Thousands of ICE Employees Have Access to Massive, Nationwide License Plate-Tracking System

Records obtained by the ACLU of Northern California in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit show that local city governments are piping automated license plate reader (ALPR) data to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the organization wrote on Wednesday.

The ACLU-NC wrote the records show that more than 9,000 ICE officers have been granted access to an ALPR database run by a private company, Vigilant Systems. More than 80 law enforcement organizations in more than a dozen states have also begun sharing license plate data with ICE, and in some cases “local police [have handed] driver information over to ICE informally, violating local law and ICE policies,” the ACLU-NC wrote.

via Thousands of ICE Employees Have Access to Massive, Nationwide License Plate-Tracking System

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Sexual Abuse of Immigrant Youth in Federal Custody is Rampant, According to HHS

These numbers point to a reality that has been clear for a long time: that putting immigrants in detention creates conditions that are ripe for abuse and exploitation. The HHS numbers echo a ProPublica report from July 2018 that found hundreds of incidents of abuse at ORR-run shelters housing immigrant children, from sexual abuse to other violent incidents. In 2017, one worker at a Southwest Key detention center in Mesa, Arizona was charged with sexually abusing at least eight immigrant boys under his care, and last year, another worker at a Phoenix shelter run by Southwest Key was arrested after he was alleged to have molested a 14-year-old girl. As Lisa Fortuna, the director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Boston Medical Center, told ProPublica at the time of the ORR shelter system report: “If you’re a predator, it’s a gold mine.”

via Sexual Abuse of Immigrant Youth in Federal Custody is Rampant, According to HHS

What It Means for Jeff Ballabon to Call Ilhan Omar “Filth”

There too, Trump campaign advisor Jeff Ballabon found Representative Ilhan Omar. On Monday, Ballabon called Omar “filthy” during a Fox Business interview while accusing the progressive congresswoman of being an anti-Semite due to her criticisms of Israel and its right-wing leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.

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This is by now an old smear, told again and again about the Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, but the most recent iteration of the cycle started last week. The New York Times reports that during an event at a Washington, DC bookstore, Omar, responding to accusations of anti-Semitism, “questioned why it was acceptable for her to speak critically about the political influence of the National Rifle Association, fossil fuel industries, and ‘big pharma,’ but not the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.”

via What It Means for Jeff Ballabon to Call Ilhan Omar “Filth”

Colorado Teen Quits State Championship to Avoid Wrestling Girl

A high school senior chose to sit out the Colorado state wrestling championships in order to avoid sparring with two opponents who ended up becoming the first female wrestlers to ever place in the tournament.

The Denver Post’s reporting of the incident was really something, placing Colorado teen Brendan Johnston at the center of the story as the one making history. In the article, Johnson said he didn’t want to compete against Jaslynn Gallegos and Angel Rios because of the “physical contact” wrestling entails:

via Colorado Teen Quits State Championship to Avoid Wrestling Girl

Sexual Violence Is an ‘Inescapable Part of the Collective Migrant Journey’

Sexual violence has “become an inescapable part of the collective migrant journey” for women who cross the border—and it doesn’t end once they enter the United States, as a new report from the New York Times makes painfully clear. From smugglers who exploit women making the journey north to Customs and Border Protection agents and Border Patrol officers who then use their authority to abuse women in their custody, the threat of violence can be ever present.

The current dangers associated with the journey are largely a product of U.S. border policy, which has forced people to rely even more on human smugglers and take increasingly dangerous routes to the United States. As a team of researchers wrote in 2016, “As migrants were diverted away from relatively safe and well-trod pathways in urban areas into more remote, isolated, and environmentally hostile sectors of the border, crossings grew increasingly difficult and hazardous and the share relying on the services of a paid guide, which had always been high, steadily rose.” Our border policy, specifically the Clinton-era policy of “prevention through deterrence,” said No More Deaths’s Justine Orlovksy-Schnitzler in an earlier interview with Jezebel, is “functioning exactly as intended.” She added, “The Trump administration has emboldened both government and non-governmental actors against migrants, which often creates deadly outcomes.”

via Sexual Violence Is an ‘Inescapable Part of the Collective Migrant Journey’

Rape Charges Dropped Against NYPD Cops Who Had Sex With Teen

In 2017, two NYPD detectives admitted to having sex with a teen in their custody. The detectives were charged with rape and kidnapping, but on Wednesday, Brooklyn prosecutors dismissed those charges.

