Episode

1/18 Biden’s New Immigration Policy; Jan 6th Redux In Brazil w/ Erika Pinheiro & Brian Mier

January 18, 2023

Sam and Emma host Erika Pinheiro, the Executive Director of the immigrants rights group Al Otro Lado, to discuss the Biden Administration’s recent policy updates on immigration into the country. Then, they’re joined by Brian Mier, correspondent for teleSUR English and Brasil Wire, to discuss the recent civil unrest in Brazil after Bolsonaro supporters stormed the Brazilian capitol buildings, as well as the presidential residence. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on the game of chicken with the debt ceiling officially starting,  George Santos following up the revelations of his four-figure theft with two committee assignments, the NY State Senate’s fight against Hochul’s anti-choice chief justice nomination, Matt Schlapp’s impending sexual battery case, Maine’s endeavor to protect abortion, and North Dakota’s crackdown on books that discuss anything sex, plus, they parse through Kysten Sinema’ appearance at the Davos World Economic Forum to take on those hyper-partisan fools that are obsessed with democracy. Erika Pinheiro then joins as she dives right into Biden’s supercharging of Title 42, Trump’s COVID immigration policy that shuts off the border to asylum seekers, allowing minimal at-risk migrants through the border over his two years in office. After taking on Title 42 as the only remaining recognition of COVID by the Biden Administration, Sam, Emma, and Erika step back to explore the greater immigration laws surrounding asylum, requiring countries to provide due process and adjudication for any asylum-seeker that sets foot in the country, with the US’ asylum process hinging on a first-come-first-serve structure that largely benefits the wealthier migrants with immediate access to internet and housing. Wrapping up the interview, Pinheiro walks through her thoughts on Mayorkas’ new migrant worker initiative (and the activists that fought for it), the Biden administration’s complete capitulation to far-right pressure on immigration, and why the Democrats haven’t paid a price for this (so far). Brian Mier, Emma, and Sam then parse through the long road that led up to the Brazilian Coup attempt on January 8th, beginning with the DOJ’s 2014 collaboration with a Brazilian District AG in the “Lava Jato” operations that led to the corrupt and illegitimate impeachments and imprisonments of Dilma Rousseff and Lula da Silva, opening the door to the election of Jair Bolsonaro in 2019. Next, they cover Bolsonaro’s presidency, his cooperation with far-right US actors, and his implementation of the GOP’s “Big Lie” blueprint towards the latter end of his reign, leading up to his delay in recognizing Lula’s victory in 2022, his escape from Brazil, and the ultimate invasion in Brasilia earlier this month. After comparing Brazil’s January 8th with the US’ own January 6th and looking at Lula’s much more effective response, Mier walks Sam and Emma through the long-term relationship between the DOJ (and other US institutions) and the Brazilian right wing, with Joe Biden standing against Lula as Vice President, only to do a complete 180 as it became clear that Bolsonaro was a much bigger danger. They wrap up the interview by tackling Brazil’s “Harmony of Human Rights” and how it creates a much different system of rights than we see in the US, Lula’s pitch-perfect response on the day of the coup, and Bolsonaro’s future.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma discuss Kyrsten Sinema’s tense relationship with Democracy, Pete’s impotence as Secretary of Transportation, and Jimmy Dore’s hosting a professional Nextdoor statistician. Spencer from Minnesota calls in to discuss Minnesota’s democratic majority and Gov. Walls’ $12 billion education bill, Rick Allen brings the GOP back to its roots (attacking social security), and George Santos continues to bolster his odds for biggest conservative fraudster of 2023. Stephen Crowder calls out the big con of conservatism (but refuses to name names) and the exploitative contracts that folks like HIM have signed, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Al Otro Lado here: https://alotrolado.org/

Check out Brian’s work at Brasil Wire here: https://www.brasilwire.com/author/brianmier/

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