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How The FBI-Apple Battle Could Affect Millions of Latinos

Apple and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are currently entrenched in a legal battle over encryption. Believe it or not, the outcome of that fight could affect the Latino community. Here’s why:

Wait, what are they fighting about?

Credit: “Last Week Tonight”/ HBO/ YouTube

The best explanation on why Apple and the FBI are fighting in court was given by John Oliver last week. If you don’t have 18 minutes to spare, here’s the basic gist: The FBI is currently in possession of an iPhone that belonged to Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the two San Bernardino shooters. Unfortunately for the FBI, the iPhone is passcode-protected, and the government agency can’t break into it because of the privacy protections Apple has put in place. As a result, the FBI has asked Apple to update its software so that it can traverse those protections. Apple has said no.

Why Should I Care?

Credit: BoingBoing/ Giphy

Because if Apple gives the FBI what they want, it’ll be a slippery slope. The FBI is trying to paint this as a “one time only” kind of thing. Apple says that if they give in, they’ll be opening a Pandora’s box where law enforcement officials can come to them at any point and ask them to do the same thing. This isn’t an unfounded fear. A recent court filing showed that Apple already has 12 requests asking for the same thing. Think of it this way: you know that really anxious and uncomfortable feeling you get when someone borrows your phone for like even a second? Well imagine that instead of it being your friend, it’s the cops. If that doesn’t freak you out, you’re just straight up lying.

Does this really matter?

Credit: @wombel/Twitter

At the end of the day, it boils down to the right to privacy, which is guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the Fourth Amendment. The counterargument to this is that if you have nothing to hide, then you should have nothing to be worried about. With all due respect, that’s straight up dumb. I’m gonna let my homeboy Edward Snowden, who’s on Apple’s side, take this one.

Ok, that’s all fine and good, but how does it affect Latinos?

Credit: Univision Noticias/YouTube

I’m getting there, gosh! Okay, so remember how I said that law enforcement agencies could and would ask Apple to unlock other iPhones for them? Well, one of those agencies could be Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or the Border Patrol. In fact, this is the argument that Eddy Cue, Apple’s highest ranking Latino executive, made to Univision recently. Obviously, Cue is representing Apple’s interest, but in this case they also happen to be our interests. And yes, this might sound like a too far-fetched scenario, but then again, law enforcement officials have already begun using social media to target immigrants.

WATCH: Body Cam Footage Shows Man Pleading With Police that He Can’t Breathe Moments Before He Dies

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

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Brazil is Fining Apple $2 Million For Selling the iPhone 12 Without A Charger, And We’re Not Mad About It

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Brazil is Fining Apple $2 Million For Selling the iPhone 12 Without A Charger, And We’re Not Mad About It

Photo via Getty Images

It seems like every new product rollout, Apple gets stingier and stingier with what they include with each purchase. And while Brazil has recently been in the headlines for controversial news, this time, they have the public opinion on their side. Standing up for consumers, Brazil is fining Apple for alleged “false advertising”.

On Friday, a consumer watchdog agency announced that Brazil is fining Apple for $2 million. The reason? Not including a charger with the iPhone 12.

According to Procon, the São Paulo-based consumer protection agency, Apple’s decision not to include a charger with the iPhone 12 amounts to “false advertising”. Procon also accused Apple of selling “defective products”, creating unfair contracts for consumers, and failing to repair products that are still under warranty.

Per Brazilian media, Procon contacted Apple last year to ask them why they were now excluding chargers and earbuds. However, the company “never offered a convincing explanation” to the Brazilian agency.

“Apple needs to understand that in Brazil there are solid laws and institutions for consumer protection,” said Procon executive Fernando Capez, explaining why Brazil is fining Apple. “It needs to respect these laws and these institutions.” 

In October of 2020, Apple announced that it would no longer include chargers or earbuds in their iPhone boxes. The company cited “environmental concerns”.

But savvy consumers couldn’t help but be skeptical of Apple’s explanation. Some people thought that Apple’s “environmental decision” was simply a pretense. In reality, they thought it might be a gimmick to take more money from customers under the pretense of environmentalism.

For one, we fail to see how including chargers and earbuds in an iPhone package would help the environment. Wouldn’t individual boxes for each product simply contribute to more waste? We digress….

In general, consumers across the globe can’t help but…agree with Procon.

Anyone who is an Apple devotee (read: prisoner) knows that you can end up feeling trapped as a customer. You become roped into an endless cycle of buying products that seem to be diminishing in quality every year. Not only that, but every year, the iPhone becomes more expensive while customers get less bang for their buck.

But at some point, you feel like you have to buy Apple products. Because of how Apple designs their products, all of the technology you own (laptops, tablets, chargers, etc.) only works with Apple products.

Starting to buy a different brand would be akin to throwing away hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars you’ve already invested in Apple tech. To be an Apple customer is to be stuck in a vicious cycle.

Hopefully, other governments will follow suit. After all, big tech has been taking advantage of consumers for too long.

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