News

Press Release: JERRY GONZALEZ HONORED AS AN INFLUENTIAL LATINO IN GEORGIA

 

 

September 1, 2021

GALEO

Erik Medina

Communications Manager

emedina@galeo.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GEORGIA’S 50 MOST INFLUENTIAL LATINOS RECOGNIZED AND HONORED TODAY

JERRY GONZALEZ INCLUDED IN THE HONORS AS AN INFLUENTIAL LATINO IN GEORGIA

 ATLANTA, GA – On Wednesday, September 1st, 2021, the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce celebrated “The 50 Most influential Latinos” in Georgia who have created an impact on our state of Georgia in 2021.​​ Jerry Gonzalez, the CEO of GALEO and GALEO Impact Fund, was honored for his work and advocacy of the Latinx-Hispanic community and electorate during this year.

Other recipients of the award include Brenda Lopez (Former Board Member of GALEO, Board Member of GALEO Impact Fund), Christopher Perlera (Former Board Member of GALEO Impact Fund),  Deborah Gonzalez (Former Board Member of GALEO), Glianny Fagundo ( Board Member of GALEO Impact Fund), Sofia Marie Bork (GIL Graduate), Maria Vinces Peck (GIL Graduate), Hector Gutierrez (Board Member of GALEO Impact Fund and GIL Graduate), Génesis Castro (GIL Graduate, former intern and canvasser), Jason R. Anvitarte (Former Board Member of GALEO), David Araya (GIL Graduate and Founder of Hope), Angela Hurtado (GIL Graduate and Founder of Hope), Jason Esteves ( Board Member of GALEO and GALEO Impact Fund), Adela Yelton (Board Member of GALEO), John King (keynote speaker at GALEO events and programs), Juan Mejia (Realtor for GALEO and GALEO Impact Fund), Zulma Lopez (keynote speaker at GALEO events and programs), Shirley Ann Smith (Board Member of GALEO Impact Fund) and Yehimi Cambrón (keynote speaker at GALEO events and programs).

“I am very honored to receive this recognition by the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It is inspiring to see how many other Latinx-Hispanics were honored and the work we are all doing to make sure that the voices of our communities are heard. The fact that so many of the recipients are part of the GALEO and the GALEO Impact Fund family fills me with pride and motivates our organization to keep up the good work,” expressed Jerry González, CEO of GALEO and GALEO Impact Fund after receiving said recognition.

The awards ceremony can be viewed here.

GALEO is a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, founded in 2003. GALEO strives for a better Georgia where the Latinx community is engaged civically. GALEO contributions increase civic participation of the Latinx community and develop prominent Latino leaders throughout Georgia.

www.galeo.org – 888.54GALEO

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GALEO CEO Jerry Gonzalez’s Testimony on Redistricting

August 30th, 2021

My name is Jerry Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (aka GALEO), the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund and the GALEO Impact Fund.  Our organizations are focused on promoting civic engagement and leadership development of the Latinx community in Georgia.  Our promise to our community is to build a better Georgia where our communities are respected and honored for our significant contributions to our state.

GALEO was started in 2003 by then State Senator Sam Zamarripa, State Representative Pedro Marin along with myself as its founding Executive Director.  Our idea was to create a catalyst of engagement of the Latino/Hispanic community in our state to ensure our voices were heard, respected and courted for policy matters that impact our communities directly.

GALEO focused our work to ensure our community is engaged and involved in policy decisions and are active participants in our democracy.  We assist eligible citizens to register to vote, often overcoming language access barriers.  We encourage Latinx voters to turn out to vote in all elections.  Our organization has assisted newly naturalized citizens to register to vote at naturalization ceremonies where we have successfully assisted over 40,000 new Americans with the voter registration process.  We have assisted Legal Permanent Residents with their citizenship applications in order for them to become U.S. citizens and participate further in our communities, including exercising their right to vote.  We have assisted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) apply for their work permits in the years past.  We have encouraged participation of all Latinos in two Census enumerations in both 2010 and 2020.  We have advocated this Legislature in favor of pro-immigrant policy solutions and also advocated against anti-immigrant initiatives.  We even testified during the last redistricting cycle in 2011 against the legislative maps because of intentional dilution of Latino community’s ability to elect candidates of choice, especially in Gainesville where the city was carved up into several districts to avoid minority majority population thresholds.  We have advocated for a federal solution to our broken immigration system and we are supportive of current efforts to ensure some immigration reform relief through the current Congressional Budget reconciliation process.

