Prison GEO Group Exec Threatened to Deport Daughter-in-Law

Prison GEO Group Exec Threatened to Deport Daughter-in-Law

Some shocking video footage was uploaded to YouTube Tuesday that claims it shows a high ranking official with the GEO Group testifying that he indeed threatened to deport his daughter-in-law. In the video, Thomas M. Wierdsma, a Senior Vice President for Project Development at GEO confirms he said he would use his position of power to deport his son’s Hungarian wife.

Wierdsma threatened to deport Beatrix Szeremi after she went to the police to report a long history of domestic abuse. Wierdsma’s son, Charles Wierdsma was accused of multiple drunken beatings, almost drowning Szeremi in a bathtub, and an attempted suffocation with a pillow. According to court documents there were 20 incidences in all during the short marriage.

GEO Group is the country’s second largest private prison company. GEO also manages 9 immigration detention centers in the U.S. plus other immigration facilities abroad, including the Migrant Operations Center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Wierdsma Sr. was upset Szeremi wouldn’t leave a property he says he owns.

The Daily Camera reports the details obtained through interviews and court documents:

The Hungarian-born Szeremi, who came to the United States six years ago and got permanent legal residency, or a green card, received an email from Thomas Wierdsma, a senior vice president with the GEO Group, that sent chills down her spine. GEO is one of the largest private prison companies in the world — with $1.6 billion in revenues and 20,000 employees across 115 facilities — and the company operates several immigration detention facilities for the federal government, including one in Aurora.

“I understand that you currently have no plans to move out of our home,” the elder Wierdsma wrote on June 21, 2011. “I will be copying the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement with this and other information. As you know, I funded the legal work and processing fees for you to become a citizen but am now disappointed in your actions which now require legal proceedings.”

In July 2012, a Boulder County jury awarded Szeremi $1.2 million after a weeklong civil trial. The jurors found that both men had exhibited “outrageous conduct.”

Seth Freed Wessler,’s investigative reporter, wrote about the GEO group in September. He noted “GEO Group’s prisons and immigrant detention centers have a track record of abuse, deaths, sexual violence and medical neglect of inmates and detainees.”

According to the company’s website The GEO Group, Inc. is also the world’s leading provider of correctional detention, and residential treatment services with 108 facilities, approximately 75,000 beds, and 20,000 employees around the globe.

Wendy Williams Presses Gabby Douglas To Talk About Seeing Her Dad At Olympics

Wendy Williams Presses Gabby Douglas To Talk About Seeing Her Dad At Olympics

Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas stopped by the Wendy Williams Show to talk about her new book this week.

Williams pressed Douglas on a question few TV hosts venture to: Gabby’s father.

Photos: The Christmas Tree and The Obamas Over the Years

The Obama family illuminated the National Christmas Tree Thursday night during a celebration on the White House’s Ellipse.

Check out the pictures below of the First Family over the past four years.



U.S. President Barack Obama presses the button to light up the National Christmas Tree with daughters Malia and Sasha, and first lady Michelle during the annual National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse December 3, 2009 in Washington, DC. Lighting the National Christmas Tree is a yearly tradition for the President of the United State during the holiday season. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Tim Cook Values ‘Diversity With a Capital D,’ But Execs Are White Males

Tim Cook Values 'Diversity With a Capital D,' But Execs Are White Males

Bloomberg Business Week published an interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday morning. In the interview Cook said his company really valued “diversity with a capital D.”

But what kind of diversity? Because the top 10 executives at Apple Inc. are all white males.

“If you look at the top 100 people at Apple, you’re going to find very different people, very different personalities, very different styles. We’re not a Chiclet company,” Cook told Bloomberg Business. “We don’t put people through a machine where they come out and talk the same, look the same, think the same. We really value diversity with a capital D.”

Even if Apple’s top 100 people are a diverse mix, can you say you value “diversity with a capital D” when the 10 people who actually make the decisions all look the same?

“Apparently at Apple, you’ll find many kinds of diversity but not much racial or gender equity at the top considering the top ten executives are all white men,” said Rinku Sen, president of the Applied Research Center and’s publisher.

