MoJo Author Feeds: Ian Gordon | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en Short Takes: "Champs" <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" mozallowfullscreen="" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Champs</strong></p> <p>BERT MARCUS PRODUCTIONS</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Champs</em></a> doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. Is it a paean to boxing mythology that relies on celebrity fans (Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige) to sing its praises? Is it a memoir of three iconic heavyweights: Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Bernard Hopkins? Is it a sociological take on inner-city America and the criminal-justice system? Or, most interestingly, is it a stinging indictment of the sport's inadequate regulations&mdash;of predatory managers, brain trauma, and more&mdash;that led one journo to call boxing "laissez-faire capitalism run amok"? By aspiring to do too much, <em>Champs </em>delivers more of a glancing blow than a KO.</p></body></html> Media Film and TV Sports Thu, 12 Mar 2015 10:20:06 +0000 Ian Gordon 269176 at Why the Duke Basketball Sexual-Assault Story Won't Go Away Quickly <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>The Duke University student newspaper <a href="" target="_blank">reported today</a> that a player recently dismissed from the school's powerhouse men's basketball team had been twice accused of sexual assault. Moreover, it found that athletic department officials, including Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, knew about the allegations as early as last March but failed to act for months.<a href="#update">*</a></p> <p>According to the <em>Chronicle</em>, two different women claimed that junior guard Rasheed Sulaimon had sexually assaulted them during the 2013-14 school year. In October 2013, a woman told classmates at a retreat that Sulaimon had assaulted her; at the same retreat in February 2014, another woman made a similar claim. The <em>Chronicle </em>reported that the team psychologist was made aware of the allegations in March 2014, and that several key members of the athletic department&mdash;including Krzyzewski, several assistant coaches, and athletic director Kevin White&mdash;found out shortly thereafter.</p> <p>At a press conference, Krzyzewski <a href="" target="_blank">declined to comment</a> on the <em>Chronicle</em> article. But here are three reasons why this particular story won't be going away anytime soon:</p> <ul><li><strong>Slow response:</strong> Neither woman filed a complaint with the university or went to the local police in part due to "the fear of backlash from the Duke fan base," according to the <em>Chronicle. </em>Nonetheless, the allegations reportedly were brought to the coaching staff shortly after the second incident was disclosed. According to the <em>Chronicle</em>, most Duke employees are required to report sexual assault; under <a href="" target="_blank">Title IX</a>, the university must investigate any such allegations. "Nothing happened after months and months of talking about [the sexual assault allegations]," an anonymous source told the newspaper. "The University administration knew."</li> <li><strong>It's Duke, and Coach K: </strong>It has been nearly nine years since the <a href="" target="_blank">Duke lacrosse rape case</a>, which fell apart after months of intense scrutiny and media attention. Given the prominence of Krzyzewski and his program&mdash;he has the most wins of any Division I men's coach in history, and the Blue Devils are ranked No. 3 in the country&mdash;this story could gain a lot more traction as March Madness nears.&nbsp;Sulaimon was the first player Krzyzewski has <a href="" target="_blank">dismissed</a> in his 35 years at Duke; here's how the coach described the decision in a January 29 press release: "Rasheed has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program. It is a privilege to represent Duke University and with that privilege comes the responsibility to conduct oneself in a certain manner. After Rasheed repeatedly struggled to meet the necessary obligations, it became apparent that it was time to dismiss him from the program."</li> <li><strong>It's yet another sexual-assault accusation against a college athlete: </strong>The Sulaimon story comes just days after a former Louisville University basketball player was charged with <a href="" target="_blank">rape and sodomy</a>. On January 27, two former Vanderbilt University football players were <a href="" target="_blank">convicted</a> on multiple counts of sexual battery and aggravated rape, a case dissected in a <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Sports Illustrated</em></a> feature last month. And in another highly publicized recent case, Jameis Winston, Florida State University's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and the likely No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft, was accused but never charged of raping a fellow student. (The school recently <a href="" target="_blank">cleared</a> Winston of violating its code of conduct.)</li> </ul><p id="update"><strong>UPDATE, March 4, 2014: </strong>In a <a href=";utm_medium=twitter" target="_blank">statement</a> released yesterday to the <em>Sporting News</em>, Duke athletic director Kevin White had this to say about how Krzyzewski and the athletic department handled the Sulaimon situation:</p> <blockquote> <p>Any allegation of student misconduct that is brought to the attention of our staff and coaches is immediately referred to the Office of Student Conduct in Student Affairs, which has responsibility for upholding the Duke code of conduct. &nbsp;The athletics department does not investigate or adjudicate matters of student conduct, and cooperates completely in the process&hellip;</p> <p>These investigations are conducted thoroughly, in a timely manner, and with great care to respect the privacy and confidentiality of all students involved.&nbsp;Those procedures have been, and continue to be, followed by Coach Mike Krzyzewski and all members of the men's basketball program. Coach Krzyzewski and his staff understand and have fulfilled their responsibilities to the university, its students and the community.</p> </blockquote> <p>For more on Duke's legal footing with regard to how much information it needs to share with the media, read Michael McCann's <a href="" target="_blank">latest</a> at <em>Sports Illustrated</em>.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Sports Top Stories Mon, 02 Mar 2015 21:32:53 +0000 Ian Gordon 271201 at "Children Do Not Migrate—They Flee": Striking Photos From Poverty-Ravaged Guatemala <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>In October 2013, I traveled to Guatemala's <a href="" target="_blank">western highlands</a> to report on the <a href="" target="_blank">surge of children migrating</a> from Central America to the United States. The largely indigenous region was more or less unchanged from when I'd lived in a village near the Guatemala-Mexico border in 2006, or when I'd returned to do graduate work there in 2009: It was poor, susceptible to natural disasters, and full of families with relatives living in the United States.</p> <p>Photographer Katie Orlinsky visited many of the same places that I did, and her evocative work from Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango, the unofficial capital of the highlands, illuminates the poverty that continues to push children and families north. <a href="" target="_blank">Recent data suggests</a> that while far fewer Hondurans and Salvadorans have been arriving at the US border, the number of Guatemalans has dipped only slightly. As one Guatemalan migrant shelter official told Orlinsky, "Children do not migrate&mdash;they flee."