Biden must rescind Trump-era public charge rules
As we exceed 500,000 COVID deaths, the Trump administration’s discriminatory and unlawful public charge rule continues to create fear and deter people from seeking health care and food assistance, inflicting great damage in a time of health crisis. The Biden administration must rescind the rule immediately and should withdraw all pending government appeals defending the rule, including its appeals to the Supreme Court; every day that passes causes more harm to immigrant communities and impedes efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, particularly among low-income communities of color. This must be a priority. The rule’s racist history and its imposition of a wealth test on immigrants make it one of the Trump administration’s most lethal policies.
Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the government's challenge in our case Make the Road New York v. Renauld was consolidated with a similar case brought by the states of New York, Connecticut, and Vermont, and together they are captioned as DHS v. State of New York.
Learn more about this case on our website.
Read our comments on newly draft NYPD surveillance policies
On Thursday, we joined several partner organizations in submitting comments on draft New York City Police Department policies regarding three types of surveillance technology in use by the department. The NYPD is required by the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology Act (POST Act) to publish its impact and use policies on this technology.
Our three submissions are:
- Body-worn Cameras (with Beldock, Levine and Hoffman LLP, co-counsel in Floyd v. City of New York)
- Criminal Group Database (with Bronx Defenders, Legal Aid and NAACP Legal Defense Fund)
- ShotSpotter (with Beldock, Levine and Hoffman LLP, co-counsel in Floyd v. City of New York)
Learn more about the NYPD’s surveillance technologies and read our comments on our website.
CBS News features our lawsuit in support of Ashley Diamond
Last week, Center for Constitutional Rights Senior Staff Attorney Chinyere Ezie spoke to CBS News Interactive about the latest developments in our lawsuit in support of Ashley Diamond, a Black, transgender woman and social justice and prisoners' rights activist. In 2016, Diamond’s landmark victory against the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) made national headlines. Ashley has since been re-imprisoned as a result of a technical parole violation and is currently incarcerated at Coastal State Prison in Garden City, Georgia. The situation is urgent and dire: she has faced repeated sexual assault and denial of healthcare, and the danger is further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is rapidly spreading through prisons across the country. In their reporting, CBS News writes:
Ashley Diamond, a Black transgender woman, says she is being abused and raped while in prison. Diamond filed her second lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Corrections for not protecting her or providing the necessary healthcare she and other incarcerated trans people require.
Black History Month, 2021: A Legacy of Irresistable Black Futures
As we enter 2021, we celebrate and stand with the people who organized a mass movement and created an unprecedented opening to advance visionary, affirmative, Black-centered agendas. We are proud to be part of this continued legacy of resistance, and invite all to join us as we build towards irresistible Black futures in a liberated world.
This year, we entered Black History Month with the purpose of paying tribute to the living legacy of Black freedom fighters, organizers, and artists who have charted the way for us — all of us — to transcend the status quo and touch a future that is more dignified, free, and joyful.
Rest in power, Dianna Ortiz
On February 19, we mourned the loss of Dianna Ortiz, the client in our case Ortiz v. Gramajo. Dianna Ortiz was an American nun who was living and teaching literacy and religion to school children in San Miguel Acatan, Guatemala, when she was abducted, raped, and tortured. She charged former Defense Minister of Guatemala Hector Gramajo with responsibility for her harrowing ordeal, but also claimed that an American official was complicit. In June 1991, we filed suit in the District Court of Massachusetts, seeking compensation for torture and other personal injury and also for defamation stemming from Gramajo’s false public statements that Ortiz’s abduction and torture were the result of a love affair. On April 12, 1995, a federal district court judge in Massachusetts ordered Gramajo to pay $47.5 million in damages to the plaintiffs in both cases. The Washington Post featured an obituary of Ortiz, which can be read here.