6-28-12 Links Roundup

At the same time, legislatures in Arizona, Alabama, Florida and other states have doubled down on policies to restrict access to abortion and contraception while at the same time making it harder for immigrant women and families to live with dignity and justice. It’s been a tough year.

But this week brings with it a measured victory, as anti-immigrant extremism in the states seems to have finally “jumped the shark.” In a 5-3 decision, the Supreme Court rejected the overreach of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, affirming such legislation violates our Constitution, as well as our national values and national interests. The court joins millions of Americans in rejecting these divisive and unworkable policies.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the most dangerous provision of SB 1070 remains intact — at least for now. The “Papers, Please” provision requires police to ask proof of legal status for anyone they believe to be in the country illegally.

This policy will undoubtedly contribute to racial profiling and harassment in Arizona, leave immigrant women more vulnerable to crimes like intimate partner violence and less likely to seek needed services like prenatal care, and contribute to an overall environment of stigma and bias against immigrant woman and all women of color living in Arizona.

“I played football in the neighbourhood. I would take the ball and play with the local boys,” recounts Honey Thaljieh, a member of the Women’s Football Committee at the Palestinian Football Association.

“That I was a girl playing with boys was of no concern to me. I was young. I wanted to play all the time.”

But they face many challenges. The pitch is often inaccessible thanks to a ring of Israeli checkpoints. And girls from Gaza cannot train with their counterparts in the West Bank.

Other challenges are found even closer to home – the conservative nature of Palestinian society still considers women’s football something of an aberration.

Ali said the best part is spending time with her daughters.

“Of course, every kid likes water and I wanted them to grow up like normal kids and learn how to swim,” Ali said over shrieking and splashing kids. “I want them to have fun. They’re really having fun. They’re very excited.”

But the classes aren’t just about cooling off and having fun. They’re the first step in making exercise more accessible for Muslim women in City Heights.

“They have diabetes, high blood pressure, and doctors are telling them all the time, ‘Go exercise,’” said Sahra Abdi, director of United Women of East Africa. “But where are they going to do it?”

The questions are probing, authoritative, but less accusatory. “What are you doing here?” “Do you live here?” “Can I see some identification, please?” During the pat-down, they ask, “Do you have anything on you?” They nudge further: “You don’t mind if I search you, do you?” They explain that someone of a matching description robbed a store a few days ago, or that the stop is a random one, part of a program in a high-crime area. Then they apologize for the stop and say the person is free to go.

In interviews with 100 people who said they had been stopped by the New York police in neighborhoods where the practice is most common, many said the experience left them feeling intruded upon and humiliated. And even when officers extended niceties, like “Have a nice night,” or called them “sir” and “ma’am,” people said they questioned whether the officer was being genuine.

Michael Delgado, 18, said he was last stopped on Grant Street in East New York, Brooklyn. “I was walking, and a cop said, ‘Where’s the weed?’ ” he recalled. “In my mind, I’m like, ‘Yo, this guy’s a racist.’ He started frisking me, his hands were in my pockets, but I didn’t say anything because my mom always tells me: ‘No altercations. Let him do his thing.’”

The new revelations of bias within Televisa, the world’s biggest Spanish-language broadcaster, challenge the company’s claim to be politically impartial as well as Peña Nieto’s insistence that he never had a special relationship with Televisa.

The unit – known as “team Handcock”, in what sources say was a Televisa codename for the politician and his allies – commissioned videos promoting the candidate and his PRI party and rubbishing the party’s rivals in 2009. The documents suggest the team distributed the videos to thousands of email addresses, and pushed them on Facebook and YouTube, where some of them can still be seen.

The nature of the relationship between Peña Nieto and Televisa has been a key issue in Sunday’s election since the development in May of a student movement focused on perceived media manipulation of public opinion in the candidate’s favour.

Televisa refused to comment on the specifics of the documents but denied suggestions it had favoured the PRI, saying it had done political work for all the major parties.