News

GALEO Teams up with State Farm Arena for Early Voting Translations

Voting at State Farm Arena

Friday, October 16, 2020 (Atlanta, GA) – GALEO and Atlanta’s State Farm Arena have teamed up for early voting efforts. The State Farm Arena website includes instructions on how citizens who are registered to vote in Fulton County residents can vote early at this location. GALEO has helped State Farm Arena translate these instructions here:

For SPANISH website: https://www.statefarmarena.com/about-the-arena/early-voting-esp

For ENGLISH website: https://www.statefarmarena.com/about-the-arena/early-voting

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UGA law school honors alumnus and former SEC commissioner, Luis Aguilar, with portrait unveiling

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO

jerry@galeo.org, 678.691.1086

UGA law school honors alumnus and former SEC commissioner, Luis Aguilar, with portrait unveiling

1st Latino distinguished with honor and Aguilar was also former GALEO Board Member

 

Friday, October 16, 2020 (Athens, GA) – As the month celebrating Latinx heritage draws to a close, the University of Georgia School of Law recently held a virtual portrait unveiling for Luis Aguilar, a 1979 graduate of the law school whose service on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission helped lead the country out of the economic upheaval of the 2008 recession.

“It is fitting that as we celebrate Latinx Heritage Month, that we celebrate this distinguished Cuban American who has contributed so much not only to the University of Georgia but to our country as well,” said President Jere W. Morehead.

Aguilar – who immigrated to the United States as a child refugee from Cuba and who describes himself as “the product of the generosity of the American people and the opportunities offered by the United States” – was originally appointed as a commissioner with the Securities and Exchange Commission by President George W. Bush in 2008 and reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2011. He ultimately served from 2008 to 2015 – making Aguilar the eighth longest-serving commissioner in SEC history as well as only the third individual to have been nominated by two U.S. presidents from different political parties.

Shortly after his tenure with the SEC began in 2008, Lehman Brothers went into bankruptcy and the stock market crashed. In the aftermath of the recession, the SEC entered one of its most active periods in history, helping to restore confidence and accountability in the agency and capital markets.

“Luis embodies our school’s ethic of service, and his instrumental role in salvaging the economy during the Great Recession will long be remembered as a great point of pride,” law school Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said.

Prior to his work at the SEC, Aguilar was active in both business and law. He has served as the general counsel, head of compliance, executive vice president and corporate secretary of Invesco. He also has been a partner at several prominent law firms, including McKenna Long & Aldridge, Alston & Bird, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, and Powell Goldstein Frazer & Murphy.

“It is a great honor to have my portrait displayed at the University of Georgia School of Law,” Aguilar said. “Much of what I have been able to achieve in my life resulted from the tremendous education, training and support I received at the School of Law. I will always remember this recognition with great pride and humility.”

In addition to Morehead and Rutledge, several friends and colleagues of Aguilar’s spoke about his life and career. They included J. Antonio “Tony” DelCampo of DelCampo & Grayson; Richard Best, the director of the New York Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission; and Walter Jospin, of counsel with Finch McCranie and the former director of the Atlanta Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“It truly is a fitting honor for someone who has always worked diligently within the Latino community and has accomplished much for our nation, our state and the Latinx community,” added Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO recognizing the Honorable Luis Aguilar as a former board member of GALEO in its early years.

### Writer/Contact: Lona Panter, 706-542-5172, lonap@uga.edu

An image is online at https://news.uga.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Aguilar-portrait-unveiling-copy.jpg Cutline: President Jere W. Morehead and School of Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge stand beside the portrait of Aguilar.

This release is online at https://news.uga.edu/law-school-honors-alumnus-aguilar-portrait/

UGA School of Law: Recognized as the best value in legal education in back-to-back years, the School of Law is also consistently regarded as one of the top law schools in the nation. Since 1859, the school has been preparing the next generation of legal leaders. It currently offers three degrees – the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws and the Master in the Study of Law. The school’s accomplished faculty includes nationally and internationally renowned scholars, and its approximately 11,000 living graduates are leading figures in law, business and public service throughout the world. Connecting students to these thought leaders and opportunities to serve state and society is central to the school’s mission. For more information, see www.law.uga.edu.

NOTE: This press release was sent out in coordination with the UGA School of Law.

About GALEO GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.

CORE BELIEFS: Inclusive, Non-Partisan, Diversity, Responsive

Website: http://www.galeo.org

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Luchar. Votar. Poder. GOTV campaign continues & expands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO

jerry@galeo.org, 678.691.1086

Friday,  October 9, 2020 (Norcross, GA) – GALEO continues with the largest Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts in the organization’s history today.  Building off the tremendous participation of the Latino electorate in 2018 for Georgia’s elections and significant interest and participation in the 2020 primary elections, GALEO expects this will be a record breaking year for Latino voter participation in the state.

“The Latino electorate in Georgia is approximately 250,000 strong and could be a decisive part of the outcome in the 2020 elections for the state and for local races,” said Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO.

Due to high demand from community members, additional yard signs have been printed.  In addition, car magnets, t-shirts and caps will also be made available to GALEO members.  Membership is FREE right now during Hispanic Heritage Month.

The campaign is centered around the three words of:  Engage, Vote, Power (Luchar, Votar, Poder).  It will be centered around ensuring the Latino electorate continues to engage during this critical election cycle in both voter registration and in turnout for participation in the competitive elections this year.

GALEO has already started text and phone banking of the Latino electorate throughout the state. This will be followed by bilingual mailers being sent to the entire Latinx electorate starting today.  Yard signs and magnets will be distributed to promote voter registration and to take pledges to vote. Fliers with QR codes will be attached to packets for PPE delivery to poultry workers, with food bank distribution efforts, and with COVID19 testing sites in Hall County.  GALEO will also be working extensively with Spanish media and social media to educate and inform the Latinx electorate of the options for exercising their right to vote.  At this time, most of the outreach will be done via media, phone, text and socially distant due to the pandemic.