Sen went on to illustrate the difference between diversity and equity.

“Without equity you get diversity lite, where lots of people can come to the party but only a few - of the same kind - can change the music. Pursuing equity isn’t about politics; it’s just about taking a hard look at your practices and seeing reality.”

There you have it folks. It’s time Apple starts to think different and consider equity too. Equity with a capital E.

Apple’s Board fo Directors scores slightly better in the diversity report card. The board ncludes eight members: seven white males and Andrea Jung, the executive ‘chairman’ of the board at Avon, who happens to be Asian American.

In more positive news, Cook announced on Wednesday that Apple plans on building a Mac in the United States in the coming year.

Cory Booker Feeling ‘Hunger Pains’ Because He’s Under-Eating

Cory Booker Feeling 'Hunger Pains' Because He's Under-Eating

On Wednesday evening Newark Mayor Cory Booker said he is growing concerned about running out of food before his food stamps challenge is over. The mayor is now on day three of a seven day challenge to see if he can survive on a food stamp budget of about $30 a week, roughly the same amount provided to people in New Jersey who take part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Booker, 43, says he regrets not thinking through his food purchases before going to the grocery story. As a result, the 6’3 200+ pounds mayor has been forced to have peas and corn for lunch. (My analysis found he’s not even getting a third of the USDA daily recommended caloric intake, we’ll come back to this.)

“The second day on the #SNAPChallenge, I ate salad for breakfast, a can of peas and corn mixed together for lunch, and cauliflower, broccoli and a sweat potato for dinner,” the mayor wrote on his blog.

“I am regretting not thinking through some of my food choices for the week. In hindsight, investing more of my SNAP budget in eggs, and perhaps some coffee might have helped me later in the week. I am growing concerned about running out of food before this is over - especially as I try to resist the urge now to have another sweet potato before I go to bed tonight.”

Booker went on to point out he’s physically struggled with the challenge also.

“The constrained food options I have for this one short week highlight for me (with the hunger pains I felt today between small meals) what many hardworking families have to deal with week after week.”

Booker is probably experiencing the ‘hunger pains’ because he is seriously under the USDA suggested daily caloric intake for someone with his stats.

A 43-year-old male that is 6’3 and 230 pounds should be having at least 3,612 calories a day to maintain his current weight, according to the USDA. (I estimated 230 pounds because that’s what Booker says his goal weight is.)

Using information compiled from Booker’s #SNAPChallenge blog and pictures he uploaded to Instagram I estimate he’s having less than 1,000 calories a day—that’s less than a third of what the USDA recommends for a man his age and size.

Take a look at the charts below:

That Subway Rider Who Didn’t Recognize Jay-Z is Actually Artist Ellen Grossman

That Subway Rider Who Didn't Recognize Jay-Z is Actually Artist Ellen Grossman

Earlier this week, the Internet’s were buzzing with an adorable clip from a new mini documentary of an anonymous subway rider who didn’t recognize Jay-Z. The rapper was on the train to help promote his last concert to inaugurate the Barclay’s Center, home to the team that he kinda owns and really reps. Turns out that subway rider wasn’t anonymous at all, but was actually Ellen Grossman, a 67-year-old New York artist who’s known for her drawings and sculptures.

Grossman later told New York Magazine that she loved the experience. “As the conversation evolved, I realized, ‘He’s really famous!’” Grossman told Daily Intel. “So I said, ‘What was your name again?’”

TAGS: Brooklyn Jay Z

Los Angeles Sheriff Will No Longer Turn Over Low-Level Offenders to Immigration

Los Angeles Sheriff Will No Longer Turn Over Low-Level Offenders to Immigration

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said Wednesday he will no longer honor federal requests to hold undocumented immigrants arrested for low-level crimes, the L.A. Times is reporting.

