Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Aftermath-The Immigration Show Part X: Arizona's SB1070, the SCOTUS, and...

Family!  If you missed the "Immigration Show, part X," you missed a helluva show.  Don't worry, there will be a part XI.  Or you can download it here or press play below. Or subscribe to our PODCASTS on iTunes and never miss our show!!!!!!!!!!

1.The SB 1070 debates.  Is it "papers please" or "enforce the law"
On the day that the Supreme Court was set to review whether or not a few of the provisions of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, SB1070, are constitutional we had a discussion with Chris Newman of the National Day Labor Organizing Network and Jon Feere of the Center for Immigration Studies about the law and its effects 2 years on. Newman described SB1070 as the most anti-immigrant bill that the country had seen in a generation and the declaration of a war of attrition against undocumented immigrants. Feere defended the law as not being as Draconian as many make it out to be and as the Feds doing their job.  Check the debate by downloading here or pressing play below.

2. Florida's first undocumented lawyer?
Next we discuss the story of Jose Godinez-Samperio.   He graduated at the top of his class at Florida State University’s College of Law but was denied entry to the state Bar in Florida because of his undocumented status. He tells about the challenges of unwittingly being thrust into the middle of a national debate.  Check his story here or press play below.
3.The end of the great migration?
For the first time in 80 years, immigration from Mexico to the United States is at a net rate of 0%. We were joined by Jeff Passel of the Pew Hispanic Center who explained what this means and some of the factors that may have contributed to this surprising statistic. Passel cited the relative lack of available employment as one of the primary drivers in this new trend in immigration patterns as well as the increased difficulty that many migrants are now facing immigrating to the U.S.  Check the story here or press play below.

4.  Another ICE abuse case?
Lastly, we discuss the shocking story of Jose Melger, a 21 year old resident of Collier County who was picked up in a recent ICE raid and is currently being detained. Though Melger has a developmental disability the ICE agents allegedly assaulted him and detained him on the pretense of an alleged gang affiliation from when he was 13.  Hear the story here or below.

The Immigration show part X: Arizona's SB 1070 in court, undocumented lawyers & another ICE abuse case


Which picture will prevail?


1.  Arizona's SB 1070 in court

Today, the Supreme Court is set to hear whether four major provisions of Arizona's controversial SB 1070 immigration law are constitutional or not.  Can states enforce immigration laws on their own or of their own making?  Find out as we talk to Chris Newman (NDLON-National Day Labor Organizing Network) & Jon Feere (Center for Immigration Studies) and sort out what a Supreme Court decision will mean for Arizona and the country.

2.  Florida's First Undocumented Lawyer? The Story of Jose Godinez-Samperio

Jose Godinez-Samperio is a resident of Florida who graduated at the top of his class at Florida State University College of Law.  He passed the bar with no sweat, but may never be able to practice law in the United States because of his legal status.  Hear his story and make your decision.

3.  Another case of ICE behaving badly?

Jose Lopez Melgar is a a 21 year-old from Collier County, Florida that advocates say was assaulted by ICE agents, despite the fact that his family appears to have legal status and he seems to have a special needs disability.  Hear his story tonight and you decide if this is another case of ICE behaving badly.

4.  Why is Mexican migration to the US now at 0%?  What does that mean?

Join us as we talk to the Pew Hispanic Center about their new report detailing the new trends in Mexican migration to the US and how it relates, or doesn't, to the bigger debate.

Plus we will have an update on the case of Marissa Alexander.  You can check our coverage on her case here, here and here.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Marissa Alexander Update: Sentencing postponed, “husband” speaks out and sort of maybe lies

by Subhash Kateel

Last week, we covered the story of Marissa Alexander, who some people are dubbing the “reverse Trayvon.”  If you haven’t heard, Marissa Alexander is the woman who faces 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot to repel a husband that she claims abused her (see the story here).  That warning shot neither killed nor hurt anyone, but the mother of three still sits in a jail cell awaiting a multi-decade sentence for aggravated assault.  As one of the first to actually look at the court records, we pulled out some damning quotes from her husband regarding the incident, and his history of violence.

"...I just don't know what would have happened. If my kids wouldn't have been there, I probably would have put my hands on her...I got five baby mamas and I put my hand on every last one of them except one...Me, the way I was with women, they was like they had to walk on eggshells around me."
But since that time, a few things happened.  The court announced on Monday that sentencing is being postponed and motions for a retrial will be heard.  But that didn’t happen before Marissa’s husband, identified in the press as Rico Gray, decided to speak up, insisting that there is another side to the story.

