Hundreds gathered at the Hobby Family Pavilion at The Water Works in Houston on Sunday, Nov. 17th , to demand humane treatment for the women and girls held in immoral immigration prisons. The “Unlock the Future” Rally was organized by the National Organization for Women (NOW) in collaboration with coalition partners. The group issued a Bill of Rights that will be delivered to top level government officials and launching an #UnlockTheFuture social media campaign.
The Bill of Rights reads, “
1. The right to freedom from sexual and physical assault, abuse and harassment while in custody, and to see the federal law enforced that allows any detained person fleeing from such crimes or violence of any kind be permitted to immediately seek asylum.
- The right to respect for families by ending the cruel policy of family separations and by ensuring that any detention stays be of a short duration.
- The right to a legal system that is accessible, humane and respectful of trauma survivors, delivered in migrants’ native languages.
- The right to safety, respect and medical care for LGBTQIA+ individuals and individuals with disabilities.
- The right to safe, comfortable living conditions, healthy food and fresh drinking water.
- The right to reliable, prompt, continual and quality medical care, including whole women’s health issues, and all necessary medications.
- The right to control their own bodies and autonomy over their reproductive health decisions, including birth control and abortion.
- The right to consistent and free of charge access to quality personal hygiene necessities, including menstrual products.
- The right to prompt release for pregnant migrants and migrants with breastfeeding infants, and appropriate prenatal and infant care while in custody.
- The right to mental health services informed by awareness of the gender-based violence and associated trauma experienced by detained immigrants.”
Immigrant families are being inhumanely locked away in horrific and immoral detention facilities in Texas and around the nation and women and girls are suffering the most. Those fleeing to the U.S. are often seeking refuge from sexual violence, assault and poverty and they deserve a fair and humane immigration process. If they are to be held in these prisons, at a minimum, we have an obligation to give them access to vital human needs such as reproductive health care, feminine hygiene products and mental health care, among other provisions. They must also be free from physical and sexual abuse, strip searches by guards, invasive personal and intimate questioning and tracking of their periods by U.S. government officials.
Joining NOW Vice President Christian F. Nunes were: U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Representative for the 18th District of Texas; U.S. Congressman Al Green, Representative for the 9th District of Texas ; U.S. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia, Representative for the 29th District of Texas; Kendrick Sampson, Activist and Actor From HBO’s Insecure; Ruby Powers, Immigration Lawyer and Human Rights Activist; Tia Oso, International Activist and Strategist for BLD PWR Initiative; Amy Hinojosa, President and CEO, MANA, A National Latina Organization; Frances “Poppy” Northcutt, Texas NOW Presiden, First Female Engineer to Work in NASA’s Mission Control and Andrea Fernandez, NOW-Austin Chair.
African Communities Public Health Coalition
|Association of World Citizens|
|Black Women’s Blueprint|
|Catholics for Choice|
|Dolores Huerta Foundation|
|Families Belong Together|
|Feminist Majority Political Action Committee|
|First Church UCC|
|Go With The Flow|
|Immigrant Families Together|
|Justice for Migrant Women|
|PERIOD. The Menstrual Movement|
|Refugee and Immigrant Center for
Education and Legal Services (RAICES)
|Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice|
|The Global Women’s Institute|
|The Peace Alliance|
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is an American feminist organization founded in 1966. The organization consists of 550 chapters in all 50 U.S. states and in Washington, D.C.
NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive justice for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society.
As a grassroots organization driven by membership: Because of recent activity in the Texas Legislature, for example, the main focuses of NOW TX right now are reproductive rights and voter registration. The group regularly holds voter registration events to get members certified as Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrars; they go to the Capitol to attend hearings on legislation women are passionate about; the group has begun an enormous initiative with the long-term goal of protesting every single Crisis Pregnancy Center in Texas!
These days, more than ever, it is SO important to do more than just sit around and complain about the state of things–the organization is all about getting to work NOW! Join the fight for justice & equality in Texas.
1426 Clower St, San Antonio, TX 78201