A spokesman for the Sheriff confirmed Baca’s decision to the LA Times:

A Baca spokesman said the change was prompted by a legal directive issued by California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris on Tuesday indicating that compliance with the federal requests is at the discretion of sheriffs’ and police departments.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris said Tuesday law enforcement in the state can ignore Obama administration requests to hold undocumented immigrants. “In the interest of public safety, it is our recommendation that those chiefs and sheriffs make a decision about whether or not they will detain an illegal immigrant based on their priorities,” Harris said.

The state of California boasts the largest number of Secure Communities deportations. L.A. County sends an estimated 20,000 immigrants over to ICE each year, according to a Justice Strategies report released earlier this year.

“Sheriff Baca’s change of policy ought to come with an apology letter,” Chris Newman Legal Director at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) told “First and foremost, there’s no way to repair the damage for the approximately 20,000 people who were held beyond their release date. More immigrants have been deported through his jail than through Sheriff Arpaio’s jail in Arizona. And he owes an apology to the state of California.”

“His belligerent and clearly misguided opposition to the TRUSTAct undermined what was otherwise a statewide consensus. At this point, only a bright line statewide policy can undo the damage he has caused,” Newman said.

In October, NDLON and other organizations filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Baca. The lawsuit alleges that detaining people in County Jails on the basis of voluntary ICE holds is unlawful. reached out to the Sheriff Baca’s press office but our request had not been answered by the time this story was published.

A new version of the TRUST Act was introduced on Monday.

Senate Approves Defense Bill That Authorizes Abortions at Military Facilities

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a Department of Defense authorization bill (S 3254) that includes an amendment allowing the military’s health plan to cover abortion care in cases of rape or incest, Reuters reports. The measure also authorizes DOD to provide abortions at military facilities.

Akiba Solomon,’s Gender Matters blogger wrote about intra-military sexual assaults last month. An excerpt from her story is below to provide some history and context:

In 2010 alone, there were at least 19,000 intra-military sexual assaults, according to the Defense Department. Further enhancing the trauma, there remains a ban on military insurance coverage of abortions even in the case of rape and incest.

I haven’t seen sexual assault reports broken down by race. What I can say is that a disproportionate number of servicewomen on active duty are black. They make up a whopping 31 percent of the active-duty population compared to the 15 percent they comprise in the general population. (Fifty three percent of women on active duty are white, compared to 78 percent of female civilians.)

In the coming days or weeks, Congress will take up the National Defense Authorization Act and it has the opportunity to lift the ban on military insurance coverage of abortion in the case of sexual assault. It’s way past time to get rid of class-based restrictions on abortion access, including those for military women and Medicaid recipients via the Hyde Amendment. Now that “women’s issues” are all the electoral rage, we should make that demand, straight no chaser.

The Senate and House (HR 4310) versions of the bill have to be reconciled before a final measure can be sent to President Obama.

California A.G.’s New Position on Deportation is a Win for Immigrant Rights

California A.G.'s New Position on Deportation is a Win for Immigrant Rights

California Attorney General Kamala Harris jumped in to the immigration debate on Tuesday by announcing law enforcement in the state can ignore Obama administration requests to hold undocumented immigrants. Harris said law enforcement agencies were not obligated to comply with the federal law called Secure Communities.

Harris’ announcement is seen as a win for immigration reform because she is the chief law officer of the state that boasts the largest number of Secure Communities deportations.

Harris said her office has received dozens of inquiries from sheriffs and police chiefs confused about whether they must comply and hold detainees for up to 48 hours after they otherwise would have been released, the Associated Press reported.

“In the interest of public safety, it is our recommendation that those chiefs and sheriffs make a decision about whether or not they will detain an illegal immigrant based on their priorities,” Harris said.

“Kamala Harris’ announcement yesterday that local police departments may ignore federal immigration detainers is a blow to the Obama Administration’s leading deportation program, said Seth Freed Wessler,’s investigative reporter.

“The announcement is among the biggest victories for immigrant-rights advocates who have said for years that the program does not target hardened criminals as the government claims, but instead leads to the deportation of any undocumented immigrant who has contact with the criminal justice system,” Wessler said.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement statistics indicate that 2,388 undocumented immigrants with no convictions were detained and deported after arrests in California under the program between March 1 and June 30, according to the AP.