Under our leadership development efforts, we have graduated over 687 people from our annual and statewide GALEO Institute for Leadership, with our current co-hort of over 25 participants scheduled to graduate in November 2021.  We have partnered with Georgia State University to provide our leadership skills development to Latinx scholars for several years now.  We have conducted several annual Latino Leaders Summit where Latinx community members continue to come together to learn about our policy priorities and how to engage with policy makers, enhance their professional and community organizing skills.  Furthermore, we have also conducted Latino Leadership Series in both English and Spanish in Savannah, Columbus and we are going to Dalton for our next one.  Due to the ongoing pandemic, we do hold many activities via zoom and also stream them on facebook live for greater access to our communities.

Since 2003, the Latino electorate and the Latinx community have clearly grown into the fabric of Georgia and are an integral part of our present and a significant factor for our state’s future.  To begin with, the Latino electorate has grown from just 10,000 Latino voters in 2003 when we were founded, to well over 385,000 voters in our most recent 2020 elections, representing over 4% of Georgia’s electorate.  In the report we recently published, we documented that the Latino electorate grew by over 141,000 voters since the 2016 election alone, demonstrating a 58% growth rate.  The report is significant because we partner with NALEO Educational Fund to conduct a surname match of the electorate, which otherwise would miss over 35% of the total Latinx electorate.  More information is available in the report.  All of you should have received a letter from me on the release of the report and a link to the report was provided for your reference, as well as details about your current Latino voter constituency.  The majority of the Georgia Latino electorate is under the age of 40 and has registered to vote as early as 2020. Also, most of the electorate is female, and Latinas outpaced their male counterparts in voter participation.

The top Metro Atlanta counties also account for a large share of the Latino electorate, and the top ten counties account for 62.3% of the entire Georgia Latino electorate and account for 64.7% of the Latino voter turnout in the 2020 election.

In the top five congressional districts, the Latino vote had a prominent force compared to previous years. Most of the Latino voter density resides in the Metro Atlanta Congressional districts. Latino voters in Congressional Districts #6 and #11 had the highest Latino voter participation rates in the state with 62.4% and 57.9%, respectively. The Georgia Legislative Districts also indicated growth in the total number of Latino registered voters, with the top five districts almost doubling the amount of voter registration and voters of 2016.

On a national level, the Latino vote increased by 6 million voters since the 2016 election cycle, approaching a record number of 18.7 million voters in 2020. Reportedly, one in 10 voters was Latino in 2020. Additionally, younger Latinos ages 18 to 40, with about 2.4 million voters, were first-time and newly registered voters. The Latina vote was vital in many battleground states like Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Georgia.

The US Census Bureau released new population data showcasing the multiracial growth of the United States. In Georgia, there was a growth of 10.57% in the total population compared to the last Census published. Furthermore, the Hispanic community in Georgia grew by 31.6% and accounted for 26.3% of Georgia’s growth.

The Census data release demonstrates the continued growth and strength of the Latinx community in Georgia.  The Census is about power and money.  As the Georgia Legislature begins to draw lines for district maps, communities’ interests should be taken into account.  Legislative and local districts should be drawn to ensure that communities responsible for the growth get their fair share of both power and resources.  As the Georgia Legislature will soon convene for a redistricting special session, we hope you will respect the multi-racial change in our state and ensure appropriate maps are drawn to provide a more representative democracy that reflect Georgia’s growing diversity.

Our communities would also want for greater transparency of the redistricting process.  To date, the legislature has conducted several hearings across the state with significant input from community members demanding the same thing, greater transparency.  We need greater clarity on the process.  We would like to know the timeline of maps being drawn, the timeline of when maps are proposed to when and how community members can assess and possibly submit alternative maps directly to the Georgia Legislature.  Georgians need to have access to the maps and have an understanding of how and when the proposed maps will be presented.  Georgians should also have the ability to substantively comment and raise questions and concerns from legislators in the process.

Will everyday Georgians have access to the reapportionment legislative office or will it be for politicians only?  If so, what would the process be?

What will be the process and timeline for local redistricting efforts?  Will this be done during the special legislative session or during the regular scheduled legislative session in 2022?

These are some questions that deserve answers for Georgians to understand, which would enable Georgians to further engage in our redistricting processes.

Given this legislative’s body passage of the most recent voter suppression law, SB202, there are concerns that the redistricting efforts will also be a form of voter suppression against people of color in our state.  Redistricting maps should meet the core underlying principles and legal protections of the Voting Rights Act.  Our communities are rightly concerned about tactics to undermine communities of color’s ability to elect candidates of choice through packing, cracking and voter dilution.

