When Isela arrived at the US southern border, she thought her efforts to flee extreme anti-gay violence would be enough to convince American authorities to let her into the US.
Isela and her partner, Sofía, requested humanitarian parole, which would allow them to enter the US temporarily. But their request was denied by Customs and Border Protection on Sept. 1, and the two Honduran women have since been living on the streets of Mexico with no end in sight.
Nearly all pathways for asylum-seekers to ask for protection at the US border are currently sealed off, the result of constantly shifting immigration policies and court rulings.
Humanitarian parole is one of the few remaining pathways for asylum-seekers to enter the US right now. The policy allows people who would otherwise be barred into the country temporarily. But successfully gaining the status is difficult and discretionary, and immigration advocates say it’s not clear exactly why some cases are approved and similar ones are denied.
“We’ve suffered so much because we’re part of the LGBT community, and we hoped that the US would help us, but instead they closed the door on us,” Sofía said. “We’re very confused about why we were denied.”
STAYING ON TOP OF THIS
Long before Texas, advocates have been preparing to fight the rising legal risks for people seeking abortions
Self-managed abortion, the practice of ending a pregnancy without a medical professional, is still legal under Texas’s new six-week abortion ban SB 8. The law doesn’t allow the person seeking the abortion to be sued, and because self-managed abortion does not involve a licensed medical provider, it’s not outlawed.
But SB 8 poses an unprecedented legal threat to abortion access, whether someone intends to end a pregnancy on their own or with a doctor’s help.
People who opt to self-manage an abortion, most commonly with FDA-approved pills, can face criminal charges in the US. These kinds of cases are typically very rare. But with increasing national hostility toward abortion rights, especially after the Supreme Court permitted SB 8 to take effect, advocates are ready for legal risks to escalate.
“There is no law in any of the 50 states that states it’s illegal to drive while Black…right?” said Susan Yanow, cofounder of nonprofit Women Help Women. “It isn’t the language of the law per se. The reality is that as long as [self-managed abortion] is stigmatized and not understood, people can be criminalized for almost anything.”
A key informant in the Michigan kidnapping case has struck a plea deal. Stephen Robeson, a 57-year-old biker from Wisconsin, helped the government infiltrate militant extremists. He will serve two years of probation for a separate gun possession charge.
Police arrested the South Carolina lawyer who they said planned his own killing for an insurance payout. Alex Murdaugh allegedly planned his own killing so his son could collect a $10 million insurance payout, three months after his wife and other son were fatally shot.
Simone Biles opened up about her “challenging” Olympics after she made Time magazine’s list of most influential people. “For my professional career, I’ve only ever been congratulated for winning. Now it’s like, for being a human, for being vulnerable. It’s not what I’m used to.”
TELEVISING THE REVOLUTION
The creators of The Activist have changed their minds after social media backlash
The initial concept of The Activist was a five-week reality show that would chronicle six activists facing off in challenges. Judges would include celebrities Usher, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Julianne Hough, and success would be measured in part by each cause’s performance on social media.
As you might be able to imagine, many people balked at the idea of pitting activists against each other in pursuit of funding. Cristina Jiménez, cofounder of United We Dream, a youth-led advocacy group for immigrant children, described the show as a “mockery” of the work activists do.
Responding to the intense backlash, the show’s creators have since apologized for their approach to televised activism and announced that The Activist will pivot to a documentary format.
“Global activism centers on collaboration and cooperation, not competition. We apologize to the activists, hosts, and the larger activist community — we got it wrong,” said Global Citizen, one of the show’s production partners.