United States Court of Appeals Denies Trump’s Travel Ban

The controversial decree signed by President Donald J. Trump banning refugees and restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter in the U.S. was declined by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

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President of United States Donald J. Trump

Mr. Trump signed the Executive Order 13769 under the name of “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”resulting in the suspension of this decree on 3rd February. The U.S. Court of Appeals on 9th February unanimously rejected President Trump’s attempt to re-apply it

From this declarations, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

This victory should not lead to complacency. This and other Trump administration orders and policies still pose a threat to communities of color, religious minorities, women, and others.”  

Three judges supported arguments in order to keep the suspension of the traveling ban and Mr. Trump said he would take the case to the Supreme Court.

Trump defend his travel ban and accused the judiciary branch of becoming “political” during an address to the Washington, D.C.conference of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. He also made references to his current measures related to the electoral campaign:


“One of the reasons I was elected was because of law, order, and security.”

Mr. Trump talks directly to the American people, Courts of Appeal and to the Opposition:


“You are great men and women, and we have to allow you to do your jobs, and we have to give you the weapons that you need […] they are trying to taking away from you, because of politics, or political views.”


In those statements, he is calling for Americans to understand the travel ban as a tool for increment security and jobs. Then Trump alleged the possibility of the Courts of being influenced by the opposite party in its decisions. 

This article from The Guardian informs about Trump called for surveillance against mosques and support the idea of establishing a database for all Muslims living in the United States. This ideology has led Trump wants to the shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until he was able to figure out how to attack horrendous threats by people who believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life, in his own words.

Trump’s executive order of the travel ban restriction proposed (also applied to permanent US residents, like green-card holders and foreign visitors) the imposition of a 90-day ban on travelers from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Lybia, Somalia, Yemen, and Iraq, according to the Telegraph

However, the ban is not applied to Christians of these countries. 

Trump’s executive order has been strongly criticized by many people, as the Court of Appeals alleged that the travel ban has nothing to do with the reach of ‘national security’:

The decision to ban people from seven-Muslim majority countries to enter the United States will give further arguments to extremist groups, such as the Islamic State, and will not guarantee national security.”


By Alejandro Martínez, Marina Barberá and Alba Tissera.

A Prayer That Ends In Death

 

The shooting that took place inside a mosque in Quebec, Canada on January 29th, was an act of islamophobia by Alexandre Bissonnette who killed 6 people and injured 8.

At 20:00 on Sunday, more than 50 people were at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City, after they ended praying. When it was bound to be a normal day, a man entered and started shooting, taking the life of six people and injuring eight. The victims were all men between 39 and 60 years old. The man accused of being the gunman, Alexandre Bissonnette, was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder using a restricted firearm on Monday, according to police sources.

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Alexandre Bissonnette, 27 years old. – wpmedia.montrealgazette.com –

Alexandre Bissonnette is a 27 years old Quebec native who studied political science and anthropology at Laval University, close from where the shooting took place. Khaled Belkacemi, former professor at Laval University, also died in the attack. Mr Bissonnette went to the mosque days before the shooting with a curious and suspicious attitude. A witness in the mosque said that the Young man wasn’t interested in learning about their religion. Nobody imagined what days later would happen. Those who knew him from near or far and the families of the victims are wondering why.

Mr Bissonnette was known for taking nationalist and anti-feminist positions by their classmates. According to the testimonies that were provided by the authorities and published by Montreal Gazette, he was bullied at school for being a “nerd” and he built a thick skin, according to statements of his twin brother. A friend of Alexander reassured that this individual was independent, not antisocial. Another more recent acquaintance suggested that Bissonnette had become radicalized in the last year, mainly through the Internet. We can see in his FaceBook page how refugee’s advocates and community organizers were regularly moscked by Alexander Bissonnette with anti-immigrant and anti-feminist statements.

Facts such a pig’s head being left at the mosque’s doorstep last year- as we have found in these article of CBC NEWS.- make us wonder if the police have taken properly measures. We need stronger condemnation of hate speech in a context where there is Trump, that is normalizing anti-Muslim discourse, and it seeps into people.

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Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City

According to what The New York Times tell us in one of its articles contrasted with official sources, the shooting was the first time anyone had been killed in a mosque in Canada in such circumstances and was, at least in recent times, a rare event outside the Muslim world. Also is particularly decisive and relevant to know the current frame of creeping intolerance, fuelled by other politicians as much as Trump. Who is constantly posting on his personal twitter messages that encourage hatred and revenge.

We can’t forget that on Friday 27 of January (two days before the Quebec shooting) Trump signed the order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspending all refugee admission for 120 days,  CNN. He didn’t mention anything but these tweets about what happened in Quebec:

On the other hand the Prime Minister of Canada Mr. Trudeau, said at a memorial near the mosque on Monday:

“Muslim Canadians are valued members of every community and wherever they live they deserve to feel safe; they are home here” 


This research was done by Alejandro Martín, Marina Barberá and Alba Tissera.

Pilar Tello, the woman behind a worldwide phenomenom

I’m sure that the majority of you know the name of your favourite writer, but, have you ever thought the amount of people that are involved in the creation of a book? Yes, the writer is the most important one, without them the book wouldn’t even exist in the first place but…what about the rest of them? Today I am going to talk about the collective of amazing people that change any book written in another language, to the one that the reader uses to communicate: the translators. And for that, I have interviewed Pilar Ramírez Tello, the translator to Spanish of huge trilogies such as The Hunger Games or Divergent.

When Pilar finished high school she did not have any vocation for anything, she did not like any of the degrees, so as she liked read and write, she tried to find something related to it. At first, she thought in Journalism but she finally opted to the degree of Translation since she had received English lessons when she was little. When doing the degree, she discovered that she liked the translation process, either being a book or a technical manual.

She told me that she started working in an agency where she did a bit of everything. Then, she worked in an enterprise specialized in document management where she has the chance of collaborating on the translation of bilingual specialized dictionaries. Also, she worked in the translation department of an engineering enterprise. As a fact, meanwhile she was working on the engineering enterprise, she started her literary translation.

When talking about the reason of why the job of translators it is not as much valuable as it should, she said that “right now, we bet for visibility”. This one is the reason of why the campaign Acredítame has been created. This campaign asks media to mention the translators of the books that they make reviews to. The idea is to make people more aware of the existence of translator, so it will be easier to make this profession valuable, “believe it or not, there are people that do not even take into account that, for example, Veronica Roth does not write in Spanish.”

Pilar thinks that she had just good luck when the editorial chose her to translate sagas, as huge as for example, The Hunger Games or Divergent. “When the rights of translation of The Hunger Games were bought for Spain, the trilogy was not the smash hit in which it would become later”. In that time Pilar had already translated enough fantasy, science-fiction and youth literature books, so, at the time of looking for someone with experience in that field, they found her. But with Divergent was different as the editorial already knew her.

When I asked her about how it was to be the translator of Spanish trilogies that have succeeded that much, she told me that “at the beginning it made her head spin.” And, when the books that she translated were read by more and more people, the feeling of responsibility and scare appeared since a lot of people could see her mistakes.

“When Mockingjay arrived I could only talk about it with the RBA’s person in charge of press”, she said, speaking when about the third part of The Hunger Games. She also added, “the last pages were not sent from the U.S. editorial until the last time, before I had already the rest of the book translated, because of the fear of it being leaked.” As the editorial wanted to publish at the same time both original version and Spanish version, she had to translate it in twenty days and the last few pages were sent via regular email to avoid other translations or leaks. So, it was necessary to sign a confidentiality agreement.

