Things That Matter

First DACA Recipient To Be Deported Sues Trump Administration

Every “Dreamer’s” worst nightmare under the Trump Administration has become a reality: A Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient has been deported.

On February 17, 23-year-old DACA recipient Juan Manuel Montes was walking to a taxi stand after hanging out with his girlfriend in Calexico, CA when he was approached by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. The officer asked for ID, which Montes could not provide because, according to the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), he left his wallet in a friend’s car.

Montes has been in the United States since he was 9 years old. According to his attorney, Montes has been granted protection from deportation under the DACA program twice and his status is valid until 2018.  Presumably because he couldn’t provide proof of his protected status, the CBP officer arrested Montes. Three hours later, he was deported to Mexicali, Mexico.

Wait, WHAT?! DACA recipients are not supposed to get deported. DACA was set up under the Obama Administration for qualifying immigrants that were brought into the country as young children to protect them from being deported and to allow them to apply for work permits.

Although Trump has made good on his campaign promise to ramp up efforts to deport the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, for a minute it seemed as though “Dreamers” would be spared. “They shouldn’t be worried.” Trump told ABC News in January, “I do have a big heart.”

And yet, Montes got deported in February and remains in Mexico. His story is just now getting coverage because on Tuesday he filed a federal lawsuit “demanding that the federal government turn over key information about his sudden deportation.” According to the complaint, Montes wasn’t given an explanation or any documentation as to why he was deported.

It comes as no surprise that Montes, who has spent most of his life in the U.S., wants to come back. “I was forced out because I was nervous and didn’t know what to do or say, but my home is there,” Montes stated. “I miss my job. I miss school. And I want to continue to work toward better opportunities. But most of all, I miss my family, and I have hope that I will be able to go back so I can be with them again.”

For now he’s staying with an aunt and uncle in Mexico as he waits to see if he’ll be allowed back into the country where he grew up.

Find out more about Montes and what this could mean for other DACA recipients here.

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‘National Treasure’ Is Being Rebooted on Disney+ With a Latina Lead, And She’s a DREAMer!

Entertainment

‘National Treasure’ Is Being Rebooted on Disney+ With a Latina Lead, And She’s a DREAMer!

Courtesy Buena Vista Pictures

Look, the 2004 movie “National Treasure” may be corny, but it’s also a classic. We’ll admit that we’ve revisited the movie a few times over the years, and hey, it holds up!

After all, who doesn’t want to see Nicolas Cage steal the Declaration of Independence in order to find a mountain of hidden treasure? So, if you’re a fan of the original movie, we have good news for you.

Disney+ just announced that they’re rebooting “National Treasure” as a series. And, this time, the main character will be Latina!

You heard it here first, folks. According to Deadline, the series’ protagonist will be a twenty-year-old Latina named Jess Morales. Throughout the course of the series, Morales will “uncover her mysterious family history and recover lost treasure”.

And to make things even more exciting, Deadline also reported that Jess Morales will be a DREAMer! In addition, Morales will have a “diverse group of friends” who will help her in her adventure. Sounds a lot different than the completely-white 2004 cast.

And unlike the original, apolitical movies, the “National Treasure” reboot will explore issues of “identity, community, historical authorship and patriotism”.

Sounds juicy! While the original Nicolas Cage movies were fun, they definitely never looked at American history through a critical lens. The 2004 movie was much more about finding hidden treasure than exploring what it means to be a person of color in 21st century America.

The fact that the lead of the “National Treasure” reboot is Latina signals to the audience that there are different ways to be American. Being a white male (like Nicolas Cage) doesn’t make you “more American” than being a person of color does.

Of course, Twitter users couldn’t help but express their opinions about the “National Treasure” reboot.

This person made an on-point observation about how the premise of the “National Treasure” reboot sounds suspiciously familiar…

Jess Morales won’t be the first Latina to use a map to find hidden treasure!

And of course, there were the haters that were mad that the hero of “National Treasure” will no longer be an old white dude.

This man doesn’t sound bitter at all…

And naturally, there was plenty of Latino talent ready to throw their hat in the ring.

We can’t wait to see who Disney+ casts to play Jess Morales! We need as many Latinos represented on screen as we can get.

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Worried If TikTok Will Still Be Banned In The US? The Biden Administration Just Made Some Announcements

Things That Matter

Worried If TikTok Will Still Be Banned In The US? The Biden Administration Just Made Some Announcements

Since his inauguration last month, Joe Biden has reversed many of Donald Trump’s nightmarish policies established over the last four years. In the first 24 hours alone, he rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, reinstated protections for LGBTQ+ people, ended a travel ban on majority-Muslim countries, and retracted the country’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization.

Now, the Biden administration has also announced its intentions with the proposed TikTok ban, as it assesses whether the short-form video app really poses a national security threat.

The Biden administration has halted the proposed ban on TikTok.

According to the BBC, the suspension means that both TikTok and the messaging app WeChat, two Chinese-owned apps implicated in the ban, can continue to operate in the US while government staff familiarize themselves with the case.

Trump had claimed that TikTok presents privacy and security concerns, echoing hacktivist collective Anonymous’s allegations that the app is: “essentially malware operated by the Chinese government running a massive spying operation.”

The suspension signals that US-based TikTokers won’t have to worry about the platform being banned anytime soon – roll on more sea shanty success stories and viral style challenges.