We do also know from many years of data and analysis that race is a proxy for partisanship, especially in the Deep South.  Because of this, there are strong concerns regarding the declining white population and the increasing communities of color population will lead to intentional discrimination against voters of color through the redistricting process.  Coalition districts of Black, AAPI and Latinx communities should be considered in order to elect candidates of choice for our communities of color.  The values and interests across our communities of color indicate a strong alignment on many issues like education, access to healthcare, pandemic relief, immigration and voting rights issues.

Many Georgians have already expressed their interests for more transparency.

Y tambien muchos de nuestra comunidad les avisaron que era necesario de tener aceso para personas que no hablen ingles.  Y ustedes ignoraron esos demandes de la comunidad.

There has been no effort to make any of this process more accessible to those who do not speak English, even as our Georgia community continues to diversify.

So far, legislators have not provided any feedback or responses of the concerns and questions raised by constituencies across the state with the initial set of redistricting hearings.  There has been no information shared about the process nor timeline.

We all know both the electorate and the Census enumeration indicate a decline of white voters and an increase in voters of color.  Communities of color share similar values and interests and should have a right to elect candidates of their choosing.  This legislative process should respect and honor both the growth of the electorate and population with fair districts drawn to the benefits of the communities that are driving the growth for our state.

Thank you.

 

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Colorism in Our Communities 

By Alba Villarreal

Colorism plagues the existence of Latinx and Hispanic individuals in the United States. As communities fight external conflicts such as voter suppression and poverty, conflicts such as colorism are often pushed aside. Despite this, colorism is still a heavily prevalent cultural and political issue. 

Colorism is the preference for lighter-skinned individuals at the expense of people with darker complexions. Due to the large diversity of Latin America, the problem of colorism is part of every facet of society, especially representation in the media and politics. 

As there is a surge in Latinx and Hispanic-centered media, representation is perhaps at its highest point. In 2021 alone, there are several blockbuster movies such as In the Heights, West Side Story, and Eternals that feature Latinx or Hispanic leads. This increased representation in the media has sparked conversations about clear displays of colorism. While they showcase diversity, colorism thrives as most of the leads represent lighter-skinned individuals. In the Heights is the most prevalent example of colorism and clear bias. While In the Heights had one of the most diverse casts, many were angry at the lack of black Latinx actors in the leading cast. 

In the political realm, most Latinx and Hispanic elected officials tend to be lighter-skinned or white-passing. This perpetuates a trend of white people and white-passing people keeping the power in our government. Colorism makes it harder for darker-skinned individuals from accessing these positions of power and representing people who look like them. 

Colorism directly harms Black people and darker-skinned people as they limit opportunities and disenfranchises them more than non-Black and lighter-skinned people. Ultimately, representation is not impactful when Black and other non-white individuals are continuously sidelined and marginalized due to their skin color. The Latinx and Hispanic communities have to face internalized colorism and call for more representation that extends past white-passing individuals.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO at jerry@galeo.org

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Luis Grijalva: A Dreamer in Tokyo

By Alba Villarreal

As the excitement of the 2020 Olympic Games settles, athletes are returning home after proudly representing their country. While the return is not as significant for most athletes, for Luis Grijalva, it almost didn’t happen.

Luis Grijalva is an Olympic athlete who set off to Tokyo to represent Guatemala as a long-distance runner and is also a DACA recipient. When qualifying for the games, he faced the challenge of not being able to return to the United States if he chose to leave for Tokyo because of DACA restrictions.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program that allows thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children to remain in the United States to work and study. [1]As it currently stands, DACA does not allow for reentry unless it is for special circumstances. Those seeking travel permissions must apply for a reentry permit and be approved. The process is long and costly, which hinders the mobility of DACA recipients.

Grijalva arrived in the United States when he was just one year old and has remained here ever since. After discovering a passion for running, he became a star athlete at a collegiate level after receiving athletic scholarships.[2] His athleticism and perseverance made him an Olympic hopeful for the 2020 Tokyo games. He then qualified for the Guatemalan Olympic Team. The travel restrictions in DACA haunted him, as his Olympic dream was in jeopardy.

In an Instagram post, Grijalva stated,

“DACA takes away my freedom of ever leaving the country and be able to come back in… It would be an honor and a privilege to represent my home country but also be able to be a voice and represent over 600,000 Dreamers like me.”

