Spoiler Alert: For Profit Prisons

America is addicted to lots of things. There’s football, for starters. Fast food. Patting itself on the back.

Oh, and locking people up. Typically when you hear folks cheer, “We’re number one!” they don’t follow it up with “at mass incarceration!” But it turns out that would be perfectly appropriate.

Yes, jails and prisons and detention centers serve perfectly valid and important functions. No one is suggesting that Ted Bundy or Timothy McVeigh be sent home with an ankle bracelet. But what happens when we mix locking people up with profit motive? What happens when maximizing prison populations also means maximizing profits?

So next week we’ll be talking about for profit prisons. Join in the conversation, leave a comment below, or on our Facebook page. Remember to subscribe on iTunes and to leave a (nice) review. See you soon!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SonJYh4yl2M]

Cesar Chavez Day

Happy Cesar Chavez Day. No, you don’t have the day off. That only happens when celebrating super important genocidal maniacs like Columbus. So read this post but then get right back to the grind of a job you probably hate or resent or both.

There will be no barbecues or super smash savings sales at the mall. Most people aren’t totally sure who Cesar Chavez. You mean Cesar Chavez, like the boulevard? The street has its own day? Confusion abounds.

Cesar Chavez was important. Google him. There’s even a movie. At this point you’re running out of excuses frankly.

We should all take a few minutes today to think about the injustices in our community. What are they? Why are they happening? But the follow up question is perhaps the most important: what are we doing about it? Are we putting true pressure on the establishment? Are we making it uncomfortable for those at the top to continue in their abusive practice, whatever that might be?

How can we learn from Cesar Chavez and become better advocates in our daily lives?

Episode 20 Preview, Dirty Socks

The problem with this Mellouli case is they’re trying to argue that a sock can be drug paraphernalia. Obviously there needs to be a separate ground of inadmissibility for possession of socks. Bottom line. Get on it, Congress.

On our next edition of C2C we will speak to former BIA member Lory Rosenberg and see if she would like to apologize for the BIA. If she does, we will have an extra long show since there is a lot to apologize for. (Please note that Stephen Robbins loves the BIA and all of its employees.) You can check out what Lory is up to here. Spoiler alert: she’s a better attorney than we are.

In addition to Lory we have Craig Shagin representing the Third…Third Circuit area, that is. Craig will talk about the Melllouli case that is currently being decided by the Supreme Court. A blog post he wrote on it can be found on our friend Cesar Cuauhtémoc García Hernández’s crImmigration blogCraig won the same argument regarding paraphernalia in the 3rd that was lost in the 8th. Hopefully he will mock the attorneys that handled it in the 8th. We don’t fight in nerd wars, we start nerd wars. 

We will also talk about the State of the Union (I didn’t watch it. Hope Stephen did. (Ed. I didn’t watch it either. Oops)), Muslim No-Go Zones and Stephen will break down the Superbowl. Last and probably least, we have a great Golden Cantaloupe. Here’s my nomination. Seriously, there has been some really dumb stuff said lately. Submit your favorite and if we pick yours we will say it on the air and put you name on our blog.  Sweet!

Episode 19

Episode 19 is up and running. Download it. Stream it. Do whatever you want with it. We don’t care.

Remember, you can find us on iTunes, on Stitcher, Facebook (or as my Mexican clients call it, “Face”), and elsewhere. Leave us a review. A couple great guests this week, and the return of the Golden Cantaloupe. Enjoy!

C2C New Year Update

Happy New Year to all our devoted fans! We haven’t forgotten you.

Matthew and I needed a few weeks to unwind, and we decided to put the show on a brief pause. We were going to air some “best of” materials, but it was kind of like going to the junk yard to pick out the “best” car. So we just scrapped it.

We have been talking about ways to improve the show and to provide something that might attract more listeners. We put that question to our listeners, and you basically responded “Less Stephen,” so we’re going to ignore you.

Seriously though, we’ve invested in some new equipment, and we’re excited about a whole new year of podcasting. Stay tuned!