“Marissa is not portraying herself as she is, I was begging for my life while my kids were holding on to my side, the gun was pointed at me.”

That is what he told the blog Politics365.  In court, he apparently claimed that he lied in the deposition (where he made those damning statements above), supposedly making the whole thing up to protect Marissa.  He also stated that he in fact, never “put his hands” on anyone, ever.

But the more Mr. Gray talks, the more his story doesn’t seem to add up.

According to a “statement of facts” as outlined by Marissa’s defense attorney in court (and not really disputed by the Prosecution):

  1. His sister-in-law testified that Mr. Gray did, in fact, have a "history of violence."
  2. His son, who was supposed to be “holding on to” Mr. Gray’s side when Marissa fired the shot, testified that he did not see Marissa Alexander fire the gun, and only heard it.
  3. The mother of one of Rico Gray’s children testified in court that her son explained to her that “Ms. Alexander did not fire at us, but rather fired in the air because Dad was beating her.” 
 On top of that, court records suggest that Rico Gray plead “no contest” in 2006 to domestic battery, and was sentenced to 1 year probation.

So which Rico Gray should we believe, the one that made his significant others “walk on egg shells around him,” the one who claimed he never hurt anybody and is the real victim, or the one that was put on probation for a year on a domestic battery charge?

What is even more puzzling is that the Prosecutors office in this case, led by Angela Corey (the same person prosecuting George Zimmerman for shooting Trayvon Martin), doesn’t seem to dispute that Marissa Alexander was the victim of domestic violence by her husband, but that the violence only resulted in “minor bruising” and never “resulted in serious bodily harm to her.”  No seriously, a brief by the prosecutor really said that. 

To be clear, Rico Gray is not on trial here, Marissa Alexander is, and may face a mandatory 20 years in prison.  But it should confuse most people that Marissa Alexander faces 20 times more time behind bars for hurting no one than her husband Rico Gray did for a conviction of actual domestic battery. 

We will keep covering this case, and actually reading the documents the press keeps forgetting to read.  In the mean time, if you would like to learn more about this case, you can always visit this blog.  If you happen to feel so moved as to take action, you can sign and share this petition.

And don't forget to tune into our show every Wednesday at 7pm.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Will Marissa Alexander do 20 Years for Standing Her Ground Against an Abuser?

By Subhash Kateel

(originally posted on Organizing Upgrade)

While Florida is still raw from the death of Trayvon Martin, a new incident of injustice may be unfolding a few hours away in Jacksonville, Florida, the home district of Angela Corey, the "special" prosecutor in Trayvon's case. In a slight twist of irony, the "stand your ground" (or more properly " Justifiable Use of Force") statutes are also being invoked in this case, except by an alleged victim of domestic violence that says she was defending herself against an abusive husband.

Her name is Marissa Alexander. As we speak, she sits in a jail cell in Jacksonville awaiting a potential sentence of 20 years in prison for what she claims was self-defense. However, unlike the Trayvon Martin case or almost any other case that would elicit a 20-year sentence, Marissa didn't kill anyone or even hurt anyone. She seems to have simply fired a weapon into the air in what we commonly know as a "warning shot" to repel her husband. But that didn't stop a jury in Jacksonville from convicting her of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Marissa Alexander is now 31 years old and a mother of three. On August 1, 2010, she had just given birth to a premature baby. While the baby was still in the hospital, she was embroiled in a heated argument with her husband, a man she claims abused her several times, even during her pregnancy. As told by her ex-husband and current advocate Lincoln Alexander on our show , her husband physically confronted her while she was in the bathroom. While in the bathroom, her husband also reportedly threw a cellphone at her. Marissa then attempted to leave the house through the garage, when the garage door wouldn't open, she took a legally owned gun from her car's glove compartment and went back upstairs.

When she went upstairs, she was face to face with her husband and two of his children. When police arrived on the scene, Marissa's husband claimed that Marissa pointed her gun at him and his children. Marissa's family contends that her husband lunged at her saying, "I am going to kill you." At that point, Marissa fired a warning shot into the ceiling, an action that caused her husband to leave the house. Two points are not in dispute, Marissa never fired more than one shot and no one was injured in the incident.

