National news: Homeland Security funding, Virginia Eugenical Sterilization Act, second chance for immigrants


Department of Homeland Security avoids shutdown with 7-day funding extension

Congress passed a bill to provide funding to Homeland Security for another week after coming close to a partial shutdown of the department. The GOP-dominated House wanted to deliberate options that could repeal President Obama’s controversial executive immigration mandate. If an agreement is not reached after this week, the United States could face real threats to national security with terrorism brewing strongly in the Middle East. Many senators believe the immigration mandate is unconstitutional, leaving several loopholes that could prove destructive to security and the economy.

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Victims of forced sterilization to receive compensation

The state of Virginia, under a law called the Virginia Eugenical Sterilization Act, forced involuntary sterilization upon 7,000 victims from 1924 to 1979. Victims were individuals that the state deemed “genetically defective” and were sterilized in the name of “improving humankind genetics.” Presently, eugenics is condemned nationally because of its severe restriction of human freedom. Virginia is the second state to seek compensation for victims, following North Carolina in 2013. It is estimated that 65,000 Americans in 33 states were victims of this practice.

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San Diego settlement gives Mexican immigrants a second chance to stay in U.S.

Up to 30,000 immigrants from Mexico voluntarily expelled in southern California will receive a second opportunity to apply for citizenship. The American Civil Liberties Union of Los Angeles and San Diego filed the lawsuit against Homeland Security officials claiming the officials used deceptive tactics to persuade Mexicans to leave the United States voluntarily. They claim the immigrants were not fully informed of the consequences of their decision – including a 10-year ban on applying for citizenship. Those who fit the criteria and were deported from June 2009 through August 2014 are now eligible for re-entry to make their case.

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