Manufacturing the News

For those who listened to last week’s Coast to Coast (all tens of you), you’ll remember that the Fox and Friends crew were nominated for the Golden Cantaloupe for their wild speculation that ISIS was hanging out in Ciudad Juarez waiting to attack the United States. You can listen to that sound here. Our friends over at Fox were citing this Judicial Watch blog post, which cites no real facts or actual sources.

Cut to today when Elisabeth Hasselbeck had on Texas Sheriff Gary Painter. Take a listen:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6iik2p6ZrM]

When Ms. Hasselbeck asks what the Sheriff has been hearing, he essentially repeats the reporting Fox has been doing based on the flimsy Judicial Watch blog. For those following along at home, manufacturing news looks a little something like this:

1. Find a person, blog, letter, or article that supports your agenda (in this case, the Judicial Watch blog).

2. Instead of vetting the article, researching independently, or doing any work whatsoever, report the source as fact.

3. Have people on your show to echo back your previous reporting.

Well look at that, it’s news!

Coast to Coast, Episode 4

Loyal Listeners, we’re happy to bring you Episode IV of Coast to Coast.

This week we’re extremely proud to have Jorge Baron from the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project on the show. He’ll be discussing the ongoing lawsuit to provide mandatory legal representation to minors in removal proceedings. It’s a fascinating case, and one worthy of your attention.

We’ll also be discussing our Golden Cantaloupe nominees. Spoiler alert: all of this week’s sound comes from Fox News. Big surprise.

You can find this week’s episode right HERE. You can also subscribe on iTunes. So do it.

Coast to Coast, Episode 3

Hey folks, be sure to check out this week’s episode of Coast to Coast by clicking here. Do us a solid and subscribe on iTunes, leave a (glowing) review, and tell your friends. 

This week’s show is really special. You’ll get to hear from immigration attorney extraordinaire Roy Petty from Rogers, Arkansas. He’s here to talk about his recent success in Matter of ARCG. Read the case, listen to the podcast. Enjoy life. 

We’re also giving out this week’s Golden Cantaloupe. Should Republican’s who support immigration reform be “shot, hung, and thrown in a river,” or should we lay awake at night worried about Guatemalan ninja kids crossing the border to “join their groups” in the United States? YOU DECIDE! 

Sleight of Hand

The immigrant community has been hopeful that President Obama would roll out some sort of executive legalization for about, oh, 7 years now. Meanwhile the Obama administration has been promising bold and progressive measures if Congress doesn’t get its act together on immigration (spoiler alert: they won’t). This seems like a match made in heaven: millions of people who need help, and a man with the power, authority, and the will (allegedly) to do so. 

And so we read articles like this one, and this one, and don’t forget this one over here. Plus these, and those, and some other ones. Did I mention this one, and that? There are articles from 3 hours ago and hours from 1 month ago that tell the exact same story: Obama is super duper serious about doing something on immigration. 

What is he going to do? Well, some say it will be awesome. Others say it will be really awesome. And he’s really serious about it this time. For real. 

Meanwhile, what is the administration actually doing on immigration? Well, there was that time last month when they asked for 2 billion dollars to help expedite the deportation of refugee-seeking children at the border. They’ve opened a make-shift detention center in the middle of nowhere so they can detain women and children while their cases are being expeditiously denied. Due process? Not for these folks. 

So while our immigration system continues to fracture families, detain the innocent, and ship children back to their death, we’ve all been distracted to some degree by the oldest trick in the book, a sleight of hand. 

Sunday Night Reading

Sundays have always been a time for relaxation and reflection for me. Yes, there’s the looming shadow ofGrapes next week and all the responsibility it will bring, but there’s a stillness and sanctity in the calm before the storm. 

I’ve been challenged by Matthew to read The Grapes of Wrath, and so I’m sitting down to do just that. For Matthew, this was the book that inspired him to practice immigration law, but more importantly to fight for the rights of the downtrodden. So I’m curious, what things, be they books, movies, professors, friends, or just personal experiences, have inspired you the most? Why do you do what you do, whatever that may be?