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Commentary

Over the years, many victims of workplace sexual violence have benefitted from the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the landmark case Meritor Savings Bank v. Mechelle Vinson. Unfortunately, farmworker and low-wage immigrant women in our nation continue to suffer workplace sexual violence at alarming rates.

Alabama’s new anti-immigrant law, signed last week by Gov. Robert Bentley, will set back years of civil rights progress in the state and have devastating economic consequences.

Yesterday, the Alabama Legislature fell into the same costly trap as neighboring Georgia by following the ill-fated footsteps of Arizona and passing harsh anti-immigrant legislation. The bill, H.B. 56, will not only set back years of progress on civil rights in the state but will also add considerably to Alabama's existing budget crisis.

Earlier this month, a federal judge handed down a major decision in one of our cases, establishing a new precedent in protecting victims of human trafficking. This decision marks the first time a court has interpreted the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) with the breadth Congress intended.

Sexual violence is about people using their power to sexually exploit, demean and harm someone. Immigrant women are especially vulnerable to such abuses of power, whether working in hotels, in agricultural fields, restaurants, factories, or in the private homes.

Georgia Bill Undermines Core American Values

05/13/2011

Georgia fell into a costly trap by following the ill-fated footsteps of Arizona when Governor Deal signed harsh anti-immigrant legislation. The bill, H.B. 87, will not only set the state back years of progress in civil rights but will also add to Georgia’s already burgeoning deficit.

The bullying of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students is a severe, nationwide problem – one made more difficult by the reluctance of many school districts to take strong steps to prevent it. Nearly nine out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment in 2009, according to a survey by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which sponsors the National Day of Silence.

Sexual Assault Against Immigrant Women is a Hidden Human Rights Tragedy

04/05/2011

Throughout April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, my colleagues and I will be meeting with policymakers to discuss this issue. We will also host “Know Your Rights” events across the country to inform immigrant women about their legal rights – giving them the tools to speak out and seek justice.

The notion of birthright citizenship guaranteed by the 14th Amendment is once again a flash point in our volatile debate over immigration. Derided as "anchor babies" and even "terror babies," the children of today's undocumented immigrants are under attack by a coalition of state lawmakers backed by the nativist lobby.

Alabama’s legislature is currently considering legislation modeled on Arizona’s anti-immigrant statue that resulted in boycotts of that state. It also incorporates laws struck down in Farmers Branch, Texas. Alabama cannot afford to follow in the footsteps of Arizona and Farmers Branch.