos du #Maryland :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/236008

    A propos du #Kansas :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/637433
    https://seenthis.net/messages/669929
    http://www.aurdip.fr/un-tribunal-du-kansas-bloque.html
    https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/koontz-v-watson-opinion

    A propos de la #Caroline_du_sud :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/690067

    #Palestine #USA #Arizona #BDS #boycott #criminalisation_des_militants

  • Can the Manufacturer of Tasers Provide the Answer to Police Abuse ? | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/08/27/can-the-manufacturer-of-tasers-provide-the-answer-to-police-abuse

    Tasers are carried by some six hundred thousand law-enforcement officers around the world—a kind of market saturation that also presents a problem. “One of the challenges with Taser is: where do you go next, what’s Act II?” Smith said. “For us, luckily, Act II is cameras.” He began adding cameras to his company’s weapons in 2006, to defend against allegations of abuse, and in the process inadvertently opened a business line that may soon overshadow the Taser. In recent years, body cameras—the officer’s answer to bystander cell-phone video—have become ubiquitous, and Smith’s company, now worth four billion dollars, is their largest manufacturer, holding contracts with more than half the major police departments in the country.

    The cameras have little intrinsic value, but the information they collect is worth a fortune to whoever can organize and safeguard it. Smith has what he calls an iPod/iTunes opportunity—a chance to pair a hardware business with an endlessly recurring and expanding data-storage subscription plan. In service of an intensifying surveillance state and the objectives of police as they battle the public for control of the story, Smith is building a network of electrical weapons, cameras, drones, and someday, possibly, robots, connected by a software platform called Evidence.com. In the process, he is trying to reposition his company in the public imagination, not as a dubious purveyor of stun guns but as a heroic seeker of truth.

    A year ago, Smith changed Taser’s name to Axon Enterprise, referring to the conductive fibre of a nerve cell. Taser was founded in Scottsdale, Arizona, where Smith lives; to transform into Axon, he opened an office in Seattle, hiring designers and engineers from Uber, Google, and Apple. When I met him at the Seattle office this spring, he wore a company T-shirt that read “Expect Candor” and a pair of leather sneakers in caution yellow, the same color as Axon’s logo: a delta symbol—for change—which also resembles the lens of a surveillance camera.

    Already, Axon’s servers, at Microsoft, store nearly thirty petabytes of video—a quarter-million DVDs’ worth—and add approximately two petabytes each month. When body-camera footage is released—say, in the case of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man killed by police in Sacramento, or of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, this past fall—Axon’s logo is often visible in the upper-right corner of the screen. The company’s stock is up a hundred and thirty per cent since January.

    The original Taser was the invention of an aerospace engineer named Jack Cover, inspired by the sci-fi story “Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle,” about a boy inventor whose long gun fires a five-thousand-volt charge. Early experiments were comical: Cover wired the family couch to shock his sister and her boyfriend as they were on the brink of making out. Later, he discovered that he could fell buffalo when he hit them with electrified darts. In 1974, Cover got a patent and began to manufacture an electric gun. That weapon was similar to today’s Taser: a Glock-shaped object that sends out two live wires, loaded with fifty thousand volts of electricity and ending in barbed darts that attach to a target. When the hooks connect, they create a charged circuit, which causes muscles to contract painfully, rendering the subject temporarily incapacitated. More inventor than entrepreneur, Cover designed the Taser to propel its darts with an explosive, leading the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to classify it a Title II weapon (a category that also includes sawed-off shotguns), which required an arduous registration process and narrowed its appeal.

    A few years after Tasers went on the market, Rick Smith added a data port to track each trigger pull. The idea, he told me, came from the Baltimore Police Department, which was resisting Tasers out of a concern that officers would abuse people with them. In theory, with a data port, cops would use their Tasers more conscientiously, knowing that each deployment would be recorded and subject to review. But in Baltimore it didn’t work out that way. Recent reports in the Sun revealed that nearly sixty per cent of people Tased by police in Maryland between 2012 and 2014—primarily black and living in low-income neighborhoods—were “non-compliant and non-threatening.”

    Act II begins in the nauseous summer of 2014, when Eric Garner died after being put in a choke hold by police in Staten Island and Michael Brown was shot by Darren Wilson, of the Ferguson Police. After a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson—witness statements differed wildly, and no footage of the shooting came to light—Brown’s family released a statement calling on the public to “join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.”

    In the fall of 2014, Taser débuted the Officer Safety Plan, which now costs a hundred and nine dollars a month and includes Tasers, cameras, and a sensor that wirelessly activates all the cameras in its range whenever a cop draws his sidearm. This feature is described on the Web site as a prudent hedge in chaotic times: “In today’s online culture where videos go viral in an instant, officers must capture the truth of a critical event. But the intensity of the moment can mean that hitting ‘record’ is an afterthought. Both officers and communities facing confusion and unrest have asked for a solution that turns cameras on reliably, leaving no room for dispute.” According to White’s review of current literature, half of the randomized controlled studies show a substantial or statistically significant reduction in use of force following the introduction of body cameras. The research into citizen complaints is more definitive: cameras clearly reduce the number of complaints from the public.

    The practice of “testi-lying”—officers lying under oath—is made much more difficult by the presence of video.

    Even without flagrant dissimulation, body-camera footage is often highly contentious. Michael White said, “The technology is the easy part. The human use of the technology really is making things very complex.” Policies on how and when cameras should be used, and how and when and by whom footage can be accessed, vary widely from region to region. Jay Stanley, who researches technology for the American Civil Liberties Union, said that the value of a body camera to support democracy depends on those details. “When is it activated? When is it turned off? How vigorously are those rules enforced? What happens to the video footage, how long is it retained, is it released to the public?” he said. “These are the questions that shape the nature of the technology and decide whether it just furthers the police state.”

    Increasingly, civil-liberties groups fear that body cameras will do more to amplify police officers’ power than to restrain their behavior. Black Lives Matter activists view body-camera programs with suspicion, arguing that communities of color need better educational and employment opportunities, environmental justice, and adequate housing, rather than souped-up robo-cops. They also argue that video has been ineffectual: many times, the public has watched the police abuse and kill black men without facing conviction. Melina Abdullah, a professor of Pan-African studies at Cal State Los Angeles, who is active in Black Lives Matter, told me, “Video surveillance, including body cameras, are being used to bolster police claims, to hide what police are doing, and engage in what we call the double murder of our people. They kill the body and use the footage to increase accusations around the character of the person they just killed.” In her view, police use video as a weapon: a black man shown in a liquor store in a rough neighborhood becomes a suspect in the public mind. Video generated by civilians, on the other hand, she sees as a potential check on abuses. She stops to record with her cell phone almost every time she witnesses a law-enforcement interaction with a civilian.

    Bringing in talented engineers is crucial to Smith’s vision. The public-safety nervous system that he is building runs on artificial intelligence, software that can process and analyze an ever-expanding trove of video evidence. The L.A.P.D. alone has already made some five million videos, and adds more than eleven thousand every day. At the moment, A.I. is used for redaction, and Axon technicians at a special facility in Scottsdale are using data from police departments to train the software to detect and blur license plates and faces.

    Facial recognition, which techno-pessimists see as the advent of the Orwellian state, is not far behind. Recently, Smith assembled an A.I. Ethics Board, to help steer Axon’s decisions. (His lead A.I. researcher, recruited from Uber, told him that he wouldn’t be able to hire the best engineers without an ethics board.) Smith told me, “I don’t want to wake up like the guy Nobel, who spent his life making things that kill people, and then, at the end of his life, it’s, like, ‘O.K., I have to buy my way out of this.’ ”

    #Taser #Intelligence_artificielle #Caméras #Police #Stockage_données

  • U.S. House committee approves bill that would pave way for penalizing Israel boycotts
    If it passes a House vote, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act would give the government authority to punish institutions and companies who boycott Israel
    Amir Tibon | Jun. 29, 2018 | 6:50 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-u-s-house-committee-approves-israel-anti-boycott-act-1.6221634

    WASHINGTON – The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives approved on Thursday a bill that would give the Trump administration authority to penalize American institutions and companies that participate in international boycotts of Israel and its settlements in the West Bank. Following the committee’s approval, the bill will advance to a vote on the House floor.