GALEO will also educate voters about their rights to request for Spanish assistance from Gwinnett County.  Furthermore, those who do not live in Gwinnett County are able to select a person of their choice, except for boss or union representative, to assist them in translation for voting in person or by mail.

As in years past, GALEO has a voicemail system to assist Spanish dominant voters with questions or problems that they may encounter (1-888-54GALEO / 1-888-544-2536).

Voters then have three options to vote:  Vote by mail/absentee, in-person early voting (starting Oct. 12 through Oct. 30), or voting in-person on Election Day ( 7 AM- 7PM).  All voters are encouraged to make a plan and to vote.

To volunteer with our bilingual outreach efforts, people can sign up here.  For further questions on volunteering, an email should be sent to polo@galeo.org.

To pledge to vote, voters can sign up here.

To donate to these efforts, people can donate here.

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PRESS RELEASE: Requesting Immediate Investigation of Inhumane Treatment of Individuals Detained in Immigration Detention Facilities in Georgia

September 22, 2020

 

Re: Requesting Immediate Investigation of Inhumane Treatment of Individuals Detained in Immigration Detention Facilities in Georgia

 

Dear Members of the Georgia Delegation to the 116th U.S. Congress:

 

We are writing as a coalition of leaders from Georgia’s law, medicine, faith, immigrant and human rights communities to express our outrage over the continuing inhumane treatment of immigrants held in ICE custody in our state,[i] resulting in the death of a third man from COVID-19 at Stewart Detention Center and growing evidence that women at Irwin County Detention Center have been subjected to medical abuse, neglect, and mismanagement, including unnecessary gynecologic procedures performed without their informed consent.

 

Thousands of men and women, many seeking protection from torture and persecution, are detained in Georgia by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) while they await the resolution of their immigration case. For years, there have been reports of inhumane conditions in ICE detention facilities here, including unsafe and unsanitary living quarters, substandard medical care and medical neglect, and excessive use of isolation and force.

 

In 2019, a Congressional oversight committee demanded that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigate mistreatment of immigrants in ICE custody in Georgia.[ii] In 2018, Atlanta journalists obtained nearly one hundred pages of records from the DHS Inspector General that described life-threatening conditions at Stewart, including “chronic shortages” of almost all medical positions.”[iii] In 2017, the Inspector General concluded that Stewart Detention Center was plagued by “problems that undermine the protection of detainees’ rights, their humane treatment, and the provision of a safe and healthy environment” and demanded remedies that have yet to occur. [iv]

 

Advocates, including those who have signed this letter, have repeatedly written to DHS and members of this Georgia Delegation, filed lawsuits, and lodged complaints to address these ongoing concerns.  These include submissions to the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2018 and 2019, following the deaths of four individuals at Stewart in just two years.  Among the lives lost were Jeancarlo Jiménez-Joseph, 27, and Efrain Romero de la Rosa, 40, two men with diagnosed mental illness who hung themselves by their bedsheets after suffering for weeks in solitary      confinement.[v]

 

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the thousands of people detained in ICE facilities in Georgia have faced an additional deadly threat:  the rapid spread of COVID-19, unchecked by adequate health and safety precautions.[vi]  Today, nearly 500 men and women have contracted the virus in Georgia immigration detention facilities and many more Georgians employed there have been infected, making these facilities life-threatening not only for those inside, but for all those living in neighboring rural communities where health resources are already in short supply.[vii]

Yesterday brought the tragic news that yet another person has died in ICE custody in our state.  On September 21, the Stewart County Coroner announced that a third man had lost his life after contracting the disease in detention,[viii] giving Stewart Detention Center the unwanted distinction of having the most COVID deaths of any ICE facility in the U.S.  The death toll now includes Santiago Baten-Oxlaj, 34; Jose Guillen-Vega, 70; and Cipriano Chavez-Alvarez, 61.[ix] Guillen-Vega and Chavez-Alvarez were both medically-vulnerable detainees at high risk of dying from COVID-19, due to their older age and their histories of hypertension and other disease.[x] Medical professionals have specifically urged the release of individuals with comorbidities at Stewart but have been ignored by ICE on numerous occasions.

Stewart is not the only Georgia facility with dangerously inadequate COVID-19 protections.  In April, nine women detained at Irwin made a video recording expressing their fear of contracting the disease and begging for better protections.[xi] As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

“We’re very afraid of being incarcerated here and dying here,” one detainee said. Another woman said she had been the first Irwin detainee to contract the virus. But at the facility’s medical clinic, “they simply dismissed me,” she said. “They said, ‘You’re fine, go back to your cell.’” A third detainee, fighting tears, held a hand-lettered sign asking for protection. “We’re scared,” she said. “My God, we’re scared.”[xii]

If not bad enough, there is now mounting evidence that women at Irwin have been exposed to unnecessary and unwanted gynecological procedures without their informed consent, including the removal of reproductive organs, which have compromised their health and left them forever unable to bear children.  These reports are included in a complaint filed by Georgia advocacy groups on September 14, highlighting “jarring accounts from detained immigrants and Ms. [Dawn] Wooten [a whistleblower nurse from Irwin] regarding the deliberate lack of medical care, unsafe work practices, and absence of adequate protection against COVID-19 for detained immigrants and employees alike.”[xiii]

On September 23, 2020 the women met with lawyers and reiterated their plea:

“We seek immediate freedom for those affected in order to heal somewhere that healing is possible and continue their immigration cases outside of detention.”