</p> <p><em>All photos by Katie Orlinsky for <a href="" target="_blank">Too Young to Wed,</a> in collaboration with <a href="" target="_blank">Humanity United</a>.</em></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_002.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A young boy gathers wood in Quetzaltenango. The area has one of the highest levels of child migration in the country. Many of the children are economic refugees. In addition, a large population of Guatemalans from the area are already living in the United States and Mexico. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_006.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Paula (right) does not go to school and instead works washing clothing with female family members in the town of Los Duraznales.</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_008.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A bus in Los Duraznales</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_010.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A 16-year-old child migrant stands outside a government-run shelter in Quetzaltenango. The teenager was caught by the Mexican authorities and deported a day earlier. She was on her way to Ohio to meet her mother, who left 12 years ago. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_012.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A bus leaves for the Guatemala-Mexico border from the bus terminal in the largest market in Guatemala City. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_015.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A four-year-old stands outside her home in Quetzaltenango with her aunts. Along with her mother, she attempted to migrate to the United States, but they were caught in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. Family members say they were imprisoned and abused before being deported back to Guatemala. The girl's mother continues to be unable to eat or speak after the experience.</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_016.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The Alonso Lorenzo sisters, from left to right: Romina, 12, Alysa Karina, 16, and Isabel, 8, in Concepci&oacute;n Chiquirichapa. The sisters are orphans; their 14-year-old sister recently migrated to the United States, where she works to help support them. They currently live with their aunt in a cramped two-room home. All three sisters hope to migrate to the United States as soon as they can.</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_017.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Romina Alonso Lorenzo, 12, washes dishes at her aunt's home in Concepci&oacute;n Chiquirichapa. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_019.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Romina and Isabel</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_020.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Alysa Karina, 16, prepares atole at her aunt's home. She does not attend school. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_022.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The youngest Alonso Lorenzo sisters attend the Escuela Oficial Rural Mixta al Telena. Nearly half of the school's students have family in the United States. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_024.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Romina at school</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_025.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Many students miss days or months of school in order to work. It is common to see children of varied ages in the same grade.</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_026.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A girl studies against a wall in Guatemala City. Gangs and violence are one of the leading causes for child migration from Guatemala. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_028.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Jonathan, 13, works in a Guatemala City cemetery cutting and arranging flowers. He says he goes to school in the afternoons. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_030.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Thirteen-year-old Adonias sells garlic at the largest market in Guatemala City. </strong></div> </div></body></html> Media Photo Essays Immigration International child migrants Wed, 18 Feb 2015 14:53:01 +0000 — Photos by Katie Orlinsky; Text by Ian Gordon 270401 at Love in the Time of PTSD: Mac McClelland's Irritable Heart <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>As <em>Mother Jones</em>' copy editor, I used to read the long, narrative features written by our former human rights reporter, Mac McClelland, many times over before they appeared in the magazine. They often wore me out, grammatically and emotionally, in the way that only intense work on difficult subjects can.</p> <p>In her second book, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Irritable </em><em>Hearts:</em> <em>A PTSD Love Story</em></a> (out February 24), McClelland returns to terrain she has covered before to great acclaim and great criticism: herself&mdash;specifically, her battle with PTSD following a reporting trip to <a href="" target="_blank">post-earthquake Haiti</a> in 2010. She unsparingly recounts her struggles to cope with the lingering effects of trauma: nightmares, sobbing fits, alcoholism. McClelland weaves these details into the telling of her own unexpected love story, the charming and jagged particulars of which left me, by the book's end, expectedly exhausted.</p> <p>I recently spoke by phone with McClelland about how our knowledge of post-traumatic stress is evolving, what shocked her most about dealing with trauma, and how to define a badass:</p> <p><strong>Mother Jones:</strong> Was the topic of PTSD on your radar at all before the first Haiti trip? Was it something you thought about a lot?&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Mac McClelland:</strong> I was familiar with it as a concept pretty much exclusively with respect to veterans, and that is the sum total of my experience with the topic. I definitely hadn't read any books. I probably read like one pretty famous, or maybe two, famous features about PTSD, some big ones that came out around 2003 or something. But other than that, I had nothing.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/media/2015/02/mac-mcclelland-interview-ptsd-irritable-hearts"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Media Interview Health Media Military Top Stories Fri, 13 Feb 2015 11:00:09 +0000 Ian Gordon 270016 at There Will Be Fewer Child Migrants This Year, But the Crisis Isn't Over <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>It was right around this time last year that sources in South Texas began telling me that an expected surge of <a href="" target="_blank">unaccompanied child migrants</a> was going to be much larger than previously anticipated. They were right: The number of kids crossing the US-Mexico border <a href="" target="_blank">skyrocketed in 2014</a>, and the border crisis was soon front-page news. But the numbers have been dropping since last fall, and according to new projections, they're on pace to recede even further in 2015.