    The controversial bill, known as The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, was first introduced by Republican and Democratic lawmakers last year. However, it has not advanced until recently, because of strong criticism it faced from civil rights groups, most notably the American Civil Liberties Union, who warned that it hurts free speech and is therefore unconstitutional. A number of Democratic lawmakers came out against the bill, and one prominent legislator, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, withdrew her support forthe legislation.

    Following that wave of criticism, the bill went through some modifications. The version that passed the committee vote on Thursday is different than the original version, but critics of the bill claimed on Thursday that it is, in fact, even more harmful to free speech than previously, because the new version gives the Trump administration influence in determining who is involved in such boycott activities and how to respond.

    One group, the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, which is affiliated with the BDS movement, has stated that under the new version, “Congress will be essentially abrogating its legislative duties and turning the keys over to the Trump administration. This would be a reckless threat to the rule of law, especially given the Trump administration’s record on executive actions such as the Muslim ban and immigrant family separation. Once again, Congress will be trying to push anti-boycott laws past the limit of the First Amendment.”

    The bill passed the committee unanimously, with support from both Democrats and Republicans. In order to become law, it will now have to be approved in a vote on the House floor, and also in the Senate. The original bill received strong support from the pro-Israeli lobby group AIPAC, but AIPAC hopes to advance it on the basis of a strong bi-partisan consensus, which means that leading Democrats in the Senate could still have influence on its final phrasing.

    #BDS

  • The nightmare inside America’s child immigrant jails - World Socialist Web Site
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/25/pers-m25.html

    The nightmare inside America’s child immigrant jails
    25 May 2018

    A report published Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) details the systematic brutalization of unaccompanied immigrant children captured by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from 2009 to 2014 at the US-Mexican border. Under the Obama administration, methods employed against these youth echoed those practiced by the CIA and US occupation forces at black site torture centers and Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.

    According to the report, “CBP officials regularly use force on children when such force is not objectively reasonable or necessary.” One agent told a 16-year-old he would “fuck him up” and then “threw him down and smashed his head into the ground with his boot.” Agents ran over another child in a truck and refused him treatment for a broken leg. Agents hit a 15-year-old with a thorny branch, smacked a child over the head with a metal flashlight, threw another child’s head against a rock and used Taser guns on children “for amusement.”

    #états-unis #enfance #migration #asile

  • Reconnaissance faciale : la collaboration d’Amazon avec la police américaine critiquée
    https://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2018/05/23/reconnaissance-faciale-la-collaboration-d-amazon-avec-la-police-americaine-c

    Des associations américaines de défense des libertés demandent à Amazon d’arrêter de vendre à la police son service Regoknition, qu’elles estiment « puissant » et « dangereux ». Dans une lettre adressée au fondateur et dirigeant d’Amazon, Jeff Bezos, une trentaine d’organisations emmenées par l’American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ont, mardi 22 mai, exhorté le grand groupe américain à cesser de fournir sa technologie de reconnaissance faciale à la police américaine, estimant que cet outil appelé « (...)

    #Amazon #algorithme #Rekognition #biométrie #facial #ACLU

  • Amazon exhorté à ne plus fournir son outil de reconnaissance faciale à la police
    https://www.challenges.fr/societe/amazon-exhorte-a-ne-plus-fournir-son-outil-de-reconnaissance-faciale-a-la

    Plus de 30 organisations emmenées par l’American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ont exhorté mardi Amazon à cesser de fournir sa technologie de reconnaissance faciale à la police, estimant que cet outil lui conférait « un dangereux pouvoir de surveillance ». Elles ont envoyé une lettre à la direction d’Amazon après que l’ACLU a découvert que le géant américain travaillait avec les forces de l’ordre au déploiement de sa technologie de reconnaissance faciale, baptisée Amazon Rekognition. "Une fois qu’un (...)

    #Amazon #Rekognition #biométrie #facial #surveillance #vidéo-surveillance #EFF #FPF #HumanRightsWatch #ACLU (...)

    ##DataforBlackLives

  • L’ACLU veut savoir pourquoi l’État américain fouille des terminaux lors de vols intérieurs
    https://www.nextinpact.com/brief/l-aclu-veut-savoir-pourquoi-l-etat-americain-fouille-des-terminaux-lors-

    La branche nord californienne de l’ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) a déposé plainte contre la TSA (Transportation Security Administration). L’enjeu : découvrir ce qui motive l’administration dans les fouilles de terminaux électroniques dans les vols intérieurs. Ces fouilles sont monnaie courante pour les vols internationaux, mais ne devraient pas avoir lieu au sein des États-Unis, du moins pas sans des raisons claires. L’association veut donc savoir pourquoi les agents mettent certaines (...)

    #Transportation_Security_Administration_(TSA) #smartphone #écoutes #voyageurs #surveillance (...)

    ##Transportation_Security_Administration__TSA_ ##voyageurs
    ##ACLU

  • Separating children and parents at the border is cruel and unnecessary

    The Trump administration has shown that it’s willing — eager, actually — to go to great lengths to limit illegal immigration into the United States, from building a multi-billion-dollar border wall with Mexico to escalated roundups that grab those living here without permission even if they have no criminal record and are longtime, productive members of their communities. Now the administration’s cold-hearted approach to enforcement has crossed the line into abject inhumanity: the forced separation of children from parents as they fight for legal permission to remain in the country.

    How widespread is the practice? That’s unclear. The Department of Homeland Security declined comment because it is being sued over the practice. It ignored a request for statistics on how many children it has separated from their parents, an unsurprising lack of transparency from an administration that faces an unprecedented number of lawsuits over its failure to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests for government — read: public — records. But immigrant rights activists say they have noticed a jump, and in December, a coalition of groups filed a complaint with Homeland Security over the practice.
    When parents and children cross the border and tell border patrol agents they would like to apply for asylum, they often are taken into custody while their request is considered. Under the Obama administration, the families were usually released to the care of a relative or organization, or held in a family detention center. But under President Trump, the parents — usually mothers traveling without their spouses — who sneak across the border then turn themselves in are increasing being charged with the misdemeanor crime of entering the country illegally, advocates say. And since that is a criminal charge, not a civil violation of immigration codes, the children are spirited away to a youth detention center with no explanation. Sometimes, parents and children are inexplicably separated even when no charges are lodged. Activists believe the government is splitting families to send a message of deterrence: Dare to seek asylum at the border and we’ll take your child.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-immigrants-border-asylum-ice-201802305-story.html
    #frontières #unité_familiale #séparation #enfants #enfance #parents #asile #migrations #réfugiés #USA #Etats-Unis #détention_administrative #rétention #dissuasion

    • Familias rotas, familias vaciadas

      Es delgada y pequeña. No rebasa el 1.60. La habitación en la que duerme —en el segundo piso del albergue para veteranos deportados que creó Héctor Barajas— tiene una cama con un oso de peluche que ella misma confeccionó y una mesa para cuatro personas. La sonrisa que a veces asoma en su rostro nunca llega a sus ojos, oscuros y con marcadas ojeras. Se llama Yolanda Varona y tiene prohibido, de por vida, entrar a Estados Unidos, el país donde trabajó 16 años y donde viven sus dos hijos y tres nietos.


      https://www.revistadelauniversidad.mx/articles/d2c0ac01-e2e8-464f-9d4e-266920f634fc/familias-rotas-familias-vaciadas

    • Taking Migrant Children From Parents Is Illegal, U.N. Tells U.S.

      The Trump administration’s practice of separating children from migrant families entering the United States violates their rights and international law, the United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday, urging an immediate halt to the practice.

      The administration angrily rejected what it called an ignorant attack by the United Nations human rights office and accused the global organization of hypocrisy.

      The human rights office said it appeared that, as The New York Times revealed in April, United States authorities had separated several hundred children, including toddlers, from their parents or others claiming to be their family members, under a policy of criminally prosecuting undocumented people crossing the border.

      That practice “amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, based in Geneva, told reporters.

      Last month, the Trump administration announced a “zero tolerance” policy for illegal border crossings, saying that it would significantly increase criminal prosecutions of migrants. Officials acknowledged that putting more adults in jail would mean separating more children from their families.