 

Whether ICE officials authorized these medical abuses or allowed them to continue through a pattern of medical neglect and poor oversight, these allegations implicate the United States’ obligations under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, according to The Center for Victims of Torture.[xiv] The United Nations special rapporteur on torture has made clear that:

[M]edical treatments of an intrusive and irreversible nature, when lacking a therapeutic purpose, may constitute torture or ill-treatment when enforced or administered without the free and informed consent of the person concerned…. This is particularly the case when intrusive and irreversible, nonconsensual treatments are performed on patients from marginalized groups, such as persons with disabilities, notwithstanding claims of good intentions or medical necessity.[xv]

As professionals who live and work in Georgia, we know that our state’s strong faith tradition and humanitarian spirit mandate that we treat all those within our borders, including those most vulnerable, with decency and compassion. We are outraged that ICE and its private detention corporations continue to operate in our state with complete disregard for these basic principles that Georgians hold dear.

We, therefore, respectfully urge you to come together as a delegation and, on behalf of the people of Georgia, request a prompt and thorough investigation into the continuing reports of medical neglect and abuse at ICE facilities here.  More than that, we ask that you hold ICE accountable for its longstanding failure to remedy these problems and provide necessary oversight to ensure the humane treatment of every person in its custody, and that you demand it suspend operation of its facilities in our state unless and until it can provide medical care that meets professional standards.

Sincerely,

 

Coalition of Georgia Leaders in Law, Medicine, Faith, Immigrant and Human Rights:

Harris Allen, PhD

Harris Allen Group, LLC

 

Samantha Alonso, MD

Assistant Professor, Emory University Medical School

 

Rori Alston

ARAA Home Care, LLC

 

Vicki Alston

ARAA Home Care, LLC

 

Alpa Amin, Esq.

Director of Legal Services, Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network

 

Gilberte (“Gigi”) Bastien, Ph.D.

Associate Director – Office of Global Health Equity
Assistant Professor – Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Morehouse School of Medicine

 

Rabbi Peter S. Berg

The Temple, Atlanta GA

 

John Blevins, ThD, MDiv

Interfaith Health Program, Emory University

 

Brian Bollinger

Executive Director, Friends of Refugees

 

Lila Newberry Bradley, Esq.

Claiborne, Fox, Bradley, Goldman Law Firm

Jennie E. Burnet, Ph.D.

 

Taifa S. Butler

President & CEO, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

 

Rev. Letitia M. Campbell, PhD

Candler School of Theology, Emory University

Valeria Cantos, MD

Assistant Professor

Division of Infectious Diseases

Emory University School of Medicine

 

Stephanie Cho

Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta

 

Jonathan Colasanti MD MSPH

Emory University School of Medicine & Rollins School of Public Health

 

Laura Colbert

Executive Director, Georgians for a Healthy Future.

 

Mikiel Davids, Esq.

Kramer Partners, LLP

 

Paula Davis-Olwell, Ph.D., M.A.

Global Health Institute and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

University of Georgia

 

Karla Diaz, Esq.

Victims of Violence Attorney, Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network

 

Sr. Angela Marie Ebberwein, RSM

Mercy Care

 

Dabney P. Evans, PhD, MPH

Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and Director, Institute of Human Rights

 

Ruth Evans

Executive Director, Unite

 

Maura Finn

SIFI Lead Attorney| Immigrant Justice Project

Southern Poverty Law Center

 

Staci Fox

President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Southeast

 

Anne Gaglioti, MD, MS, FAAFP

Associate Professor of Family Medicine

Associate Director of Research, National Center for Primary Care

Director, Southeast Regional Clinicians Network

Morehouse School of Medicine

 

Elton Garcia-Castillo

GA Familias Unidas

 

Betsy Gard, Ph.D.

Licensed Georgia Psychologist

 

Jerry Gonzalez

Executive Director, GALEO & GALEO Latino Community Development Fund

Board Member of the GALEO Impact Fund, Inc.

 

Jordan Greenbaum, MD

Physicians for Human Rights, Georgia

 

Judah Gruen, MD

Assistant Professor

​Associate Medical Director, Grady PrEP Program

Grady Memorial Hospital | Emory University School of Medicine

 

America Gruner

President, Coalicion de Lideres Latinos, Inc

 

Jodie L. Guest, PhD, MPH

Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and Director, Emory Farmworker Project

 

Rev. Dr. David P. Gushee

Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics

Director, Center for Theology & Public Life, Mercer University

Past President, American Academy of Religion & Society of Christian Ethics

 

Janora Hawkins, Esq.

Chair, Georgia/Alabama Chapter, American Immigration Lawyers Association

 

Erica Heiman, MD, MS

Assistant Professor
Division of General Medicine
Emory University School of Medicine

 

Lynn Heinisch

Global Health Communications Specialist, Atlanta

 

Stacy Higgins, MD, FACP

Professor, Emory University School of Medicine

 

William Hoffmann, Esq.

Senior Counsel, Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network

 

Adaobi Iheduru, Psy.D.

The Center for Victims of Torture Georgia

 

Tim Isaacson

Executive Director, Immigrant Hope-Atlanta

 

Kwajelyn J. Jackson

Executive Director, Feminist Women’s Health Center

 

Sarah Juul, MD

Private Practice in Psychiatry, Decatur, Georgia

 

Ameeta Kalokhe, MD MSc
Associate Professor
Emory University School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Emory Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Global Health

 

Sheena Kandiah, MD MPH

Medical Director, Antimicrobial Stewardship, Grady Health System

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

Emory University School of Medicine

 

Renuka Kapoor, PhD, MPH

Hubert Department of Global Health, CNR- 6000.R

Rollins School of Public Health

Emory University

 

Serene Kashlan, Esq.