Beyond this, the media, even those sympathetic to the case, have focused more on the "Stand your ground" and "he said/she said" aspects of the case and have largely ignored the most damning piece of evidence: a November 22, 2010 sworn deposition from Marissa's husband/"crime victim"/alleged abuser (found here or here ). In the 66-page document, he not only admits to abusing her at least five times, he also affirms that Marissa never pointed the gun at him or his children and that he did indeed walk toward her, while "cursing," before she shot in the air. Some of the most chilling admissions from her husband are made on page 36 in reference to his state of mind during their August 1, 2010 encounter:
"...I just don't know what would have happened. If my kids wouldn't have been there, I probably would have put my hands on her."

"Probably hit her. I got five baby mamas and I put my hand on every last one of them except one."

"I physically abused them; physically, emotionally, you know, it's like...Me, the way I was with women, they was like they had to walk on eggshells around me. You know, they never knew what I was thinking...or what I might do...hit them, push them."
It is unclear to those of us newly acquainted with the case whether or not a jury ever heard or read those words from the deposition. It is also unclear if her husband ever recanted those statements. But even for legal minds that acquired their knowledge through watching "law and order," it does seem clear that her husband's admissions raise enough reasonable doubt that she did nothing wrong. If you look at Florida's "Justifiable Force" (what is now know as "stand your ground") statutes, the intro basically says it all:
"776.012 A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other's imminent use of unlawful force."
Judging by her husband's own statements, he believed he had the potential to use "imminent force" against Marissa in her own home that day. According to the law Marissa had every right to be in her own home, and therefore had no "duty to retreat." For some reason, the jury chose to convict her and on Monday she may be sentenced to some serious time in prison. According to some lawyers following the case , the punishment for her crime, which amounts to deadly assault on ceiling paint, is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison!

It is not insignificant that the prosecutors in this case work under the supervision of Angela Corey, the "special" prosecutor in Trayvon Martin's case. The fact that she has received a decent amount of praise for her role in that case presents an even more puzzling picture of the role her office has played in the prosecution of Marissa Alexander.

But Marissa's family and her supportive ex-husband/advocate/friend have ensured that this case receives more attention. Currently, there is a petition for her circulating around the country. On Wednesday, her family hit the airwaves, winning the attention of Michael Baisden (and by extension, Al Sharpton) , even making a pit stop on my show. For those of us that watched Trayvon Martin's case closely, this case deserves the same amount of scrutiny, thoughts and action. It is up to us collectively to ensure that laws do not victimize the very people we are told they are made to protect.

Don't forget to sign the petition here, and tune in to our interview with Marissa's family here . You can also catch our show every Wednesday at 7pm.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

AFTERMATH: Marissa, a mom in jail for "standing her ground" + the BP Oil Spill & Buffet rule debates

This show was powerful for so many reasons.  If you missed it, download the entire show here or press play below.  You can also Subscribe to our PODCASTS on iTunes and never miss our shows.  For the individual segments, see below.

1.  Why is Marissa Alexander facing prison for not hurting anyone?

Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law has recently come under intense scrutiny in the aftermath of the tragic shooting death of Miami teen Trayvon Martin (this is one of our takes on it).  But what happens when victims of domestic violence need to "stand their ground" to defend themselves.  Enter the case of Marissa Alexander.  Marissa is facing a potential 20 year prison sentence for standing her ground against her abusive husband after firing a warning shot from a legally owned gun into the air during a heated "dispute."  The mother of three faces the prison time even though no one was hurt and her abusive husband admitted to a history of abuse (see the deposition of the "victim" husband here).  This week on Let’s Talk About It we spoke with her ex-husband and current advocate Lincoln Alexander who told us about the events and her current husband’s history of violence toward women. We also spoke with Marissa’s sister Helena Jenkins who was on the phone with Marissa at the time of the incident.  To support Marissa Alexander's petition, visit here.  To listen to the segment, download it here or press play below.

2.  Why the Buffet rule?  The non-debate debate.

Do the rich pay their fair share in taxes and what would the recently touted “Buffet Rule,” a stipulation that households earning over a million dollars a year pay a minimum tax rate of 30%, do to make them? We discussed this question and the broader question of income inequality with Marshall Auerback (Levy Institute) and Alex Brill (American Enterprise Institute) who both seemed to agree that the “Buffet Rule” was gimmicky and would not do much for either deficit reduction or income inequality. Auerback described it as a "red herring" and Brill called it a rhetorical debate and not a policy debate.  Hear why by downloading here or pressing play below.