      “The U.S. should immediately halt this practice of separating families and stop criminalizing what should at most be an administrative offense — that of irregular entry or stay in the U.S.,” Ms. Shamdasani said.

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      The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, clearly showed American irritation with the accusation in a statement released a few hours later.

      “Once again, the United Nations shows its hypocrisy by calling out the United States while it ignores the reprehensible human rights records of several members of its own Human Rights Council,” Ms. Haley said. “While the High Commissioner’s office ignorantly attacks the United States with words, the United States leads the world with its actions, like providing more humanitarian assistance to global conflicts than any other nation.”

      Without addressing the specifics of the accusation, Ms. Haley said: “Neither the United Nations nor anyone else will dictate how the United States upholds its borders.”
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      The administration has characterized its policy as being about illegal immigration, though many of the detained migrants — including those in families that are split apart — enter at official border crossings and request asylum, which is not an illegal entry. It has also said that some adults falsely claim to be the parents of accompanying children, a genuine problem, and that it has to sort out their claims.

      On Twitter, President Trump has appeared to agree that breaking up families was wrong, but blamed Democrats for the approach, saying that their “bad legislation” had caused it. In fact, no law requires separating children from families, and the practice was put in place by his administration just months ago.

      The Times found in April that over six months, about 700 children had been taken from people claiming to be their parents.

      The American Civil Liberties Union says that since then, the pace of separations has accelerated sharply. Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the group’s immigrant rights project, said that in the past five weeks, close to 1,000 children may have been taken from their families.

      Last year, as Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly raised the idea of separating children from their families when they entered the country as a way to deter movement across the Mexican border.

      Homeland Security officials have since denied that they separate families as part of a policy of deterrence, but have also faced sharp criticism from President Trump for failing to do more to curb the numbers of migrants crossing the border.

      For the United Nations, it was a matter of great concern that in the United States “migration control appears to have been prioritized over the effective care and protection of migrant children,” Ms. Shamdasani said.

      The United States is the only country in the world that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, she noted, but the practice of separating and detaining children breached its obligations under other international human rights conventions it has joined.

      “Children should never be detained for reasons related to their own or their parents’ migration status. Detention is never in the best interests of the child and always constitutes a child rights violation,” she said, calling on the authorities to adopt noncustodial alternatives.

      The A.C.L.U. has filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in San Diego, calling for a halt to the practice and for reunification of families.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/05/world/americas/us-un-migrant-children-families.html

    • U.S. policy of separating refugees from children is illegal, horrific

      Somewhere in #Texas, a 3-year-old is crying into her pillow. She left all her toys behind when she fled Guatemala. And on this day the U.S. government took her mother away.

      When we read about the U.S. administration’s new policy of trying to stop people from crossing its borders by taking away their children, we too had trouble sleeping.


      https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2018/06/05/us-policy-of-separating-refugees-from-children-is-illegal-horrific.html

    • What’s Really Happening When Asylum-Seeking Families Are Separated ?

      An expert on helping parents navigate the asylum process describes what she’s seeing on the ground.

      Everyone involved in U.S. immigration along the border has a unique perspective on the new “zero tolerance” policies—most notably, the increasing number of migrant parents who are separated from their children. Some workers are charged with taking the children away from their parents and sending them into the care of Health and Human Services. Some are contracted to find housing for the children and get them food. Some volunteers try to help the kids navigate the system. Some, like Anne Chandler, assist the parents. As executive director of the Houston office of the nonprofit Tahirih Justice Center, which focuses on helping immigrant women and children, she has been traveling to the border and to detention centers, listening to the parents’ stories. We asked her to talk with us about what she has been hearing in recent weeks.

      This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

      Texas Monthly: First, can you give us an overview of your organization?

      Anne Chandler: We run the Children’s Border Project, and we work with hundreds of kids that have been released from ORR [Office of Refugee Resettlement] care. We are not a legal service provider that does work when they’re in the shelters. To date, most of our work with that issue of family separation has been working with the parents in the days when they are being separated: when they’re in the federal courthouse being convicted; partnering with the federal public defenders; and then in the adult detention center, as they have no idea how to communicate or speak to their children or get them back before being deported.

      TM: Can you take me through what you’ve been seeing?

      AC: The short of it is, we will take sample sizes of numbers and individuals we’re seeing that are being prosecuted for criminal entry. The majority of those are free to return to the home country. Vast majority. We can’t quite know exactly because our sample size is between one hundred and two hundred individuals. But 90 percent of those who are being convicted are having their children separated from them. The 10 percent that aren’t are some mothers who are going with their children to the detention centers in Karnes and Dilley. But, for the most part, the ones that I’ve been working with are the ones that are actually being prosecuted for criminal entry, which is a pretty new thing for our country—to take first-time asylum seekers who are here seeking safe refuge, to turn around and charge them with a criminal offense. Those parents are finding themselves in adult detention centers and in a process known as expedited removal, where many are being deported. And their children, on the other hand, are put in a completely different legal structure. They are categorized as unaccompanied children and thus are being put in place in a federal agency not with the Department of Homeland Security but with Health and Human Services. And Health and Human Services has this complicated structure in place where they’re not viewed as a long-term foster care system—that’s for very limited numbers—but their general mandate is to safeguard these children in temporary shelters and then find family members with whom they can be placed. So they start with parents, and then they go to grandparents, and then they go to other immediate family members, and then they go to acquaintances, people who’ve known the children, and they’re in that system, but they can’t be released to their parents because their parents are behind bars. And we may see more parents that get out of jail because they pass a “credible fear” interview, which is the screening done by the asylum office to see who should be deported quickly, within days or weeks of arrival, and who should stay here and have an opportunity to present their asylum case before an immigration judge of the Department of Justice. So we have a lot of individuals who are in that credible fear process right now, but in Houston, once you have a credible fear interview (which will sometimes take two to three weeks to even set up), those results aren’t coming out for four to six weeks. Meanwhile, these parents are just kind of languishing in these detention centers because of the zero-tolerance policy. There’s no individual adjudication of whether the parents should be put on some form of alternative detention program so that they can be in a position to be reunited with their kid.

      TM: So, just so I make sure I understand: the parents come in and say, “We’re persecuted” or give some reason for asylum. They come in. And then their child or children are taken away and they’re in lockup for at least six weeks away from the kids and often don’t know where the kids are. Is that what’s happening under zero tolerance?

      AC: So the idea of zero tolerance under the stated policy is that we don’t care why you’re afraid. We don’t care if it’s religion, political, gangs, anything. For all asylum seekers, you are going to be put in jail, in a detention center, and you’re going to have your children taken away from you. That’s the policy. They’re not 100 percent able to implement that because of a lot of reasons, including just having enough judges on the border. And bed space. There’s a big logistical problem because this is a new policy. So the way they get to that policy of taking the kids away and keeping the adults in detention centers and the kids in a different federal facility is based on the legal rationale that we’re going to convict you, and since we’re going to convict you, you’re going to be in the custody of the U.S. Marshals, and when that happens, we’re taking your kid away. So they’re not able to convict everybody of illegal entry right now just because there aren’t enough judges on the border right now to hear the number of cases that come over, and then they say if you have religious persecution or political persecution or persecution on something that our asylum definition recognizes, you can fight that case behind bars at an immigration detention center. And those cases take two, three, four, five, six months. And what happens to your child isn’t really our concern. That is, you have made the choice to bring your child over illegally. And this is what’s going to happen.

      TM: Even if they crossed at a legal entry point?

      AC: Very few people come to the bridge. Border Patrol is saying the bridge is closed. When I was last out in McAllen, people were stacked on the bridge, sleeping there for three, four, ten nights. They’ve now cleared those individuals from sleeping on the bridge, but there are hundreds of accounts of asylum seekers, when they go to the bridge, who are told, “I’m sorry, we’re full today. We can’t process your case.” So the families go illegally on a raft—I don’t want to say illegally; they cross without a visa on a raft. Many of them then look for Border Patrol to turn themselves in, because they know they’re going to ask for asylum. And under this government theory—you know, in the past, we’ve had international treaties, right? Statutes which codified the right of asylum seekers to ask for asylum. Right? Article 31 of the Refugee Convention clearly says that it is improper for any state to use criminal laws that could deter asylum seekers as long as that asylum seeker is asking for asylum within a reasonable amount of time. But our administration is kind of ignoring this longstanding international and national jurisprudence of basic beliefs to make this distinction that, if you come to a bridge, we’re not going to prosecute you, but if you come over the river and then find immigration or are caught by immigration, we’re prosecuting you.