</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">projections</a> from the think tank <a href="" target="_blank">Washington Office on Latin America</a>, around 41,000 child migrants traveling alone will be caught by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the 2015 fiscal year, a 39 percent decrease from last year. WOLA's data also suggests that border agents will nab more than 56,000 migrant families (typically a mother traveling with children), a 16 percent drop from 2014.</p> <p>The number of apprehensions is proportional to the number of people crossing the border.<strong> </strong>The predictions are extrapolated from CBP data and seasonal migration trends. Adam Isacson, WOLA's senior associate for regional security policy, acknowledged that the numbers are "very tentative" and that the sample sizes were small, but that 2015 is still on pace to see the second-biggest influx ever of kids traveling alone.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>What accounts for these projected decreases in the two groups of migrants that made up last year's border crunch? After all, things haven't gotten any better in Central America's so-called Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras). "The situation in Central America hasn't changed in the last six months," says Maureen Meyer, WOLA's senior associate for Mexico and migrant rights. "So you're going to certainly see people fleeing their homes out of desperation and migrants continuing to be willing to run the gauntlet of risk they could face in Mexico, because they figure the risk is worth it if you could die in your home the next day anyway."</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Guatemala_019225.jpg"></a> <div class="caption"><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>"Children Do Not Migrate&mdash;They Flee": Striking Photos From Poverty-Ravaged Guatemala </strong></a></div> </div> <p>CBP has trumpeted the anti-migration <a href="" target="_blank">ad campaign</a> it ran last year, but few experts believe it had much impact. Instead, they argue, the decline in migrants can be attributed to the increasing difficulty of making the roughly<strong> </strong>1,500-mile journey from Central America through Mexico. In July, for example, Mexican officials <a href="" target="_blank">closed off</a> access to <em>La Bestia</em> (the Beast), the freight train that runs from southern Mexico to the US border. Migrants often sneaked rides on La Bestia because they didn't have the money to pay smugglers. Keeping them off the train has made the journey north more expensive and potentially more dangerous: A recent article in Mexico's <a href="" target="_blank"><em>El Universal</em></a> newspaper detailed how migrants are walking increasingly risky routes or taking $250 boat rides to avoid detection in the southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.</p> <p>Shutting down La Bestia was just part of Mexico's new crackdown on Central American migrants. Earlier last summer, President Enrique Pe&ntilde;a Nieto announced an initiative called <a href="" target="_blank">Programa Frontera Sur</a> (Southern Border Program) to address the country's porous border with Guatemala. Meyer says that while the particulars of this plan are still vague, migrant shelter workers in southern Mexico have reported seeing more immigration agents patrolling the region and cracking down on safe houses for migrants.</p> <p>The Mexican government reports that it deported some 104,000 people to the Northern Triangle<strong> </strong>last year, a 34 percent increase from 2013. (Given the <a href="" target="_blank">poor conditions</a> in Mexico's immigration detention centers, Meyer says many detained migrants choose deportation and another shot at heading north.) The uptick has troubled immigrant advocates, who worry that Mexico isn't applying its generous refugee and humanitarian aid laws&mdash;and is turning around Central American migrants without regard for their safety in their home countries.<strong> </strong>"That's our biggest area of concern," said Jennifer Podkul of the <a href="" target="_blank">Women's Refugee Commission</a>. "Are they returning legitimate refugee seekers&mdash;people seeking asylum&mdash;before they even get here?"</p> <p>In a January 6 meeting with Pe&ntilde;a Nieto in Washington, President Obama <a href="" target="_blank">praised</a> Mexico's efforts along its border with Guatemala. US officials have repeatedly stressed that border's strategic importance; several years ago, border czar Alan Bersin <a href="" target="_blank">said</a>, "The Guatemalan border with Chiapas is now our southern border." The White House's 2016 foreign aid budget request earmarks money for bolstering Mexican border enforcement.</p> <p>Along the US-Mexico border, the feds are intent on avoiding a repeat of last year's border catastrophe, including those <a href="" target="_blank">visuals</a> of little kids piled together beneath space blankets in fenced-off warehouses. Meghan Johnson, the managing attorney at the <a href="" target="_blank">ProBAR Children's Project</a>, the American Bar Association's pro bono legal defense program in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, says that federal shelters for unaccompanied minors are currently at 30 percent capacity and that officials are bracing for an influx of kids in the late spring and early summer. The federal government has streamlined its process for getting detained kids out of Border Patrol holding facilities, and now there are two large processing facilities to temporarily hold child migrants before they are placed in shelters or reunified with their families in the states. And Immigration and Customs Enforcement just opened its <a href="" target="_blank">largest-ever detention facility</a>, in Dilley, Texas, which will only hold "family-unit" detainees, i.e., mothers traveling with their children. (For more, read the <em>New York Times Magazine</em>'s recent <a href="" target="_blank">cover story</a> on family detention.)</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Two weeks ago, in a <a href="" target="_blank"><em>New York Times </em>op-ed</a> announcing the White House's $1 billion aid proposal for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, Vice President Joe Biden wrote that "if the political will exists, there is no reason Central America cannot become the next great success story of the Western Hemisphere." In the meantime, it appears the issues that sparked last year's border surge&mdash;gang violence, abject poverty, regional instability&mdash;will continue to force tens of thousands of unaccompanied children and families to seek refuge in the United States this year.</p> <p>Still, now that the numbers have dropped from their historic highs last year, it's a good bet that the kids and families won't make headlines anytime soon. "We won't see those images again of kids backed up at the border," Podkul says, "but that doesn't mean there's no crisis in Central America anymore."</p> <p><em>Clarification: A previous version of this article suggested that the Office of Refugee Resettlement ran the two border processing facilities, which are run by CBP.</em></p></body></html> Politics Charts Immigration International Top Stories child migrants Fri, 13 Feb 2015 11:00:08 +0000 Ian Gordon 269861 at Saying Goodbye to Dean Smith, College Basketball's Liberal Conscience <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Famed college basketball coach Dean Smith <a href="" target="_blank">died</a> Saturday night at the age of 83, after years of <a href="" target="_blank">decline</a>. His on-court prowess as the frontman at North Carolina from 1961 to 1997 is unforgettable: 879 wins, two national championships, 11 Final Four appearances, and a lasting legacy as a <a href="" target="_blank">hoops innovator</a>. But for many, it's his off-court example&mdash;which manifested itself in something people in Chapel Hill still call the Carolina Way&mdash;that made him a legend.