“For me, neologisms are the most difficult and entertaining thing of translating fantasy and science-fiction novels”, she responded when I asked her about the translation of mockingjay as sinsajo. She added that when they find a term that they do not know anything about, the first thing they do is to research to get a conclusion. Once they are sure that the term has been invented by the author, they have to look for the process that the author has followed to invent it. In the case of mockingjay, she started by analysing the word jabberjay, the term in the original version which makes reference to a man-made bird created to keep an eye on the citizens of the districts. “A jay is a real bird and its equivalent in Spanish is arrendajo. And jabber is a verb that means farfullar. Nevertheless, for an aesthetic question, after have been looking for synonyms, I used the verb charlar.” As a result, jabberjay was translated as charlajo. “When all jabberjays or charlajos were released, as all of them were male, it was supposed that they could not reproduce. But they get to survive and they mated with female mockingbirds, which in Spanish are sinsontes”, she added to explain how the word sinsajo was created: sinsonte and charlajo together make up sinsajo in Spanish. 

Pilar has shown me the great importance of translators and the pressure they have to bear when it comes to the deadline. People should be more aware of what translators have to face every day and value their relevant job. My future job.

 

Made by María Martínez Lorenzo

 

 

Interview to an European in NY

B. C. is an European young photographer who lives nowadays in New York. She has a great and varied heritage: Her parents are both Cuban, who met when they studied in Russia, and there she was born. So was born in Russia, then moved to Portugal when she was 6, and later, when she was 19, she moved again to Spain to study a degree on Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Then she traveled to Estonia as part of the Erasmus Exchange Program. She travelled then to California, where she finished her studies. She lived in Miami for a while, and finally she moved to NY, where she has been living for one year, four years in the States. Now she works at a company of entertaining news.

She has travelled a lot, and she has met a lot of different cultures, which I found really interesting to interview. During our interview, B.C. explained how did it feel to live in the States, and in New York. As she said, places like California and New York are the most representative places because of their different cultures and nationalities. There you get to know people from all over the world, unlike in the center of the USA, where there are only Americans. In New York, the people is very open-minded. In Europe,  she felt a bit alien because there aren’t a lot of people who has moved as much as she did, but in New York there is a lot of people who has lived in a lot of different places, which makes her feel very normal.

I was interested too in the perspective of an European, who has spent quite a lot of year living in the USA, about the political campaign there. From her point of view, it feels a bit crazy, all this Trump stuff. The first thing that surprises her is that she doesn’t really know any Trump supporters, there in New York. “I think people who has access to a minimum  education, that have access to university, know that Trump is not a good candidate for the US presidency. Even though he has a lot of people supporting him. That surprised me because half the country seem to like Trump.” Also, it seems that there is some people who would vote for Trump just because they don’t like Hillary. “The thing is, I think, that a lot of people hate Trump, but there’s a lot of people who hate Hillary too, and that scares me, because I know people who like Bernie Sanders, and that tell me that if he doesn’t win for the democrats, they will vote for Trump, because they’d rather vote for Trump, since they don’t like Hillary.

She also told me a bit about the current situation of the campaign and the ideas and measures Trump is proposing if he achieves to become the next president of the USA. “Well, I think next week is important for the campaign, because California is voting, and there is quite a lot of people in California, so it’s kind of decisive, it can make Hillary win for the democrats or, well, I think if Trump wins, I’ll come back to Europe” She speaks then about how racist are Trump’s measures. “The measures Trump want to implement are very very racist, like the thing about the Muslims, that he wants to control them and stuff, I don’t know, it’s like every week he has something horrible to say. It is quite incredible, because I think at first everyone thought Trump’s candidature was kind of a joke, and that would last for, like, two or three months… Now you can see in the polls Trump’s results very close to Hillary’s and, I don’t know, it worries me a lot because there exists the possibility of Trump actually becoming president.”

Finally, B. told me about her view of the European people and their point of view of the political campaign of the USA. She said that there is a lot of people in Europe that can’t see yet how worrying this issue is, since it isn’t their country and they feel too far away, but the United States of America are a powerful country, whose president is very important too, and what happens there is definitely affecting the whole world.

