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U.S. Border Patrol’s Use of Excessive Force Continues to Go Unpunished

Promised change has been slow to come to the allegedly dysfunctional federal law enforcement agency.

US- Mexico border separating Tijuana and San Diego. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Many people, including the President, say that the U.S. immigration system is broken. Last year, the Obama administration promised to crack down on Border Patrol agents who use excessive force; however, “no shooting cases have been resolved, no agents have been disciplined, a review panel has yet to issue recommendations, and the top two jobs in internal affairs are vacant,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Puerto Rico Governer Proposes Voting Rights for All, Regardless of Immigration Status

The new proposal would augment other safeguards for undocumented immigrants, including access to healthcare, education, and driver’s licenses.

Puerto Rico governer Alejandro Garcia Padilla has announced plans for legislation that would grant the right to vote to all of its estimated 200,000-400,000 undocumented immigrants. The statements came at a recent public meeting with the president of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, during which the two politicians signed various agreements to tackle economics, education, security, and environmental issues together.

“Today, we would like to break down the barriers that prevent immigrants from contributing all that they truly can to economic recovery and social progress in Puerto Rico,” said Padilla earlier this month.

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Last Night’s Jane the Virgin Had a Bold Immigration Reform Subplot

The show’s writers got political last night when they featured a plot twist about deportation.

Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez captured our hearts, minds and Nielson ratings with her moving Golden Globes acceptance about representation in the media but the actress, and the show’s writers, are wading into more political territory. The soapy telenovela-lite ABC show is big on dramatic plot twists and the characters frequently find themselves in hard-to-believe scenarios (and we expect nothing less from a show about a pregnant virgin). The show hit pretty close to home during last night’s episode with a storyline that was too damn real: a near-deportation of Jane’s grandmother, who was in a coma as the story unfolded. And Jane the Virgin writers were not subtle not about their politics. The show, which uses on-screen text as a narrative device, flashed the hashtag #ImmigrationReform as the doctor informed Xo, Jane’s mother, that the hospital would report abuela to the immigration authorities.

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United Farm Workers and Stephen Colbert have teamed up to call for a new discussion of immigration reform by reminding Americans just what those jobs they say immigrants are stealing entail. On the Take Our Jobs website, people can sign up for fieldwork training and placement in California, Florida, and several other states. After all, as Bonnie Azab-Powell puts it on Grist:

What American doesn't want a back-breaking, hot, dangerous (workers get enslaved, poisoned by pesticides, and die from heat stroke) job with no health benefits, paid vacation, or even a living wage? Federal overtime provisions don't apply to farmworkers, nor do minimum-wage laws, the AP reminds would-be applicants.

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