3.  The Gulf in the aftermath of the BP Oil spill

On the 2nd anniversary of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico we stop to ask how far we’ve come since then. We spoke with Doug Inkley of the Nation Wildlife Federation about what’s happened since the spill two years ago and what NWF is doing to help the Gulf. He says that NWF’s biggest task right now is fighting government secrecy and informing the public about the lingering effects of the biggest ecological disaster in U.S. history. He also urges everyone to support the “Restore Act” which would make sure that all of the fines paid by those responsible for the disaster would go to fund projects in the Gulf rather than to general treasury. We were also joined by friend of the show Captain Dan Kipnis of the Miami Dade County Climate Change Task Force. As always, Captain Dan leaves us with a smile on our faces and fear in our hearts for the future of the environment.  Listen in by downloading here or pressing play below.

Don't forget to tune in every Wednesday at 7pm, right here.

The other side of "Stand Your Ground": The case of Marissa Alexander

1.  If Marissa Alexander "stood her ground," then why is she is jail?

While the debate about Florida's Justifiable Force (aka "Stand Your Ground") law rages on, the debate seems to be missing the story of what happens to people that really feel that they must use force to defend themselves.  One of those people is Marissa Alexander.  The 31-year-old mother is sitting in a jail cell in Duval County, the same county where Angela Corey (Trayvon Martin's "special prosecutor") heads up the local State Attorney's office.  Although Marissa didn't hurt or kill anyone, has a documented history of being a victim of domestic violence and was a lawful gun owner, she faces 20 years in prison for what she claims was a warning shot to defend herself against an abuser.  Is a mother of three really about to go to prison for 20 years for defending herself while not hurting anyone?  Find out on our show tonight as we talk to Marissa's ex-husband and current advocate Lincoln Alexander and her sister Helena Jenkins.  You can also check the petition here.

2.  Do the rich pay their fair share in taxes?  If not, should they?
This week is tax week, and it is one of those times that we are reminded of just how much we pay in taxes.  Congress almost voted on the "Buffet rule" this week, inspired by billionaire Warren Buffet's plea to his rich friends to pay a little more of what they owe.  But do the rich really skirt their responsibilities?  Do they really pay their fair share?  Find out as we talk to friend of the show,  economist Marshall Auerback and as well as the American Enterprise Institute's Alex Brill.

3.  Remembering the BP Oil Spill
This week marks the two-year anniversary of the British Petroleum Oil Spill.  And while most Floridians are happy that they don't have to swim in sludge, we aren't quite sure what the long term impacts of the spill will be.  Join us as we talk to Dr. Doug Inkley, Wildlife Biologist and friend of the show Captain Dan Kipnis as we look at the long term impacts.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

AFTERMATH:Problems in Miami Marlins-land and the War on women debate

Family!  If you missed the show, it was incredible.  If you want to listen to the whole show, download it here or press play below. Or Subscribe to our PODCASTS on iTunes and never miss our show!

1. The Ozzie Guillen fiasco: Do the Marlins want Miami to hate them?
Can anyone affiliated with the Miami Marlins keep from publicly putting their foot in their mouth? On this week’s show we discuss Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen’s recent controversial statements regarding his "respect" for Fidel Castro and the Cuban community’s response to it. Carlos Miller of Photography is not a Crime joins us to talk about what he thinks is an overreaction to Guillen’s most recent comments and why he thinks we should be more mad about the Marlins using our taxpayer money to build a stadium no one seemed to want.  Miami attorney Ricky Rodriguez Vacas kinda agrees while Henry Gomez of the Babalu blog strongly disagrees.  You got to check the conversation that was so Cuban-American and so Miami that one of the guests called in from Little Havana, next to the Bay of Pigs Memorial while a Coast Guard helicopter flies overhead (No, Seriously. That happened.).

Next, in the same segment, friend of the show and sportswriter Dave Zirin of the Edge of Sports also calls in to talk about Guillen’s comments and why they’re nothing new for this outspoken manager, the history of sports stadium construction in different cities and the implications that they have for surrounding communities. Listen to why he feels like Guillen respects Castro like he would respect Tony Montana.  Zirin also comments on the recent news of George Zimmerman’s arrest for the murder of Trayvon Martin. To listen to this segment click here or press play below.