By Alejandro Conesa Martínez

An Interview with Irina Feldman

My name is Pablo Llamas Aparicio and I am a first-year student of Translation at the UEM. On June 9, 2016, I had the privilege of interviewing Professor Irina Feldman, who teaches Spanish language and Latin American literature at Middlebury College, in Vermont, United States. I thought it could be interesting to know the opinion of someone who lives in a state that usually remains unnoticed for Europeans in comparison to some of the states where we get the idea that everything seems to happen. On top of that, being born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ms. Feldman’s own intercultural experience only added spice to this amazing interview.

First, it seemed a good idea to me that Ms. Feldman introduced herself to my readers. She told me that she had moved to the U.S. when she was fifteen years old, short after the U.S.S.R. had dissolved, because her mother –a single mother- was not sure of whether it would be possible for them to live safely in Russia during the transition. After a period of time during which she was not precisely infatuated with the States, Ms. Feldman took her high education in Georgetown, Washington D.C. and graduated in Hispanic literature. After living a couple of years in South America, she got a job in Middlebury College. She explained me that her research focuses on left-winged movements in South America, as well as the authors of those movements, especially in the Andean area (Bolivia, Peru…).

My next question to her was about the origin of her interest on Hispanic literature, given that she was born in Russia and works in the United States. She confessed me that one major factor was the fact that she did not really like the English language when she moved to the U.S. or the country itself, for that matter. She also told me that she had had wonderful Spanish teachers when she was in high school and later at college. She had had really positive experiences with teachers and professors from Spain, so she started studying Peninsularists, that is studies on the Iberian Peninsula, and she was highly interested on Medieval Spain. However, once she got in contact with studies on Latin America, she finally made up her mind and started focusing her studies on Latin America.

Wanting to know more details about what made her like the Hispanic literature so much, I asked her whether Hispanic literature had traditionally had a big impact on the Russian culture, as well as the American. To that question, she answered that actually, it had a great impact on the Soviet culture, when she was young. In that time, the classics from the Golden Age of the Spanish literature, like Cervantes or Lope de Vega, were indeed very famous in Russia. She told me that her first contact with the Spanish literature came when she was young and lived in Russia. She would read all these classics that are so important for the history of Spanish culture and literature. She also told me about a Russian-made movie of El Quijote, saying that it was “a very impressive movie.” As for Latin American literature, she answered that both in Russia and the U.S. it was famous for “the Boom” of authors like Gabriel García Márquez or Mario Vargas Llosa. However, she expressed her disappointment on the newer generations of students in the U.S. due to their little knowledge on Hispanic literature, even in the case of her own students at the very beginning of their degrees.

Next, I thought it was time we spoke about current affairs. Laughing, Ms. Feldman said that she could already guess what I was going to ask her (and she happened to be right). First, given that only two days before, Hillary Clinton had become the first woman to be an official candidate to the U.S. presidential elections, I asked Ms. Feldman why she thought Clinton received so much supporting from the U.S. citizens. She explained that Vermont is a state that traditionally votes as much to the left as it can. So then, she asks, why does Hillary Clinton receive so much supporting? In her opinion, Hillary’s popularity has been supported by her relation with former president Bill Clinton. She thinks that Hillary’s stand on immigration is not progressive, but she receives so much supporting because people think of Hillary as a professional who knows what she is doing. However, according to Ms. Feldman, Hillary’s presidency would not mean the revolutionary change that a lot of people seem to ask for.

When asked about Donald Trump, she answered that it was completely the other way round: people think of Trump as an anti-establishment candidate. From what she told me, a lot of people seem to believe that because Trump is so rich, he will not accept bribes. People, Ms. Feldman says, are sick of the system, they think that the government does not represent the people, they think that the state is corrupted by the big money, and want someone who can change the game. She, however, thinks that these people are wrong. She can’t see the logic behind the bribes argument, and sees Trump as the main example of the decay of the political system in the U.S.

