Eduardo Saverin and The Social Network

By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/


In a piece of recent news, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is renouncing his American citizenship and staying in Singapore. Presumably he is doing this in order to pay fewer taxes.

Eduardo Saverin is mostly known as one of the main protagonists of The Social Network, a film about the rise of Facebook. In the film Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is portrayed quite negatively as a nerd and a plagiarizer. Saverin is depicted as the Guy Who Got Screwed by Zuckerberg after loyally helping build up the company.

The fact that the real Saverin switched citizenship in order to dodge taxes conflicts with the Saverin as depicted in The Social Network. Indeed, Saverin originally was a Brazilian citizen who sought and obtained American citizenship and then renounced it in order to pay fewer taxes. Then you have the lawsuit that he filed against Zuckerberg demanding money from the company. This looks a lot less sympathetic when considered with his actions regarding citizenship.

It’s all very different form the fine upstanding young man who we see in The Social Network. Of course, The Social Network is inaccurate in other ways; the other founders of Facebook apparently don’t exist and the producer deliberately gets wrong everything from the relationship level to the ethnicity of Zuckerberg’s love interest. And in general movies do a poor job of reflecting reality. I’ve always found it magical, for instance, how Hollywood quadruples the percentage of white people in downtown Los Angeles.

But the trick about movies is that they have to be somewhat believable. One has to believe, for instance, that a character would have acted like that in real life. It’s probably fair to say that Saverin’s role would have been dramatically different had The Social Network been released after Facebook’s IPO. The real Saverin sounds kind of like a jerk.

 

 

Delayed Justice for Guatemalan mother Encarnacion Bail Romero

From the Restore Fairness blog-

Guest blogger: Michelle Brané, Director, Detention and Asylum Program,Women’s Refugee Commission

In 2007, Encarnación Bail Romero, a young woman from Guatemala, was arrested and detained during an immigration raid at the Missouri poultry processing plant where she worked. The fact that Encarnación was a mother with a baby at home did not matter. She was detained without the opportunity to make care arrangements for her son, Carlos—a U.S. citizen—who was just six months old. While in detention, Encarnación was not allowed to participate in her custody case and consequently, her parental rights were terminated. Carlos was adopted by a couple soon after.

This week, the Missouri Supreme Court decided to send Encarnación Bail Romero’s case back to the lower court for yet another hearing. When I heard this, I couldn’t help but welcome the news with mixed feelings. The fact that the court acknowledged that proper procedures were not followed is a relief; however, the court’s failure to reunite a mother and son and delay justice is a travesty. Encarnación’s son has been with his adoptive parents for over two years now, and has come to know them as his only parents. The more time that is spent in this limbo with a mother separated from her child the more harm is done.

I first met Encarnación in 2009, several years after she was arrested during an immigration raid at the poultry processing plant where she worked. Carlos—a U.S. citizen—was just six months old at the time of the raid. When I spoke with Encarnación I was struck most by not only her heartache, but also the incredible strength she has carried in her fight to reunite with her son. As a mother of two young children myself, hearing stories like Encarnación’s makes my heart stop. What would it feel like to not know if my children were safe, to have them think that I did not want them because I was locked in detention and unable to care for them?

Encarnación told me that while she was in detention, Carlos had a series of caretakers. He was first at her brother’s home and then with her sister before being cared for by a local couple who offered to babysit. She was approached and asked to allow her son to be adopted but she refused, asking instead that her son be placed in foster care until she could care for him herself.

Encarnación was then swept up in a series of events that ultimately led to the unjust termination of her parental rights. She was given information about her custody case in English—a language she does not understand. Her lawyer was hired by her son’s future adoptive parents, demonstrating a clear conflict of interest. And, despite Encarnación’s clear desire to be reunited with her son, a court found her to have abandoned him. Her parental rights were terminated, and Carlos was adopted. Encarnación’s case is complicated, involving the failures of multiple systems, but had Encarnación’s right to due process been upheld, none of this would have happened. She would have been able to present her case in court, and Carlos would still be with her.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy in this story is that many other families are suffering this same fate—a fate that could be avoided. Both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and family courts have the legal obligation to ensure detainees are able to participate in all aspects of their custody and immigration cases. ICE has the authority to release parents from detention so that they can continue to care for their children while undergoing immigration proceedings. And should the outcome of their immigration case order them deported, mothers and fathers have the right—and must be given the opportunity—to either take their children with them or leave them behind in a safe situation.

Releasing parents from detention does not mean weakening immigration enforcement or letting undocumented migrants go free. Parents in immigration custody have an incentive to appear for their hearings and comply with court orders, simply because they do not want to lose their families. And for those who need some sort of supervision, ICE has access to cost-effective alternatives to traditional immigration detention that can be used to ensure parents appear at custody proceedings. It is critical that these alternatives be used in order to protect children from becoming unnecessary collateral damage.