After petitioning the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, he received approval for reentry and embarked on his Olympic journey. Grijalva finished 12th in the Men’s 5000m Olympic finals and was able to return to his family in the United States.

Grijalva’s story represents thousands of immigrants who seek freedom and equal rights in the United States but are hindered because of their status. DACA allows for more opportunities and freedom, but as its future remains uncertain, it is important that our community continues to call for more permanent solutions for undocumented immigrants.

Works Cited

[1] “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca).” USCIS, 19 July 2021, www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-of-deferred-action-for-childhood-arrivals-daca.

[2] Salcedo, Andrea. “DACA Recipient Gets Approval to Compete in the Olympics: ‘I’m Going To Tokyo’.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 28 July 2021, www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/07/28/daca-recipient-tokyo-olympics/.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO at jerry@galeo.org

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PRESS RELEASE: CENSUS REVEALS GROWTH OF THE LATINO COMMUNITY IN GEORGIA

  August 12th, 2021

GALEO

Erik Medina

Communications Manager

678.691.1086

emedina@galeo.org

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CENSUS REVEALS GROWTH OF THE LATINO COMMUNITY IN GEORGIA

 ATLANTA, GA – The US Census Bureau released new population data showcasing the multiracial growth of the United States. In Georgia, there was a growth of 10.57% in the total population compared to the last Census published. Furthermore, the Hispanic community in Georgia grew by 31.6% and accounted for 26.3% of Georgia’s growth.

Additionally, the Census Bureau provided the legacy format redistricting file with important information about counties, cities, towns, and neighborhoods and their population and demographics. Legislators receive this information to use this critical information to redraw district maps based on the data.

Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO, released the following statement:

“Today’s Census data release demonstrates the continued growth and strength of the Latinx community in Georgia.  The Census is about power and money.  As policymakers begin to draw lines for district maps, communities’ interests should be taken into account and districts drawn to ensure that communities responsible for the growth get their fair share of both power and resources.  As the Georgia Legislature will soon convene, we hope they will respect the multi-racial change in our state and ensure appropriate maps are drawn to provide a more representative democracy.

GALEO is a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, founded in 2003. GALEO strives for a better Georgia where the Latinx community is engaged civically. GALEO contributions are involved in increasing civic participation of the Latinx community and developing prominent Latino leaders throughout Georgia.

www.galeo.org – 888.54GALEO

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Slurs in Soccer and Rampant Homophobia

Anyone familiar with international soccer is aware of the intensity and heart that goes with supporting your team. Passionate fans create chants to show support to their team and intimidate the opposing team. But what happens when that chant is downright offensive?

The Mexican National Team and its supporters are guilty of this, as the infamous “P—” chant rages on from friendly international games to high stakes cup games. What others call tradition, many are exposing it as homophobic and has cost the Mexican National Team to go through disciplinary action. As the fans continue to chant it, many worry about the team’s future at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“P—” is a homophobic slur that is used against men in the LGBTQ+ community, specifically against gay men. The real meaning of the word translates to a male sex worker[1] but its context today is more hateful than its meaning. This slur is a perfect example of how machismo in Mexican, as well as in Latin American, communities triumphs and creates harmful stereotypes against non-masculine men. Now, this slur is chanted across world stages, for all to hear.

The chant is believed to have started back in the early 2000s in club soccer.[2] Supporters traditionally yell it at the opposing team’s goalkeeper to intimidate them when kicking the ball. This eventually spread to the international stage, but it was not until the 2014 World Cup where it was front and center, stirring up intense controversy on the world stage.

Due to this prevalence in the 2014 World Cup, FIFA opened an investigation against the Mexican team citing its anti-discriminatory policy. The case was later dropped as they claimed it was not offensive in the context it was chanted in.[3] Many were unhappy with the decision and demanded disciplinary action that would address the homophobia present at these games.

Since then, FIFA has implemented a three-step protocol that would occur at any game where the slur is heard. The steps can be seen as follows:[4]

  • Step 1: Match stoppage and warning to fans.
  • Step 2: Match suspension and players moved to the locker room.
  • Step 3: Abandonment of the match.

However, the protocol is proving inefficient as many are now calling for the complete banning of the Mexico team and its supporters from important cups such as the World Cup. As of June 2021, Mexico supporters are banned from two upcoming World Cup Qualifiers due to their chanting in previous games. The Mexican Federation has also been fined for the chanting.