The path made by Phillip Kennedy in the migratory issues.

Phillip Kennedy is a professional with experience in the field of migration issues between Mexico and the United States. He has become an example of bounty and solidarity over time for all the people who can presume to know him.

Since he was a child he had known he wanted to spend his life helping people, making this world a better place to be. So, when he finished High School in 2005, he decided to study Peace and Conflicts Studies at Guilford College, in North Carolina.

As he says, university brought him an over view about the world and the amount of conflicts waiting to be solved at any time in any region of the world. It was an encouragement to give his bit in order to improve the situation of disadvantaged, he says. For him ‘University brings you the knowledge you need to focus your interests, but the experience you get while you are working can’t be achieved just by reading or hearing about it’.

On his third year of University he came to Spain to spend a year abroad studying in Madrid at Universidad Europea. He considers travelling as an essential part of learning, especially when it comes to international studies as Peace and Conflict or International Relations. ‘You have to live it on your own to be able to understand people who is in a foreign country asking you to help them’.

He made some volunteering during his studies and after finishing university. He believes that voluntary workings benefits your life and others in many ways.’ It brings you experience on the field you wanted but also it is a very gratifying effort, because you are fighting for an important cause and sometimes you are able to see face to face the result of that in others’ lives.’

He considers important the one he was working in on the border with Mexico. The organization was called Frontera de Cristo and the Migrant Resource Center, a joint project of Frontera de Cristo and the Sagrada Familia church. He started there making voluntary works and he finally became coordinator of the Migrant Resource Center.

It was a partnership of many different people and organizations working together towards the common goal of helping migrants. ‘Migrants sometimes need some basic humanitarian helps, especially those who have been recently deported, the Resource Center helps them with basic medical attention, food, and sometimes even with clothes.’ It also provides them information when they need it, for example the different options they have to return to their place of origin. Another important part of the Center’s work is abuse documentation, which they use to better understand the situation migrants face, and in some cases, help victims of crimes pursue legal options.

‘Problems about migrations are much bigger than we think they are’ He said. While he was working at the Migrant Resource Center he didn’t have much work face to face with the migrants, his functions were more related with the administrative and coordinating issues. Though, he was able to see the numbers of people passing through the borders from Mexico to united states, the conditions they had lived, studies about the reasons why the moved, the rates of discrimination suffered by the migrants, deportations, and some particular complains. Numbers were high, but he said the situation was getting better step by step.

Frontera de Cristo was allied to religion. He liked that it promoted solidary values and non-lucrative help. But he didn’t like the fact that the organization sometimes didn’t accept atheist volunteers or promoters of other values. ‘Tolerance and respect are incompatible with discrimination in any of its forms, including discriminative attitudes related to religious beliefs’ he said.

I couldn’t help asking him what he thought about the discriminative policies that Donald Trump wanted to establish if he became president. He laughed. ‘It would be really disappointing if he actually became president. But there is nothing to fear, what he wants to do is just illegal, he cannot oust out of the country millions of people and build up a wall to keep them out, it’s just another insane idea of this brainless character’- ‘If that ever happened the organizations I have worked with would have a lot of work to do, and to change that’ He added.

Nowadays he is working for the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), in Washington. It is an independent organization funded 20 years ago, to provide migrants (most of them from Latin America) in the area of DC with the competences and financial helps to have their dwelling and develop their lives in their new country. Here Phil has a more direct contact with migrants, as he said ‘Some of them have a lot of suffering from unfair and discriminative treatments, and it is hard to see that, but they are so thankful when you help them that it makes our work really grateful’. Their helps are very variated, but all of them are focused on guaranteeing a dignity future for migrants. Transforming ideas into reality, guiding youth realize their potential, overcoming a language barrier, asserting their rights to preserve their affordable housing and more.  Comparing with his previous work, LEDC is related to a smaller field of action, but results are more immediate and direct contact is enriching. ‘In terms of numbers, we have $44M of public investment in DC government funds allocated to affordable housing projects facilitated by LEDC,  more than 3000 families were assisted with affordable housing preservation services, and we also made 40 new homeowners and 48 new businesses sparked’

He openly encouraged students of international areas to fight for their beliefs and do as much as they can to make the world a better place to live for everyone. As he said ‘If you want to achieve the change, the moment to do it is now’.