2. Is there a Republican War on Women?
So is there? We were joined by political strategist Krystal Ball who told us about the new laws and proposed legislation that seem to indicate there is a war on women. Ashley Intartaglia of the Tampa Bay Young Republicans also joins us to explain that we should be talking economy and not the social issues that divide us.   Surprisingly, both guests agree that these issues are a distraction from what most Americans really care about. As always, Let’s Talk About It! keeps bringing people together.  Listen to the segment, and Subhash extreme inability to pronounce "Intartaglia" and "strategist" by downloading here or pressing play below.

3.  Finally, find out what happens when a group of concerned Miamians storm a shareholders meeting of one of Florida's alleged biggest tax-dodger, Carnival cruise lines.  We will talk to Rev. Dr. Guillermo Marquez-Sterling who attended the meeting.  Download that link here or press play below.


Thanks for tuning in.  And don't forget to check us next week.

Guillen, Miami and the Marlins + Is the GOP at war with women?


1. Ozzie Guillen, the Miami, and the team we hate to love.

The Miami Marlins can't seem to earn the admiration of Miamians, and this week was no exception.  This time, the fuss erupted over comments made by Guillen, claiming that he "respected" Castro.  The word in the press is that the entire Cuban American community is in an uproar.  But is that the only story?  Are there other, better reasons to hate the Marlins as well?  Join us as we talk to several local Cuban Americans, including multi-media journalist Carlos Miller (Photography Is Not A Crime), attorney Ricky Rodriguez Vacas, and others.  We will also hear from friend of the show and prolific sports writer, Dave Zirin (Edge of Sports).

2.  Is there a GOP war on women?
This year, especially at the state level, several bills, authored by Republican politicians, restricting all sorts of things related to reproductive health were either pushed or successfully passed into law.  It begged the question, is the GOP at war with women?  That question created an intense debate.  Tonight we want to bring that debate to the airwaves to let our listeners decide.  So is the GOP at war with women?  Tune in and find out.  Guests include political strategist Krystal Ball and Ashley Intartaglia (Tampa Bay Young Republicans).

We will also check in briefly on the ongoing fight for justice in the case of Trayvon Martin and see how Miami is holding one of its biggest corporate tax dodgers accountable.

You know the rules...tune in, call in and Let's Talk About It!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What the Polls Don't Ask, But the Comment Boards Answer, About Trayvon

By Subhash Kateel

as originally posted in the Huffington Post

Online comment sections in most newspapers are rarely the best place for thoughtful dialog on controversial issues of the day. Which is why I glance at the comments under the Miami Herald articles covering Trayvon Martin's shooting with very low expectations. But last week, I saw a brief conversation that I think summarizes most Floridians' gut reaction to the killing and its aftermath. You see, the first few weeks after Trayvon was killed by George Zimmerman, I truly believe that the instinct of most Floridians was to think that the whole thing was a tragedy and that Zimmerman should be arrested. In my conversations with people from all walks of like, there was confusion as to why an arrest hadn't been made in the case. As the weeks wore on, that instinctive and seemingly unanimous call for basic justice seemed to fade as a debate re-shaped along racial and political lines. Or has it?
A recent Gallup poll does indeed paint a bleak picture that confirms that new talk on Trayvon's shooting has in fact fallen along predictable fault lines based on class, race, political affiliation, etc. According to the poll, barely 30% of "non-Blacks," versus 70% of African Americans, believe that Zimmerman, who admitted to killing 17 year-old Trayvon, is guilty of a crime. While many people find those numbers alarmingly low, after watching the news for the past month, I was more shocked that after everything we are seeing, more than a third of all Americans (at least the ones that answered the poll) still believe George Zimmerman is guilty of something! After all, we've all been subject to confusing and conflicting reports on everything, including what both Zimmerman and Trayvon actually look(ed) like. But as someone who lives in Florida and witnesses some conversation about Trayvon everyday, I feel like the most significant thing about the Gallup poll is the questions it didn't ask. Significant because those questions, and their answers, make their way into almost every conversation about Trayvon that I hear locally.
"Do you believe George Zimmerman should have been arrested?"

