To Protect Afghan Girls, the Biden Administration Must Take Real Action: “No More Empty Promises”

Taliban nostalgia threatens 20 years of progress for Afghan girls. The lives, aspirations and rights of girls are not just getting lost in the mix—they are actively being squashed.

How the U.S. responds will be a true test of whether the Biden administration’s stated commitment to gender equality applies in practice and beyond rhetoric. We don’t need another speech or more photo opportunities. We have enough promises. What we need is for President Biden to galvanize real action. Afghan girls deserve nothing less.

The U.S. Still Hasn’t “Forgiven Haiti for Being Black”—And Modern Immigrants Are Paying the Price

In an 1893 speech examining the U.S. relationship with Haiti, Frederick Douglass said: “A deeper reason for coolness between the countries is this: Haiti is [B]lack, and we have not yet forgiven Haiti for being [B]lack or forgiven the Almighty for making her [B]lack.”

U.S. Border Patrol agents rounding up asylum seekers with whips while thousands more languish under a bridge in the unrelenting Texas heat make it clear: 128 years after Frederick Douglass’s speech, his words still ring true.

The Biden Administration’s Expulsion of Haitians Is Unconscionable—and a Missed Opportunity

“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark. … No one puts their children on a boat unless the boat is safer than the land.”

Recent expulsions of thousands of Haitian migrants showcase how far the U.S. has to go on immigration reform.

The proliferation of Haitian migrants at the Mexican border did not begin under this administration. But for Biden, this represents not only a missed opportunity to distinguish himself on immigration, but also an egregious lack of humanity and regard for Black lives in the Caribbean.

The Texas Ban and the Migration Injustice

“Abortion migration” is when pregnant people travel long distances and cross internal and national borders to access abortion care. While the news out of Texas is extraordinarily alarming, both Texas women and pregnant people across the globe have long been traveling to places like Albuquerque to legally terminate pregnancies. Various forms of state and state-sanctioned power combine to coerce our movement in ways that threaten our dignity and equal standing.

Can the U.S. Meet the Humanitarian Challenges of Its Own Making?

With humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, Haiti and at the border, the U.S. must reassess what kind of lasting policy changes would prepare us to protect refugees and other vulnerable people in need around the world.

There must be more measures that allow for temporary and permanent protection within the country, more deliberate and sustained efforts to promote good government and economic opportunity internationally and a commitment to address the regional ebb and flow of migration to the U.S.

Stopping Long Enough to Celebrate: Recent Win for Violence Survivor and Asylum-Seeker Holds Critical Lessons

The DOJ has granted asylum to Ms. A.B., a Salvadoran woman who fled domestic violence. The victory reaffirms: Violence in a home is not a private matter; marriage is not an excuse for rape; and gender-based violence is reason for urgent action.

I spoke with one of Ms. A.B.’s formidable attorneys, Blaine Bookey, from the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, at U.C. Hastings, which took on the previous administration’s bullish attempts to push intimate partner violence back into the shadows. 

The Case For the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights: “Called Essential, Treated As Expendable”

Domestic workers, organizers and activists have been working with members of Congress to mend the precarity of domestic work. On July 29, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) reintroduced the historic Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, first introduced by Jayapal and then-Senator Kamala Harris in 2019.

Creating a Path to Citizenship Is Within Our Grasp

The Senate has just passed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution designed to bring to fruition many of President Biden’s campaign promises to improve the lives of families and children, including a $105 billion allocation of funds to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

The next steps are fraught with difficulty, but still, this is an incredibly important first step towards offering almost 11 million people—47 percent of whom are women—a chance at legal status and ultimately, citizenship.