Ana Delia Porta and Phillip Kennedy during the interview.

By Ana Delia Porta Moreno.

LGBT Discrimination in North Carolina

Chris Sgro

Chris Sgro leads a group carrying petitions calling for the repeal of HB2 to governor Pat McCrory’s office in Raleigh, North Carolina. Image obtained from The Guardian.

The new North Carolinian law, also known as HB2, the Charlotte Bathroom Bill or, more officially, as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, was passed in March by the Republican-controlled General Assembly. It is a response to Charlotte’s extension of its anti-discrimination decree, which would have permitted transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify and not only the one on their birth certification. It would have also given anti-discrimination protections to LGBT citizens.

According to the U.S. Justice Department officials, the law HB2 violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Title IX. Therefore, this entity repudiated on May 4, 2016 the North Carolina’s House Bill 2 after the Governor, Pat McCrory, stated on a video that the use of female and male-specific bathrooms will be maintained and a creation of “special” restroom will be possible.

The Justice Department had given until Monday May 9, to the Governor  in order that he declares the non implementation of HB2. However, if the Governor decides to maintain the Bill, the State faces losing the federal education funding , which represents $861 million received by state public schools this year and which is, last year, $1.4 billion for the University of North Carolina system itself according to News Observer.

The Justice Department indicated that the Bill violates the Civil Rights Act, such as Title IX which prohibits the sexual discrimination in education area, and the Title VII which forbids employment discrimination.

McCrory, in an interview with business leaders, declared that the Bill’s restrictions would affect the whole country: “This is no longer just a N.C. issue. This impacts every state, every university and almost every employee in the United States of America [given that] they will have to comply with new definitions of requirements by the federal government regarding restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities in both the private and public sector.”

The Democrat Chris Sgro, who is the executive director of Equality NC, declared that “HB2 is deeply discriminatory, violates federal civil rights law, and needs to be repealed as soon as possible”.

Then, Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign which is the largest gay rights group in the country, commended the Justice Department “for enforcing the rule of law and protecting the rights of North Carolinians.” while the Charlotte’s Mayor denied to comment.

In order to give them more support, the Justice Department published a  fact sheet in 2015, stating that a “civilian transgender woman working for the Army at this time, had been discriminated because banned from using the common women’s restroom and forced to use a single bathroom” and therefore, the final judgment was the violation of civils rights by denying transgender employees access to a bathroom based on gender identity.

Finally, because HB2 is against the most important civil document, the one that famous and powerful personalities have fought for its creation and some gave their lives, the one of which the whole society is based on, the Civil Rights Act, we can conclude that this law should be removed.

One question whose answer should be interesting to know is how this issue became such a big deal. Do people in the U.S. believe it is really important to make sure that transgender people go to this restroom or that restroom? Should they?

It is our opinion that citizens in the U.S. have more important issues to attend to. In a country full of debates on guns, the health care system or primary elections, debating about transgender people and restrooms does not seem to be the best usage of time and energy for the citizens.

In fact, most people are not as worried as the media tend to say. Brad Paisley, an American country music star, even sang a song on Tuesday 24th at the Jimmy Kimmel Show, making fun of how the transgender issue seems to have gone too far. This is clear at the end of said song: “Why is this such a big deal? Hike up your dress, and take a stand. And sit by your man.”

In conclusion, we think that HB2 is a ridiculous measurement against a non-existing problem which can lead to a really serious issue. This Bill violates the rights of citizens, and it is our belief that these rights should be respected unanimously without second-thought, and that time and energy should be spent in debating on more realistic threats.