TIME Immigration

How to Argue About Immigration Over Thanksgiving

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Here's what you should say to your aunt or uncle

Americans may be living in states, cities and even neighborhoods that are divided politically, but there’s one place where people of all political stripes meet: the Thanksgiving table.

This year, that means it’s pretty likely that you’ll be debating President Obama’s recent recent executive actions on immigration with a relative who sees things very differently.

But if you want to make the best case for your side, you’ll need to prepare. Below, we’ve put together a guide to how to argue about immigration while you wait for the turkey to cook.

If you talk about amnesty:

And you support Obama: “Obama isn’t giving anyone ‘amnesty.’ He’s just deferring deportations for three years. There’s no official pardon.”

Facts to back you up: The deferrals will only last through 2017, when it would be up to the next president whether to continue the program.

And you oppose Obama: “It doesn’t matter what you call it. Obama’s allowing people who came to the country illegally to stay.”

Facts to back you up: The deferral program applies to as many as four million undocumented immigrants who have no criminal record and pay back taxes.

If you talk about past presidents:

And you support Obama: “Reagan and the first President Bush both took similar actions to let undocumented immigrants stay.”

Facts to back you up: Ronald Reagan signed a 1986 law that granted amnesty to three million undocumented immigrants, while George H.W. Bush allowed family members to stay in 1990.

And you oppose Obama: “That was different. Congress had already passed a law granting amnesty. This time, Obama is going against the will of Congress.”

Facts to back you up: Congress passed the 1986 overhaul on bipartisan lines and later made Bush’s 1990 order permanent with another law.

If you talk about presidential power:

And you support Obama: “Immigration is not like other issues. The president has legal discretion to decide whether or not to deport people.”

Facts to back you up: The Supreme Court has long said that the president has the power to decide whether or not to prosecute a case.

And you oppose Obama: “Today it’s immigration. Tomorrow it’ll be a Republican president deciding not to enforce tax laws. Where does it end?”

Facts to back you up: When asked in 2013 what he could do to stop deportations, Obama said he was “not the emperor of the United States.”

If you talk about politics:

And you support Obama: “Congress had plenty of time to pass a bill. Obama’s just getting around classic Washington gridlock.”

Facts to back you up: The Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill passed on June 27, 2013, and Obama waited until Nov. 21, 2014, to sign the actions — nearly 17 months.

And you oppose Obama: “Obama signed this just before Republicans took control of Congress. Good luck getting them to work with him.”

Facts to back you up: After the midterm elections, House Speaker John Boehner said that if Obama acted alone on immigration he would “poison the well.”

TIME Crime

Here’s What Could Happen After the Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

Even if he isn't indicted, he could face civil charges

A St. Louis County grand jury reached a decision this afternoon on whether or not to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson, Mo. this summer. Here are some possible legal scenarios that could unfold depending on the decision, which is expected to be released tonight.

Scenario 1: Wilson is indicted

The grand jury was tasked with deciding whether Wilson should be charged with a crime, including first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. If the jury issues an indictment on any of those four charges, Wilson will be arrested and his case will proceed.

While charges of murder are unlikely, an indictment on any of these four possible charges could result in a similar trial. “It’s all going to turn on, was the officer in fear for his life such that this use of deadly force was justified,” says Michael Kirkpatrick, visiting professor of law at Georgetown Law School. “No matter what the charge is, that’s really what’s going to be the focus of the trial.”

If the grand jury hands down an indictment, a trial would be set and the prosecution would be required to turn over to the defense any exculpatory evidence they found during the grand jury investigation. During this “discovery period” of the case there could also be plea negotiations, where Wilson’s defense would need to decide whether to go to trial or try to plead to a lesser charge.

The process could get drawn out. “A citizen has a right to a speedy trial, but sometimes in these really high profile cases the defense might want to slow it down [to try] to put more distance between the incident and when it actually goes to trial,” Kirkpatrick says.

Scenario 2: Wilson is not indicted

If the jury decides not to indict Wilson, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s off scot-free. While he wouldn’t go to criminal court for Brown’s death, he could still face civil rights charges by the Justice Department or a civil wrongful death lawsuit filed by Brown’s family.

If the federal government decides to bring a federal indictment against Wilson, he would be brought to court in the federal system rather than at the state level, as would happen if the St. Louis County grand jury indicts him.