Asylum Attorney, Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network

 

Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, ABPP

Emory School of Medicine

Russell Kempker, MD, MSc

Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases

Emory University School of Medicine

 

Monica Khant, Esq.

Executive Director, Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network

 

Michael Khoury, MD

Associate Professor, Emory University School of Medicine

Co-director, Georgia Human Rights Clinic

 

Tracie L. Klinke, Esq.

Klinke Immigration, LLC

 

Sr. Kathy Komarek

Mercy Care

 

Charles H. Kuck, Esq.
Kuck Baxter Immigration, LLC

Vanessa Kung, MD, PhD

Emory University School of Medicine

 

Rabbi Loren Filson Lapidus

The Temple, Atlanta GA

 

Marissa Lapedis, MD

Assistant Professor, Family Medicine

Morehouse School of Medicine

 

Edivette Lopez-Benn, Esq.

Law Office of Edivette Lopez-Benn, P.C.

 

Darlene C. Lynch, Esq.

The Center for Victims of Torture Georgia

Amber Mack, MSW

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia

 

J.D. McCrary

Executive Director, The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Atlanta

 

Elizabeth Matherne, Esq.

Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC

South Georgia Office – Adel

 

Howard M. Maziar, MD

 

Kerry E. McGrath, Esq.

Law Office of Kerry E. McGrath, LLC

Rabbi Lydia Medwin

The Temple, Atlanta, GA

 

Grace Moore

Refuge Coffee Company

 

Marjan Nadir

Refugee Women’s Network

 

Iyabo Onipede
Co-Director, Compassionate Atlanta

Edith Oriciaga

SPLC Action Fund, Ocilla

 

Lily Pabian

Executive Director, We Love BuHi

 

Maria del Rosario Palacios

Executive Director, GA Familias Unidas

 

Kathleen A. Parker, MA, MPH, CHES ret.

Public Health Education Specialist, 1983-2004

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Aixa Pascual, M.A.L.D, M.S.

Managing Director, Latin American Association

 

Gilda (Gigi) Pedraza

Executive Director and Founder, Latino Community Fund

 

Paulina Rebolledo, MD MSc

Assistant Professor of Medicine and Global Health

Emory University School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health

 

Sita Ranchod-Nillson, Ph.D.

Former Director, Emory Institute for Developing Nations

 

Laura Rivera

Director, Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative

Southern Poverty Law Center

 

Dr. Francois Rollin, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Emory University School of Medicine

Jessica Rollin, MD

Rollin Psychiatry

 

Leanne Rubenstein
Co-Director, Compassionate Atlanta

Diego Sanchez, Esq.

SPLC Action Fund, Ocilla

 

Jasdeep Sandhu MD, MPH

Psychiatrist, Atlanta

 

Nan Schivone

Justice in Motion

 

Stacie Schmidt, MD

Medical Director, Primary Care

Associate Professor, Division of General Medicine

Emory University School of Medicine

 

  1. R. Sexson, MD MAB HEC-C FAAP

Professor of Pediatrics/Neonatology

Neonatologist, Bioethicist

Emory University School of Medicine

 

Kevin Shanker Sinha

Founder, CivicGeorgia

 

Parmi S. Suchdev, MD, MPH, FAAP

Associate Director, Emory Global Health Institute

Director, Global Health Office of Pediatrics

Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Hubert Department of Global Health

Emory University

 

Sr. Patricia Sullivan, OP

 

Shana Tabak

Executive Director, Tahirih Justice Center Georgia

 

Maria Thacker-Goethe

Executive Director, Georgia Global Health Alliance

 

Reverend Robert Thompson
Founder, Compassionate Atlanta

Amilcar Valencia

Executive Director, El Refugio

Sarah Y. Vinson, MD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics,

Morehouse School of Medicine

Founder and Principal Consultant,

Lorio Forensics

 

Cecil Walker, MFT

The Center for Victims of Torture Georgia

 

Lorilei Williams, Esq.

SPLC Action Fund, Ocilla

 

Amy Zeidan, MD

Associate Professor, Emory University School of Medicine

Co-director, Georgia Human Rights Clinic

[i] ICE detention facilities in Georgia are run by private, for-profit corporations and include Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin (CoreCivic Corporation) and Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla (LaSalle Corrections), as well as Folkston Detention Center in Folkston and Deyton Detention Facility in Lovejoy (GEO Group).

[ii]https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2019-11-18.CBM%20to%20Cuffari%20-%20DHS%20IG%20re%20StaffDels.pdf

[iii] Elly Yu, WABE, Exclusive: An ICE Detention Center’s Struggle With ‘Chronic’ Staff Shortages, May 13, 2018, https://www.wabe.org/exclusive-an-ice-detention-centers-struggle-with-chronic-staff-shortag,citing Records of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Office of Inspections & Evaluations, provided in response to Freedom of Information Request, dated January 11, 2018.

[iv] Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, “Concerns about ICE Detainee Treatment and Care at Detention Facilities,” December 11, 2017, https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/2017-12/OIG18-32-Dec17.pdf.

[v] Project South/Detention Watch Submission to the US Commission on Civil Rights, May 13, 2019, https://projectsouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Comment-to-U.S.-Commision-on-Civil-Rights-Georgia-Detention-Centers.pdf; Project South/Detention Watch Submission to InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights, July 17, 2018, https://projectsouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IACHR-Request-For-Hearing-Immigrant-Detention-in-Georgia_169-Period-of-Sessions.