</p> <p>Smith was an outspoken <a href="" target="_blank">liberal Democrat</a> who was anti-nukes, anti-death-penalty, and pro-gay-rights in a state that sent Jesse Helms to the Senate for five terms. (In fact, North Carolina Dems even tried to <a href="" target="_blank">convince</a> Smith to run against Helms.) His father, Alfred, <a href="" target="_blank">integrated</a> his high school basketball team in 1930s Kansas; years later, Smith would do the same at UNC, recruiting Charlie Scott in the mid-1960s to become the first African American player on scholarship there and one of the first in the entire South.</p> <p>This story, from a <a href="" target="_blank">2014 piece</a> by the <em>Washington Post</em>'s John Feinstein, has been making the rounds today. It's worth re-reading:</p> <blockquote> <p>&hellip;In 1981, Smith very grudgingly agreed to cooperate with me on a profile for this newspaper. He kept insisting I should write about his players, but I said I <i>had</i> written about them. I wanted to write about him. He finally agreed.</p> <p>One of the people I interviewed for the story was Rev. Robert Seymour, who had been Smith's pastor at the Binkley Baptist Church since 1958, when he first arrived in Chapel Hill. Seymour told me a story about how upset Smith was to learn that Chapel Hill's restaurants were still segregated. He and Seymour came up with an idea: Smith would walk into a restaurant with a black member of the church.</p> <p>"You have to remember," Reverend Seymour said. "Back then, he wasn't <i>Dean Smith</i>. He was an assistant coach. Nothing more."</p> <p>Smith agreed and went to a restaurant where management knew him. He and his companion sat down and were served. That was the beginning of desegregation in Chapel Hill.</p> <p>When I circled back to Smith and asked him to tell me more about that night, he shot me an angry look. "Who told you about that?" he asked.</p> <p>"Reverend Seymour," I said.</p> <p>"I wish he hadn't done that."</p> <p>"Why? You should be proud of doing something like that."</p> <p>He leaned forward in his chair and in a very quiet voice said something I've never forgotten: "You should never be proud of doing what's right. You should just do what's right."</p> </blockquote> <p>RIP, Dean.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Race and Ethnicity Sports Sun, 08 Feb 2015 22:46:57 +0000 Ian Gordon 269901 at The NFL's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>With the Super Bowl days away, the sports world's hot-take artists have spent the past week toggling between the <a href="" target="_blank">intrigue</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">idiocy</a> of Deflategate to the <a href="" target="_blank">press conference reticence</a> of Seattle Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch. In some ways, it has been the perfect ending to a dreadful year for the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell.</p> <p>Famous for his <a href="" target="_blank">"protect the shield"</a> mantra and disciplinarian ways, Goodell has seen his reputation get battered throughout the <a href="" target="_blank">controversy-filled 12 months</a> since Super Bowl XLVIII. So, as Ballghazi rages on and the big game approaches, here's a look back at the recent firestorms and missteps that made 2014 such a rotten year for the league and its commish:</p> <p><strong>Ray Rice: </strong>It was bad enough when the league initially suspended Rice, then the Baltimore Ravens' star running back, for a <a href="" target="_blank">paltry two games</a><strong> </strong>after his February arrest for assaulting his then-fianc&eacute;e (now wife) at an Atlantic City casino. It got worse when the Ravens further <a href="" target="_blank">bungled</a> the situation. But when TMZ released security camera footage in September that actually showed Ray Rice punching Janay Rice, the league had to suspend him indefinitely&mdash;even as Goodell maintained that he had never before seen the video. (<a href="" target="_blank">Numerous</a> <a href="" target="_blank">reports</a> have made those claims seem <a href="" target="_blank">laughable</a>.) The NFL <a href="" target="_blank">toughened</a> its domestic-abuse policies, sure, and will <a href="" target="_blank">air an ad</a> during the Super Bowl to raise awareness. But the damage from the league's initial inaction already has been done. As Tracy Treu, the wife of former Oakland Raiders center Adam Treu, <a href="" target="_blank">told me back in September</a>, "When you're with an NFL team, the message to you is clear: Don't fuck anything up for your partner, and don't fuck anything up for the team."</p> <p><strong>Adrian Peterson: </strong>Just days after the explosive Rice video was released, the Minnesota Vikings' All-Pro running back was accused of hitting his four-year-old son <a href="" target="_blank">with a switch</a> and was indicted for reckless or negligent injury to a child. For a short time it looked like Peterson would be <a href="" target="_blank">back on the field</a> after missing just a week of work, but the Vikings quickly <a href="" target="_blank">reversed course</a>, and the NFL <a href="" target="_blank">ultimately suspended him</a> for the remainder of the season.</p> <p><strong>Greg Hardy/Jonathan Dwyer:</strong> Lost a bit in the Rice and Peterson headlines were the domestic-assault charges against Hardy, a Carolina Panthers defensive end, and Dwyer, an Arizona Cardinals running back. Hardy's then-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, <a href="" target="_blank">testified in July</a> that Hardy had dragged her around his apartment, threw her on a futon covered in rifles, and then put his hands on her throat. "I was so scared I wanted to die," she testified. Hardy was convicted; <a href="" target="_blank">his appeal</a> is set for February. (He took a paid <a href="" target="_blank">leave of absence</a> in September, in part to avoid a possible suspension.) Dwyer allegedly <a href="" target="_blank">head-butted</a> his wife and broke her nose in July. She reportedly went to police after seeing the Peterson news in September and fearing for her child's safety. Dwyer was put on the reserve/non-football-injury list and pleaded <a href="" target="_blank">not guilty</a> to charges on Monday.</p> <p><strong>Concussions:</strong> The league's ongoing concussion scandal may have peaked in 2013 with the airing of the <em>Frontline </em>documentary <a href="" target="_blank"><em>League of Denial</em></a>, but the issue of player safety&mdash;indeed, the long-term viability of the game&mdash;isn't going away anytime soon. In July, a federal judge preliminarily <a href="" target="_blank">approved a settlement</a> between the league and<strong> </strong>former players over concussion-related claims. Since then, more than 200 players have <a href="" target="_blank">opted out</a> of the settlement, objecting to the restrictions embedded in the deal. As <em>ESPN the Magazine</em>'s Peter Keating <a href="" target="_blank">wrote</a>, "Fewer than 3,600 athletes, or about 17 percent of all retired players, will end up with some kind of illness that the settlement will compensate, according to forecasts by both sides in the case." (The settlement is still awaiting final approval.) Next up: the Christmas release of Will Smith's <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Concussion</em></a>, a feature film based on a <em>GQ</em> profile of <a href="" target="_blank">neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu</a>, one of the first physicians to fight the NFL on brain trauma.