things that matter

John Oliver Blasts U.S. Immigration Courts For Letting Toddlers Defend Themselves

How well did you know immigration law at three years old?

John Oliver had a segment on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” this week discussing the growing problem in immigration courts. Oliver first points out that there are more than 684,000 backlogged cases heading to the almost 60 immigration courts across the country. That number represents a doubling of cases compared to 2009. In many cases, immigrants awaiting their day in an immigration court have to wait years. As Oliver points out, immigrants in Chicago, for example, can wait up to five years before they get their day in front of an immigration judge.

“So how did this system get so broken,” Oliver asks the audience. “Well, let’s start with the fact that a surge of immigration from Central America, ramped up immigration enforcement and a glacial rate of hiring judges have combined to create a truly massive backlog of cases.”

While that fact alone is troubling for the immigrant community, what is more startling is the fact that immigration courts are civil courts. This means that the federal government does not have to provide attorneys for people who can’t afford it. This rule also applies to young children.

“That’s just clearly ridiculous because you cannot let a two-year-old be unsupervised in court,” Oliver says. He adds: “While sending kids into court without representation might seem crazy to you, amazingly, some judges are apparently fine with it. When a lawsuit was filed arguing all kids need lawyers, Jack H. Weil, an assistant chief immigration judge suggested that’s not necessarily the case.”

Immigration Judge Jack H. Weil made headlines when he argued that he has taught young children immigration law.

“I’ve taught immigration law, literally, to three-year-olds and four-year-olds,” Judge Weil said in a deposition, according to Oliver. “It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of patience. They get it. It’s not the most efficient, but it can be done.”

Immigration attorneys have fought back against Weil’s assertion showing their own toddler children answer immigration questions.

As you can tell from the above video, children as young as three and four years old are not able to understand immigration law. Let alone properly answer questions from an immigration judge about their place of birth, native language and where they’d be deported to.

Oliver goes on to further explain the discrepancy between deportation rates among different American cities with some cities having deportation rates close to 90 percent in Atlanta and some as low as 24 percent in New York.


READ: John Oliver Gave The Best Argument Against Trump’s Proposed Surge Border Patrol Hiring

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20 Latino Snacks We Grew Up With And Didn't Know Were Vegan

things that matter

20 Latino Snacks We Grew Up With And Didn’t Know Were Vegan

Let’s say that the recent awareness of young and old folks towards healthier lifestyles isn’t really catching that much speed, but no doubt it is spreading like wildfire in a wind storm. So, how many of these latino snacks did you even guess is part of a vegan diet? And, by the way, a vegan is someone that does not eat any animal products or by-products just in case you didn’t know!

1. Plantain Chips

Credit: Mariquitas. Digital Image. quericavida.com.

You’ll find these delightful treats most anywhere subtropical South of the Rio Grande, and as long as they don’t have any cheesy toppings, they’re good to go (down, that is!).


2. Sesame Seed / Coconut Snacks.

Credit: Instagram @defynewyork

These famous Puertorican snacks are the perfect treat for any time of day, they come in different flavors (vegan and not) like Mango, Strawberry, Guava and Dulce de leche.

3. Tajín

CREDIT: veganomie / Instagram

Speaking of chili powder, that’s the holy grail of them all! Worthy of a Nobel Prize, this mix of dried chilies is a classic! Everything, and I mean everything, is bettered by it.

4. Mazapan

CREDIT: mrsjoenc6 / Instagram

The delectable and crumbly puree of peanuts that is simply too good to believe is vegan. Hey! Who says vegan foods have to be bland? Not this kind… dig in!

5. Paletas

CREDIT: jmgayoso / Instagram

Just about any fruit will do. Stuff an ice pop mold, layer in between with “chamoy”, that tasty and tart salsa mix and forget about the 100º heat ‘cause its game on.

6. Mangonadas

CREDIT: jay.e333 / Instagram

Some things are soooo good looking, you’d have a hard time believing they’re also vegan. Chill a few mango slices, splash a bunch of tart salsas and powders on ‘em, put them in a cup and go.

7. Conchitas

CREDIT: conchitasmx / Instagram

Originally a Northern Mexico snack, these corn chips will make you pucker up with their acidity. Follow the usual adding salsas and powders and you’re in yummy goodness.

8. Nachos

CREDIT: plantbaseddawn / Instagram

Yeah, skip the sour cream and pour on the “pico” and beans and you’ll have a crowd pleaser like no other. Guac is optional and included in the sticker price!

9. Takis

CREDIT: takisareanut / Instagram

This Mexican snack took the country by storm and keeps getting better and better with their ever-changing lineup of hotter that hot combinations certain to build up a thirst!

10. Doraditas

CREDIT: Doraditas. Target.com. Digital Image. April 9, 2018.

This sweet and crunchy treat would look like it has non-vegan ingredients, but you won’t find them anywhere, so indulge along with almond milk laced coffee and binge-watch that show you love!

11. Soda and Peanuts

CREDIT: j3f3 / Instagram

It’s real, people do put peanuts in their pop and then down it in a hurry. Of course, it is vegan, but some folks think it isn’t real. Add some chili powder for an extra punch!

12. Chocolate Abuelita

Credit: Chcolate Abuelita. Digital Image. Mexican Cooking Mama. December 17, 2015.

Just make it with almond or soy milk, but the minute the temperature falls below 70º is reason enough to shake that legendary Abuelita chocolate tablet and get yourself some great pan dulce.

13. Sabritones

CREDIT: paulajoannerussell / Instagram

The ultimate flour chicharron covered in a delicious spicy zesty powder. You’ll eat the whole bag, you’ve been warned.

14. Sorbet with Tajín

CREDIT: theronliesl1 / Instagram

A great refresher, this frozen dessert made with fruit flavored water becomes a marvel once you add some Tajin, chamoy and just about anything to liven it up. Amazing!

15. Cotton Candy

CREDIT: twistedforsugar / Instagram

Always vegan, always sweet, always irresistible, and never with a guilt feeling. Nothing says you’re in the mood for fun like a huge ball of sugar on a stick, party baby!

16. Tostada

CREDIT: veganewbies / Instagram

Top it off with refried beans, pico, shredded cabbage, and corn kernels. Skip the queso fresco and sour cream, top it off with some Valentina red sauce and dig in, it’s a delicious mess!

17. Roasted Nuts

CREDIT: theswoonful / Instagram

Switch the butter for margarine and rub a whole bunch of pecans, cashews, peanuts, even garbanzo, then broil a few minutes in the oven, toss with salt, pepper, a touch of brown sugar and Tajin, and get a beer (or 3!). It’s well worth it!

18. Michelada

CREDIT: pablitosmicheladas / Instagram

Use a Mexican beer first, then add the mixture: a splash of lime juice from a lime previously used to season the rim of the glass and add, of course, Tajin; tomato juice (no clam stuff!), a dash (or eight) of hot sauce, salt and pepper, more Tajin, and a lot of beer!

19. Original Salsitas Spicy Salsa Flavored Tortilla Rounds

CREDIT: chips_love_4ever / Instagram

These will definitely satisfy your Tostilocos craving, give them a try. Be warned. Once you start it can be hard to stop.

20. Durito

CREDIT: dianaalvaradx / Instagram

Smother these in beans, cabbage and a hell lot of salsa. You’ve got yourself a perfect, messy treat. There you have it, a whole bunch of goody treats that are vegan, for whatever reason you might be wanting to have them: whether you’re on a diet or are an animal rights activist. Just enjoy!