This week on Up Close And Personal we talk with Justin Bieber’s producer George Leslie.
Bob Dylan did a wonderfully patriotic commercial for Chrysler during today’s Superbowl. Here’s what Chrysler doesn’t want you to know.
Up Close and Personal returns. Our earth shattering interview with Governor Chris Christie’s younger brother.
CREW, the Center for Responsibility And Ethics in Washington filed an ethics complaint against Congressman Michael Grimm, in response to Grimm’s threat Tuesday night to break a reporter in half and throw him off a balcony. Melanie Sloan filed that ethics complaint. She is the executive director of CREW and tells us why Congressman Michael Grimm is one of the most corrupt politicians in Washington DC.
Some disturbing news about our food. This week we learned that the Food and Drug Administration withheld an internal study that concluded feeding antibiotics to livestock makes humans susceptible to antibiotic resistant Superbugs. We’ll talk with Avinash Kar from the Natural Resources Defense Council who sued the FDA to get this study made public.
Sargent Shriver’s son, Maria Shriver’s brother Bobby Shriver is running for office here in Los Angeles calling himself an environmentalist. But Hunter Schwarz from Buzzfeed has been looking into Bobby Shriver’s investments and says Bobby Shriver’s stock portfolio is drill baby drill.
Also Will Ryan & The Cactus County Cowboys featuring Westy Westenhofer, Cactus Chloe Fiorenzo, Benny Brydern and JT Tornado Thomas.
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Miami police arrested Justin Bieber on January 24, 2014 for drunk driving, resisting arrest, and not having a valid driver’s license. Meanwhile 100,000 Americans have signed a petition asking President Obama to deport the Canadian citizen. For more on this we are joined by Michael Kaufman who’s an attorney with the ACLU, and he talks to us from Los Angeles.
David Feldman: Michael, if you live long enough, eventually you’ll get to see Florida police actually do something right. Is Justin Bieber an American citizen?
Michael Kaufman: Justin Bieber was born in Canada. He’s a Canadian citizen and he’s here in the United States on a temporary visa.
David: Michael, in 2011 the Obama administration deported 33,927 immigrants convicted of driving under the influence. Now Justin Bieber is not a citizen. What normally happens to a non-citizen after he’s been arrested for drunk driving, and in Bieber’s case, resisting arrest and not having a valid driver’s license?
Michael: For somebody picked up on driving without a license, if you’re in the country unlawfully, when you’re booked into custody at a local police station, your fingerprints are run against the ICE database, and they may automatically request that the police department hold you so you can be transferred to ICE and put into deportation proceedings. This is part of a new program that’s been implemented under President Obama known as ‘Secure Communities’. And that’s had extraordinary draconian consequences.
It means anyone picked up for even minor violations, some of them as minor as driving without a license or even driving with a broken taillight, if they’re picked up and booked into custody, they potentially risk being deported from their home here in the United States and from their families.
Now that did not happen in Justin Bieber’s case. I’m not sure why. It may be because ICE doesn’t believe he is currently deportable based on the charges that were brought against him. But if he were, like those thousands of people that you mentioned, he would be put into ICE custody. He may be put in detention.
We have a sprawling network of immigration jails and prisons across the United States that hold, on any given day, about 34,000 people while their cases are being processed through the immigration courts and federal courts. And you can potentially remain in detention for months and years while your case winds through that complicated process.
David: Justin Bieber’s in this country legally.
Michael: That’s correct.
David: And when the Obama administration deports 33,927 immigrants in 2011 for driving under the influence, is it safe to assume most of them are in the country illegally?
Michael: As a general matter, driving under the influence is not a deportable offense. So if you are here lawfully, you can only be deported if you’re convicted of certain enumerated offenses. So DUI generally does not qualify as one of those, so it may be the case in those statistics that you reported that those were individuals that were in the country without legal status at that time.
However, there are certain circumstance, if you’re convicted of certain forms of aggravated driving under the influence, where that may qualify as what’s known as a crime of moral turpitude, which in certain circumstances can constitute a deportable offense.
Also there are many other minor offenses that Justin Bieber here could be charged with that would undoubtedly risk his deportation. So virtually any type of controlled substance violation.
David: And I did notice that they arrested the black rapper at his home for possession of cocaine, but they didn’t arrest Justin Bieber even though the black rapper was in his house at the time with the cocaine.
Michael: That’s right. That’s right. And that kind of charge, if he was charged with possession of cocaine, that would almost certainly render him deportable, and it would also subject him to what’s known as mandatory detention.
The government takes the position that if you’re convicted of any type of controlled substance violation, even something as simple as possession, and it’s your first time offense, they’re going to hold you in detention for the entire period of time it takes to process your case through the immigration courts. And that can be years in some cases. Simply because of that one violation that you have. They won’t allow you to ask for bond and they won’t allow you to be released under any circumstances.
David: I guess the elephant in the room is he’s an English-speaking white Canadian.
Michael: Absolutely. I mean, I think this is an important moment for us to reflect on what would happen to the thousands of other people who get picked up on minor charges, turned over to the police, and referred to the immigration system every single day. People who have been accused of far lesser crimes or maybe none at all, those people, because they do not have a raving fan base, access to high-priced attorneys, they routinely are processed through the immigration system, don’t know how to fight for their rights, and may end up getting deported and torn away from their families.
Justin Bieber of course is going to have excellent attorneys. They’ll know how to fight in the criminal process for charges that will not result in his deportation. Not everyone is so lucky. In fact, the vast majority of people don’t have access to attorneys to help them through that process, and get deported simply because they’re not like Justin Bieber. They don’t have access to attorneys. They don’t have money to afford one. And they see deportation as a result.
