Since the election of Donald Trump in November, there has been a 35 percent increase in hate crimes across New York City, according to Straus News. Throughout the presidential campaign, reported NYPD statistics of the city’s hate crime count has doubled in a year with 43 incidents in the 27 days following the election. The rhetoric and tone of the Trump campaign targeted many minorities and could be the reason for this rise.
These hate crimes and incidents included verbal and physical assaults on two Muslim women, a police officer and an MTA employee, and swastika graffiti in multiple places including the NYC subway and inside the elevator of state Senator Brad Hoylman’s apartment building. New Yorkers met for a workshop last month to educate themselves and help others by speaking up for victims of these attacks.
According to a study conducted by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), an estimated 643,000 undocumented immigrants live within the five boroughs of New York City. Advocates of the New York City Municipal ID card hoped that government-issued photo identification would bring many of those undocumented immigrants out of the shadows. With the newly elected President of the United States, Donald Trump, many are wondering whether the NYC Municipal ID was the right thing to do as the cards can put undocumented cardholders at greater risk of being harassed by government authorities and even of deportation.
Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, argues that the NYC Municipal ID card has helped many undocumented immigrants do things such as pick up their kids from school, access public and government buildings, interact more easily with police officers, and open bank accounts. Furthermore, the Commissioner argues that the Municipal ID has helped many undocumented immigrants increase their sense of belonging to New York City and to the United States. Given that sixty percent of NYC’s population is foreign born and less than half of the city’s population has a driver’s license, the Municipal ID proves to be an effective legal response to cope with the need for identification in NYC.
One of the biggest misconceptions about undocumented immigrants is that they take job opportunities away from American citizens. Many believe that immigrants do not pay any taxes and that they do not want to assimilate to the United States. However, studies conducted by the Pew Research Center suggests that these opinions are a product of anti-immigrant context which has been sustained and reproduced by the political climate. It is both unethical and immoral to punish individuals for choosing to migrate to another country without having the proper documents. The United States takes in a certain number of refugees per year, would it not be morally wrong to ignore and punish those already living in the country?
A 20-year, multi-million dollar study of more than 10,000 New Yorkers scheduled to begin next year claims that it will enable the development of theories, therapeutics, and policies to improve the health and quality of human life. Although still in the planning stages, the breadth of the data collection proposed (including health habits, biological data, and geospatial mapping) combined with the lack of detail accompanying such a widespread publicity effort raises questions regarding the extent to which the research risks of such an endeavor have been well thought out.
This winter I decided to volunteer at an organization I saw listed in Fordham’s Dorothy Day Center newsletter teaching inner-city, public-high school kids. Great, I thought — I went to a New York City public school, so I know a bit about these kids and the backgrounds they tend to have.
I attended a day-long orientation in a high-rise, Times Square building with carefully-selected minimalist decor. Most of the students in attendance were from other private institutions. Briefly, we went over what they deemed to be”safe” and “accessible” words to use with these students, who, it was implied, might not understand a certain vocabulary.
On Monday, August 3, several organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, the National Education Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union released “Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools.” The report, which addresses issues such as names and pronouns, dress codes, and puberty and medical transition “represents an important milestone in reducing health disparities among transgender youth, something that we are also working toward at the Fordham University Center for Ethics Education,” stated Dr. Celia Fisher, Center Director.
Fordham University HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute Faculty Member Dr. Sean Philpott-Jones recently appeared on WAMC Northeast Public Radio to discuss his experience at the recent Fordham training institute, learning from the trainees, and the resurgence of heroin use as a public health problem.
Dr. Philpott-Jones reported:
Every July I have the good fortune of spending a week at Fordham University in New York City, where I teach ethics and mentor fellows enrolled in a training program supported by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Even though I am a senior faculty member in that program, I suspect that I learn more from my students — researchers who work with drug users, commercial sex workers and other marginalized populations — than they probably learn from me. One of the things that I learned about this week was the resurgence of heroin use that has followed in the wake of the prescription drug epidemic.
In her book, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, sociologist Alice Goffman describes driving her passenger, “Mike,” a young man participating in her 6-year field study, looking to revenge the death of another young neighborhood man (Re: “Heralded Book on Crime Disputed” New York Times, C1, June 6, 2015). Irrespective of the legal implications of Dr. Goffman’s complicity in what might have been a felony, her honest portrayal of her own feelings of revenge and sorrow illuminates the ethical quandaries faced by researchers who immerse themselves in the lives of individuals living in crime-ridden neighborhoods.