The fact that almost of third of any group isn't sure if George Zimmerman is guilty of a crime may have a lot to do with the understanding that we live in a country where, no matter what, people are suppose to be innocent until proven guilty. But when you ask the simple question of whether or not Zimmerman should have at least been arrested, even the flame wars in the comment section of our newspapers simmer down in quick agreement.
In a recent article in the Herald, two frequent "contributors" to the comment section, one with the handle "Charles_Darwin" and the other "IntelligentLife" had what should have been the standard verbal cage match about the case in a piece appropriately titled, "Trayvon Martin's shooting draws partisan battle lines." It is important to note that Charles_Darwin's photo associated with his handle seems to be a 1980s-era pic of the Rev. Al Sharpton us eighties babies saw on the news frequently as children. After a short back and forth where Charles Darwin calls out Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and other "leftists" and "race-baiting haters forming lynch mobs" and IntelligentLife responds that all the "right wingers" should be ashamed of themselves, they seem to settle in agreement on one fact:

Charles_Darwin: "Granted, an arrest should have been made..."
IntelligentLife: "We are pretty much in agreement then... But most of your fellow right wingers argue the guy should not be arrested at all."
Charles_Darwin: "Some, but not all. Most people feel there should be an arrest, but through due process and not through the lynch mob mentality. I think you'd agree there is a little hyberbole on the far ends of both sides of the political spectrum."

That agreement was reached in about two lines, after which Charles_Darwin and IntelligentLife returned back to trading jabs over the Sharptons and right-wingers of the world, respectively. How much did an older and thinner Rev. Sharpton's words differ at a recent Miami rally for Trayvon when compared to the person who mockingly uses his younger and plumper photo for his online comments? Not much. At that rally on Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, Rev. Sharpton's rallying cry wasn't "kill Zimmerman," "electrocute Zimmerman," or "feed him to the sharks." Instead, it was a rather straightforward assertion that he enlisted the crowd in repeating: "Zimmerman, tell it to the judge! Your daddy said this, your brother said that, your friend said the other. Line 'em up and tell it to the judge!"
For some reason, the Gallup poll failed to ask (or report) the question and answer that may be the only thing that Charles_Darwin, IntelligentLife, the real Rev. Al Sharpton and the Dream Defenders, a group that risked arrest to shut down the doors of the Sanford police department on Monday, don't disagree on, that Zimmerman should have been arrested. I am not a polling company, but I live in Florida (Miami, to be precise). And there are a few things I hear most people agree on, right before they go back to vociferously disagreeing on everything else. One is that George Zimmerman should have at least been arrested and had a day in court for this case. The other, even among the people that defend Zimmerman as not being racist, is that the authorities (the Sanford police and prosecutors) really messed up in their handling of the whole thing. In fact, even the late night pundits that stick up for Zimmerman rarely rush to defend the people whose job it was to process this case properly. So is the debate on Trayvon Martin's shooting dividing the country? Maybe. But if we take a step back and ask each other the right questions, we may be surprised at how much we agree on.
Don't forget to tune into our show every Wednesday at 7pm.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Are we talking about Trayvon too much?

Here is a little Monday morning perspective as people are already talking about "Trayvon fatigue" less than 45 days since he was killed and no arrests have been made in the case.

This guy:  OJ Simpson...

1.  Was arrested in 1994 and charged with murdering his wife and her friend.
2.  Was given a jury trial.
3.  Although acquitted, was sued in civil court for wrongful death in 1997 and lost.
4.  In 2008, he was convicted of a completely separate crime of essentially stealing back his own memorabilia at gunpoint.  Although this case had nothing to do with the 1994 case (well, almost nothing), he was sentenced to 33 years in prison.  He is in prison as we speak.

This boy: Trayvon Martin...
1.  Was shot on February 26, 2012 (not even a month and a half ago)
2.  George Zimmerman admitted to shooting him.
3.  The police investigating the case categorized it as "homicide/negligent manslaughter" and requested an arrest warrant for the man that admitted to shooting this boy.
4.  No arrest has ever been made in this case.

Perspective can be a...but people, I expect better from you.  At least some folks aren't fatigued, even after a 40 mile march to Sanford.  Since it was Easter yesterday and although not all of you are Christian, some of you are, I will leave you with a verse from the Gospel.