[vi] ICE reports of COVID-19 cases are found at https://www.ice.gov/coronavirus. Letters detailing inadequate COVID-19 protections include Coalition Letter to Georgia Congressional Delegation, March 31, 2020; Open Letter to Executive Office for Immigration Review and Department of Homeland Security, March 17, 2020.  See also, Center for Victims of Torture, “Torture Survivors Confront COVID-19 in ICE Detention, July 22, 2020 at https://medium.com/@cvt.communications/torture-survivors-confront-covid-19-in-ice-detention-3ae97c6efa9e

[vii] https://www.ice.gov/coronavirus

[viii]https://www.ajc.com/news/third-ice-detainee-dies-from-covid-19-in-southwest-georgia/LE3CHB24HFDWBBHADYHZEB5EMY/

[ix]https://www.ajc.com/news/second-ice-detainee-dies-from-covid-19-in-southwest-georgia/IQLKPYX7AVESZLCQ2EKLWBP2KU/; https://www.ajc.com/news/third-ice-detainee-dies-from-covid-19-in-southwest-georgia/LE3CHB24HFDWBBHADYHZEB5EMY/

[x] https://www.ice.gov/doclib/coronavirus/eroCOVID19responseReqsCleanFacilities.pdf.

[xi] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQt6QbkWsLI&feature=youtu.be

[xii]https://www.ajc.com/news/third-ice-detainee-dies-from-covid-19-in-southwest-georgia/LE3CHB24HFDWBBHADYHZEB5EMY/

[xiii] https://projectsouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/OIG-ICDC-Complaint-1.pdf

[xiv]ww.cvt.org/news-events/press-releases/cvt-calls-immediate-investigation-new-reports-gross-human-rights-abuses

[xv]https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session22/A.HRC.22.53_English.pdf.

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GALEO Launches “Luchar. Votar. Poder” Voter Registration & GOTV campaign

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO

jerry@galeo.org, 678.691.1086

Friday, September 18, 2020 (Norcross, GA) – GALEO announced the start of the largest voter registration and Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts in the organization’s history today. Building off the tremendous participation of the Latino electorate in 2018 for Georgia’s elections and significant interest and participation in the 2020 primary elections, GALEO expects this will be a record breaking year for Latino voter participation in the state.

“The Latino electorate in Georgia is approximately 250,000 strong and could be a decisive part of the outcome in the 2020 elections for the state and for local races,” said Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO.

The campaign is centered around the three words of: Engage, Vote, Power (Luchar, Votar, Poder). It will be centered around ensuring the Latino electorate continues to engage during this critical election cycle in both voter registration and in turnout for participation in the competitive elections this year.

GALEO has already started text and phone banking of the Latino electorate throughout the state. This will be followed by bilingual mailers being sent to the entire Latinx electorate starting today.  Yard signs and magnets will be distributed to promote voter registration and to take pledges to vote. Fliers with QR codes will be attached to packets for PPE delivery to poultry workers, with food bank distribution efforts, and with COVID19 testing sites in Hall County.  GALEO will also be working extensively with Spanish media and social media to educate and inform the Latinx electorate of the options for exercising their right to vote.  At this time, most of the outreach will be done via media, phone, text and socially distant due to the pandemic.

On Saturday night, September 19, GALEO will have a fun evening of Latin music provided by DJ Fernando encouraging viewers who join to register to vote, if eligible, and to turn out to vote.

GALEO will also educate voters about their rights to request for Spanish assistance from Gwinnett County.  Furthermore, those who do not live in Gwinnett County are able to select a person of their choice, except for boss or union representative, to assist them in translation for voting in person or by mail.

As in years past, GALEO has a voicemail system to assist Spanish dominant voters with questions or problems that they may encounter (1-888-54GALEO / 1-888-544-2536).

For any voters that need to update their current address and need to register to vote, GALEO has a QR code and url for easy access (https://bit.ly/OVRGALEO).  Deadline to update your address or register to vote is October 5th.

Voters then have three options to vote:  Vote by mail/absentee, in-person early voting (starting Oct. 12 through Oct. 30), or voting in-person on Election Day ( 7 AM- 7PM).  All voters are encouraged to make a plan and to vote.

To volunteer with our bilingual outreach efforts, people can sign up here.  For further questions on volunteering, an email should be sent to polo@galeo.org.

To pledge to vote, voters can sign up here.

To donate to these efforts, people can donate here.

GALEO also continues to hire canvassers for help with our outreach efforts.  Interested people should send an email to jchow@galeo.org.

This massive outreach effort was made possible in part by funding provided by “Vote Your Voice Initiative” from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and the Southern Poverty Law Center, among other funders and donors.

About GALEO

GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.

CORE BELIEFS: Inclusive, Non-Partisan, Diversity, Responsive

Website: http://www.galeo.org

 

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2020 GALEO Fellow Cyntia Sosa’s Internship Experience

9 September 2020

During my time at GALEO, I have had the opportunity to grow on a professional and personal level on different elements that I have learned throughout the internship and fellowship. I was able to get out of my comfort zone and network with other community leaders, community members and different nonprofit organizations. Networking was such an important part of the internship because I was able to meet others that had the same goals as GALEO, which included outreach to communities with topics such as getting out to vote and Census information. I was also able to learn more about the importance of civic engagement and policy, whether that be on the federal, state or local level. Before interning with GALEO, I was not as informed as I am now on why it is important to reach out to communities and speak on these types of topics, but now I know that I can use my voice to educate others. In using my voice to educate others, I learned how important different marketing and outreach methods used can reach different people on different social media platforms, such as providing content in Spanish and English so that we are able to educate bigger groups of people on different issues. I know that I will take everything that I learned at GALEO with me in my future choices and paths because it had made me a more confident person.

