Once one is trapped in poverty, one is exposed to profiling and disproportionate police presence in poor communities. One is also more likely to be subject to the criminal laws which target the homeless. Furthermore, members of the transgender community can face criminal charges simply for living in accordance with their gender identity. For example, they can be arrested for using the “wrong” bathroom, due to suspicious discrepancies in their ID, and even on trumped up charges of solicitation. This flow chart from the Sylvia Rivera Law Project explains the phenomenon well.
The combination of employment discrimination and criminalization particularly impacts queer and trans immigrants. In America’s labyrinthine legal immigration system, finding skilled employment is one of the few paths to legal immigration status. When that is closed off by discrimination, one is far more likely to be an undocumented immigrant. This difficulty is compounded by the structural poverty and criminalization already discussed here, as once an undocumented immigrant is picked up by police, they are likely to be sent to a detention center and eventually deported.
In addition to the risk factors detailed here, evidence from the juvenile justice system demonstrates that once arrested, LGBTQ youth are more likely to be placed in pre-trial detention. According to an article in The Nation:
The road to incarceration begins in pretrial detention, before the youth even meets a judge. Laws and professional standards state that it’s appropriate to detain a child before trial only if she might run away or harm someone. Yet for queer youth, these standards are frequently ignored. According to UC Santa Cruz researcher Dr. Angela Irvine, LGBT youth are two times more likely than straight youth to land in a prison cell before adjudication for nonviolent offenses like truancy, running away and prostitution. According to Ilona Picou, executive director of Juvenile Regional Services, Inc., in Louisiana, 50 percent of the gay youth picked up for nonviolent offenses in Louisiana in 2009 were sent to jail to await trial, while less than 10 percent of straight kids were. “Once a child is detained, the judge assumes there’s a reason you can’t go home,” says Dr. Marty Beyer, a juvenile justice specialist. “A kid coming into court wearing handcuffs and shackles versus a kid coming in with his parents—it makes a very different impression.”
This initial bias makes it clear that queer and trans youth are disproportionately locked up in this country, even before they are given a trial.
As we remember those whom we have lost, we need to remember why we lost them and call for equal rights and treatment. Activists now have tools in their hands to help change the way we live and how we can help our homeless. We need to become visible in the places where we are not known and remain visible where we have already been seen. TDOR is a sad day for all, but it also should be the day when we call for better. — andythenerd)
Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians. Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.
Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country - which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote. —
Conservative columnist Matthew Vadum, in his column “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American” for The American Thinker.
I literally do not know what to say this, other than the subtlety used in the past by folks like Vadum is dead. They do not want those in poverty to vote for fear their rich cronies will no longer be able to buy political clout. The richest 1% have 1% of the vote. 99% of the vote belongs to those outside of the top income brackets.
Never fear, Mr. Vadum. Citizens United v. FEC has your back. I’ll tell you what’s un-American: Decrying the empowerment of the impoverished via the last vestiges of the democratic process we have left in this country. To insist that a person is defined by what one owns versus who one is - that’s profoundly un-American.
You sir, are attempting to establish a new aristocracy in this country, a pseudo-royalty if you will. I believe the Founding Fathers might have a bigger problem with that than with the poor voting.
Jon Stewart, commenting on Fox News’ infograph claiming that “99% of ‘poor people’ have refrigerators.”