</p> <p><strong>Dan Snyder and the Washington [Redacted]: </strong>We've already covered many of the <a href="" target="_blank">dumb things</a> Snyder has said in recent months. Even after <a href="" target="_blank">50 US senators</a> called on the Washington owner to change his team's name, the team still managed to start something called the <a href="" target="_blank">Original Americans Foundation</a> and continue to be <a href="" target="_blank">completely tone deaf</a> on social media. The Native American-led <a href="" target="_blank">protests</a> against the name will continue into <a href="" target="_blank">this weekend</a> in Arizona.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/snyder630_0.jpg"><div class="caption">Snyder: Nick Wass/AP; dunce cap: Stockbyte/Thinkstock. Illustration by Dave Gilson.</div> </div> <p><strong>Cheerleading lawsuits:</strong> If you haven't read my colleague Julia Lurie's <a href="" target="_blank">roundup</a> of the many lawsuits brought by current and former cheerleaders against NFL teams, go do that now. Here's an excerpt, about how different teams determine whether their cheerleaders are fit enough to perform:</p> <blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The <a href="" target="_blank">Jills allege</a> being subjected to a weekly "jiggle test," which consisted of doing jumping jacks while their stomachs, arms, legs, hips, and butts were scrutinized. (The Jills manual also instructs, "Never eat in uniform unless arrangements have been made in advance. Just say 'Thanks so much for offering but no thank you'&hellip;NEVER say, 'Oh, we're not allowed to eat!'") Ben-Gals are required to weigh in twice a week, and if they come in more than three pounds over their "goal weight," they face penalties: extra conditioning after practice, benchings, probation, or dismissal from the team.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Aaron Hernandez trial: </strong>Hernandez, the former Patriots tight end who was arrested a year and a half ago for the shooting death of friend Odin Lloyd, is back in the news now that the jury has been selected and his murder case is <a href="" target="_blank">set to start Thursday</a> in Connecticut. Hernandez also has been charged with two more murder counts for a July 2012 double-murder in Massachusetts.</p> <p><strong>Anti-gay front offices: </strong>Linebacker Michael Sam <a href="" target="_blank">came out</a> as gay before the NFL Draft last February. No one knew for sure how it would play out&mdash;or what effect it would have on Sam's draft status&mdash;but a <em>Sports Illustrated </em>story that anonymously quoted general managers and front-office types around the league <a href="" target="_blank">wasn't exactly welcoming</a>. "I don't think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet," said one personnel assistant. "In the coming decade or two, it's going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it's still a man's-man game." Sam <a href="" target="_blank">was drafted</a> in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams but was cut just before the season began. (After latching on with the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad for a spell, he's once again a free agent, albeit an <a href="" target="_blank">engaged one</a>.)</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/NFL-nondiscrimination-map_0_0.jpg"></div> <p><strong>Jim Irsay: </strong>The Indianapolis Colts' billionaire owner was charged with <a href="" target="_blank">driving while intoxicated</a> in October; he later admitted to having hydrocodone, oxycodone, and Xanax in his system. (Police said they found "numerous prescription medication bottles containing pills," as well as $29,000 in cash, in Irsay's car.) The NFL <a href="" target="_blank">suspended</a> the <a href="" target="_blank">outspoken</a> 55-year-old for six games and fined him $500,000.</p> <p><strong>Goodell's salary: </strong>As of 2012, according to tax forms, the Commish was making <a href="" target="_blank">$44.2 million a year</a>. (Yes, the NFL is still a <a href="" target="_blank">nonprofit</a>.)</p> <p><strong>Not so super:</strong> While Super Bowl XLIX could break the <a href="" target="_blank">TV ratings</a> record, Mina Kimes reports in the latest <a href="" target="_blank"><em>ESPN the Magazine</em></a> that the mayor of Glendale, Arizona&mdash;this year's host site&mdash;told her, "I totally believe we will lose money on this."</p> <p><strong>Jameis Winston on the horizon: </strong>If all of this weren't enough, this spring's NFL Draft will surely be all about Winston, the presumptive No. 1 pick and Heisman Award winner who was accused (but never <a href="" target="_blank">charged</a>) of rape as a Florida State freshman in 2012. Winston was recently <a href="" target="_blank">cleared</a> of violating FSU's code of conduct, though a 2013 <em>New York Times</em> <a href="" target="_blank">report</a> alleged that "there was virtually no investigation at all, either by the police or the university," after the allegations were made. The story isn't going away anytime soon: Last week, Winston's accuser <a href="" target="_blank">went public</a> in <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Hunting Ground</em></a>, a documentary on campus sexual assault that debuted Friday at the Sundance Film Festival.</p></body></html> Media Sports Top Stories Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:00:17 +0000 Ian Gordon 269231 at Guess Who's Getting Rich(er) off the College Football Playoff? (Hint: It's Not the Players) <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>The first-ever College Football Playoff, culminating in tonight's national championship game between Oregon and Ohio State, has been years in the making: Fans, coaches, and players had long complained about the lack of a tournament, &agrave; la college basketball's March Madness, to determine a national champ. The four-team tourney has proved a smashing success: The semifinal games on New Year's Day each brought ESPN more than <a href="" target="_blank">28 million viewers</a>, breaking the cable TV ratings record set in 2011 by the title game between Oregon and Auburn. Thanks to NCAA rules, though, the players will make bupkis. So who <em>is</em> cashing in, then? Here's a partial breakdown.</p> <p><strong>ESPN: </strong>In 2012, the sports network inked a <a href="" target="_blank">12-year</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">$7.3 billion</a> deal for the rights to air seven postseason college games&mdash;the four big bowl games plus two national semifinals and the championship game. That's a ton of money, even when you consider that media buyers told <em>Advertising Age</em> that 30-second spots during this year's title game are selling for <a href="" target="_blank">$1 million</a> a pop. But even if ESPN barely covers its expenses, securing the long-term rights to the playoffs has further cemented its dominance as the go-to channel for sports fans. And that, in the end, should prove immensely <a href="" target="_blank">profitable</a>.</p> <p><strong>The NCAA: </strong>College sports' governing body loves to prattle on about <a href="" target="_blank">amateurism</a> while pulling in nearly $1.4 billion annually in TV royalties for the football playoffs ($608 million) and <a href="" target="_blank">March Madness</a> ($771 million). Still, Mark Emmert, the NCAA's embattled president, made <a href="" target="_blank">$1.7 million</a> in total compensation in 2012, <a href="" target="_blank">46 percent more</a> than his predecessor, Myles Brand, earned in his last full year as prez.