Five million children in the United States have at least one undocumented parent and three million of these children are U.S. citizens. ICE’s failure to utilize these options has the potential to create a generation of lost children who are needlessly denied a relationship with their detained or deported parents. These children are far more likely to live in poverty, struggle in school and face unemployment and homelessness.

The court in Encarnación’s case has recognized the damage done by failing to uphold the 14th amendment, the constitutional right that ensures all persons—including undocumented immigrants—are entitled to due process and equal protection under the law. Encarnación’s case has shown that where due process rights are denied, families suffer. As a nation that prides itself on valuing the sanctity of family unity, we must uphold our commitment to the bond between parent and child, regardless of immigration status.

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org

 

 

 

Restrictive Voter Registration Law Struck Down in Arizona

A notoriously restrictive voter registration law was struck down in Arizona today after the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in Gonzales v. Arizona. And it was worth the wait.

By a 2-1 vote (the majority included retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor), the court struck down Arizona’s documentary proof of citizenship requirement for all new voter registrants because it is superseded by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). Project Vote is a plaintiff in this case.

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A Commendation to Three Brave Republicans

Election season is coming up, and as if by magic little shoots of controversy are sprouting throughout the political landscape. One avenue of controversy has been with regards to the Fourteenth Amendment. Republican leaders, such as Senator Lindsey Graham, have incited a controversy over what they label “anchor babies.” They propose amending the Constitution to end birthright citizenship – ironically, one of the Republican Party’s proudest achievements, and a crucial tool in assimilating American immigrants.

A depressingly high number of Republicans have toed to this party line. For this, those Republicans broken the line – voicing support for keeping the Constitution as it is – deserve commendations.

One such Republican is Congressman Charles Djou. Mr. Djou, who represents a Democratic-leaning district in Hawaii, constitutes one of the few Asian-Americans in Congress. In response to Republican calls to amend the Constitution, Mr. Djou wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed. It argued:

Critics of birthright citizenship cite poll numbers and recent laws passed by European countries limiting citizenship. America is not Europe. Nor should we want to be. Europe has struggled for centuries with assimilating ethnic groups. By contrast, America’s unique melting pot of cultures and ethnicities has successfully assimilated new groups in far less time. This assimilation has made the whole nation stronger.

The 14th Amendment is one of the crowning achievements of the Republican Party. Following the Civil War, the 14th Amendment guaranteed due process for every person under the law and helped to reunite a fractured nation. It pains me to think that we may start tinkering with this fundamental fabric of our union.

Another Republican deserving of some praise is Marco Rubio, the Republican candidate for Florida’s Senate seat. Like Mr. Djou, Mr. Rubio is the son of immigrants; his parents came from Cuba after Fidel Castro took power.

In many ways Mr. Rubio is a standard conservative Republican. The Florida politician, for instance, is opposed to almost every one of President Barack Obama’s initiatives. Nevertheless, when asked about denying citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants, Mr. Rubio stated:

You’re taking energy and focus away from that fundamental debate and spending time on something that quite frankly is not the highest and best use of our political attention. I don’t think that’s where the problem is.

The final Republican politician is not somebody most people would imagine as a moderate: Mike Huckabee. Mr. Huckabee looks, talks, and feels like your typical firebreathing Southern conservative. Yet when asked about his stance on Mr. Graham’s proposal to end birthright citizenship, Mr. Huckabee answered:

…You do not punish a child for something the parent did.

The question is: Is [an undocumented child born outside of the U.S.] better off going to college and becoming a neurosurgeon or a banker or whatever he might become, and becoming a taxpayer, and in the process having to apply for and achieve citizenship, or should we make him pick tomatoes? I think it’s better if he goes to college and becomes a citizen.

All in all, the debate over birthright citizenship is a symbol of the choice facing the Republican Party. There are two roads it can take. One road is the path of Charles Djou, Marco Rubio, and Mike Huckabee. It is a path in which the Republican Party embraces diversity and courts immigrants as a natural constituency due to their socially conservative views.

The other road is the path of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. This is the path of anger, in which Republicans say no – no to immigration, no to change, no to everything. It is a path in which Republicans focus their efforts on appealing to an ever-shrinking and ever-more out-of-touch constituency. It is the path that has led the Republican Party to where it is now: controlling neither part of Congress nor the executive branch.

Which path will the Republican Party choose?

--Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

 

 

Archaic Voter Registration Procedures Leave Citizens Behind

Cross-posted to Project Vote's blog, Voting Matters

Access to voter registration-the basis of democratic participation-is still limited in the 21st century by overly restrictive, "horse-and-buggy" laws across the country. Despite advances in technology, states struggle with politically charged or neglected election systems when such systems can (and should) simply focus on building a truly representative electorate in modern day America.

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