June 21, 2013

The One Thing You're Not Supposed To Do

This week, stories about people who know something's a bad idea, but convince themselves to do that thing anyway. Including the story of a bunch of illegal immigrants who turn themselves in to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, hoping to be sent into detention.

Joseph Scherschel/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images


Ira plays audio from a YouTube video made by Jonathan Perez. In it, 24 year old Jonathan, an undocumented immigrant, walks straight into a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, tells an officer he doesn’t have papers, and gets himself arrested. Why would anyone do that? (8 minutes)
Act One

Breaking the Ice

Reporter Michael May tells the story of activists from the National Immigrant Youth Alliance who intentionally got arrested for being undocumented. They believed if they could get inside the Broward Transitional Center in Florida, they could prevent lots of the immigrants there from being deported. Obama Administration policy, laid out in a series of documents called the Morton memos, states that non-violent immigrants who are not criminals are low priority for detention. Michael May also wrote a print version of this story, for The American Prospect. (27 minutes)

Act Two

The Gun Thing You’re Not Supposed to Do

Christine Gentry grew up in a house in Texas where there was one important rule above all others. It came from her dad: we have loaded guns in the house, and even though I’ve taught you how to shoot them, no one can ever touch them without me being there. As far as anyone in the family knew the kids grew up obeying that rule. Until this past December when Christine confesses to the one time when — as a teenager — that she broke the rule. (10 minutes)