LJP Update: Join our Inaugural SE Reception, Immigrant Rights Groups Rally in Florida and more

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Inaugural Southeast Reception: Asegurando el Sueño

Join us in Miami, March 17th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, at the Hyatt Regency, Miami, as we celebrate and honor the accomplishments and contributions to social justice of the 2016 LatinoJustice Southeast Regional Awards honorees. This year's honorees are:

  • Cesar L. Alvarez, Senior Chairman, Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Jose Diaz-Balart, Journalist, Anchor, Telemundo’s Noticiero, and Host, MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown
  • Kelsey Burke, Associate, Murray & Guari

For information, to purchase tickets or to sponsor the event, click here.


Immigrant Rights Groups Fight Against Florida’s Proposed Anti-Immigrant Bills

Immigrant rights groups from across the Southeastern United States converged in Tallahassee as part of the “We are Florida” mobilization on February 17th. LatinoJustice joined these groups to voice concerns over proposed anti-immigrant bills pending before the Florida Legislature.

Some of the proposed bills would force local governments to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, seek to enhance criminal penalties for crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, and would make it a felony for persons with a deportation order to reside in Florida. These proposals would have a chilling effect on Florida’s immigrant community and drive undocumented individuals further into the shadows. LatinoJustice stands in solidarity with local and national immigrant groups fighting these anti-immigrant bills and urges the Florida Legislature to stop these proposals from moving forward. Florida’s legislative session ends on March 11, 2016.


LJP Joins NLIRH Amicus calling for SCOTUS to Support Affordable Reproductive Healthcare

LatinoJustice PRLDEF joined the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) along with 27 other local and national civil rights, LGBTQ, youth advocacy and reproductive health and justice organizations to file an amicus brief (linked here) in support of respondents in Zubik v. Burwell. The brief asks the Supreme Court to uphold the accommodation of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit. The case addresses the ability for women to access contraception without the intrusion of their employer in personal, reproductive healthcare decisions. The Amicus requests that the Court ensure that the religious beliefs of employers do not harm and discriminate against communities who already face significant burdens in accessing healthcare, including reproductive healthcare. Oral arguments will take place March 23rd.

“Access to affordable contraception is essential to the dignity and well-being of all women. In particular, low income women and women of color are especially harmed when employers try to deny their female employees access to basic healthcare services. Women are the only ones who should be making choices about their reproductive healthcare and family planning, not their employers.” Said Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, Associate Attorney at LatinoJustice PRLDEF.


LJP Urges FCC to Advance Human Rights in Prisons

A broad coalition of 53 civil rights and public interest organizations, including LatinoJustice, submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging it to advance civil and human rights in prisons by putting in safeguards against predatory communications products. The FCC recently took action to cap exorbitant domestic prison phone rates, but other barriers to inmate communication with friends and family members remain.

The organizations are urging the FCC to exert its authority to safeguard consumers both inside and outside of prison by addressing pricing abuses in advanced communications and video visitation, capping international calling rates, creating data transparency in the prison communications industry, and protecting the communications rights of inmates with disabilities.

Click here to read the letter.


Meet the LJPFamilia: Bianca Victoria Scott, University of Texas Public Service Legal Fellow

Bianca graduated from University of Texas Law in May 2015, where she focused on human rights advocacy and international law. As a recurring member of the Human Rights Clinic, she undertook an investigation of racial profiling in Panama which resulted in a comprehensive report to La Defensoría de Panama, and partnered with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights Latin America Regional Office.

She also partnered with the Center for Reproductive Rights to examine how US-Texas immigration policy impacts reproductive rights for Latinas in Texas border areas, and prepared Latina women for their testimony on reproductive rights in the Rio Grande Valley Human Rights Hearing. She spent her summers working at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C. and with the UN OHCHR Latin American Regional office in Panama.


Twitter Highlight

  • Mourning passing of Gilberto Gerena Valentín, true community advocate @LJCartagena statement -> http://buff.ly/1L6CXhG
  • .@LJCartagena was in DC w/allies highlighting need for proactive US #DrugPolicy leading up to #UNGASS2016 photo
  • Vid from @amprog explains why we must protect Central American refugees. You can watch here #StopTheRaids

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