Soccer is an amazing sport filled with excitement and heart, and it has no room for rampant homophobia. The chanting of this slur showcases a problem that extends past soccer and into the rampant homophobia that exists in Latinx culture today. Conversations in the home and in the community are important to remove the stigma and achieve equality for all.

Works Cited

[1] Jaramillo, Juliana. “What Mexican Fans Really Mean When They CHANT Puto at the World Cup.” Slate Magazine, Slate, 24 June 2014, slate.com/human-interest/2014/06/puto-world-cup-what-does-mexicos-anti-gay-world-cup-soccer-chant-really-mean.html.

[2] “’Homophobic and Not Very Clever’: WHY Puto Chants HAUNT Mexican Football.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 18 June 2018, www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jun/18/puto-chants-mexico-football-world-cup.

[3] Hayes, Mike. “FIFA Clears Mexican Fans in Investigation of Anti-Gay Chants at World Cup.” BuzzFeed News, BuzzFeed News, 23 June 2014, www.buzzfeednews.com/article/mikehayes/fifa-clears-mexican-fans-in-investigation-of-anti-gay-chants.

[4] Borg, Simon. “Homophobic Fan Chant at MEXICO’S Gold Cup Matches: Here Are the Steps Taken If It Happens during a Game.” Sporting News Canada, Getty Images, 15 July 2021, www.sportingnews.com/ca/soccer/news/homophobic-fan-chant-mexico-gold-cup-matches-steps/w1kkmnihdex016ll8t5g9fm5g.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO at jerry@galeo.org

 

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Press Release | GALEO URGES CONGRESS TO PASS URGENT IMMIGRATION REFORM

August 11th, 2021

GALEO

Erik Medina

Communications Manager

678.691.1086

emedina@galeo.org

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GALEO URGES CONGRESS TO PASS IMMIGRATION REFORM SOLUTIONS THROUGH BUDGET RECONCILIATION

 ATLANTA, GA – GALEO released a statement from CEO Jerry Gonzalez pressing Congressional leaders to continue to address some immigration reform solutions through the budget reconciliation process as the U.S. Senate moved forward the budget resolution early this morning.

“In recent years, we have come to realize and honor the significant contributions of Latino immigrants in the economic growth in the United States and Georgia. Many immigrants within our communities have worked the front lines during the global pandemic and are considered essential workers. At this critical milestone of moving budget reconciliation resolution forward that includes much-needed immigration reform relief for essential workers, we applaud the U.S. Senate for this important first step and urge quick passage,” said Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO & the GALEO Impact Fund.

GALEO is a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, founded in 2003. GALEO strives for a better Georgia where the Latinx community is engaged civically. GALEO contributions are involved in increasing civic participation of the Latinx community and developing prominent Latino leaders throughout Georgia.

www.galeo.org – 888.54GALEO

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Mental Health in the Latinx Community

By Alba Villarreal

Mental health is one of the most prevalent issues today with over 10 million people that report living with some kind of mental health disorder. Disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders are the most common issues in the United States.[1] Communities of color, specifically, have long struggled with mental health issues and often reject helpful resources due to harmful stigmatization of the topic.

Research shows that this stigmatization comes from a mixture of religious and cultural attitudes regarding mental health.[2] In most cases, it is deemed as incredibly taboo to not only seek help, but also talk about it. Immigrants and children of immigrants struggle with separating from the ingrained stigmatization. In addition to that, U.S. born Latinx/Hispanic people are more likely to have mental health issues than foreign born.[3] Latinx/Hispanic individuals often struggle with increased stress when dealing with poverty, immigration, and education.

While cultural attitudes may hinder Latinx/Hispanic people from asking for help, there are immense inequalities that keep the community from accessing help. According to the American Psychiatric Association, barriers to accessing quality mental health resources include lack of health insurance, language barriers, and difficulties recognizing signs of mental illness. While current statistics show that rates of mental illness are lower in non-white Latinx people than white people, those same obstacles create severe underreporting.

Now, discussions on mental health have once again resurfaced as people are struggling with the aftereffects of the pandemic. Black and Latinx communities were by far the most impacted by the pandemic. With higher rates of hospitalization and death, the pandemic heightened the very obstacles that prevent access to medical resources, such as mental health, at a time where it is needed the most. It is more important than ever to close these disparities as the world tries to recover from the toll the pandemic took on our communities.

 

Works Cited

[1] “3 Most Common Mental Health Disorders in America.” Access Community Health Network, www.achn.net/about-access/whats-new/health-resources/3-most-common-mental-health-disorders-in-america/.

