For this week’s Feministing Five, we spoke to Swapna Reddy, current law student and immigrant rights’ advocate. She recently co-authored a letter to the Obama Administration that calls for an end to the government mistreatment of Central American immigrants. Feministing, along with many others, endorsed the letter, so we were especially keen to learn more about one of its co-authors!

Swapna_Reddy_2The letter specifically addresses how a high proportion of Central American mothers targeted by ICE raids have suffered severe sexual abuse and violence. The resulting trauma that these women and their children have experienced, Swapna and others argue, makes them eligible for protection under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973:

These women and children were traumatized both in their home countries and then here in the U.S.—detained at our border under inhumane condition. As such, many of them are suffering from the effects of this trauma, including anxiety, PTSD and depression. They are an extremely vulnerable population and should be treated as such.

When we checked back in with Swapa two weeks after our initial interview, we were thrilled to learn that her letter and work had already generated awareness and initial action in the federal government. You’ll see that exciting update in the interview below.

And now, the Feministing Five with Swapna Reddy!

Suzanna Bobadilla: You’ve recently co-authored a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch decrying immigration raids that started earlier this month. Could you describe the letter’s details and the story behind its creation? 

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