      TM: So if you cross any other way besides the bridge, we’re prosecuting you. But . . . you can’t cross the bridge.

      AC: That’s right. I’ve talked to tons of people. There are organizations like Al Otro Lado that document border turn-backs. And there’s an effort to accompany asylum seekers so that Customs and Border Patrol can’t say, “We’re closed.” Everybody we’ve talked to who’s been prosecuted or separated has crossed the river without a visa.

      TM: You said you were down there recently?

      AC: Monday, June 4.

      TM: What was happening on the bridge at that point?

      AC: I talked to a lot of people who were there Saturdays and Sundays, a lot of church groups that are going, bringing those individuals umbrellas because they were in the sun. It’s morning shade, and then the sun—you know, it’s like 100 degrees on the cement. It’s really, really hot. So there were groups bringing diapers and water bottles and umbrellas and electric fans, and now everyone’s freaked out because they’re gone! What did they do with them? Did they process them all? Yet we know they’re saying you’re turned back. When I was in McAllen, the individuals that day who visited people on the bridge had been there four days. We’re talking infants; there were people breastfeeding on the bridge.

      TM: Are the infants taken as well?

      AC: Every border zone is different. We definitely saw a pattern in McAllen. We talked to 63 parents who had lost their children that day in the court. Of those, the children seemed to be all five and older. What we know from the shelters and working with people is that, yes, there are kids that are very young, that are breastfeeding babies and under three in the shelters, separated from their parents. But I’m just saying, in my experience, all those kids and all the parents’ stories were five and up.

      TM: Can you talk about how you’ve seen the process change over the past few months?

      AC: The zero-tolerance policy really started with Jeff Sessions’s announcement in May. One could argue that this was the original policy that we started seeing in the executive orders. One was called “border security and immigration enforcement.” And a lot of the principles underlying zero tolerance are found here. The idea is that we’re going to prosecute people.

      TM: And the policy of separating kids from parents went into effect when?

      AC: They would articulate it in various ways with different officials, but as immigration attorneys, starting in October, were like, “Oh my goodness. They are telling us these are all criminal lawbreakers and they’re going to have their children taken away.” We didn’t know what it would mean. And so we saw about six hundred children who were taken away from October to May, then we saw an explosion of the numbers in May. It ramped up. The Office of Refugee Resettlement taking in all these kids says that they are our children, that they are unaccompanied. It’s a fabrication. They’re not unaccompanied children. They are children that came with their parents, and the idea that we’re creating this crisis—it’s a manufactured crisis where we’re going to let children suffer to somehow allow this draconian approach with families seeking shelter and safe refuge.

      TM: So what is the process for separation?

      AC: There is no one process. Judging from the mothers and fathers I’ve spoken to and those my staff has spoken to, there are several different processes. Sometimes they will tell the parent, “We’re taking your child away.” And when the parent asks, “When will we get them back?” they say, “We can’t tell you that.” Sometimes the officers will say, “because you’re going to be prosecuted” or “because you’re not welcome in this country” or “because we’re separating them,” without giving them a clear justification. In other cases, we see no communication that the parent knows that their child is to be taken away. Instead, the officers say, “I’m going to take your child to get bathed.” That’s one we see again and again. “Your child needs to come with me for a bath.” The child goes off, and in a half an hour, twenty minutes, the parent inquires, “Where is my five-year-old?” “Where’s my seven-year-old?” “This is a long bath.” And they say, “You won’t be seeing your child again.” Sometimes mothers—I was talking to one mother, and she said, “Don’t take my child away,” and the child started screaming and vomiting and crying hysterically, and she asked the officers, “Can I at least have five minutes to console her?” They said no. In another case, the father said, “Can I comfort my child? Can I hold him for a few minutes?” The officer said, “You must let them go, and if you don’t let them go, I will write you up for an altercation, which will mean that you are the one that had the additional charges charged against you.” So, threats. So the father just let the child go. So it’s a lot of variations. But sometimes deceit and sometimes direct, just “I’m taking your child away.” Parents are not getting any information on what their rights are to communicate to get their child before they are deported, what reunification may look like. We spoke to nine parents on this Monday, which was the 11th, and these were adults in detention centers outside of Houston. They had been separated from their child between May 23 and May 25, and as of June 11, not one of them had been able to talk to their child or knew a phone number that functioned from the detention center director. None of them had direct information from immigration on where their child was located. The one number they were given by some government official from the Department of Homeland Security was a 1-800 number. But from the phones inside the detention center, they can’t make those calls. We know there are more parents who are being deported without their child, without any process or information on how to get their child back.

      TM: And so it’s entirely possible that children will be left in the country without any relatives?

      AC: Could be, yeah.

      TM: And if the child is, say, five years old . . .?

      AC: The child is going through deportation proceedings, so the likelihood that that child is going to be deported is pretty high.

      TM: How do they know where to deport the child to, or who the parents are?

      AC: How does that child navigate their deportation case without their parent around?

      TM: Because a five-year-old doesn’t necessarily know his parents’ information.

      AC: In the shelters, they can’t even find the parents because the kids are just crying inconsolably. They often don’t know the full legal name of their parents or their date of birth. They’re not in a position to share a trauma story like what caused the migration. These kids and parents had no idea. None of the parents I talked to were expecting to be separated as they faced the process of asking for asylum.

      TM: I would think that there would be something in place where, when the child is taken, they’d be given a wristband or something with their information on it?

      AC: I think the Department of Homeland Security gives the kids an alien number. They also give the parents an alien number and probably have that information. The issue is that the Department of Homeland Security is not the one caring for the children. Jurisdiction of that child has moved over to Health and Human Services, and the Health and Human Services staff has to figure out, where is this parent? And that’s not easy. Sometimes the parents are deported. Kids are in New York and Miami, and we’ve got parents being sent to Tacoma, Washington, and California. Talk about a mess. And nobody has a right to an attorney here. These kids don’t get a paid advocate or an ad litem or a friend of the court. They don’t get a paid attorney to represent them. Some find that, because there are programs. But it’s not a right. It’s not universal.

      TM: What agency is in charge of physically separating the children and the adults?

      AC: The Department of Homeland Security. We saw the separation take place while they were in the care and custody of Customs and Border Protection. That’s where it was happening, at a center called the Ursula, which the immigrants called La Perrera, because it looked like a dog pound, a dog cage. It’s a chain-link fence area, long running areas that remind Central Americans of the way people treat dogs.

      TM: So the Department of Homeland Security does the separation and then they immediately pass the kids to HHS?

      AC: I don’t have a bird’s-eye view of this, besides interviewing parents. Parents don’t know. All they know is that the kid hasn’t come back to their little room in CBP. Right? We know from talking to advocates and attorneys who have access to the shelters that they think that these kids leave in buses to shelters run by the Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement Department of Unaccompanied Children Services—which, on any given day there’s like three thousand kids in the Harlingen-Brownsville area. We know there are eight, soon to be nine, facilities in Houston. And they’re going to open up this place in Tornillo, along the border by El Paso. And they’re opening up places in Miami. They’re past capacity. This is a cyclical time, where rates of migration increase. So now you’re creating two populations. One is your traditional unaccompanied kids who are just coming because their life is at risk right now in El Salvador and Honduras and parts of Guatemala, and they come with incredible trauma, complex stories, and need a lot of resources, and so they navigate this immigration system. And now we have this new population, which is totally different: the young kids who don’t hold their stories and aren’t here to self-navigate the system and are crying out for their parents. There are attorneys that get money to go in and give rights presentations to let the teenagers know what they can ask for in court, what’s happening with their cases, and now the attorneys are having a hard time doing that because right next to them, in the other room, they’ve got kids crying and wailing, asking for their mom and dad. The attorneys can’t give these kids information. They’re just trying to learn grounding exercises.

      TM: Do you know if siblings are allowed to stay together?

      AC: We don’t know. I dealt with one father who knew that siblings were not at the same location from talking to his family member. He believes they’re separated. But I have no idea. Can’t answer that question.