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much." Luke 16:10

Don't forget to tune into our show, every Wednesday at 7pm, right here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

AFTERMATH! ICE's "Cross-Check" and the SCOTUS strip-teased decision

Family! You do not want to miss this show, to listen to the whole thing, check it out here or press play below.  Or SUBSCRIBE TO OUR iTunes PODCASTS and never miss our show!

1. Are ICE's "Cross Check" raids a doublecross?

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) claims that the people that it picked up in its most recent high profile operation, “Cross Check,” were folks that “you definitely wouldn’t want to live next to.” Never the show to take the government at their word, we decided to talk about who was really detained and discussed this issue with Jessica Vaughn of the Center for Immigration Studies and Donald Anthonyson of Families for Freedom. Jessica explained why she supported the action and explains why she believes that the problem with the Obama Administration’s approaches to ICE raids, like Cross Check is that they don't detain enough people. Donald tells us why he disagrees and why he believes that raids like these, that brand those detainees as the “worst of the worst,” end up dehumanizing people we would, and do, live next door to.

One of those people that we would want to live next to is apparently the father of Sgt. Marc Suarez, A veteran who recently returned from Afghanistan, Marc challenges the notion that those that were picked up in the Operation Cross Check were all the “worst of the worst” criminals by telling us about his father who was picked up in this most recent operation. Suarez explains that his father was on ICE’s radar for a drug offense that happened 14 years ago and even though he had completely changed his life since then he was picked up anyway. Alina Das, a Professor of Law at NYU, also calls in to discuss the broken immigration system in the U.S. and tells our listeners that there is no correlation between how undocumented immigrants are treated in the United States and how difficult it is immigrate to the U.S. legally.  To hear this segment, click here or press play below.-

ALSO: After the show, there were many people that wanted to know how they can support Sgt. Suarez's fight to keep his father here. If you are one of them, you can visit his petition on by CLICKING HERE. UPDATE:  Sgt. Suarez emailed me last night last night to tell me that, due to all of your efforts, his father was released from ICE custody (although his case is not finished)!  He wanted to pass along his gratitude to all of our listeners that signed and circulated his petition and for all of your thoughts.

2. Is the SCOTUS Stripping the Bill of Rights?

Looks like the Supreme Court is at it again and this time it’s the fourth amendment that’s being attacked. In the Court’s decision in Florence V. Board of Chosen Freeholders they decided that strip searches of people in jail, whether or not they’re guilty or have even been charged...of anything, were constitutional. The lawyer representing Florence in the case, Susan Chana Lask, joined us to discuss the case and what it means for all of us and our rights. Shahid Buttar of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee also calls in to tell us that the Supreme Court is out of touch with Americans on the ground and confirms Subhash’s suspicion that we are all indeed going to hell.  To listen to the show, download it here or press play below.

There are a lot of people that keep saying that we don't know how the Supreme Court's decision is going to play out in real life.  Well we sort of do.  If you really want to know what the Supreme Court just declared constitutional, click on the youtube link below.

This is what constitutional looks like...

Don't forget to tune into our show every Wednesday at 7pm.

ICE's "cross-check" round-up and the Supreme Court's strip-teased decision

Photo: Steven De Polo

1.  Was ICE's Operation "Cross Check" a "check"mate to criminal or a double "cross" to the public?

As part of an operation it dubs "Cross Check"(hence the wordplay), Immigration and Customs Enforcement nabbed over 3100 immigrants over a 6 day period last week.  ICE touts it as a dragnet of the worst criminals but the immigrant rights community is crying foul after the administration announced it was focusing on "smart" enforcement.  We will hear from Jessica Vaughan (Center for Immigration Studies) and Donald Anthonyson (Families for Freedom).  Later in the segment, we will also hear from Marc Suarez, whose father was taken into custody during an Operation Cross Check raid.  We will also check in with Alina Das (Professor of Law at NYU).

2.  Is the Supreme Court stripping our Constitutional rights or sustaining them?

Jokes aside, the Supreme Court's decision in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders declaring constitutional strip searches of any kind in a jail, innocent or guilty, violent or non violent, misdemeanor or violation, or even in cases mistaken identity may have some serious implications.  We will talk about those implications with one of the lawyers that tried the case, Susan Chana Lask and friend of the show Shahid Buttar (Bill of Rights Defense Committee).  If you care about the Constitution, you don't want to miss this segment.

As always, we will also have a brief check in on the fight for justice for Trayvon Martin.