Posts Tagged ‘United States’

(CNN) — One of the most outspoken gay critics of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy said Thursday that he has been discharged from the Army.

Lt. Dan Choi, who was arrested in March for handcuffing himself to a White House fence in protest of the policy, released a statement saying he had been honorably discharged.

The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy bars people who are openly gay or lesbian from serving in the military.

“This is both an infuriating and painful announcement,” Choi said. “But my service continues. … Remaining silent when our family and community members are fired or punished for who they truly are would be an unequivocal moral dereliction that tarnishes the honor of the uniform and insults the meaning of America.”

Choi told CNN he received the news through a phone call from his Army National Guard battalion commander. His discharge, however, actually became effective on June 29, according to Eric Durr, a National Guard spokesman.

“You prepare yourself,” Choi said. “I built an armor up.”

Choi, a 2003 West Point graduate who is fluent in Arabic, was an infantry platoon leader, serving with his unit in Iraq in 2006 and 2007.

He admitted his sexual orientation publicly for the first time last year on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” prompting the Army to initiate proceedings to discharge him.

Choi, who lives in New York City, founded KnightsOut.org, an advocacy and education organization of West Point graduates who are gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual. KnightsOut estimates there are 65,000 gays in the military.

President Barack Obama is pushing for a repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. A bill that would overturn the measure after a Pentagon review is completed in December is currently before Congress.

More than 12,500 gays have been booted from the military since “don’t ask, don’t tell” went into effect.

Lt. Dan Choi

via Outspoken gay soldier discharged from Army – CNN.com.

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Immigration detention – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the United States, a similar practice began in the early 1980s with Haitians and Cubans detained at Guantanamo Bay, and other groups such as Chinese in jails and detention centres on the mainland. The practice was made mandatory by legislation passed in 1996 in response to the Oklahoma City bombing, and has come under criticism from organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, all of whom have released major studies of the subject, and the ACLU [13] About 31,000 non-citizens are held in immigration detention on any given day,[14] including children, in over 200 detention centres, jails, and prisons nationwide.

One of the most recent facilities to open is the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, which opened in 2006 specifically to house non-criminal families. There are other significant facilities in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Oakdale, Louisiana, Florence, Arizona, Miami, Florida, Seattle, York, Pennsylvania, Batavia, New York, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and all along the TexasMexico border.

About 104 [15] mostly young individuals have died in detention of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement or shortly afterwards during the five years between 2003 to 2008, and medical neglect may have contributed to 30 of those deaths.[16] On August 6, 2008, 34 year old New Yorker Hiu Lui Ng died in the detention of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.[17] The editors of The New York Times condemned the death and urged that the system must be fixed.[18] The Immigration and Customs Enforcement has stated that the number of deaths per capita in detention is dramatically lower for ICE detainees than for U.S. prison and jail populations, that they provide “the best possible healthcare” and that the nation as a whole is “experiencing severe shortages of qualified health professionals”[19] In May 2008 Congress began considering a bill to set new standards for immigrant detainee healthcare.[19]

Children are held in these detention facilities?  Well, that pretty much tells us how much compassion ICE has behind a major factor in our economy.

It comes as no surprise to me that there have been health related issues in these facilities.  Not even actual legalized American citizens can get proper health care… what makes us think that these people would be treated any better?  Is it not better to focus on education and implementing the 12,000,000+ illegal immigrants into our society, that which they are already contributing?  Would it not be better to stop spending money on these types of facilities, and focus on comprehensive programs that will empower people to speak and think freely in America?


‘State employees behind illegal immigrant list? – Campbell Brown – CNN.com Blogs’

(CNN) Utah officials have identified at least two state employees who are believed to be involved in creating a public listing of some 1,300 purported illegal immigrants.

Two employees of Utah’s Department of Workforce Services (DWS) have been placed on administrative leave pending completion of the full investigation. The workers could face fines, termination and/or criminal charges.

Following the document’s release, Governor Gary R. Herbert directed all state agencies to conduct an internal review. The DWS quickly drew attention in light of its database, containing data for Medicaid, food stamp programs and unemployment benefits. That type of information was discovered on the list.

“When someone does business with the state of Utah, they deserve to know that their private information will be kept private,” Herbert said Friday.

The investigation comes on the heels of the 29-page list’s release on Tuesday by a group calling itself Concerned Citizens of the United States, which sent the list to several media outlets, government agencies, and lawmakers. The list contained highly personal information, including Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers and even the due dates of expectant mothers. An accompanying memo urged publication of the list and immediate deportation of those mentioned. Citing privacy concerns, all media outlets opted to withhold the names.

Herbert urged Utah lawmakers – some of whom recently began discussing a new immigration law mirroring one recently approved in Arizona – not to harp on the issue to further their political agendas.

“This is a serious public policy matter that should be discussed in a rational and reasonable manner,” Herbert said. “This ‘list’ is not something that should be used for political gain, which is something we have seen over the past week. I encourage everyone, no matter their views on immigration, to approach this with respect for all people and points of view.”

via State employees behind illegal immigrant list? – Campbell Brown – CNN.com Blogs.

WOW!  State employees behind the list… who saw that one coming?  After releasing this list to news agencies, residents, and government officials, we find that the real problem is that the government is stumbling through immigration reform instead of actively creating a pathway that works!

What this has done is created hostile citizens and non-citizens that find that they are on the list.  This is exactly like what is happening over in Arizona, as we all know to well.  The rising of deaths in the Arizona desert because of the heat, and more people are coming because of many reasons, one could be the increase in violence happening within the drug industry in Mexico.

I’m sorry to those that are affected by this list.  Both the people that are on it, and the people who think that identifying the people on this list will serve some sort of greater purpose.  Equal Rights For All!