Things That Matter

They Were Told If They Worked Hard, They Would Earn Money With Herbalife

Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YOUTUBE
Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YOUTUBE

Herbalife goes under the microscope in the documentary “Betting On Zero.”

Herbalife, which some have described as a pyramid scheme, or worse —  it’s officially called “multilevel marketing” — attracts hundreds of thousands of members each year. While it might seem like just any other annoying product your tía tries to sell you every time you talk to her on the phone, the company has a stormy, and well-known history with its Latino clients. Herbalife has been charged with targeting and exploiting Latinos with unlawfully deceptive practices (Latinos make up 80 percent of the company’s sales). Herbalife responded by promising to “provide meaningful opportunities” for Latinos. “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” highlighted the pride with which former CEO of Herbalife Michael Johnson described the company’s Latino clients: “The Latino — the blood if you will — it’s in this company and it feels great.”

“Betting on Zero” shines a light on the “great” relationship many Latinos have with Herbalife.

Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YOUTUBE

In the short trailer for “Betting On Zero,” several men, speaking in Spanish, discuss the huge sums of money they lost to the company, which says it helps “people achieve healthy, active lives.” Several people shed tears of frustration at those who took advantage of them while trying to make money using Herbalife.

“Betting On Zero,” which has a 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, is now available for digital download.

Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YOUTUBE

Tell your friend about it. Tell a few friends about it. It’s not a pyramid scheme to spread awareness.

Or check the entire episode of “Last Week Tonight” for free, which discussed Herbalife and its “great” relationship with Latinos.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver / HBO

Definitely worth a watch.

READ: John Oliver Called Out Herbalife For Targeting Latinos

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

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

Things That Matter

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

LastWeekTonight / YouTube

“We have been down this road before.”

During President George W. Bush’s time in office, the United States experienced a doubling of Border Patrol agents — from 10,000 to 20,000 — in response to the 9/11 attacks. Now, President Trump wants to do something similar by trying to rush the hiring of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents. But John Oliver points out that the rush to hire agents in the past had some negative outcomes. According to The Hill, the Department of Homeland Security wants to drop the required polygraph tests for new hires to speed up the process. The thing is, the polygraph tests were implemented for Border Patrol after Bush’s rushed hiring of Border Patrol agents, which ended up disqualifying many of the hires, even though they had passed background checks. Even Border Patrol Chief Ronald Vitiello told The Hill that 60 percent of applicants can’t pass the polygraph test. As Oliver points out, when the polygraph tests were first implemented for Border Patrol hires, there were some astonishing revelations that disqualified people from serving, like a man who admitted to smoking marijuana 20,000 times during a 10-year period.

Oliver also explains that the job of Border Patrol agents is not all action, pulse pounding arrests, and round ups. In fact, most of the job just requires you to be alone in the middle of the desert for hours on end without seeing another person. There is also the responsibility of humanely encountering and assisting people who have crossed the border that doesn’t include guns, handcuffs, and shouting threats.

The rush to hire as many agents as possible also led to increased corruption within Border Patrol since people weren’t properly vetted or trained.

CREDIT: LastWeekTonight / YouTube

“Consequently, as the ranks grew, corruption and excessive force skyrocketed,” Oliver said. “Misconduct became such a problem that, at one point, the Border Patrol felt it needed to issue a memo about the fact that agents were averaging two alcohol-related arrests a week.”

Oliver ended his segment, with the help of Will Arnett, to create a realistic Border Patrol hiring ad showcasing what the job is really like: full of boredom.

CREDIT: LastWeekTonight / YouTube

“The point is: if you’re kind, physically fit, impervious to bribery and boredom, and you want to serve your country by enforcing a controversial and ever-changing set of policies in the most humane way possible, then give us a call,” Arnett says int he ad.


READ: John Oliver Called Out Herbalife For Targeting Latinos

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