American Youtube musician breaks silence over 100-day detention in Jakarta

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Ewan writes, "In Septempber of last year, American YouTube musician Kina Grannis embarked on a tour of Asia. As usual, her social media presences detailed the process beautifully (I've interviewed Kina myself and have called her the gold standard among YouTube musicians on more than one occasion). Read the rest

As criminal justice reform looms, private prison companies get into immigration detention, halfway houses, electronic monitoring, mental health

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Nixon's War on Drugs, Reagan's three strikes rules, and Clinton's "superpredator" crime bill turned America into history's greatest imprisoner, a carceral state where a racially biased justice system was made worse with every passing day, thanks to the campaign contributions and lobbying by the private prison industry, led by Corrections Corporation of America. Read the rest

Starving pensioners in Japan responsible for shoplifting crime-wave

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Japan's recently expanded prisons are already at 70% occupancy, an incarceration epidemic blamed on hungry pensioners who account for 35% of the nation's shoplifting, with a high rate of re-offending. Read the rest

Senior U.S. immigration judge says 3 and 4 year old children can represent themselves in court

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The ACLU deposed Judge Jack H Weil, a senior judge responsible for training other immigration judges, in a case over whether 3- and 4-year-olds needed legal representation during deportation hearings. Judge Weil insisted that children as young as three could be taught the basics of immigration law and didn't need taxpayer-funded lawyers in order to get a fair hearing.

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UK to deport Californian who lived 48 years in country

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71 year old Thomas Podgoretsky has resided in the UK for 48 years on a permanent leave to remain visa. He has four British children and six British grandchildren, as well as three British ex-wives. The Home Office has given him 72 hours to prepare for his deportation to the USA, despite his having no living relatives there. Read the rest

Banksy in the Calais "jungle" reminds us that Steve Jobs was the "son of a Syrian migrant"

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A new stencil/pasteup in the notorious "Jungle" refugee camp in Calais, France depicts Steve Jobs with a satchel and a classic Macintosh. Read the rest

US immigration law: so f'ed up that Trump's no-Muslim plan would be constitutional

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For more than a century, the US judiciary has been handing down rulings that affirm that non-US citizens, including those seeking entry into the USA, have no rights under the US Constitution -- rulings that also grant the President the power to exclude people based on race, marital status and other biased grounds. Read the rest

Ironically, modern surveillance states are baffled by people who change countries

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Scott Smith and his family moved from the USA to the Netherlands and discovered that despite living in the most heavily surveilled moment in human history, neither his old country nor his new one can figure out how to relate to them. Read the rest

You're only an "economic migrant" if you're poor and brown

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Ned Richardson-Little is a Canadian academic who went to the US "in search of a better life," did research in Germany and settled in the UK, something he was able to do thanks to his economic migrant grandfather who happened to have been born in Scotland. Read the rest

The US government turned down Anne Frank's visa application

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Otto Frank sought help from his college friend Nathan Strauss Jr, the son of the owner of Macy's, to get a US visa, but the US State Department turned him and his family down. Read the rest

How big offshoring companies pwned the H-1B process, screwing workers and businesses

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Giant multinational offshoring firms have figured out how to game the H1-B system, flooding the application queue with thousands of requests the instant the process opens each year. It's transformed the H1-B Visa category from a lifeline for companies who need to bring in critical foreign talent into a way to shut down whole departments in the USA and replace them with lower-cost overseas workers who are exploited far from home. Read the rest

John Oliver on racism and the Syrian refugee crisis

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This is Oliver at his best, using weaponized bathos that ricochets between rage-making clips of racist political figures trying to terrorize Syrians into staying away with sweet clips of the refugees themselves and an over-the-top, stone-brilliant, pop-culture-infused, heart-rending, laughter-convulsing finale. Read the rest

GOP "kingmaker" proposes enslavement as an answer to undocumented migrants

Jan Mickelson hosts one of Iowa's top talk-radio shows and has entertained many of the GOP's nomination hopefuls who want his endorsement for the all-important Iowa primary. Read the rest

We are all refugees: A Serbian on Syria

Once I was a refugee, too. During the fall of former Yugoslavia, I visited many refugees camps all over the war-torn region. I edited a book of refugee stories. Read the rest

Drowned in the Mediterranean: Libyan refugees tell their stories

James Bridle writes: "There's huge debate in the UK about the deaths of people in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, but we rarely see or hear the people themselves." Read the rest

Jesus Christ was an asylum seeker

Across the rich world, this decade has seen the rise of increasingly fierce anti-immigrant sentiment, much of it from self-identified Christians -- as you recount the Christmas story this year, remember that Mary and Joseph fled religious persecution and sought asylum in a rich country, which took them in. Read the rest

Americans believe things

And those things aren't true, according to an Ipsos-Mori poll that put the USA second-from-the-top in the race to see who's the most ignorant, preceded only by Italians. Read the rest

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