</p> <p><strong>Nike: </strong>There have been plenty of swooshes on your screen this playoff season: All four playoff semifinalists&mdash;Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, and Oregon&mdash;wear Nike gear due to <a href="" target="_blank">$15 million</a> in contracts for the 2014-15 academic year. (Nike founder Phil Knight is a well-known <a href="" target="_blank">Oregon alumnus and superbooster.</a>) Related: Have you picked up your special-edition Oregon <a href="" target="_blank">title game jersey</a> yet? How about your custom CFP <a href="" target="_blank">Zoom Hypercross TRs</a>?</p> <p><strong>The Big 5 Conferences:</strong> The biggest recipients of the TV largesse will be the so-called Big 5 conferences&mdash;the Atlantic Coast, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Pac-12, and the Southeastern&mdash;which will each receive $50 million a year, according to the CFP's <a href="" target="_blank">revenue distribution plan</a>. The ACC, Big 10, Pac-12, and SEC also all got a $6 million bonus because their teams made the semifinals, plus millions more for travel expenses. (As you might imagine, these conferences already have <a href="" target="_blank">hefty TV deals</a> that are distributed among the schools.)</p> <p><strong>Coaches Mark Helfrich and Urban Meyer: </strong>Meyer&mdash;who won national titles at Florida in 2006 and 2008 and is earning nearly <a href="" target="_blank">$4.5 million</a> in base compensation this season at Ohio State&mdash;will take home $250,000 just for <a href="" target="_blank">making it to the championship game</a>. OSU athletic director Gene Smith told <em>USA Today</em> in December that those numbers are right on the mark: "He's the CEO of a large corporation. We're fortunate we have him at Ohio State." Helfrich, the second-year Oregon coach, will pocket $2 million in salary this year (the lowest among semifinalist head coaches), plus <a href="" target="_blank">$250,000 more</a> should the Ducks win Monday night. (His assistant coaches already have snatched an additional <a href="" target="_blank">six months' worth of base salary</a> this postseason, and could earn even more.)</p> <p><strong>Gene Smith: </strong>The Ohio State athletic director came under fire last year when it was reported that he earned a <a href="" target="_blank">bonus of more than $18,000</a> after a wrestler won an individual national title in March. He's on track to make another two weeks' worth of base pay, roughly <a href="" target="_blank">$36,000</a>, if the Buckeyes bring home the trophy Monday night.</p> <p>On Tuesday, the CFP announced that the NCAA would let it help cover the expenses of parents who wanted to come watch their kids play in the title game, allotting up to <a href="" target="_blank">$1,250 per parent/guardian</a> (maximum: two) for travel, meals, and accommodations. So that's nice. But what of the kids whose hard work makes this all possible? Don't they deserve something?</p> <p>As it turns out, the NCAA allows players up to $550 each in goods from gift suites set up by individual bowl games. According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>SportsBusiness Daily</em></a>, the Rose Bowl (the Florida State-Oregon semifinal) handed out Fossil watches, Oakley Works backpacks, and New Era 59Fifty caps, while the Sugar Bowl (the Alabama-Ohio State semifinal) also gave away Fossil watches and New Era hats. It's not the custom-made <a href="" target="_blank">Fathead wall decals</a> handed out by the <a href="" target="_blank">Quick Lane Bowl</a>, but hey, these kids are amateurs.</p></body></html> Media Corporations Sports Top Stories Mon, 12 Jan 2015 10:45:05 +0000 Ian Gordon 267966 at Inside Obama's Family Deportation Mill <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>This past summer, the "border kids"&mdash;<a href="" target="_blank">tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors</a> from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras detained after crossing into the United States&mdash;became the country's latest immigration crisis. Aid groups mobilized, <a href="" target="_blank">Congress held hearings</a>, and pleas for compassion resounded at the highest levels of government. "These are our kids," Vice President Joe Biden told a group of lawyers <a href="" target="_blank">in August</a>, urging them to offer the children free legal representation.</p> <p>But the Obama administration hasn't extended that caring attitude to another huge group of Central American migrant kids&mdash;those traveling with a parent or guardian, usually their mother. In fiscal 2014, according to <a href="" target="_blank">data</a> from US Customs and Border Protection, these so-called family unit apprehensions nearly quadrupled. By comparison, the increase in kids arriving at the border alone&mdash;the surge that put Capitol Hill in a crisis mode&mdash;was a relatively modest 77 percent.</p> <p><br><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="354" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>In perhaps the biggest policy reversal since the surge began, the federal government has rebuilt the controversial family detention system it gutted only a few years ago, in no small part to send a message to would-be immigrants&mdash;even though 98 percent of those at one Texas detention facility were asylum seekers who claimed that they feared returning to their home countries, according to <a href="" target="_blank">a recent report</a> by the Women's Refugee Commission and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. "I certainly would've never expected it from this administration," said the WRC's Michelle Bran&eacute;, who coauthored the report. "Why they went for this draconian detention, I just don't get it."</p> <p>In 2009, the feds stopped detaining women and children at the <a href="" target="_blank">notorious</a> <a href="" target="_blank">T. Don Hutto facility</a> near Austin, Texas, following Bush-era allegations of stark conditions and sexual abuse. Family detention seemed to be on the outs. Then, in July, the White House put forward a $3.7 billion <a href="" target="_blank">emergency appropriations request</a> that included $879 million for about 6,300 new family detention beds. While the request never made it through Congress, the Department of Homeland Security still managed to open a temporary family facility in Artesia, New Mexico, and a second one in Karnes City, Texas. (Nearly 500 women and children have been deported since these facilities opened their doors to family-unit detainees.)</p> <p>The Artesia facility is set to <a href="" target="_blank">close</a> this month, just in time for DHS to open yet another family detention center in Dilley, Texas. Built to house <a href="" target="_blank">2,400 migrants</a>, the South Texas Family Residential Center will be the largest Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility ever. Like Hutto, it will be run by the private prison firm <a href="" target="_blank">Corrections Corporation of America</a>.