Towards the beginning of the internship, I was granted the opportunity to go to the State Capitol in Atlanta every week and participate in what was known as Immigrant Thursdays, where I got to sit with other organizations and learn about different bills that were being introduced and pushed for and why some of these bills were harmful or beneficial to our communities. During these meetings, I also learned how to speak to members who would be voting on these bills and learned which points to bring up when speaking about why these bills are important. I was also able to sit in press conferences and committee meetings and be able to see what goes on behind-the-scenes as legislators vote on different bills. This experience was a huge eye-opener for me because I was previously very oblivious to what goes on in my community when it comes to policy or government, but I am now more aware of the type of research to do when I am voting for people who will represent me and my community.

Not only was I able to grow professionally and become more confident in helping my community, I also had the amazing opportunity of working in an environment that allowed me to grow because of the everyone else who works there. I was able to build great friendships with people who push me to grow in different ways and allow me to have a space to voice my ideas and be heard. The environment at GALEO was unmatched, I felt like I was able to express myself and offer ideas when different projects were presented. I truly believe that this played a huge part in my development because it allowed me to be in a comfortable space and have the full support of those who are higher up than me. I will always be grateful for the seven months I spent at GALEO as they were filled with professional development, personal growth, learning, and fun.

 

For more info on internships with GALEO, please visit www.galeo.org/internship .

 

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Georgia Advocates Condemn the Trump Administration’s Latest Attempt to Disrupt the Outcome of the 2020 Census

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
August 6, 2020

Georgia Advocates Condemn the Trump Administration’s Latest Attempt to Disrupt the Outcome of the 2020 Census

Georgia advocates across the state are angered by the latest move by the Trump Administration to limit census participation of black, brown, and immigrant communities. After granting an extension for Census completion in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump Administration recently instructed the United States Census Bureau to complete the 2020 Census activites a month early, by September 30, 2020.

“Black, brown and immigrant communities have been ravaged by COVID-19, violent and racist policing and repeated attempts to attack our voting rights. The last thing any elected official should do in this unprecedented time is seek to disrupt an accurate and full census count of our communities — thereby sabotaging our state’s chance to receive federal resources Georgia families desperately depend on. Congress must protect the 2020 Census by including an extension of the Congressional reporting deadline in the next COVID-19 bill,” states Stephanie Cho, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta.

This past spring, the Trump Administration originally announced an extension for residents to complete their census by October 31, 2020. Currently, only 58.7% of the state’s population has completed the 2020 Census. Ending operations early puts Georgia at risk for losing millions in federal funding over the next 10 years.

A successful 2020 Census requires following up with those who do not respond on their own. A shorter census timeline will make it impossible to count every household. Door knocking disproportionately covers the historically undercounted communities in Georgia and this move severely limits door-to-door enumeration.

The census is not a partisan issue — an undercount in Georgia fails the whole state.  Make no mistake, as Georgians across the state prepare to vote in the November general election, we are watching very closely the actions of current US Senators to stand up for our communities across the state. Our Senators must act immediately to extend the statutory reporting deadlines for congressional apportionment data, and give the Census Bureau the time it has said it needs to complete the count.

We implore all Georgians to call Senators Leoffler and Purdue and demand an extension for the completion of census in this great time of need. Now more than ever, it is critically important for all Georgians to fill out the census and help other households to do so, in a safe and socially distanced manner.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler

(202) 224-3643

131 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

Contact: www.loeffler.senate.gov

 

Sen. David Perdue

(202) 224-3521

455 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

Contact: www.perdue.senate.gov/connect/email

 

Signed:

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta

Atlanta Sikh Community

Black Voters Matter GA

Burmese Rohingya Community of Georgia (BRCG)

CAIR Georgia

Coalition of Latino Leaders-CLILA

Common Cause Georgia

Environment Georgia

Faith in Public Life

Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO)

Georgia Muslim Voter Project (GAMVP)

Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda

Georgia Conservation Voters (GCV)

Georgia Equality

Georgia WAND

Georgia Stand Up

Korean American Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta-Georgia

KOWIN Atlanta GA -Korean Women International Network

Laotian American National Alliance

Latino Community Fund – Georgia

League of Women Voters of Georgia, Inc.

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

ProGeorgia

Refugee Women’s Network

Rep GA Institute, Inc.

Somali American Community Center

Southeast Immigrant Rights Network

Wake Up, Atlanta

Women Watch Afrika, Inc. (WWA)

 

 

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NALEO Educational Fund Responds to Census Bureau Director’s Announcement that Operations Will End a Month Early

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
August 4, 2020

CONTACT:
Kevin Perez-Allen, kperezallen@naleo.org
(714) 499-4481

Marcus Silva, msilva@naleo.org
(510) 456-5444

NALEO Educational Fund Responds to Census Bureau Director’s
Announcement that Operations Will End a Month Early

Despite asking for a four-month extension in May,
Census Bureau succumbs to White House political pressure

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund released a statement from CEO Arturo Vargas in response to the Census Bureau Director’s announcement that Census 2020 data collection will end on September 30:

“For decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has enjoyed the well-earned global reputation as a respected statistical agency, independent of political agendas; sadly for our nation, that tradition ended.  Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham has announced that despite asking for a four-month extension in May to complete the 2020 Census given the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census Bureau will stop collecting household data on September 30 instead of October 31 as previously announced.  The Bureau will now rush to complete the census by the current deadline, a task that professional staff at the Census Bureau have repeatedly indicated was unachievable and would lead to an unacceptable census count.

“In May, the Bureau’s Associate Director of Field Operations, Timothy P. Olson, stated that ‘We have passed the point where we could even meet the current legislative requirement of December 31.  We can’t do that anymore.’  The Bureau’s Associate Director for Decennial Census Programs, Albert E. Fontenot Jr., echoed this sentiment in a press briefing on July 8 when he said, ‘We are past the window of being able to get those counts’ by the end of 2020.

