Author: Carmen Shaye

The Honduran Migrant Women

An invasion of alleged criminals, gang members and “Middle Easterners” was set to spill over the  US southern border and create mass chaos in the United States. Mass fear-mongering proliferated by the GOP as the elections approached, calling for increased security against the unruly mob of refugees approaching our verdant country in order to ignite a robust RED Wave. However, the story of the women and children fleeing violence and economic hardships is overlooked in the broader group.

The Administration and media labeled a caravan of Central American economic refugees with a list of unsavory titles in order to rally support for the approaching elections. The Commander and Chief ordered troops to the southern border with the express purpose of defending against the oncoming horde. However, that gaggle of migrants hundreds of miles away on the southern border of Mexico. In fact, almost a month after initial deployment and those troops have yet to see any engagement and it is unlikely that they will due to the legal status that prevents them from arresting migrants. This caravan of poor families and workers seeking to improve their conditions has proven to be little threat to national security. The danger these women face staying in the countries they have fled is great enough for these women to sacrifice everything, despite the hostile disposition they have received from the United States.

The entire debacle continues to grow now the elections have passed. Around 800 of the refugees are currently in shelters in Tijuana, where they are not popular among the local population. Migrant shelters are their capacity and the main body of the caravan approaches as it makes its way through the Mexican state of Sonora. The women and children in these shelters have already faced extreme hardships to reach this point. Now, the United States President has issued an executive order denying the right of these families to apply for asylum. Having crossed an entire county to escape violence and seek safety, this decree comes as disheartening to those who have uprooted their entire lives.

United States District Judge Jon Tigar of San Francisco ruled the administration’s policy that denies the right to asylum for these families is in direct conflict with the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. Under this law, migrants may seek protection even if they enter the country outside of a legal port of entry. The future of this block is uncertain as the case will be reviewed in December. The threat to these migrant women is great as some they are prime targets to be trafficked after they are denied asylum.  The treatment of those seeking asylum who have fled Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador as a single blanket group is a grave mistake with consequences for these vulnerable women and children. Rather than placing a flat ban, they should be considered as families and individuals. If the administration has family values, then it will value families.

This past week end many Hondurans and Central Americans shuddered when they found out the US authorities shut the border down at San Ysidro, one of the busiest border crossings. Tear gas was fired into Mexico at the Central American migrants approaching the border. The Administration has promised that this group of refugees would not easily enter the country.

The crowds have succumbed to panic as the refugees fear they will not be able to enter on US soil and apply for asylum.  In the meantime, the US is tying to negotiate with an incoming Mexican president. The US is fueled by its xenophobic tendencies.  Yet women and children are fleeing for safety and risk life.

We shall see what will become of these new members of society, whether they stay in Mexico or enter the United States, they face uncertainty.

It Takes a Woman

Nancy Pelosi has served as the Democratic Majority and Minority Leader of the House since the era of George W. Bush. Moreover, Pelosi has been a Congresswoman since 1987 and her long held position has lead her to become the personification of the liberal establishment and the center of Republican attacks against the Democratic Party. Republican ads played on television screens across the country in the 2018 midterms, using Pelosi as a rallying cry to oppose the election of Democrats. Despite the attempts to flip to red by linking candidates to Pelosi, the House swayed blue and has thus raised her to the potential position of Speaker of the House. Yet she faces opposition, and this time it is from within her own party.

With many of the newly elected House Democrats surging in the polls on a wave of promising change in Washington, the first place they look for change is Democratic Leadership.  The letter is as follows:

November 19, 2018

Dear Democratic Colleagues:

As we head toward the 116th Congress and reclaim our Democratic majority, we believe more strongly than ever that the time has come for new leadership in our Caucus.

We are thankful to Leader Pelosi for her years of service to our Country and to our Caucus. She is a historic figure whose leadership has been instrumental to some of our party’s most important legislative achievements.

However, we also recognize that in this recent election, Democrats ran and won on a message of change. Our majority came on the backs of candidates who said that they would support new leadership because voters in hard-won districts, and across the country, want to see real change in Washington. We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise.

Therefore, we are committed to voting for new leadership in both our Caucus meeting and on the House Floor.

Sixteen potential House Democrats have signed this Letter, just  one vote shy of the margin she needs to win the speaker post and  complicating the path forward for Nancy Pelosi. Nonetheless, these Democrats do not have enough votes to lock Pelosi out of the seat. Furthermore, some of them have not been officially confirmed as a few key races, such as Ben McAdams’ in Utah, are still too close to call. It should be no surprise to see such challenges in a Congress that has required Democrats to be elected from districts that traditionally lean to the right.

Although Pelosi is amidst controversy she still remains a “historic figure”.  She is the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives. yet she calls herself a Progressive but the   Progressive platform takes issue with her lack of support of “single Payer” healthcare.  She is a centrist who in the eyes of some represents the “status quo”.  She has been successful in leading the Democratic Party to great legislative achievements.  Why do we need new leadership when we have a winner? Is it because she is a woman?  Are men being measured by the same yardstick.

Pelosi remains confident in securing her position as Speaker. She has even invited competition for the seat, knowing that challenging her will still be an uphill battle. This is not to mention that a true challenge could create additional friction within the party at a time when they need to remain united in combating a Republican President and Senate. Nonetheless, Democratic Representative from Ohio, Marcia Fudge, the former chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, is considering just that.

While it is important to ensure the unity of the party, questions and challenges to the status quo such as these are vital for a healthy democracy. Challenges to party leadership reflect representatives who do not blindly follow the chain of command and instead make decisions based on what they reason to be the best course for those they represent. Ultimately it is highly likely that no serious battle will erupt against Pelosi and the left wing will remain stable at this critical juncture. Yet it is important to consider the changes that may be necessary for the party to reflect a diverse society whose priorities are ever changing.

NWPC South Bay Endorsed Officials 2018

Congratulations to these incredible women!!!

The National Women’s Political Caucus South Bay is proud of their outstanding campaigns and history of achievement in 2018, the year of the woman.

Congratulations to: US Senator Dianne Feinstein, US Representative Nanette Barragan, US Representative Maxine Waters, California Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, California State Controller Betty Yee, California Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, Compton Community College District Trustee, Deborah LeBlanc, Torrance Unified School District Board of Trustees Member Betty Lieu, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Hunter, & Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Veronica Sauceda.

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