Romney Campaign Manager Says He Regrets Immigration Stance

Romney Campaign Manager Says He Regrets Immigration Stance

Mitt Romney’s campaign manager Matt Rhoades wishes his team hadn’t taken such a far-right position on immigration. The Romney campaign chief made the comments at the Harvard University Institute of Politics over the weekend.

The New York Times reports the details:

When asked directly whether Mr. Romney regretted tacking to the right on immigration to appeal to conservative primary voters, the room fell silent.

Stuart Stevens, a senior strategist to Mr. Romney, shook his head no. But after pausing for several seconds, Mr. Rhoades said, “I regret that.”

He went on to explain that the campaign, in hindsight, had been too worried about a potential threat from Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who jumped into the race to challenge Mr. Romney as the jobs-and-economy candidate. For weeks in fall 2011, Mr. Romney hammered Mr. Perry on Social Security, particularly his calling the program a “Ponzi scheme” that should be overtaken by state governments.

“In retrospect,” Mr. Rhoades said, “I believe that we could have probably just beaten Governor Perry with the Social Security hit.”

Other interesting bits from the conference:

  • Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said that the “real hidden story from our side” came from the number of white men who did not vote in the election in some key states:

“We weren’t surprised by racial composition; we were surprised by the partisan composition. … The real hidden story here on our side, the number of white men who didn’t vote in this election compared to four years ago was extraordinary. And these white men were replaced by white women. We were taking a group we won by 27 points and replacing them with a group we won by 12-14 points.”

  • And no surprise here but a low point for the Romney campaign came in September when Romney’s 47% remarks went viral:

“There was a lot of negativity about our campaign as a whole, but he’s a person who takes personal responsibility,” Mr. Rhoades said. “He would tell me: ‘You didn’t say 47 percent, Matt. Stuart didn’t say 47 percent. I did.’ “

The Harvard University Institute of Politics “2012 Campaign Decision Makers Conference” runs every four years, in the weeks following Election Day. The Institute brings together campaign managers and analysts from major presidential campaigns to examine the electoral process.

Recordings of the talks are available on

Cory Booker’s First Day on Food Stamps: Can’t Afford Coffee and Long Periods Without Food

Cory Booker's First Day on Food Stamps: Can't Afford Coffee and Long Periods Without Food

Newark Mayor Cory Booker says he went without food for long periods throughout his first day on the SNAP Challenge. The normally caffeinated mayor also complained he couldn’t afford coffee or Diet Pepsi.

Booker started a weeklong Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) challenge Tuesday, testing his ability to survive off a $30 food budget for a week.(The average weekly food stamps assistance for someone in New Jersey is $30.)

Booker’s decision to live on food stamps for one week came after someone on Twitter told him that “nutrition is not a responsibility of the government.” Booker challenged her and volunteered to take the SNAP Challenge.

Booker will have to survive off 17 cans of beans, seven yams, two bags of frozen vegetables and two apples for the next seven days.

“For the first time, in a very long time, I am considering every meal and the cost of the food I am eating,” Booker wrote on his SNAPChallenge blog.

“I am unable to afford coffee or other caffeinated beverages on the SNAP budget. I cannot remember the last time I started the day without a cup of coffee,” Booker went on to write. He also can’t afford his other signature vice, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Because many people don’t have social safety nets, the guidelines of the SNAPChallenge don’t allow Booker to accept food from family or friends.

Booker is only on day two but he says he’s already learned a lot.

“If I could go back and do it over again, I definitely would have gotten a dozen eggs and I would have clipped coupons,” Booker told

Ben Jealous to Donate Part of $100,000 Puffin/Nation Prize to Troy Davis’ Nephew

Ben Jealous to Donate Part of $100,000 Puffin/Nation Prize to Troy Davis' Nephew

On Monday evening, The Nation Institute and The Puffin Foundation awarded the annual $100,000 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship to Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP.)

The Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship goes to individuals who have “challenged the status quo through distinctive, courageous, imaginative, and socially responsible work of significance.” The prize comes with $100,000.