According to the New York Daily News, former cops Richard Hall and Eddie Martins now face bribery and official misconduct charges for the September 2017 incident, in which they admitted to having sex with a teen identified as Anna Chambers after arresting her on a minor drug charge in Brooklyn.

Chambers, now 20, alleged the cops raped her, and DNA was found on her. The Brooklyn DA’s office, however, claimed Chambers made a number of “false, misleading and inconsistent statements,” including “false statements under oath,” which may have contributed to the dismissal. And though it is now (at long last) illegal for cops in New York to have sex with people in custody, that law did not exist in 2017. The age of consent in New York is 17.

via Rape Charges Dropped Against NYPD Cops Who Had Sex With Teen

Critics of NY Abortion Rights Argue They’re Protecting Women

According to reports and the anti-abortion blogosphere, the bill’s detractors have argued that one of its measures, which reclassifies state abortion law as a health statute rather than letting it remain under the penal code, will have the side effect of doing away with legal punishment for violence that ends pregnancies. To further their disingenuous anti-abortion campaign, the New York Time reports Republicans have cited the case of Anthony Hobson, arrested and charged earlier this month with second-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend, 35-year-old Jennifer Irigoyen. Hobson stabbed Irigoyen while she was 14 weeks pregnant. Queens district attorney Richard Brown said that the bill is to blame for his decision not to charge Hobson with criminal abortion as well.

via Critics of NY Abortion Rights Argue They’re Protecting Women

Matthew Bowman at HHS Has Long Record of Anti-Abortion Harassment

An influential lawyer at the Department of Health and Human Services who previously clerked for Samuel Alito before his time on the Supreme Court has a long history of anti-abortion extremism, including multiple arrests for harassing abortion providers, according to a new report from Mother Jones.

On Friday, Mother Jones reported that Matthew Bowman, a deputy general counsel at HHS—who also provided legal counsel to the Office of Refugee Resettlement as it tried to block migrant girls from accessing abortions—has a long history of harassing and targeting abortion clinics, providers, and patients. According to Mother Jones, Bowman had “at east fourteen run-ins with the law” between 1996 and 2001, including arrests during abortion protests. Here’s how Bowman spent his free time during law school, which he started in 2000:

via Matthew Bowman at HHS Has Long Record of Anti-Abortion Harassment

11-Year-Old Argentinian Girl Forced to Give Birth to Rapist’s Baby After Being Denied an Abortion

An 11-year-old Argentinian girl, known only as “Lucía” to protect her identity, was forced to give birth after repeatedly asking for an abortion.

The Guardian reports that Lucía became pregnant after being raped by her grandmother’s 65-year-old partner. After discovering she was pregnant, Lucía attempted suicide twice and was ultimately put in a state hospital in the city of Tucumán. There, she told a psychologist, “I want you to remove what the old man put inside me.”

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via 11-Year-Old Argentinian Girl Forced to Give Birth to Rapist’s Baby After Being Denied an Abortion

Sex education: Menstrual health to be taught in school by 2020 – BBC News

t will be compulsory to teach about periods at schools in England by 2020, which endometriosis sufferer Alice Smith calls “massive”.
The 23-year-old was diagnosed with the chronic condition at 14 and has been campaigning for menstrual health to be on the school curriculum.
Alice says the new guidelines mean girls will know “from a much younger age what is normal” and what isn’t when it comes to their periods.
Consent is also to be taught at school.

via Sex education: Menstrual health to be taught in school by 2020 – BBC News