[2] “Latinx/Hispanic Communities and Mental Health.” Mental Health America, www.mhanational.org/issues/latinxhispanic-communities-and-mental-health.

[3] American Psychiatric Association. (2017). Mental Health Disparities: Hispanics and Latinos. https://www.psychiatry.org/File%20Library/Psychiatrists/Cultural-Competency/Mental-Health-Disparities/Mental-Health-Facts-for-Hispanic-Latino.pdf

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO at jerry@galeo.org

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DACA: Texas v. United States

By Alba Villarreal

DACA Background

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was implemented on June 15th, 2012 during the Obama administration to give temporary status to undocumented individuals who were brought into the country as children. DACA provided eligible, undocumented people the opportunity to have legal status and work legally in the country. This created more opportunities and equity within the undocumented community. Despite this, the status of DACA has always been threatened by those who believe the program is unlawful.

The election and subsequent inauguration of President Trump in 2016 challenged the future of DACA, as the administration threatened to remove the program. In June 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration’s cancellation of the program, keeping it in place.[1] At the time, this court ruling was a triumph for the DACA community and all undocumented people seeking legal status.

Texas v. United States: What happened

A year later, DACA was put forth for the US Supreme Court to decide its legality once again. This time, with different results. In Texas v. United States (2021) the court held that DACA was indeed illegal.[2] The opinion given by Judge Andrew S. Hanen stated that the program is unlawful and thus all future DACA applications will not be accepted. The judge has declared that this ruling will stand until certain issues with the program are fixed. If not fixed, DACA could be cancelled completely.

What does this mean?

The ruling has paused all future DACA applications, meaning the Department of Homeland Security will not accept any new applications. Individuals currently with DACA will be allowed to keep and renew their status. All pending applications are frozen and will not be processed for the time being.

What do we do?

The community must stand together and take action supporting DACA recipients as well as undocumented individuals. Reach out to your federal representatives and tell them to create a permanent solution and path to citizenship to not only DACA recipients, but everyone of temporary and undocumented status.

[1] “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: A Timeline.” The World from PRX, www.pri.org/stories/2020-05-28/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-timeline.

[2] State v. United States, Civil Action 1:18-CV-00068 (S.D. Tex. Jul. 16, 2021)

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO at jerry@galeo.org

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Education Inequalities

By Alba Villarreal

Brown v. Board of Education established the principle that separate, segregated schools could not be equal. Nearly 70 years later, our schools are still separate, and also extremely unequal. Unequal access to quality education stands as one of the biggest inequalities children face. While it is a problem that affects millions, it is non-white children that suffer the most direct harm due to these inequalities.

Black and Hispanic children, especially from low-income backgrounds, are not receiving the quality education that their white counterparts are. It is estimated that by the fourth grade, Black and Hispanic low-income children are two years behind their average grade level but by the 12th grade, they are up to four years behind.[1]Lack of funding and resources to schools with high minority populations contribute greatly to this issue, as current statistics show that “school districts that predominantly serve students of color received $23 billion less in funding than mostly white school districts” (New York Times, 2019).[2]

Public schools in low income areas suffer from underfunding and students who cannot afford private schooling suffer from lack of resources. These schools are thus not equipped with the books, technology, or experienced teachers that can benefit their students. In Georgia, more than half of all students who attend public schools are students of color, while more than 75% of students enrolled in private schools are white. [3]

Disproportionate access to quality education results in higher dropout rates, lower college admission rates, and lower overall income for Black and Hispanic populations. To ensure the future progress of minority communities, it is vital that children have the same access to quality education. Investing in children’s future means investing in their schooling and ensuring that appropriate funds are set aside for the communities that need it most.

______________

[1] US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. NAEP 1999 Trends in Academic Progress (p. 107) Washington, DC: US Department of Education

[2] Mervosh, Sarah. “How Much Wealthier Are White School Districts Than Nonwhite Ones? $23 Billion, Report Says.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Feb. 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/02/27/education/school-districts-funding-white-minorities.html.

[3] “Quick-Facts-on-Georgia-Education  .” Georgia Department of Education , www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/communications/Pages/Quick-Facts-on-Georgia-Education.aspx.

 

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only. It is not to be assumed that the opinions are those of GALEO or the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. For the official position on any issue for GALEO, please contact Jerry Gonzalez, CEO of GALEO at jerry@galeo.org

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