“The Secretary of Commerce acknowledged this reality and formally requested that Congress extend the deadline for delivering the apportionment counts by four months.  The Secretary has now abandoned that position in order to comply with President Trump’s July 21 policy memorandum requesting that the apportionment counts be delivered to him by December 31, upon which he seeks to produce different apportionment numbers that exclude undocumented immigrants, despite their inclusion being required by the U.S. Constitution.

“Congress can stop the political hijacking of the census by asserting its constitutional authority over the decennial count.  The Senate COVID-19 stimulus bill should follow the House’s HEROES Act (H.R. 6800), which extends the December 31, 2020 deadline to deliver the apportionment counts, to April 30, 2021.

“Despite months of millions of American households sheltering at home due to the pandemic, the national response rate as of August 2 was only 62.9 percent, barely higher than the Bureau’s April 30 self-response goal of 60.1 percent.  The Census Bureau has an unexpectedly more difficult challenge in achieving a 100 percent count, which includes numerous operations and data processing procedures in addition to the data collection.  Forcing the Bureau to meet the current deadlines will sacrifice the accuracy of the census, and waste $16 billion in taxpayer dollars for an incomplete count.  The groups most likely to be excluded from the census now are historically undercounted populations, including Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans, rural populations, low-income households, and children.

“Despite this political sabotaging of the census, NALEO Educational Fund remains committed to promoting a complete count that is both fair and accurate.  NALEO Educational Fund will continue its ¡Hagase Contar! campaign with vigor.  Our respect for the U.S. Constitution requires nothing less.”

Residents can self-respond to the census online at https://my2020census.gov/ or over the phone in English by dialing 844-330-2020 or in Spanish at 844-468-2020.

Individuals with questions about the census can call NALEO Educational Fund’s toll-free national census bilingual hotline at 877-EL-CENSO (877-352-3676) – Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.– 8:30 p.m. ET to get additional information.

Partners can stay up to date on tools to continue to get out the count in Latino communities by visiting www.hagasecontar.org/resources, texting CENSUS to 97779, or by subscribing to our e-mail list here.

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About NALEO Educational Fund
NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading non-profit, non-partisan organization that facilitates the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.

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Press Statement: GALEO Denounces the Unconstitutional Attack on Census. Everyone Counts.

GALEO Denounces Unconstitutional Attack on Census

Everyone counts, regardless of immigration status

Press Statement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jerry Gonzalez, GALEO

jerry@galeo.org, 678.691.1086

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 (Norcross, GA) -Following President Trump’s unconstitutional memorandum banning undocumented immigrants from counting toward congressional apportionment, Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO, released the following statement:

“The move by the Trump Administration is another unconstitutional attempt to suppress the growing power and influence of the Latinx and immigrant communities.  The memorandum will likely be fought through litigation and we will win once again.

The Administration is trying to redefine who should be counted; but,  our U.S. Constitution makes it clear that every person living in our nation, regardless of immigration status, should be counted.

By the strongest federal confidentiality protections, the U.S. Census Bureau does not share any personal information with any other entity, including ICE.  All immigrants should feel safe and secure in participating in the 2020 Census to ensure our communities get their fair share of resources for our schools and healthcare needs.

We will not be invisible nor erased from the 2020 Census.  We must stand up to ensure we have a complete count that includes all immigrants, children and those hard to count communities.

These last minute scare tactics by the Administration will not deter us to encourage continued participation of those who have not yet been counted in the 2020 Census.”

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About GALEO

GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.

CORE BELIEFS: Inclusive, Non-Partisan, Diversity, Responsive

Website: http://www.galeo.org

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Las Vidas Negras Importan (Black Lives Matter)

By Natalia B. Dutra

14 July 2020

Black Lives Matter. This isn’t a revolutionary statement, it’s not a new idea, and it’s certainly not something to debate. Since the conception of this country black people have been forced to fight for their right to live freely. The protests we see today are a culmination of years of oppression and injustice. From slavery all the way to the modern prison industrial complex, racist institutions have altered over time and persistently targeted the black community.

What’s Going On?

When faced with the facts there is no denying the existence of an issue. Facts such as black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men or that the wealth gap between white and black families is still as wide as it was in 1968. The fact that a child named Tamir Rice can be murdered for holding a water shooter. The fact that a woman named Breonna Taylor can be gunned down while sleeping in her own home. The fact that the white supremacists that nearly lynched Vauhxx Booker can walk away freely. We say Black Lives Matter because historically black lives have not been valued in the same way as other lives. 

Recently, protests resurged due to the increase in video footage of murders committed by police officers. These protests are only the newest events in an advancing fight for equity liberation. The growth in accessibility to the internet has helped expose the horrors that black people face on a daily basis. These videos that range from white women calling the police over a barbeque to unarmed and defenseless black people being brutally murdered by police officers have finally led to the public outrage of other communities.

Racism and Colorism within Latin America

These ongoing struggles are not contained within the United States. Racism and specifically colorism run rampant among the Latinx community. Colonization brought with it a prejudicial system of hierarchy based on skin tone, which was deeply rooted into society. This system is known today as colorism. Colorism is the discrimination of others based on their skin complexion; people with lighter skin tones are viewed in a much better way than those with darker skin tones. Growing up I remember seeing racist caricatures of black people in art. I remember seeing people parading around in black face during Carnival. I remember hearing stories of my great grandmother advising my mother to marry a white man so she could “clean up” or whiten the family.

Instances of police murdering black people are also not contained within the United States. Joao Pedro, a black child, was shot to death by police officers in his home, just this year; the 14 year old lived in Brasil, a country where it is reported that at least 17 people are killed daily by police officers. Similarly to the United States, we can still feel the impact of the racist foundations our institutions were built upon. 