David: According to the ACLU, 84% of people held in America’s immigration detention system don’t have lawyers. Michael Kaufman is an attorney with the ACLU. Thank you for joining us, and thank you for your work.
Should Bieber be deported? I want to know what you think. Please join the conversation below.
- Republican Congressman Gary Miller is easy pickings
- Represents San Bernadino
- Is a “lunatic” says our guest Down With Tyranny’s Howie Klein
- DCCC hopes to challenge Miller by running “a phony Democrat” says Howie Klein
- Elois Reyes should get the Democratic Party’s nomination say Klein.
Howie Klein is the founder and Treasurer of the Blue America PAC, which raises money for progressive candidates throughout America. He also writes the Down With Tyranny blog.
David: Howie Klein, the mid-terms are this year. You write that the single most vulnerable, Republican Congressional seat in America is California 31, located right here in San Bernardino, California. Republican Congressman Gary Miller holds that seat.
Howie: Gary Miller is a very, very wealthy realtor from Arkansas, and he came to California to take part in Civil War reenactments. He plays a Confederate general in Civil War reenactments. He’s become very, very rich. He’s a really corrupt guy. He’s been a Congressman for a long time, although not in that district. He got redistricted out of his own district and thrown into this district. It’s a minority-majority district. So most of the people in the district are either Latinos, Asians, or African Americans. So you would think that a Democrat would win there.
David: You write on your Down With Tyranny blog that he’s a lunatic. Is he a lunatic because he reenacts Civil War battles as a Confederate soldier? Why is he a lunatic?
Howie: He’s in one of the most heavily Latino districts in America and is vehemently anti-immigration reform. He’s against Social Security. He wants to repeal Medicare. This guy is from another generation, from another decade, from another century. He’s very, very, very not California. I mean, I don’t even know that he belongs in a backwood district in Arkansas.
David: The DCCC, the more centrist Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, run by your good friend Congressman Steve Israel, is once again running Pete, is it Aguilar? How do you pronounce it?
Howie: Don’t worry. He wouldn’t be able to pronounce it anyway. He doesn’t speak a word of Spanish.
David: Your Blue America PAC is running Eloise Reyes in the upcoming primary. Who is Eloise Reyes?
Howie: She’s from Colton, California. She’s a community activist and the first woman Latina to start her own law firm in the inland empire. She comes from a large family. She and her brothers and sisters were literally picking onions with her family to go through school. And she put herself through law school as well and then started a firm in Colton. And now she’s running for Congress. She is a Progressive. That is in great contrast to Pete Aguilar. He would call himself a Moderate. I would say he’s a Conservative.
David: The DCCC in the primary will be running Pete Aguilar. I read the Cook Political Report, Howie. It’s the most trusted name in government. Pete Aguilar also, according to the Cook Political Report, he pulled himself up by his bootstraps. He’s Hispanic. He worked in the City of Redlands cafeteria and Redlands youngest elected councilman ever. So he obviously comes from poverty, according to the Cook Political Report, the most trusted name in government. He has a deep connection to working families. Sounds to me he’s a Democrat who can win. What’s your problem with Pete Aguilar?
Howie: So the Cook Report is really only good for one thing, and that’s for telling you what’s going to happen in an election that took place the day before. They really got the story wrong about Aguilar. I don’t even know where to start. You ask so many questions, and you are wrong, they are wrong about every one of them.
David: Okay. First of all, he’s the youngest councilman ever elected in the city of Redlands.
Howie: Well, let’s start with the fact that he wasn’t elected. He was appointed. The City Council of Redlands, which is all Republicans, needed a fake Democrat who would go along with all their crazy ideas, so that they could claim to be bipartisan. So they picked a bank lobbyist, Pete Aguilar. As a bank lobbyist, was giving money to Republicans and wound up helping to drive that bank, the Arrowhead Bank, into bankruptcy. So he was appointed to the City Council. And he also says that he is the mayor. Well, he is the mayor, but he was appointed as well. He is the frontman for these Republican real estate interests, who control the city council.
David: He must come from poverty.
Howie: His father is a somewhat wealthy, gas industry executive. So he does not come from poverty. And then you had also said something about him being Hispanic. Meanwhile, the DCCC is looking desperately to find a tutor to teach him Spanish, since he can’t speak Spanish and has been challenged to debate in Spanish and can’t do that.
David: DCCC ran him two years ago, correct?
Howie: That’s right, and he lost because he can’t relate to the people there.
David: You know, you’re being a little rough on the guy. According to the Cook Political Report, the reason he lost two years ago was he was mourning the death of his father.
Howie: Yes, he did tell that to the Cook Report, and it was confirmed to them by Steve Israel, the head of the DCCC. But guess what? There’s a guy named Herman Aguilar, who happens to be Pete Aguilar’s father, and is campaigning for him right now. He isn’t dead. He was never dead. You know what? Maybe he was dead. But if he was dead, he came back to life, because he’s alive now, and he’s doing fine.
David: So the Cook Report did correct that, right?
Howie: They did not correct it. Of course they didn’t correct it. Go to the Cook Report, and they report that he lost his election because his father died and he was too distraught to campaign. But his father is alive and campaigning for him right now.
David: Howie Klein, the most trusted name in government and politics. He is the founder and Treasurer of the Blue America PAC, and his Down With Tyranny blog is a must-read. Thank you, Howie Klein.
What do you think? I would like to hear your comments. Please offer them up down below: