Ixar, a slight, gangling teenager, nervously fidgeted in his chair as Judge Michael Baird stared him down. Babies' cries could be heard echoing through the halls, but it did not break the formal tension within the courtroom. Ixar's eyes flashed between the translator and Baird. He had come a long ... More >>
Welcome to the land of the free. While we decide whether we feel like deporting you, we've got a cold dank cell that'll suit you just fine.
Dallas immigration judge Dietrich Sims was notoriously tough on the most vulnerable immigrants. Then they sent him the kids.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown didn't think his proposal to secure access to a federal database of private banking and financial information would be controversial. It sailed through the City Council's Public Safety Committee unopposed last week. Then again, that committee didn't have City Councilm ... More >>
Update at 1:22 p.m.: John Wright reports that the Human Rights Campaign has lowered Dallas' score from 85 to 81 after realizing the city doesn't have an "equal benefits ordinance." We've included HRC's full explanation for Dallas increased score at the end of the post. Original post Good news every ... More >>
San Antonio's Northside ISD, which became the focus of national controversy when an intensely evangelical high school sophomore refused to wear her RFID-equipped student ID because it was the Mark of the Beast, is not the first school district to track students' whereabouts using geolocation technol ... More >>
There was going to be a rally last night one way or the other. Local activists had scheduled the Dallas Day of Decision Rally for 7 p.m. of whatever day the Supreme Court issued its ruling on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, and depending on how those decisions went the rally would eit ... More >>
It's not easy being gay in El Salvador, which, in addition to being the second most violent place on earth, is not particularly hospitable to LGBT citizens. A 2010 report presented to the United Nations by several human rights groups described a number of grisly murders. In one case, the bodies of t ... More >>
It's almost tradition by now. Every year at Exxon's annual shareholder's meeting, New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who oversees state employees' retirement dollars, introduces a resolution calling for the company to ban discrimination against gay and transgendered employees. And every year, it ... More >>
Six long-time progressive activists have filed suit against the city of Dallas, claiming they're being illegally barred from protesting the April 25 dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The group says they were threatened with arrest if they show up at the dedication; the suit was f ... More >>
A former student of Rick Halperin says she isn't buying accusations outlined in a federal lawsuit that he slept with students or secretly loved Hitler. SMU student Moumita Rahman, who graduated in 2004 and now runs her own law practice in New York focusing on immigration and political asylum, had Ha ... More >>
In 2006, with the controversy over its ultimately successful bid to house the Bush Presidential Center very much brewing, SMU set to work establishing the Embrey Human Rights Program. It was a pioneering effort that aimed to raise awareness of global social justice issues and perhaps inspire studen ... More >>
The Arlington Police Department recently got permission from the FAA to use the two small, battery-operated drones they purchased last year using grant money from Homeland Security. Presumably, the drones will mostly be used to hover over Jerry Jones while he's at work, clipping him in the head with ... More >>
In December Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a measure banning the adoption of Russian children to American families. The move was widely considered, and tacitly acknowledged as, a retaliation against a new U.S. law targeting accused Russian human rights abusers. Russian officials portrayed ... More >>
Dallas police will soon be able to run your license plate through state and federal crime databases without ever lifting a finger. This morning, the City Council approved DPD's $3.2 million plan to equip some of its squad cars with automated license plate scanners, which can check up to 1,800 plate ... More >>
The U.S. Supreme Court and President Obama leave the undocumented and their allies no choice but to escalate civil disobedience.
The other day, Unfair Park chatted with filmmaker Bentley Brown about his film Faisal Goes West, the tale of a Sudanese family moving to America and settling in Dallas' Vickery Meadow neighborhood. Brown mentioned his friend who convinced him to film in Dallas (and acted as script supervisor) starte ... More >>
Schools ignore gay bullying at their own peril
They fled some of the world's most dangerous places, only to land in one of Dallas'. Slowly and unsurely, they're making it their own.
Mayor Mike Rawlings has a closed-door, no-press-allowed meeting this morning with 25 LGBT community leaders to discuss something that's become, say, a small issue for him in the last week: his refusal to sign the "Mayors For Freedom To Marry" Pledge. Earlier this week Rawlings also elected to back ... More >>
There's no need to introduce Bill Holston -- attorney, KERA contributor, nature-trekker -- to longtime Friends of Unfair Park; he's one of the good ones, and has been for a long, long while. But Bill's about to disappear from these virtual pages, at least for a little while; he writes, "I promis ... More >>
"Dear Lord, please put your hands on those gay people, and then just, you know, twist at the neck."Here's the president yesterday, decrying not-minor human-rights violations against gays overseas (from the Washington Times):"I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting [ ... More >>
Rais BhuiyanTwice we've written about Rais Bhuiyan, who, on September 21, 2001, was working behind the counter of a Pleasant Grove Texaco station when a man with a shotgun entered the store and shot him in the face. Bhuiyan, who was 27 at the time, thought he was being robbed. He wasn't: Mark Str ... More >>
State Rep. Burt SolomonsAs the Texas Tribune notes today, in the wee small hours of the morning, the state House passed Carrollton state Rep. Burt Solomons's HB 12, the so-called "sanctuary cities" legislation deemed an emergency item by Gov. Rick Perry. As the Trib's Julian Aguilar sums it up, t ... More >>
A lengthy federal suit filed this morning by the national advocacy group Children's Rights says Gov. Rick Perry and other state officials have neglected their legal responsibility to the children in state care, and violated their constitutional rights, by "failing to either return them safely to ... More >>
Via.Marisol Valles became an instant media star last October, when she took over as police chief of Práxedis G. Guerrero, a town near Juarez. She was just 20 years old, a criminology student and a mother, and the job she was taking only opened up when her predecessor was beheaded. Two weeks ago, ... More >>
SMU will host a conversation with the director of the Academy Award-winning doc The Times of Harvey Milk next week at the AngelikaSMU sends words of a media and human rights symposium set for next week -- which includes a tribute to director Rob Epstein, two-time Oscar winner for co-directing the ... More >>
Looks like this time they picked the wrong country.
"The real danger to our bodies and our planet, in terms of poisoning the earth and global warming, is the industrial raising of meat and fish. Do I think eating a bowl of pasta is a crime against humanity? No. Do I think eating half a pound of meat is? Yes." (Mark Bittman as quoted in the March issu ... More >>
SMU announced last week that it's expanding its Education Abroad program, with Rwanda now among the summer destinations. The timing is deliberate: 2009 marks the 15th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide that left some 800,000 Tutsis dead at the hands of the Hutu militia. Not surprisingly, Rick Halpe ... More >>
Imam Safdar Razi Ali Safdar Razi Ali appeared in federal court in Dallas today, but his case is long from over. The local imam was arrested on immigration charges at his Plano home on April 2 -- one day, says his lawyer, Iman Abdelhadi, before he was to be interviewed for asylum status. Ali first en ... More >>
I just spoke with Carl Rusnock, Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Dallas spokesman, about why the U.S. government is trying to deport Imam Safdar Razi, as mentioned below. And, at the moment, Rusnock has no further information. He says he was asked "to investigate this case over the weekend," bu ... More >>
See cultures clash at Theatre Three
Rrustem Neza's case was front-page news in his native Albania. Eight years ago in the paper version of Unfair Park, now-editor Mark Donald wrote about Dallas immigration attorney John Wheat Gibson, who, back then, was sparring with Immigration and Naturalization Service over the fate of seven Yugosl ... More >>
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Texas and Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund just sent a press release celebrating U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay's decision today to grant a preliminary injunction that blocks the implementation of that anti-illegal immigrant ordina ... More >>
Illustration by Craig LaRotonda Last Tuesday, three days after voters in Farmers Branch voted overwhemingly for the law that bans apartment owners from renting to illegal immigrants, we posted that press release from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the American Civil Li ... More >>
Illustration by Craig LaRotonda You already knew Saturday's election in Farmers Branch, where voters overwhelmingly approved the law that bans apartments from renting to illegal immigrants, was only the beginning of the battle. Today, we get a better of idea of where this thing's headed: The Mexi ... More >>
Sergio Morales, Guatemala's human rights ombudsman, has a few thoughts about how this country treats immigrants, legal and otherwise. Guatemala's top human-rights official is in town this week to meet with immigrants from the Central American country and push for an auxiliary consulate in the Dalla ... More >>
I think Borat's sending out press releases. Like this one, which has as its opening sentence: "Azerbaijani corner will be opened in Dallas Religious Offices Center, the chief of Human Rights Resource Center in Guba-Khachmaz region Solmaz Mehdiyeva who visits US told the APA." Can't tell ya much else ... More >>
Tonight's installment of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, which airs at 9 on Showtime, asks, "Why does our government still support the archaic, primitive, cruel and costly BULLSHIT known as the Death Penalty?" Helping to answer that question will be SMU human rights professor Rick Halperin, one of the cou ... More >>
Jonathan Demme's documentary brings a joyful revolutionary to the screen