Marie Diamond – LikeTheDew.com http://likethedew.com A journal of progressive Southern culture and politics Wed, 14 Nov 2018 14:35:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 http://likethedew.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-DewLogoSquare825-32x32.png Marie Diamond – LikeTheDew.com http://likethedew.com 32 32 93-Year-Old Woman Denied Voter ID http://likethedew.com/2011/12/26/93-year-old-woman-who-cleaned-tenn-capitol-for-30-years-denied-voter-id/ http://likethedew.com/2011/12/26/93-year-old-woman-who-cleaned-tenn-capitol-for-30-years-denied-voter-id/#comments Tue, 27 Dec 2011 04:42:42 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=34663 A 93-year-old Tennessee woman who cleaned the state Capitol for 30 years, including the governor’s office, says she won’t be able to vote for the first time in decades after being told this week that her old state ID failed to meet new voter ID regulations.

Thelma Mitchell was even accused of being an undocumented immigrant because she couldn’t produce a birth certificate:

Mitchell, who was delivered by a midwife in Alabama in 1918, has never had a birth certificate. But when she told that to a drivers’ license clerk, he suggested she might be an illegal immigrant.

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A 93-year-old Tennessee woman who cleaned the state Capitol for 30 years, including the governor’s office, says she won’t be able to vote for the first time in decades after being told this week that her old state ID failed to meet new voter ID regulations.

Thelma Mitchell was even accused of being an undocumented immigrant because she couldn’t produce a birth certificate:

Mitchell, who was delivered by a midwife in Alabama in 1918, has never had a birth certificate. But when she told that to a drivers’ license clerk, he suggested she might be an illegal immigrant.

Thelma Mitchell told WSMV-TV that she went to a state drivers’ license center last week after being told that her old state ID from her cleaning job would not meet new regulations for voter identification.

A spokesman for the House Republican Caucus insisted that Mitchell was given bad information and should’ve been allowed to vote, even with an expired state ID. But even if that’s the case, her ordeal illustrates the inevitable disenfranchisements that result when confusing voting laws enable state officials to apply the law inconsistently.

The incident is the just latest in a series of reports of senior citizens being denied their constitutional right to vote under restrictive new voter ID laws pushed by Republican governors and legislatures. These laws are a transparent attempt to target Democrat constituencies who are less likely to have photo ID’s, and disproportionately affect seniors, college students, the poor and minorities.

As ThinkProgress reported, one 96-year-old Tennessee woman was denied a voter ID because she didn’t have her marriage license. Another senior citizen in Tennessee, 91-year-old Virginia Lasater, couldn’t get the ID she needed to vote because she wasn’t able to stand in a long line at the DMV. A Tennessee agency even told a 86-year-old World War II veteran that he had to pay an unconstitutional poll tax if he wanted to obtain an ID.

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Ala. Attorney General Says Parts Of Immigration Law Should Be Scrapped http://likethedew.com/2011/12/08/alabama-attorney-general-says-parts-of-state%e2%80%99s-harsh-immigration-law-should-be-scrapped/ http://likethedew.com/2011/12/08/alabama-attorney-general-says-parts-of-state%e2%80%99s-harsh-immigration-law-should-be-scrapped/#comments Thu, 08 Dec 2011 05:39:33 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=33835 Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, who is charged with defending the state’s toughest-in-the-nation immigration law in court, is finally speaking out about the need to seriously revise the measure:

The top legal official in the U.S. state with the country’s toughest immigration law has suggested throwing out parts of the law after challenges by the federal government and strong protests by rights and business groups.

In his first public concerns about the law, expressed in a letter to legislative leaders obtained by The Associated Press, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said the proposed changes would make the law “easier to defend in court” and “remove burdens on law-abiding citizens.”

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Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, who is charged with defending the state’s toughest-in-the-nation immigration law in court, is finally speaking out about the need to seriously revise the measure:

The top legal official in the U.S. state with the country’s toughest immigration law has suggested throwing out parts of the law after challenges by the federal government and strong protests by rights and business groups.

In his first public concerns about the law, expressed in a letter to legislative leaders obtained by The Associated Press, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said the proposed changes would make the law “easier to defend in court” and “remove burdens on law-abiding citizens.”

The letter sent last week comes as the attorney general defends the law against a federal court challenge filed by about 30 organizations and individuals.

Strange specifically recommended repealing sections of the law that require public schools to collection information on the immigration status of students, and make it a crime for an undocumented immigrant to fail to carry registration.

Both sections of the law are currently on hold after the 11th Circuit temporarily suspended them pending further review. But the law has already had truly tragic effects on young school children in Alabama. Immediately after the law was passed, thousands of Hispanic students either stayed home or withdrew from school altogether, fearful that the new law was going to lead to the deportation of their families.

Hispanic students have been bullied by their peers, and one teacher even singled out a student in front of her peers simply because she looked foreign — even though she was an American citizen.

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Georgia Refuses To Reunite Children With Family Because Parents Are Undocumented http://likethedew.com/2011/12/03/georgia-refuses-to-reunite-children-with-family-because-parents-are-undocumented/ http://likethedew.com/2011/12/03/georgia-refuses-to-reunite-children-with-family-because-parents-are-undocumented/#comments Sat, 03 Dec 2011 06:42:33 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=33621 A custody fight in Georgia is illustrating the biases of a foster care system that some say routinely subverts the parental rights of undocumented and non-English speaking mothers and fathers:

Ovidio and Domitina Mendez’s lost their five children to foster care when the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services arrived at their home claimed the kids were malnourished. The couple, who are both undocumented immigrants from Guatemala, says they did everything the child welfare agency asked them to do to get their kids back. But three years later, the children are still in foster care with strangers. Why? Because they are undocumented immigrants who speak Spanish, according to advocates.

A recent study by the Applied Research Center revealed that at least 5,100 children are languishing in America’s foster care system because their immigrant parents were detained or deported.

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A custody fight in Georgia is illustrating the biases of a foster care system that some say routinely subverts the parental rights of undocumented and non-English speaking mothers and fathers:

Ovidio and Domitina Mendez’s lost their five children to foster care when the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services arrived at their home claimed the kids were malnourished. The couple, who are both undocumented immigrants from Guatemala, says they did everything the child welfare agency asked them to do to get their kids back. But three years later, the children are still in foster care with strangers. Why? Because they are undocumented immigrants who speak Spanish, according to advocates.

A recent study by the Applied Research Center revealed that at least 5,100 children are languishing in America’s foster care system because their immigrant parents were detained or deported. But the report also found that even when undocumented parents are not detained or deported, they face bias in the child welfare system as a result of cultural and language discrimination.

For instance, at the June hearing that terminated the Mendez’s parental rights, they were peppered with seemingly irrelevant questions about their English-speaking ability and immigration status. “Describe for the court why even three years after [the children went into the state’s custody] you cannot speak English without an interpreter,” asked Bruce Kling, special assistant attorney general for Whitfield County Department of Family and Children’s Service.

The state also argued that the Mendezes’ should not regain custody because, as undocumented immigrants, they could not attain driver’s licenses and therefore couldn’t transport their children. ARC found that many county child welfare departments give this justification for why undocumented parents can’t be trusted as caregivers.

The suggestion that undocumented immigrants are unfit parents (usually for reasons related to their poverty) is often used to separate them from their children. But children then remain in foster care because of the barriers that undocumented mothers and fathers face in trying to regain custody. Parents’ undocumented status also works against them by preventing them from accessing state services that would enable them to better provide for their children.

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