April 11, 2018

Boxscore: Dealing with ethnic issues

From a report by the Institute for Policy Studies

Legislative actions and legal decisions at the federal and state levels have severely restricted the ability of people of color, especially poor Black people, Latinx, and Native Americans, to participate in democratic processes. This includes the 2013 Shelby v.  Holder Supreme Court case, which gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Further, 23 states have adopted some form of voter suppression law since 2010, and 25 states have preempted cities from passing minimum wage laws (many in response to successful grassroots living wage campaigns).

The number of sentenced inmates of all races in U.S.  state and federal prison grew from 187,914 in 1968 to 1,458,000 in 2016. People of color account for 66 percent of people in prison, while they make up only about 39 percent of the total population. And the number of citizens disenfranchised due to felony convictions has tripled, from 2 million in 1968 to 6.1 million in 2016 , including one in thirteen Black adults.

Federal spending on immigration, deportation, and border policies increased from $2 billion to $17 billion and deportations increased tenfold between 1976 and 2015. These anti - immigrant measures affect not only deportees and detainees, but also their communities and family members, who face greater difficulty in affording basic expenses, meeting rent, and paying for utilities.

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