On Thursday, June 18th, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that upheld the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. This comes over two years after the Trump administration moved to eliminate the program. About 700,000 people are currently enrolled in DACA, which grants temporary stays of deportation to undocumented immigrants who moved to the U.S. as children. As DACA recipients and supporters celebrate this win, they're also looking to the future. DACA could still be challenged by this administration. Meanwhile, many are calling for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for both DACA recipients and the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. today.
According to Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat, stories are a way of finding inspiration and comfort during the times we're living through. Her award-winning writing portrays the immigrant experience, Haitian-American identity, and loss. In conversation with Maria Hinojosa, Danticat dives into the history of resistance to the police violence that was all around her as a young adult in New York City, the loss of her own uncle who died at the hands of immigration authorities, and how she's making sense of the current moment.
In 1919, an intrepid Texas state representative, José Tomás Canales, decided to lead an investigation into the abuse of power by the Texas Rangers. For several years, residents of South Texas had been reporting that members of the law enforcement agency were going rogue: beating, torturing, and even killing people, in the name of protecting Anglo settlers. The subsequent investigation into these abuses would illustrate the difficulties of reforming and creating oversight over policing on the border—and would leave behind a narrative about justified violence against the Mexican-American community, that lingers to this day.
The killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked worldwide protests against racism and police brutality. To many, this moment seems inevitable — and for the Latinx community, it's bringing up complex conversations on identity, race, and allyship with the Black community. In the first of several conversations we will be having on Latino USA, we're joined by Afro-Puerto Rican activist, organizer, and scholar Rosa Clemente to understand how we got to this crucial moment. We talk about what useful allyship looks like and where the next generation of Black and Latinx activist leaders go from here.
In late February, the government of Puerto Rico was in denial over COVID-19. Top health officials were saying that the coronavirus would not reach the island—but the pandemic did arrive in early March. With hospitals that are still recovering from hurricanes and earthquakes, there was concern that the spread of COVID-19 would overwhelm a fragile health system. To prevent that from happening, a group of Puerto Rican scientists banded together to ramp up testing. In this episode, two scientists show us how Puerto Rico went from one of the U.S. jurisdictions with the least testing to over 100,000 COVID tests.
It's been over a week since the death of George Floyd – a black man in handcuffs who died after being suffocated under the knee of a white officer in Minneapolis. Since Floyd's death, protests have erupted all over the country, calling for an end to police brutality on black citizens. One of the cities where residents have taken to the streets is Atlanta. The hometown of Martin Luther King, Jr. the city has a long history of protesting and was pivotal in the Civil Rights movement. Julieta Martinelli, one of Latino USA's producers, has been covering the protests for our website, latinousa.org. On today's episode, she brings us a reporter's notebook.