“I’m humbled to be recognized with The Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship and honored to join a distinguished list of past honorees, all of whom have inspired me with their enduring commitment to justice and human rights,” Jealous said in a statement. “Our work carries on the legacy of the tremendous visionaries who founded the NAACP — with the support of The Nation — more than a century ago. I am proud to stand on their shoulders, along with thousands of NAACPers and our allies, in the fight for racial equality, human rights, and a brighter tomorrow for all Americans.”

Jealous plans to use the prize money for a college fund for his own children, as well as De’Jaun Davis-Correia, the nephew of Troy Davis. In 2011, Davis-Correia lost his grandmother, his uncle was executed and his mother died of cancer.

Jealous is the 13th winner of the award. Previous winners include playwright Tony Kushner; Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards; environmental activists and authors Van Jones and Bill McKibben; Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman; and labor activist Dolores Huerta.

JFK Was First to Acknowledge Latino Voting Bloc, Hours Before He was Killed

JFK Was First to Acknowledge Latino Voting Bloc, Hours Before He was Killed

The night before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the president visited with Mexican American civil rights leaders at a League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) gala in Houston, Texas. Historians believe this was the first time a sitting president ever met with or acknowledged Latinos as a new voting block.

Russell Contreras, an Associated Press reporter based in Albuquerque, N.M., recently published a story that includes interviews with historians and Latinos who were at the LULAC gala.

In the excerpt below, Contreras explains Latinos have been a meaningful voting block for more than fifty years:

On Election Day in 1960, Kennedy won 85 percent of the Mexican-American vote.

But during Kennedy’s first months in office, Latino leaders expressed dismay that the president had failed to appoint Hispanics in his administration. Chavez even openly criticized Kennedy for his lack of appointments; other leaders embarked on a letter-writing campaign over the slow movement on civil rights.

Sensing another close election in 1964 and hoping to ease tensions, Kennedy visited Texas in November 1963. Advisers suggested that he at least pay a quick visit to Mexican-American activists at a Houston gala sponsored by the League of United Latin American Citizens, then the largest Latino civil rights group in the country.

Kennedy visited the LULAC gala in Houston’s Rice Hotel on Nov. 21, 1963. He was assassinated the next day, November 22, 1963 in Dallas,Texas.

You can read Rusell Contreras’ full story “JFK’S Last Night Recalled As Key Event for Latinos” on

Gabby Douglas, Wu Tsang Featured In New York Times’ ‘Twelve For 12’ List

Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas and artist/filmmaker Wu Tsang are featured in the New York Times and T Magazine’s “Twelve For ‘12″ list. The list highlights notable designers, Olympians, filmmakers, writers and innovators.

A$ap Rocky, Allison Adler, Ang Lee, Bones the Machine, Cheryl Strayed, Ciarra Pardo, D.J. Aaron, Edward Barber are also included in this year’s list.

Gabrielle Douglas was identified as an “American icon” on the list.


Gabrielle DOUGLAS Douglas’s Olympic achievement — winning gold in both individual and group gymnastics competitions, and being the first African-American to do so — has made her something of an instant American icon. She’s currently on a national tour, and her autobiography comes out this month from HarperCollins.

US Court Upholds $1 Mil for Latino Student Harassed in High School

US Court Upholds $1 Mil for Latino Student Harassed in High School

On Monday, a three-judge panel of the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City upheld a $1 million jury award to a Latino man who endured 3 1/2 years of racial harassment at a rural high school in New York.

Anthony Zeno transferred from Long Island to Stissing Mountain High School in Pine Plains, New York for his Freshman year of high school. A number of students used Zeno’s race as a basis to taunt, harass, menace, and physically assault him, according to court documents.

Court documents identified Zeno as a “dark-skinned,” “half-white, half-Latino.”

The town of Pine Plains, NY is close to 92% white, according to the 2010 Census. In 2005, when Zeno entered the school there were 439 white students, 8 blacks students and 6 Latinos.

