When state Senator Jose Peralta joined the Independent Democratic Conference at the beginning of last year, he became the latest Democrat to sever ties with his own party and become part of a coalition with Republicans, a move that further consolidated GOP control over the upper chamber of the state Legislature and enraged many Democrats. Fast forward a year and a half, and after considerable criticism and facing primary challengers in this year’s elections, the IDC dissolved its breakaway faction and rejoined the mainline Democrats in a deal brokered in part by Governor Andrew Cuomo, another Democrat facing a primary challenge from his left after being accused of propping up the IDC and Senate Republicans.

But the “unity” deal did not dissuade the primary challengers, nor did it stem the tide of grassroots organizations backing them.

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Just a month after President Donald Trump's inauguration, a 26-year-old undocumented woman with a brain tumor was taken against her will from a Texas hospital and placed in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center.

Sara Beltran Hernandez, an asylum seeker who said she fled domestic abuse and gang violence in El Salvador, was viewed as the latest victim of the Trump administration's crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

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