How you can Help

As you reflect, the question that may pop up is how to help. Here are some steps you can take moving forward:

  1. Educate Yourself Learning about history and the effects it still has on the world is extremely important. Thanks to the internet there are countless sources right at your fingertips, many of which are completely free. 

(While it is easy to simply ask questions to people you know, remember that no one is required to educate you. These topics can be mentally and emotionally taxing. Do some research on your own.)

  1. Listen to Others – Your experiences are not universal. Read literature, watch documentaries, and listen to podcasts from black authors. Also, listen to black people around you without being defensive.
  2. Donate – Whether it be time or money, donate to causes that support Black Lives Matter. There are many bail funds, memorial funds, and smaller organizations in need of support during these times. If you are unable to help financially you can sign petitions, spread information, and there are even YouTube videos you can watch that will donate their ad revenue to a variety of organizations.
  3. Talk to Your Family – Many of those in the older generations may not even be aware of what is going on. Educate and spread awareness. Take the steps to have those difficult and uncomfortable conversations, so that you can create a path to growth. 

 

Resources 

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Las Vidas Negras Importan (Black Lives Matter)

Black Lives Matter. Esta frase significa que las vidas de las personas negras importan. Esto no es una declaración revolucionaria, no es una idea nueva, y ciertamente no es algo para debatir. Desde la concepción de este país, las personas negras se han visto obligados a luchar por su derecho a vivir libremente. Las protestas que vemos hoy son la culminación de años de opresión e injusticia. Desde la esclavitud hasta el complejo industrial de la prisión moderna, las instituciones racistas se han alterado con el tiempo y han atacado persistentemente a la comunidad negra.

¿Qué está pasando actualmente?

Ante los hechos, no se puede negar la existencia de un problema. Hechos como los hombres negros son 2,5 veces más propensos a ser asesinados por la policía que los hombres blancos o que la disparidad de riqueza entre las familias blancas y negras sigue siendo tan amplia como lo era en 1968. El hecho de que un niño llamado Tamir Rice puede ser asesinado por sostener un tirador de agua. El hecho de que una mujer llamada Breonna Taylor puede ser asesinada mientras duerme en su propia casa. El hecho de que los supremacistas blancos que casi lincharon a Vauhxx Booker pueden seguir libres como si nada paso. Decimos que Las Vidas Negras Importan porque históricamente las vidas negras no han sido valoradas de la misma manera que otras vidas.

Recientemente, las protestas resurgieron debido al aumento de videos de asesinatos cometidos por policías. Estas protestas son sólo los eventos más recientes en una lucha por la liberación de la equidad. El aumento de la accesibilidad a Internet ha ayudado a exponer los horrores que las personas negras enfrentan a diario. Estos videos incluyen mujeres blancas llamando a la policía por un asado y también incluyen videos que muestran  personas negras desarmadas e indefensas que son brutalmente asesinadas por agentes de policía. Estos videos finalmente han causado indignación pública en otras comunidades.

Racismo y Colorismo en América Latina

Estas luchas no están contenidas dentro de los Estados Unidos. El racismo y específicamente el colorismo proliferan entre la comunidad latina. La colonización trajo un sistema de jerarquía perjudicial basado en el tono de piel, que está profundamente arraigado en la sociedad. Este sistema se conoce hoy como colorismo. El colorismo es la discriminación de otros basado en el tono de piel; las personas con tonos de piel más claros se ven de una manera mejor que aquellos con tonos de piel más oscuros. Al crecer, recuerdo ver caricaturas racistas de gente negra en el arte. Recuerdo ver gente desfilando en “blackface” durante el Carnaval. Recuerdo escuchar historias de mi bisabuela aconsejando a mi madre que se casara con un hombre blanco para que pudiera “limpiar” o “blanquear” a la familia.

Los casos de policías que asesinan a las personas negras tampoco están contenidos en los Estados Unidos. Joao Pedro, un niño negro, fue asesinado a tiros por agentes de policía en su casa, justo este año; el joven de 14 años vivía en Brasil, un país donde se informa que en promedio 17 personas son asesinadas diariamente por agentes de policía. Al igual que en los Estados Unidos, todavía podemos sentir el impacto de los fundamentos racistas sobre los que se construyeron nuestras instituciones.

Cómo Puede Ayudar

Mientras reflexionas, la pregunta que puede surgir es ¿cómo puedes ayudar? Estos son algunos pasos que puedes tomar para avanzar y crecer:

  1. Educarse – Es extremadamente importante aprender sobre la historia y los efectos que la historia todavía tiene en el mundo. Gracias al Internet, hay innumerables fuentes a su alcance, muchas de las cuales son completamente gratuitas.

(Aunque es fácil simplemente hacer preguntas a personas que conoces, recuerda que nadie está obligado a educarte. Estos temas pueden ser difíciles, mentalmente y emocionalmente. Haz algunas investigaciones por tu cuenta.)

  1. Escucha a otros – Tus experiencias no son universales. Lee literatura, mira documentales y escucha podcasts de autores negros. Además, escucha a la gente negra que te rodea sin estar a la defensiva.
  2. Donar – Ya sea tiempo o dinero, dona a causas que apoyen Black Lives Matter. Hay muchos fondos de fianza, fondos conmemorativos y organizaciones más pequeñas que necesitan apoyo durante estos tiempos. Si no puedes ayudar financieramente, puedes firmar peticiones, difundir información, e incluso hay videos de YouTube que puedes ver que donarán sus ingresos publicitarios a una variedad de organizaciones.
  3. Hable con su Familia – Muchoas de las generaciones mayores están conscientes de lo que está pasando. Puedes educar y difundir la conciencia. Tome las medidas para tener esas conversaciones difíciles e incómodas.

 

Resources 

 

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