Originally Published July 30, 2020: President Donald Trump is renewing his attempt to ban TikTok from the U.S. There has been more scrutiny on TikTok as more people delete the app from their phone over security and privacy concerns. Yet, Microsoft is now interested in buying the social media platform.

President Donald Trump is reportedly getting ready to tell Chinese-owned ByteDance to sell their U.S. stakes in TikTok

While President Trump continues his attempts to get rid of TikTok, Microsoft is swooping in to save the social media platform by acquiring it now. It is unclear how far the talks are between Microsoft and TikTok but it would protect the app from being banned in the U.S. ByteDance the company that owns TikTok is valued at $100 billion.

Original: With millions of teens and young adults – a demographic I think I still fit – under lockdown orders thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans turned to TikTok.

The fun, 15-second video app has been downloaded more than 200 million times in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic, with users sharing everything from dance and recipe videos to starting now-viral trends. The app is loved by its users and they’re proving they’ll stand by it when it comes under threat. Which is exactly what they’re doing now as the Trump administration has announced a potential ban on TikTok.

According to some officials, Trump is looking to ban TikTok.

https://twitter.com/taylorlorenz/status/1281680094218592259?s=21

According to senior administration officials – and Trump himself – the TikTok app is a threat to U.S. national security and at risk of being banned in the country. Some are suggesting it’s a way for Trump to retaliate against China over its handling of the Coronavirus, others suggest it’s Trump retaliating against ‘TikTokivists’ who helped make his Tulsa rally a total disaster. Either way, news of a possible ban on TikTok has sent its users into overdrive.

Trump’s comments came after Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told Americans not to download the app unless they want to see their private information fall into “the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Trump didn’t offer specifics about a potential decision and Pompeo seemed to walk back the idea of a ban in a later statement, saying that the U.S. efforts to protect American consumers’ data don’t relate to any one particular company.

TikTok, an app known for quirky short videos, is facing political heat because of its ties to China.

Credit: Getty Stock Images

TikTok has in fact come under increased scrutiny in recent months – not just in the U.S. – for it’s ties to China. TikTok is owned by a Chinese company and many countries around the world are worried about that connection. Citing national security concerns, India banned TikTok last week. The US Army and Navy have banned service members from downloading the app to government-issued phones. Even Amazon has raised concerns. On Friday, the huge online retailer barred employees from using the app on devices that connect to the company’s email, citing “security risks.”

TikTok has tried responding to the issue. In an interview with CNBC, a TikTok spokesperson said, “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S. We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”

The company has also made it clear that all data from American citizens is stored outside of China, on servers based in the United States. The company claims that its data centers are located entirely outside of China, and that none of their users’ data is subject to Chinese law.

Meanwhile, many TikTok users say they care less about potential Chinese snooping and more about Trump taking away their digital hangout. In the U.S., TikTok has been downloaded more than 165 million times, according to Sensor Tower.

“I don’t believe Trump is trying to take TikTok away because of national security, but more to retaliate against activism on the app and all the videos about him that drag him through the mud,” said Darius Jackson, an 18-year-old TikTok user, in a statement to CNBC.

“This is the first year I’ll be able to vote and I think activism on TikTok is going to make a big difference,” Jackson said.

Many view the move as retaliation for Trump’s failed Tulsa rally.

Credit: Mark Short / Getty Images

It’s hard to forget the epic fail that was Trump’s Tulsa rally. His planned ‘relaunch’ of his 2020 campaign after being forced to suspend his massive rallies because of Coronavirus.

Leading up to the event, Trump had touted record-shattering interest and ticket sales for the rally. He went so far as to say that millions of Americans had RSVP’d for it – and he wasn’t actually lying this time. However, there was one minor problem – hundreds of thousands of tickets were actually reserved in a massive campaign by Korean pop stans and TikTok users.

Thanks to a TikTok campaign, Trump’s ‘massive’ rally was an utter disaster attended by only a few thousand people. Many suggest that this campaign cold be why Trump is looking to target TikTok with some sort of ban.

Since the announcement, ‘TikTok Teens’ have launched a full-fledged assault against the Trump administration.

One of the pettiest (ie. best) moves the collection of ‘TikTokivists’ has made so far, is that tens of thousands flooded the Apple App Store and left scathing reviews of the Trump 2020 Campaign app. On Wednesday alone 700 negative reviews were left on the Official Trump 2020 app and 26 positive ones, according to tracking firm Sensor Tower.

“For Gen Z and Millennials, TikTok is our clubhouse and Trump threatened it,” said Yori Blacc, a 19-year-old TikTok user in California who joined in the app protest. “If you’re going to mess with us, we will mess with you.”

The efforts to push the app low enough so that Apple will remove it from the app store may be misguided. Apple doesn’t delete apps based on their popularity. The App Store may review those that violate its guidelines or are outdated, but not if their ratings sink. A similar tactic was tried in April to protest Google Classroom by kids frustrated with quarantine home-schooling.

But can the U.S. government actually ban an app?

According to most legal experts, the answer is no. Sure, the administration could attempt to but thanks to the U.S. legal system, a total ban wouldn’t last. Administrations have limited authority to ban outright any specific piece of software, like an app. But it could potentially lobby Congress to enact legislation that targets TikTok.

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