      TM: Is there another nonprofit similar to yours that handles kids more than adults?

      AC: Yes: in Houston it’s Catholic Charities. We know in Houston they are going to open up shelters specific for the tender-age kids, which is defined as kids under twelve. And that’s going to be by Minute Maid Stadium. And that facility is also going to have some traditional demographic of pregnant teenagers. But it’s going to be a young kid—and young kids are, almost by definition, separated. Kids usually do not migrate on their own at that age.

      TM: That’s usually teens?

      AC: Teens. Population is thirteen to seventeen, with many more fifteen-, sixteen-, and seventeen-year-olds than thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds. They’re riding on top of trains. You know, the journey is very dangerous. Usually that’s the age where the gangs start taking the girls and saying “you’re going to be my sex slave”–type of stuff. I’ve heard that it’s going to be run by a nonprofit. ORR does not hold the shelters directly. They contract with nonprofits whose job it is to provide essential food, mental health care, caseworkers to try to figure out who they’re going to be released to, and all those functions to nonprofits, and I think the nonprofit in charge of this one is Southwest Key.

      TM: So how long do the kids stay in the facility?

      AC: It used to be, on average, thirty days. But that’s going up now. There are many reasons for that: one, these facilities and ORR are not used to working with this demographic of young children. Two, DHS is sharing information with ORR on the background of those families that are taking these children, and we’ve seen raids where they’re going to where the children are and looking for individuals in those households who are undocumented. So there is reticence and fear of getting these children if there’s someone in the household who is not a citizen.

      TM: So if I’m understanding correctly, a relative can say, “Well, I can pick that kid up; that’s my niece.” She comes and picks up the child. And then DHS will follow them home? Is that what you’re saying?

      AC: No. The kid would go to the aunt’s house, but let’s just imagine that she is here on a visa, a student visa, but the aunt falls out of visa status and is undocumented and her information, her address, is at the top of DHS’s files. So we’ve seen this happen a lot: a month or two weeks after kids have been released, DHS goes to those foster homes and arrests people and puts people in jail and deports them.

      TM: And then I guess they start all over again trying to find a home for those kids?

      AC: Right.

      TM: What is explained to the kids about the proceedings, and who explains it to them?

      AC: The Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement goes through an organization called the Vera Institute of Justice that then contracts with nonprofit organizations who hire attorneys and other specialized bilingual staff to go into these shelters and give what they call legal orientation programs for children, and they do group orientation. Sometimes they speak to the kids individually and try to explain to them, “This is the process here; and you’re going to have to go see an immigration judge; and these are your rights before a judge; you won’t have an attorney for your case, but you can hire one. If you’re afraid to go back to your country, you have to tell the judge.” That type of stuff.

      TM: And if the child is five, and alone, doesn’t have older siblings or cousins—

      AC: Or three or four. They’re young in our Houston detention centers. And that’s where these attorneys are frustrated—they can’t be attorneys. How do they talk and try to console and communicate with a five-year-old who is just focused on “I want my mom or dad,” right?

      TM: Are the kids whose parents are applying for asylum processed differently from kids whose parents are not applying for asylum?

      AC: I don’t know. These are questions we ask DHS, but we don’t know the answers.

      TM: Why don’t you get an answer?

      AC: I don’t know. To me, if you’re going to justify this in some way under the law, the idea that these parents don’t have the ability to obtain very simple answers—what are my rights and when can I be reunited with my kid before I’m deported without them?—is horrible. And has to go far below anything we, as a civil society of law, should find acceptable. The fact that I, as an attorney specializing in this area, cannot go to a detention center and tell a mother or father what the legal procedure is for them to get their child or to reunite with their child, even if they want to go home?

      And my answer is, “I don’t think you can.” In my experience, they’re not releasing these children to the parents as they’re deported. To put a structure like that in place and the chaos in the system for “deterrence” and then carry out so much pain on the backs of some already incredibly traumatized mothers and fathers who have already experienced sometimes just horrific violence is unacceptable.

      https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/whats-really-happening-asylum-seeking-families-separated

      Mise en exergue d’un passage :

      The child goes off, and in a half an hour, twenty minutes, the parent inquires, “Where is my five-year-old?” “Where’s my seven-year-old?” “This is a long bath.” And they say, “You won’t be seeing your child again.”

    • Why the US is separating migrant children from their parents

      US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has defended the separation of migrant children from their parents at the border with Mexico, a measure that has faced increasing criticism.

      The “zero-tolerance” policy he announced last month sees adults who try to cross the border, many planning to seek asylum, being placed in custody and facing criminal prosecution for illegal entry.

      As a result, hundreds of minors are now being housed in detention centres, and kept away from their parents.
      What is happening?

      Over a recent six-week period, nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents after illegally crossing the border, figures released on Friday said.

      Mr Sessions said those entering the US irregularly would be criminally prosecuted, a change to a long-standing policy of charging most of those crossing for the first time with a misdemeanour offence.

      As the adults are being charged with a crime, the children that come with them are being separated and deemed unaccompanied minors.

      Advocates of separations point out that hundreds of children are taken from parents who commit crimes in the US on a daily basis.

      As such, they are placed in custody of the Department of Health and Human Services and sent to a relative, foster home or a shelter - officials at those places are said to be already running out of space to house them.

      In recent days, a former Walmart in Texas has been converted into a detention centre for immigrant children.

      Officials have also announced plans to erect tent cities to hold hundreds more children in the Texas desert where temperatures regularly reach 40C (105F).

      Local lawmaker Jose Rodriguez described the plan as “totally inhumane” and “outrageous”, adding: “It should be condemned by anyone who has a moral sense of responsibility.”

      US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials estimate that around 1,500 people are arrested each day for illegally crossing the border.

      In the first two weeks of the “zero-tolerance” new approach, 658 minors - including many babies and toddlers - were separated from the adults that came with them, according to the CBP.

      The practice, however, was apparently happening way before that, with reports saying more than 700 families had been affected between October and April.

      Not only the families crossing irregularly are being targeted, activists who work at the border say, but also those presenting themselves at a port of entry.

      “This is really extreme, it’s nothing like we have seen before,” said Michelle Brané, director of Migrant Rights and Justice at the Women’s Refugee Commission, a New York-based non-governmental organisation that is helping some of these people.

      In many of the cases, the families have already been reunited, after the parent was released from detention. However, there are reports of people being kept apart for weeks and even months.

      Family separations had been reported in previous administrations but campaigners say the numbers then were very small.
      Whose fault is it?

      Mr Trump has blamed Democrats for the policy, saying “we have to break up the families” because of a law that “Democrats gave us”.

      It is unclear what law he is referring to, but no law has been passed by the US Congress that mandates that migrant families be separated.

      Fact-checkers say that the only thing that has changed is the Justice Department’s decision to criminally prosecute parents for a first-time border crossing offence. Because their children are not charged with a crime, they are not permitted to be jailed together.

      Under a 1997 court decision known as the Flores settlement, children who come to the US alone are required to be released to their parents, an adult relative, or other caretaker.

      If those options are all exhausted, then the government must find the “least restrictive” setting for the child “without unnecessary delay”.

      The case initially applied to unaccompanied child arrivals, but a 2016 court decision expanded it to include children brought with their parents.

      According to the New York Times, the government has three options under the Flores settlement - release whole families together, pass a law to allow for families to be detained together, or break up families.

      It is worth noting that Mr Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly - who previously served as the head of Homeland Security - said in 2017 that the White House was considering separating families as a means of deterring parents from trying to cross the border.
      What do the figures show?

      The number of families trying to enter the US overland without documentation is on the rise. For the fourth consecutive month in May, there was an increase in the number of people caught crossing the border irregularly - in comparison with the same month of 2017, the rise was of 160%.

      “The trends are clear: this must end,” Mr Sessions said last month.

      It is not clear, though, if the tougher measures will stop the migrants. Most are fleeing violence and poverty in Central American countries like El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and staying, for many, could mean a death sentence.

      Human rights groups, campaigners and Democrats have sharply criticised the separations, warning of the long-term trauma on the children. Meanwhile the UN Human Rights Office called on the US to “immediately halt” them.

      But Mr Sessions has defended the measure, saying the separations were “not our goal” but it was not always possible to keep parents and children together.
      What is the policy in other countries?

      No other country has a policy of separating families who intend to seek asylum, activists say.

      In the European Union, which faced its worst migrant crisis in decades three years ago, most asylum seekers are held in reception centres while their requests are processed - under the bloc’s Dublin Regulation, people must be registered in their first country of arrival.

      Measures may vary in different member states but families are mostly kept together.

      Even in Australia, which has some of the world’s most restrictive policies, including the detention of asylum seekers who arrive by boat in controversial offshore centres, there is no policy to separate parents from their children upon arrival.

      Meanwhile, Canada has a deal with the US that allows it to deny asylum requests from those going north. It has tried to stem the number of migrants crossing outside border posts after a surge of Haitians and Nigerians coming from its neighbour. However, there were no reports of families being forcibly separated.

      “What the US is doing now, there is no equivalent,” said Michael Flynn, executive director of the Geneva-based Global Detention Project, a non-profit group focused on the rights of detained immigrants. “There’s nothing like this anywhere”.

      Republicans in the House of Representatives have unveiled legislation to keep families together but it is unlikely to win the support of its own party or the White House.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44503514?platform=hootsuite

    • Les récits de la détresse d’enfants de migrants créent l’émoi aux Etats-Unis

      Plus de 2000 enfants ont été séparés de leurs parents depuis l’entrée en vigueur en avril de la politique de « tolérance zéro » en matière d’immigration illégale aux Etats-Unis. Ces jours, plusieurs témoignages ont ému dans le pays.

      http://www.rts.ch/info/monde/9658887-les-recits-de-la-detresse-d-enfants-de-migrants-creent-l-emoi-aux-etats-

    • Etats-Unis : quand la sécurité des frontières rime avec torture d’enfants mineurs

      Au Texas, dans un centre de détention, un enregistrement audio d’enfants migrants âgés entre 4 à 10 ans pleurant et appelant leurs parents alors qu’ils viennent d’être séparés d’eux, vient de faire surface.

      Cet enregistrement a fuité de l’intérieur, remis à l’avocate Jennifer Harbury qui l’a transféré au média d’investigation américain ProPublica. L’enregistrement a été placé sur les images filmées dans ce centre. Il soulève l’indignation des américains et du monde entier. Elles sont une torture pour nous, spectateurs impuissants de la barbarie d’un homme, Donald Trump et de son administration.

      Le rythme des séparations s’est beaucoup accéléré depuis début mai, lorsque le ministre de la Justice Jeff Sessions a annoncé que tous les migrants passant illégalement la frontière seraient arrêtés, qu’ils soient accompagnés de mineurs ou pas. Du 5 mai au 9 juin 2018 quelque 2’342 enfants ont été séparés de leurs parents placés en détention, accusés d’avoir traversé illégalement la frontière. C’est le résultat d’une politique sécuritaire dite de “tolérance zéro” qui criminalise ces entrées même lorsqu’elles sont justifiées par le dépôt d’une demande d’asile aux Etats-Unis. Un protocol empêche la détention d’enfants avec leurs parents. Ils sont alors placés dans des centres fermés qui ressemblent tout autant à des prisons adaptées.

      https://blogs.letemps.ch/jasmine-caye/2018/06/19/etats-unis-quand-la-securite-des-frontieres-rime-avec-torture-denfants

    • Aux États-Unis, le traumatisme durable des enfants migrants

      Trump a beau avoir mis fin à la séparation forcée des familles à la frontière, plus de 2 000 enfants migrants seraient encore éparpillés dans le pays. Le processus de regroupement des familles s’annonce long et douloureux.


      https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/aux-etats-unis-le-traumatisme-durable-des-enfants-migrants
      #caricature #dessin_de_presse

    • US : Poor Medical Care, Deaths, in Immigrant Detention

      Poor medical treatment contributed to more than half the deaths reported by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during a 16-month period, Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union, Detention Watch Network, and National Immigrant Justice Center said in a report released today.

      Based on the analysis of independent medical experts, the 72-page report, “Code Red: The Fatal Consequences of Dangerously Substandard Medical Care in Immigration Detention,” examines the 15 “Detainee Death Reviews” ICE released from December 2015 through April 2017. ICE has yet to publish reviews for one other death in that period. Eight of the 15 public death reviews show that inadequate medical care contributed or led to the person’s death. The physicians conducting the analysis also found evidence of substandard medical practices in all but one of the remaining reviews.

      “ICE has proven unable or unwilling to provide adequately for the health and safety of the people it detains,” said Clara Long, a senior US researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Trump administration’s efforts to drastically expand the already-bloated immigration detention system will only put more people at risk.”

      12 people died in immigration detention in fiscal year 2017, more than any year since 2009. Since March 2010, 74 people have died in immigration detention, but #ICE has released death reviews in full or in part in only 52 of the cases.

      Based on the death reviews, the groups prepared timelines of the symptoms shown by people who died in detention and the treatment they received from medical staff, along with medical experts’ commentary on the care documented by ICE and its deviations from common medical practice. The deaths detailed in the report include:

      Moises Tino-Lopez, 23, had two seizures within nine days, each observed by staff and reported to the nurses on duty in the Hall County Correctional Center in Nebraska. He was not evaluated by a physician or sent to the hospital after the first seizure. During his second seizure, staff moved him to a mattress in a new cell, but he was not evaluated by a medical practitioner. About four hours after that seizure, he was found to be unresponsive, with his lips turning blue. He was sent to the hospital but never regained consciousness and died on September 19, 2016.
      Rafael Barcenas-Padilla, 51, had been ill with cold symptoms for six days in the Otero County Processing Center in New Mexico when his fever reached 104, and nurses recorded dangerously low levels of oxygen saturation in his blood. A doctor, consulted by phone, prescribed a medication for upper respiratory infections. The ICE detention center didn’t have the nebulizer needed to administer one of the medicines, so he did not receive it, and he showed dangerously low oxygen readings that should have prompted his hospitalization. Three days later, he was sent to the hospital, where he died from bronchopneumonia on April 7, 2016.
      Jose Azurdia, 54, became ill and started vomiting at the Adelanto Detention Facility in California. A guard told a nurse about Azurdia’s condition, but she said that “she did not want to see Azurdia because she did not want to get sick.” Within minutes, his arm was numb, he was having difficulty breathing, and he had pain in his shoulder and neck – all symptoms of a heart attack. Due to additional delays by the medical staff, two hours passed before he was sent to the hospital, with his heart by then too damaged to respond to treatment. He died in the hospital four days later, on December 23, 2015.

      “Immigrant detention centers are dangerous places where lives are at risk and people are dying,” said Silky Shah, executive director of Detention Watch Network, a national coalition that exposes the injustices of the US’ immigration detention and deportation system. “The death toll amassed by ICE is unacceptable and has proven that they cannot be trusted to care for immigrants in their custody.”

      In fiscal year 2017, ICE held a daily average of nearly 40,500 people, an increase of nearly 500 percent since 1994. The Trump administration has asked Congress to allocate $2.7 billion for fiscal year 2019 to lock up a daily average of 52,000 immigrants in immigration detention facilities, a record number that would represent a 30 percent expansion from fiscal year 2017.

      “To the extent that Congress continues to fund this system, they are complicit in its abuses,” said Heidi Altman, policy director at the National Immigrant Justice Center, a nongovernmental group dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. “Congress should immediately act to decrease rather than expand detention and demand robust health, safety, and human rights standards in immigration detention.”

      The new report is an update of a 2017 Human Rights Watch report that examined deaths in detention between 2012 and 2015, as well as a 2016 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Detention Watch Network, and the National Immigrant Justice Center that examined deaths in detention between 2010 and 2012.

      The medical experts who analyzed the death reviews for the groups include Dr. Marc Stern, the former health services director for the Washington State Department of Corrections; Dr. Robert Cohen, the former director of Montefiore Rikers Island Health Services; and Dr. Palav Babaria, the chief administrative officer of Ambulatory Services at Alameda Health System in Oakland, California, and assistant clinical professor in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

      Six of the new deaths examined occurred at facilities operated by the following private companies under contract with ICE: #CoreCivic, #Emerald_Correctional_Management, the #GEO_Group, and the #Management_and_Training_Corporation (#MTC).

      “ICE puts thousands of people’s health and lives at risk by failing to provide adequate medical care to the people it detains for weeks, months, and even years,” said Victoria Lopez, senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union.


      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/20/us-poor-medical-care-deaths-immigrant-detention
      #privatisation #mourir_en_rétention #mourir_en_détention_administrative

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VL9IKGoozII

  • Non, Kansas, vous ne pouvez pas interdire aux entreprises de boycotter Israël
    Par le Comité de Rédaction de The Kansas City Star (USA) 31 janvier 2018 traduit de l’anglais par Djazaïri
    https://mounadil.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/esther-koontz-fait-plier-le-lobby-sioniste-au-kansas

    Un jugé fédéral de Topeka a statué que le Kansas ne pouvait pas dire aux entreprises ce qu’elles pouvaient et ne pouvaient pas boycotter. Ce qui devrait apparaître comme évident à quiconque au fait des protections de la liberté d’expression en vertu du Premier Amendement [de la Constitution des Etats Unis, NdT].

    Mais l’été dernier, l’Etat du Kansas a adopté une loi exigeant que tous ceux qui concluent des marchés avec lui certifient qu’ils ne boycottent pas Israël.

    Pourquoi ? Dans son avis bloquant l’application de la loi alors que le procès de l’American Civil Liberties Union est en cours, le juge de district américain Daniel Crabtree a écrit que ses partisans [de la législation anti-boycott] à l’Assemblée législative du Kansas ont fait valoir que son but était « d’empêcher les gens de s’opposer à Israël ».

    Ils ont, écrit Crabtree, « insisté sur la nécessité de s’opposer aux campagnes de « Boycott, Désinvestissment et Sanctions, BDS qui protestent contre le mauvais traitement par le gouvernement israélien des Palestiniens dans les territoires occupés. » (...)

    #BDS

  • BDS Law Faces Challenge From Kansas Christian Pacifist – The Forward
    http://forward.com/news/385065/this-math-teacher-from-kansas-has-sparked-a-huge-legal-feud-over-bds

    Certains Etats étasuniens ont introduit une clause interdisant le #BDS contre #Israël dans leurs contrats d’embauche. L’affaire est en #justice.

    Koontz’s case will hinge on whether the court sees the boycott of Israel in similar terms. But it’s not just Kansas’ law that will be on the line. With support from pro-Israel activists, numerous other states have passed similar anti-boycott laws to protect Israel from the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction the Jewish state, a protest known as BDS. Hauss cited Arizona, Michigan and Texas in particular as states whose laws were “very similar” to the Kansas statute. In New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order last year that also prohibits state contracts with companies or entities supporting BDS.

  • Quelques références trouvées dans le livre Violent Borders de Reece Jones (excellent, par ailleurs), sur les #statistiques des décès de migrants (certains, voire beaucoup déjà signalés sur seenthis):

    Humanitarian Crisis: Migrant Deaths at the U.S.-Mexico Border

    This report is the result of a cooperative agreement entered into by Mexico’s National Commission of Human Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties to explore and use binational strategies to protect the human rights of immigrants in the border region. The report describes the unacceptable human tragedy that takes place daily in this region. The study was conducted and written by immigration and border policy advocate Maria Jimenez who resides in Houston, Texas.

    https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/humanitarian-crisis-migrant-deaths-us-mexico-border

    Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost during Migration

    In October 2013, over 400 people lost their lives in two shipwrecks close to the Italian island of Lampedusa. While these two events were highly publicized, sadly they are not isolated incidents; the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that in 2013 and 2014 nearly 6,500 migrants lost their lives in border regions around the world. Because many deaths occur in remote areas and are never reported, counts of deaths fail to capture the full number of lives lost.

    Despite recognition that actions must be taken to stop more unnecessary deaths, as yet there remains very little information on the scale of the problem. The vast majority of governments do not publish numbers of deaths, and counting lives lost is largely left to civil society and the media. Drawing upon data from a wide range of sources from different regions of the world, Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost during Migration investigates how border-related deaths are documented, who is documenting them, and what can be done to improve the evidence base to encourage informed accountability, policy and practice.

    Regionally focused chapters present most recent statistics and address a number of key questions regarding how migrant border-related deaths are enumerated. Chapters address: migration routes through Central America to the United States, with a focus on the United States–Mexico border region; the southern European Union bordering the Mediterranean; routes from sub-Saharan Africa to North Africa; routes taken by migrants emigrating from the Horn of Africa towards the Gulf or Southern Africa; and the waters surrounding Australia.

    Numbers have the power to capture attention, and while counts of border-related deaths will always be estimates, they serve to make concrete something which has been left vague and ill-defined. In a way, through counting, deaths too often invisible are given existence. More complete data can not only serve to highlight the extent of what is taking place, but is also crucial in guiding effective policy response.

    https://publications.iom.int/fr/books/fatal-journeys-tracking-lives-lost-during-migration
    #fatal_journeys

    Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders, and Global Crisis

    The crisis of borders and prisons can be seen starkly in statistics. In 2011 some 1,500 migrants died trying to enter Europe, and the United States deported nearly 400,000 and imprisoned some 2.3 million people―more than at any other time in history. International borders are increasingly militarized places embedded within domestic policing and imprisonment and entwined with expanding prison-industrial complexes. Beyond Walls and Cages offers scholarly and activist perspectives on these issues and explores how the international community can move toward a more humane future.Working at a range of geographic scales and locations, contributors examine concrete and ideological connections among prisons, migration policing and detention, border fortification, and militarization. They challenge the idea that prisons and borders create safety, security, and order, showing that they can be forms of coercive mobility that separate loved ones, disempower communities, and increase shared harms of poverty. Walls and cages can also fortify wealth and power inequalities, racism, and gender and sexual oppression.As governments increasingly rely on criminalization and violent measures of exclusion and containment, strategies for achieving change are essential. Beyond Walls and Cages develops abolitionist, no borders, and decolonial analyses and methods for social change, showing how seemingly disconnected forms of state violence are interconnected. Creating a more just and free world―whether in the Mexico-U.S. borderlands, the Morocco-Spain region, South Africa, Montana, or Philadelphia―requires that people who are most affected become central to building alternatives to global crosscurrents of criminalization and militarization.


    https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Walls-Cages-Geographies-Transformation/dp/0820344125

    The Human Costs of Border Control (2007)

    This article outlines the relationship between irregular immigration, increased border control, and the number of casualties at Europe’s maritime borders. The conclusion is that the number of fatalities is increasing as a result of increased border control. The author argues that States have a positive obligation under international law to address this issue, and formulates concrete proposals to monitor the number of border deaths.

    http://thomasspijkerboer.eu/migrant-deaths-academic/the-human-costs-of-border-control-2007

    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #chiffres #décès #morts #rapport #USA #Etats-Unis #frontières #Mexique

  • Tenn. Inmates Receive Reduced Jail Time if They Get a Vasectomy, Birth Control Implant
    http://www.theroot.com/tenn-inmates-receive-reduced-jail-time-if-they-get-a-v-1797100383

    There are few things that are more blatant than what is going on in White County, Tenn., where inmates are apparently given a reduced jail sentence if they agree to get either a vasectomy or a birth control implant.

    According to News Channel 5, back in May, General Sessions Judge Sam Benningfield signed a standing order permitting inmates to get 30 days’ credit toward jail time if they agreed to a birth control procedure. The program has since been called “unconstitutional” by the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Women who agree to participate in the program receive a free Nexplanon implant in their arm, which helps to prevent pregnancies for up to four years, while men who volunteer are given a free vasectomy by the Tennessee Department of Health.

  • $87 million Flint water line settlement announced - World Socialist Web Site
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/03/31/flin-m31.html

    $87 million Flint water line settlement announced
    By James Brewer
    31 March 2017

    In what the media is hailing as a “victory for Flint residents,” a federal judge approved a settlement Tuesday in which the state of Michigan will pay $87 million for replacing service lines in the city over the next three years. An additional $10 million is to be held in reserve for “unexpected costs.”

    The lawsuit that led to the settlement was brought against the State of Michigan by several groups, including Concerned Pastors for Social Action, Natural Resources Defense Council, American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and Flint resident Melissa Mays, who heads the local activist group Water You Fighting For.