</p> <p>Anti-detention advocates argue that locking up families is not only expensive&mdash;ICE spends <a href="" target="_blank">$161 a day</a> to detain the typical immigrant, but <a href="" target="_blank">$266 a day</a> per family-unit detainee&mdash;but also traumatic and unnecessary. For the past several years, said American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Michael Tan, women with children who passed the so-called <a href="" target="_blank">credible fear of persecution screening</a>, which comes before an asylum hearing, were allowed to live in the community while they went through the immigration process. "The agency understood that if you were a bona fide asylum seeker we didn't need to lock you up," Tan said. Besides, <a href="" target="_blank">alternatives to detention</a> can be <a href="" target="_blank">nearly as effective</a> in getting people to their immigration hearings, at a <a href="" target="_blank">fraction of the cost</a>.</p> <p>"Detention puts a whole lot of pressure on extremely vulnerable people to give up their cases," Tan said. "The immigration authorities know that one way to facilitate removal is to keep people locked up."</p> <p></p><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/migrants_225.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-252671"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america"> 70,000 Kids Will Show Up Alone at Our Border This Year. What Happens to Them?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-252866"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/unaccompanied-kids-immigrants-deported-guatemala"> What's Next for the Children We Deport? </a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-255056"> <li><a href="/mojo/2014/06/map-unaccompanied-child-migrants-central-america-honduras"> Map: These Are the Places Central American Child Migrants Are Fleeing </a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-256341"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/07/are-kids-showing-border-really-refugees"> Are the Kids Showing Up at the Border Really Refugees?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-256331"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/07/child-migrant-ellis-island-history"> Child Migrants Have Been Coming to America Alone Since Ellis Island</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> <div id="mininav-footer-content"> <div id="mininav-footer-text" class="mininav-footer-text"> <p class="mininav-footer-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> See <em>MoJo</em>'s <a href="">full coverage</a> of the surge of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p>But this past summer, the government instituted what the ACLU, in a just-filed <a href="" target="_blank">class action lawsuit</a>, describes as a blanket no-release policy that keeps women and children under lock and key&mdash;even though they've passed credible-fear screenings and have every incentive to show up for an asylum hearing. Worse still, attorneys who've been to Artesia and Karnes City have been complaining for months about what they've seen at the two facilities. Artesia, for example, is a remote oil town in southeastern New Mexico, halfway between Carlsbad and Roswell on US 285. Because it is so isolated, legal services there have been limited to a rotating cast of attorneys organized by the American Immigration Lawyers Association who are working pro bono for a week at a time. In August, several groups filed a complaint alleging a <a href="" target="_blank">violation of due process rights</a> at the facility.</p> <p>At a House Homeland Security Committee <a href="" target="_blank">hearing</a> this month, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson acknowledged some of the criticisms, saying he wanted "to make sure we have adequate ability for effective attorney-client communications" moving forward. He continued: "I believe that added detention capability on the southern border, and some disagree with me, is essential to border security." On Monday, at the Dilley facility's <a href="" target="_blank">inauguration</a>, Johnson was more blunt: "It'll now be more likely that you'll be detained and sent back."</p> <p>I recently spoke with a woman I'll call Jessica Ramos, who landed at Artesia after fleeing Honduras with her two-year-old son, Nicol&aacute;s (also a pseudonym). She left as soon as she could after her gang-affiliated boyfriend put a gun to her boy's head and then, moments later, stuck the barrel in her mouth. The preceding months had been marked by increasing violence, including twice-daily sexual assaults, and Ramos was sure she'd end up dead if she didn't get far away fast. "The law doesn't do anything there&mdash;what options do we have?" she told me in Spanish. "To run away with our kids."</p> <p>So, on July 2, Ramos and Nicol&aacute;s left Olancho, which is located along Honduras' eastern border with Nicaragua and is one of the most violent regions in the world's most violent country. Her sister helped wrangle a smuggler to lead them through Guatemala and Mexico. On July 17, they entered South Texas by crossing the Rio Grande, and were quickly apprehended. A few days later, they were shipped to the recently opened Artesia facility.</p> <p>According to Bran&eacute;'s report, some of the problems that led to Hutto's closing are cropping up again. More than half of the 1,050 minors booked into family detention this year were six or younger, the report notes. At the Karnes City facility, which is now <a href="" target="_blank">facing a complaint</a> alleging sexual abuse, extortion, and harassment by guards, women reportedly had to carry their infant children incessantly&mdash;no crawling was allowed. Many children were depressed and lost weight. Jesse Lloyd, an attorney who has spent time at Artesia, told me that one three-year-old stopped eating solid food because he couldn't process the institutional fare. ICE officials wouldn't let seven-year-old Nayely Berm&uacute;dez Beltr&aacute;n leave the Karnes City detention center to see a doctor, despite a malignant brain tumor that required immediate treatment. (She and her mother, Sara Beltr&aacute;n Rodr&iacute;guez, were <a href="" target="_blank">eventually released</a>, after the local media caught wind of it.)</p> <p>Additionally, Artesia offered scant child care, which meant that children were in tow while their mothers met with immigration attorneys and asylum officers and shared traumatic stories of violence and sexual assault. (Some mothers censored their stories to protect the kids, the report noted, in effect hurting their cases.) Attorneys complained that the new facilities didn't have telephone rooms, and instead relied on guards to carry around cellphones the detainees could ask to use&mdash;Bran&eacute; points out that such a setup could enable guards to coerce and sexually harass women and girls.</p> <p>When Ramos arrived at Artesia, she said, the staff went out of their way to antagonize her, telling her that there was no chance she'd get asylum. Detainees were compelled to make the foamy bathroom hand soap double as shampoo. The food was "horrible." Nicol&aacute;s lost nearly a third of his weight, dropping from 55 pounds to 39. Ramos shed 20 pounds herself, and even started losing some hair. She mostly kept to herself, she told me, making friends with just one other detainee, a woman from El Salvador. She was wary about befriending other Hondurans, on the off chance her ex might find out where she was.</p> <p>Nicol&aacute;s didn't understand why they were locked up, and he grew increasingly withdrawn as the weeks turned into months; at one point, outside in the detention center's yard, he saw a bus drove by. "Mommy," he said, "let's go on that bus. I don't want to be here." Ramos grew desperate. She knew she couldn't go back to Honduras. When a Denver-based attorney named Elanie Cintron walked into a roomful of Artesia detainees one day and asked if any of them needed legal representation, Ramos shot her hand up.