Court documents show the violence against Zeno escalated over time and included his sister also:

During Anthony’s fourth year, he reported fewer incidents of harassment to SMHS authorities. When incidents did occur, however, they were serious. For example, at an SMHS football game in September 2007, a student called Anthony’s sister a “slut” and threatened to kick Anthony’s “black ass.” Anthony and this student began to fight. Anthony’s friend tried to intervene and break up the fight when another student suddenly “jumped” Anthony’s friend, choking him until he lost consciousness. Off-duty officers broke up the fight. The student who choked Anthony’s friend ultimately received a 45-day suspension.

Students continued to call Anthony a “nigger” in the hallways “all the time,” and he reported these comments to Howe. Similarly, he encountered continued racial harassment on the bus to his off-campus BOCES program.

“We conclude there was sufficient evidence in the record to support the jury’s finding that the District’s responses to student harassment of Anthony amounted to deliberate indifference to discrimination,” Judge Denny Chin wrote for the unanimous panel.

Chin continued: “He received explicit threats as well as implied threats, such as references to lynching.”

Zeno “was a teenager being subjected — at a vulnerable point in his life — to three-and-a-half years of racist, demeaning, threatening, and violent conduct,” the court said in their decision. “Furthermore, the conduct occurred at his school, in the presence of friends, classmates, other students, and teachers. The jury reasonably could have found that the harassment would have a profound and long-term impact on Anthony’s life and his ability to earn a living.”

Could San Francisco Giants’ Sergio Romo Become a Pro-Migrant Ice Cream Icon?

Could San Francisco Giants' Sergio Romo Become a Pro-Migrant Ice Cream Icon?

Ice cream for immigration reform? Maybe, just maybe, if Bay Area ice cream company Three Twins gets its way. See above for a packaging mockup of a potential new ice cream flavor—Mexican Chocolate—to join the company’s grocery store lineup. The new flavor, in a nod to Sergio Romo, the World Series-winning pitcher for the San Francisco Giants who celebrated the team’s championship win in October with a loud and proud pro-migrant fashion statement, features his cartoonized face prominently. The label gives a cheeky shoutout to Romo’s now-famous “I Just Look Illegal” t-shirt by telling customers, “It only tastes illegal.”

Proceeds from the sale of the flavor, which would mix chocolate ice cream with cinnamon, would be donated to “immigration reform,” Three Twins also said. On the company’s Facebook page, Three Twins made a public pitch Monday to try to get the official OK from the athlete to use his image, with this message:

We want to make Sergio Romo’s Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream (it only tastes illegal) and raise money for immigration reform. Are any of you pals with him and can get us in touch? And more importantly, who wants some Mexican Chocolate in grocery stores?

Few of the ice cream maker’s Facebook fans disagreed with the flavor, the political message, the Mexican flag emblazoned on the baseball, or even where the proceeds would go, but several did point out that the sombreros the twins are wearing on the label, which don’t appear on the packaging for Three Twins’ other flavors, are “culturally iffy.” So, what do you say?

In First Courtroom Battle, Gov. Jindal’s Voucher Program Declared Unconstitutional

In First Courtroom Battle, Gov. Jindal's Voucher Program Declared Unconstitutional

The legal fight is so very far from over, but on Friday, the first act for Act 2’s courtroom drama ended with a crushing defeat for private school choice and voucher proponents. A Louisiana judge declared Act 2 unconstitutional after a brisk three-day trial. The law was Gov. Bobby Jindal’s crowning 2012 education reform achievement. Among other reforms, it instituted the largest statewide voucher program in the nation to give private schools and entities money designated for public schools in exchange for educating students from low-income families.

Gov. Jindal, whose reform playbook is borrowed from ALEC and other conservative forces who have aggressively introduced market forces into the public school sphere with the ostensible goal of improving public education, vowed an appeal. “Today’s ruling is wrong headed and a travesty for parents across Louisiana who want nothing more than for their children to have an equal opportunity at receiving a great education,” the governor said in a statement on Friday, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

“On behalf of the citizens that cast their votes for reform, the parents who want more choices, and the kids who deserve a chance, we will appeal today’s decision, and I’m confident we will prevail,” Jindal said. “All along, we expected this to be decided by the Louisiana Supreme Court.”

