Friday News Update!

What an eventful week!

  1. On Wednesday, the Gang of Eight senators put forth their bill for immigration reform.  While the bill does include many exciting pieces including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people, there are many, many, many aspects to it that are frankly quite frightening.  For example, while waiting 10 years for permanent resident status, immigrants would be barred from any means-based assistance.  This means no health care, food stamps, rental subsidy. Nothing. In addition, there will be much stricter consequences for immigrants who had been deported and return, including long stays in federal prison. More analysis of this bill in the coming weeks!
  2. Sorority girls at Indiana University decided it would be fun to hold a homeless themed party. The Jezebel article which reported the party quotes a student reflecting on the Greek community at Indiana University.  She feels that it’s

“A place where all of the rich white kids on campus can go play and indulge their racist tendencies and their classist and sexist urges without the threat of anyone catching them or punishing them.

Why is this such a recurring issue?

 

3. Yesterday, lawmakers finished discussing changes to national gun control laws and, unfortunately, the outcome was anticlimactic. Two significant amendments were made to the current law which were able to pass. The first was addressing mental health care of gun owners, and the second was penalizing states that divulge gun owner information (a seemingly digressive amendment). Other more mundane changes were made to the legislation as well which work to lessen, rather than increase, stricter regulations on gun ownership. While this is the first time in twenty years that lawmakers are revising gun control laws, the new amendments do not reflect the public’s response to the mass shootings in Aurora and Sandy Hook.

4. The big news for UHAB this week is that Dan Desloover, the Co-Director of our Organizing and Policy Department, is leaving today and heading back from whence he came: Alaska.  Dan has worked in our department for the past 9 years, and has done amazing work over in this time, most notably coining the term Predatory Equity (among other things.) We will all miss Dan, and hope to visit him soon in Juneau! 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend and enjoy the beautiful Spring weather!

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