</p> <p>With Cintron's help, it wasn't long before Ramos was granted an asylum hearing. Following hours of testimony, the judge gave a 45-minute explanation of her ruling, all in English. Ramos had attended with another lawyer, since Cintron was back in Colorado at the time. She kept tapping the attorney's hand, searching for clues as to how the judge would decide. Finally, the judge stopped talking. The lawyer turned to her: "Congratulations, Jessica!"</p> <p>Ramos broke down crying. Her legal team was able to get her and her son released immediately&mdash;some women have had to wait up to 30 days&mdash;and Nicol&aacute;s requested a pizza and chicken dinner to celebrate. Several days later, the two were on a plane to New York City. They settled with Ramos' sister in Brooklyn.</p> <p>"The government came into this with a very clear assumption and goal," Bran&eacute; said. "The assumption was these families didn't have protection needs, and the goal was to get them out quickly. I think that that's being proven wrong." Still, Obama's recent immigration <a href="" target="_blank">executive action</a> doesn't protect new arrivals, and it remains to be seen whether the shift to the new Dilley facility, located just 70 miles from San Antonio, will mean that more women and children will get legal aid and eventually be released.</p> <p>"All the women in there," Ramos told me, "have a case."</p> <p><em>This article has been updated.</em></p></body></html> Politics Charts Civil Liberties Immigration Top Stories Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:15:06 +0000 Ian Gordon 264851 at This Is What Cuba Really Looks Like These Days <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>If you know anyone who's been to Cuba in the last decade or two, you've likely seen the photos from their visit: some lovingly restored colonial manors, sometimes right alongside a crumbling facade; the bookshelves lined up around Havana's Plaza de Armas; and image after image of 1950s Buicks, Fords, and Chevrolets. All too often, Cuba is visually portrayed as nothing more than a tropical time machine, a place where the people and their lives aren't nearly as interesting as the relics surrounding them.</p> <p>Photographer Greg Kahn went to Cuba last year and documented the recent expansion of private businesses under Ra&uacute;l Castro, a shift that has brought, Kahn writes, "a hesitant, wary embrace of new expression." Sure, his collection includes the occasional photo of state iconography&mdash;for example, that famous Che Guevara sculpture in Plaza de la Revoluci&oacute;n&mdash;but many of the images are of everyday people working, playing, and, in a way, making sense of a rapidly changing environment. In other words, they're a window into a culture that might soon become <a href="" target="_blank">increasingly familiar to Americans</a> in the coming years.</p> <p><em>All photos by <a href="" target="_blank">Greg Kahn/Grain Images</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/017_2012_1111_GK_CUBA017.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A couple kisses along the Malec&oacute;n, a famous avenue along the water in Havana. With new regulations passing, allowing some forms of capitalism, many Cubans are wondering if this is the beginning of moving from isolation to globalization. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/2013_0429_GK_CUBA3658.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Yodany Rivero Marcial, a member of the group Onda Expansiva, records his part for a new track at a home in Alamar. Reggaeton, a style of music with Caribbean roots, has become wildly popular in Cuba, even though the Cuban government has cracked down on reggaeton artists, saying the lyrics are too vulgar and offensive.</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/2013_0428_GK_CUBA3245.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>More than half of the Cuban population is Catholic, and while Castro restricted religion shortly after he seized power in 1959, the government has since backed off and generally allow the freedom to practice religions that obey the laws of the country.</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/005_2013_0423_GK_CUBA005.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Children play in the streets of Havana. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/2013_0423_GK_CUBA1866.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Pigs are butchered in the morning at a local street market in Vedado, a suburb of Havana.</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/043_2013_0430_GK_CUBA043.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>After spending the morning harvesting sugar cane, Yulien D&iacute;az Hern&aacute;ndez tries to get his old television to work to show cartoons to his son and daughter. D&iacute;az Hern&aacute;ndez said sugar cane workers are the first link in the chain of production, but the last to get paid. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/046_2013_0501_GK_CUBA046.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>While many in Cuba live in poverty, there is a class of wealthy Cubans who have found success in owning private restaurants. This one, in Havana, is located on the 11th floor of an apartment complex and doubles as living quarters for the two men who own it. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/037_2013_0429_GK_CUBA037.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Farmworkers pick up harvested sugarcane on a private farm in Caimito. The group, who work almost every day, only gets paid when the cane sells, so sometimes they can go weeks of work without being paid. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/032_2013_0430_GK_CUBA032.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>In a nearly empty apartment in Regla, a neighborhood of Havana, Juli Roby el Emperador, right, is joined by his entourage and friends to start creating new music for an upcoming US tour. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/2013_0424_GK_CUBA2024.jpg"><div class="caption"> <p><strong>Dozens of flags titled the "Mount of Flags" in "Anti-Imperialism Park"</strong> <strong>sits directly outside the US Interest Section in Cuba.</strong></p> </div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/2012_1110_GK_Cuba231.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A mechanic works on bicycles in his shop in Old Havana. With a shortage of parts for many everyday items, Cubans have learned to reuse scraps to patch everything from cars to ovens.</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/2013_0423_GK_CUBA1700.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>An oil refinery, a sign of old industry, sends black smoke into the sky while residents wait at a bus stop along the Malec&oacute;n in Havana. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/2012_1109_GK_Cuba117_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Cars travel around the famous Revolutionary Square in Havana.</strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/016_2013_0423_GK_CUBA016.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The Malec&oacute;n is a popular spot for Cubans and tourists alike. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/2012_1111_GK_Cuba32.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A tiled Cuban flag in a rundown building sits empty besides a sculpture of Jos&eacute; Mart&iacute;.</strong></div> </div></body></html> Politics Photo Essays Foreign Policy Top Stories Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:45:06 +0000 — Photos by Greg Kahn; Text by Ian Gordon 266891 at