Next Dream for Immigrant Youth: Legalization for All 11 Million Undocumented Migrants

Fresh off an election year filled with historic victories, the immigrant youth movement today announced plans for 2013 and its next big fights ahead. One thing is certain: 2013 will be a very long year.

No longer content to fight just for the rights of a narrow portion of the community, and emboldened by their 2012 wins, immigrant youth are expanding their demands to call for an end to deportations and the legalization of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country. Also in their platform is a call to end the immigration enforcement policies like Secure Communities, 287(g), and E-Verify, which purport to look out for the national security and economic interests of the country but have had the primary effect of devastating immigrant communities.

The agenda is part of a six-point platform that was unanimously ratified this weekend during the national congress held by United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network. UWD, comprised of 47 member organizations which make up the broadest base of the immigrant youth movement, brought together what it calls the largest gathering of undocumented immigrant youth—600 activists altogether, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Immigrant youth who have been at the forefront of the immigrant rights movement “pledged to hold both parties accountable and fight for families and communities and win a roadmap to citizenship and fair treatment for all immigrants who call this country home,” said Lorella Praeli, the advocacy and policy director for UWD.

‘Undocumented Immigrants’ Could Jump to #3 Spot on TIME’s Poll, Thanks to 4Chan

'Undocumented Immigrants' Could Jump to #3 Spot on TIME's Poll, Thanks to 4Chan

Over the weekend undocumented immigrants jumped to the number four spot on TIME Magazine’s person of the year poll. The group has quickly moved to the #4 spot on their own but they could soon move up to the #3 spot and stay there thanks to 4chan users.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is currently in first place of TIME’s poll — thanks to some funny business by users on 4chan, the image-based bulletin board with 18 million visitors a month.

A 4chan user successfully encouraged the community to vote for the newly crowned leader and hours later that same user posted a script for people to download to automate the voting process.

Now that Kim Jong-un is at the top, 4chan hopes to spell “KJUGASCHAMBERS” with the first letter of every TIME candidate’s name. “KJUGASCHAMBERS” is the name of the concentration camp near the border of Russia and China, used by the North Korean government according to the Guardian.

The third letter in “KJUGASCHAMBERS” could easily go to “Undocumented Immigrants” since they’re already in the fourth place.

The Guardian once summarized the 4chan community as “lunatic, juvenile… brilliant, ridiculous and alarming.” The online community group has made national headlines before with North Korea-related pranks.

When Justin Bieber decided to allow the his fans determine his next touring destination, the folks at 4chan ensured he’d end up in North Korea. 

Voting for TIME’s person of year poll closes at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 12, and the winner will be announced on Dec. 14. You can vote on

The TIME poll clearly points out that “as always TIME’s editors will choose the Person of the Year,” so ultimately they’ll have the final say of who ends up on the cover of the magazine at the end of the month.

Legendary Blues Singer Buddy Guy Receives Kennedy Center Honors

Legendary Blues Singer Buddy Guy Receives Kennedy Center Honors

President Barack Obama presented the legendary blues singer Buddy Guy with one of this year’s Kennedy Center Honors Sunday night. He called Guy “one of the last guardians of the great American blues.”

Born into a Louisiana sharecropper family, the six-time Grammy Award winner helped pioneer the electric blues with other legends including Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.

The president recognized seven individuals - Guy, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Natalia Makarova, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant - for their lifetime contributions to the country’s culture through the performing arts.

“Each of us can remember a moment when the people on this stage touched our lives. … Maybe they inspired us to see things in a new way, to hear things differently.” Obama said. “It is that unique power that makes the arts so important.”

After the awards ceremony former President Bill Clinton delivered a toast to Guy, saying he had traveled from a cotton patch to the concrete jungle of Chicago to emerge as the “greatest living blues guitarist.”

“From picking cotton in the field to picking a guitar in the White House, that is a long ways man,” Guy told reporters at the Kennedy Center.

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