    US District Judge David Lawson, who presided over the settlement, gave the following characterization. “In my view the settlement agreement is fair, adequate, reasonable and consistent with the public interest and it furthers the objectives of the safe water drinking act [sic].” The federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) establishes the standards for public drinking water supplies throughout the US. Lawson made a point of praising Michigan Governor Rick Snyder—who is responsible for the disaster in Flint—saying that without his cooperation the settlement would not have been possible.

    #eau #flint #Pollution #environnement #états-unis

  • Edward Snowden’s Long, Strange Journey to Hollywood
    (Irina Alexander, August 2016)

    A long but interesting read about how Oliver Stone’s “Snowden” came to be.

    Oliver Stone, director
    Moritz Borman, the producer
    Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden’s Russian lawyer
    Ben Wizner, Snowden’s lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/04/magazine/edward-snowdens-long-strange-journey-to-hollywood.html

    On “Snowden,” he and Borman became so preoccupied with American government surveillance that they had their Los Angeles offices swept for bugs more than once.

    ...

    [Wizner said] that Snowden wasn’t profiting from Stone’s film in any way. “One hard-and-fast rule Ed always had was, I’m not selling my life rights,” Wizner said. Snowden’s participation in a Hollywood movie would only fuel the claims of his critics — that he was a narcissist eager to cash in. That said, Stone’s film would be seen by millions of people, which meant it could sway public opinion. “We were choosing between two bad options,” Wizner said.

    ...

    Wizner had negotiated veto control over any footage featuring Snowden in the film. After we spoke, the lawyer says he asked Borman to put that in writing. He also reiterated that if Stone took a reporter along, Snowden would not participate. Stone and I eventually reached a compromise: I wouldn’t observe the shoot, but I could still come and meet Kucherena.

    ...

    Anticipating a homesick Snowden, [Stone’s co-writer] hauled over a duffel bag packed with the stuff of Americana dreams: Kraft macaroni and cheese, Jell-O cups, Oreos, Pepperidge Farm cookies, Twizzlers, peanut butter, Spam, an Orioles baseball cap and a pair of Converse sneakers. “It was like delivering a care package to a kid at summer camp,” [he said.] He also slipped in a copy of “The Odyssey” translated by his grandfather “I thought it was appropriate, since Ed was on his own kind of odyssey trying to get home.”

    ...

    Wizner, who is 45, has been at the A.C.L.U. since 2001. Before Snowden, he tried to bring several suits to increase oversight over the intelligence community. Wizner likes to say that he spent a decade banging his head against a wall, and then Snowden came along and brought that wall down. Snowden had not only revealed the scope of the surveillance apparatus, but also that top government officials routinely misled the public about it. Since becoming Snowden’s advocate, Wizner has become a figure of not insignificant geopolitical importance. Those revelations have since formed a critical backdrop for legislative reforms, and there are few things that irritate Wizner more than claims that threaten to tarnish Snowden’s character and their common cause.

    It would not be a stretch to say that for Wizner, Kucherena has become a bit of a liability. Since 2013, the Russian lawyer has announced that Snowden landed a job at a major Russian website — news that turned out to not be true — and has supplied the news media with photos of his client enjoying his new life in Russia, attending an opera at the Bolshoi Theater and cheerfully hugging a dog named Rick. (Rick later turned out to be the dog of one of Kucherena’s friends). Now Kucherena had sold a novel to Stone, making it seem as if the director had to pay a Russian fixer to have access to Snowden — or worse, that Snowden was somehow under the lock and key of the Russian authorities, lent to Stone for a Hollywood movie.

    ...

    According to Wizner, [Snowden] leads a free existence in Russia, making appearances via live video and publishing op-eds against Russia’s human rights violations. “I think people are inclined to believe that Russia would never let him stay there unless he was paying for it in some way,” Wizner said. “But it’s just not true. Not only is he not cooperating, but he’s actually being critical.”

    ...

    Oliver Stone, Edward Snowden, Anatoly Kucherena and Kieran Fitzgerald in Kucherena’s office in Moscow.


    The shoot took place at Kucherena’s dacha. The day went long. Stone’s idea was to interview Snowden and capture an affecting moment that would give the film its dramatic ending. But the first takes were stiff. “Ed is used to answering questions on a level of intelligence,” Stone said. “But I was interested in the emotional, which is difficult for him.”

    ...

    “Suddenly this little creature comes teetering in — so fragile, so lovely, such a charming, well-­behaved, beautiful little man,” the cinematographer, Anthony Dod Mantle, told me. “He’s like an old soul in a very young body. He’s got fingers like violins.” Filming Snowden reminded Mantle of shooting other men with outsize reputations and slight builds. “It’s like Bono or Al Pacino,” he added. “Those guys are teeny-­weenies. But if you isolate him into a frame, he can be as big as anybody else.”

    ...

    Convinced that making the film on American soil would be too risky, Stone decided to film in Germany, where Borman was able to score some tax subsidies. With roughly 140 script pages to shoot in 54 days, the crew sprinted from Munich to Washington, to Hawaii, to Hong Kong, and then back to Munich. Often, Mantle wouldn’t get to see locations before he had to film in them. To cut costs, the suburbs of Munich had to stand in for rural Maryland and Virginia, with German extras cast as Americans. “Thank God the Germans act like Americans,” Stone said.

    The production itself resembled a covert operation, with a code name (“Sasha” had stuck) and elaborate security protocols. Worried that “Sasha” would be of interest to the N.S.A., Borman and Stone avoided discussing production details by phone or email — “It was all handwritten notes and long walks in the park,” Borman said — and kept the script on air-­gapped computers, ones that have never been connected to the internet. If it had to be mailed, Borman would mix up the pages into four packages, which he would send with four different couriers to four different addresses. “Maybe nobody gave a [expletive],” Borman told me. “Or maybe the N.S.A. is laughing at us like, ‘Look at those idiots — of course we copied everything that came through DHL and FedEx!”

    ...

    In the spring of 2014, Stone flew to Berlin and met with Poitras. The meeting did not go well. According to Poitras, Stone proposed that she delay the release of “Citizenfour,” which she was then in the middle of editing, to time up with his film. “Because his film would be the real movie — because it’s a Hollywood movie,” Poitras told me. “Obviously I wasn’t interested in doing that. To have another filmmaker ask me to delay the release of my film was — well, it was somewhat insulting.”

    ...

    If Poitras had a strong reaction to Stone’s proposal, it was because she had already been hounded by Sony. After the studio optioned Greenwald’s book, Poitras says Sony asked to buy her life rights — an offer she declined. Sony suggested that she come on as a consultant, but when the contract arrived, it stipulated that the studio would have access to Poitras’s tapes and notebooks. “So I’d already gone through that when Oliver came in trying to position himself,” she said.

    ...

    Stone was right about Gordon-­Levitt. His performance is not an interpretation so much as a direct replica of the whistle-­blower’s even demeanor and intonation. Quinto plays Greenwald with such intensity that he appears perpetually enraged. Melissa Leo’s Poitras is in turn warm and protective, almost maternal.

    ...

    Snowden’s N.S.A. boss is unsubtly named Corbin O’Brian, after the antagonist in Orwell’s “1984.” “Most Americans don’t want freedom,” O’Brian tells Snowden. “They want security.

    ...

    Snowden’s many storytellers all tell a similar hero narrative. But if Greenwald’s account is about journalism, Poitras’s is a subtle and artful character study and Kucherena’s is an attempt at the Russian novel — a man alone in a room, wrestling with his conscience — Stone’s is the explicit blockbuster version, told in high gloss with big, emotional music and digestible plot points that will appeal to mass audiences. As Wizner wisely anticipated, it is the narrative most likely to cement Snowden’s story in Americans’ minds.

    ...

    Snowden declined to comment for this article, but Stone told me he had seen the film and liked it. At a screening at Comic-­Con a few months later, Snowden would beam in via satellite to give his somewhat wary approval. “It was something that made me really nervous,” he said of Stone’s film. “But I think he made it work.”

    ...

    Gordon-­Levitt was so moved by Snowden’s story that he donated most of his salary from the film to the A.C.L.U. and used the rest to collaborate with Wizner on a series of videos about democracy.