But in the event that the state doesn’t indict Wilson, regardless of whether the federal government decides to pursue the case, it’s highly likely that Brown’s family will bring a civil suit against Wilson. In a civil case for wrongful death, the burden of proof is a preponderance of evidence, rather than the threshold of “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases. Wilson wouldn’t face any criminal punishment like jail time, but the family could be entitled to monetary compensation depending on how the jury assesses the damages.

Kirkpatrick says most civil cases settle. But in a civil trial, it could be a long time before the Brown family sees any payment for the death of their son. “That could easily drag on for 18 months to two years before they got to a civil trial,” according to Kirkpatrick.

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TIME Barack Obama

What Obama’s Hugs Meant

Decoding the president's body language

A picture of President Obama hugging Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel appeared everywhere Monday morning after it was announced that Hagel would be stepping down. But this isn’t the first time a presidential embrace has made news – here’s a roundup of eight notable Obama hugs, and what they meant.

TIME Immigration

Obama Will Pressure GOP to ‘Finish the Job’ on Immigration

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Jim Bourg—AP

President feels 'liberated' now that midterms are over

President Barack Obama will use his executive action on immigration to pressure Republicans to “finish the job” by passing a reform bill, White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer said Friday.

At a Christian Science Monitor breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, Pfeiffer was asked if Obama would tout his action in swing states to put pressure on Republicans.

Pfeiffer didn’t answer directly, but he did say the administration “will be making the case about what we did and the need for Congress to finish the job.”

He added that this would be an “incredibly important priority” in 2015.

The remarks came two weeks after Democrats were routed in the midterms, losing control of the Senate. But Pfeiffer said that in contrast to an election season where Obama needed to protect Democratic candidates and “wasn’t able to be out there and make an argument,” he will now be freer to flaunt his plan, which grants temporary legal status and work permits to almost five million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Though advisers have suggested that Obama feels “liberated” now that midterms are over, Pfeiffer says he’s already looking ahead and planning for to 2016. “A very important thing for him will be to be succeeded by a Democrat,” Pfeiffer said.

TIME Obesity

Obesity Now Costs the World $2 Trillion a Year

Half the world's population could be obese by 2030, warns a McKinsey Global Institute report

The global cost of obesity has risen to $2 trillion annually, according to a new report, more than the combined costs of armed violence, war and terrorism.

The McKinsey Global Institute report says currently almost 30% of the world’s population is obese, and that if present trends continue, that almost half the population will be clinically overweight or obese by 2030.

The report cautioned that no single solution would reverse the problem, instead calling for a “systemic, sustained portfolio of initiatives” to tackle the crisis, such as better nutritional label, healthier food at schools, advertising restrictions on fatty foods and beverages, and public health campaigns.

TIME Retail

Only 11% of Americans Plan to Shop on Thanksgiving, Poll Suggests

Customers shop at a Walmart store in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles November 26, 2013. This year, Black Friday starts earlier than ever.
Customers shopping at a Walmart store on Black Friday 2013. Kevork Djansezian—Reuters

Many retailers are opening earlier than ever this Thanksgiving

About 11% of consumers plan to shop on Thanksgiving, a new poll suggests, despite a retail bargain frenzy brewing around Thanksgiving and Black Friday deals this year.

The survey, released by the National Retail Federation (NRF), shows that 61.1% of shoppers will bargain hunt over the Thanksgiving weekend, which is consistent with data from last year. But, only 18.3% of those who said they would or might shop that weekend said they would do so on Thanksgiving Day, down from 23.5% last year. MarketWatch reports this indicates that about 11% of consumers overall plan to go deal-hunting that day.

“We could witness a sea change this holiday season as consumers’ reliance on extremely deep discounts over the biggest shopping weekend of the year shifts to more of a ‘wait- and-see’ mentality around what retailers will be offering on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a press release.


TIME celebrities

Bill Cosby’s Comedy Tour Continues Despite Rape Allegations

The show must go on

Bill Cosby will continue his stand-up comedy tour as planned, amid a growing firestorm of sexual assault allegations.

Cosby has tour dates scheduled through May 2015, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Multiple venues, including the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, the Treasure Island in Las Vegas and the Capitol Theatre in Yakima, Wash. told the Hollywood Reporter that Cosby will still appear as planned.

While his comedy tour may be continuing, the recent scandal has led NBC, TV Land and Netflix to pull Cosby’s shows from their lineups. All Cosby himself has said publicly about the allegations is, “I don’t talk about it.”

TIME celebrities

Sarah Silverman Edits Her Graphic Bill Cosby Rape Joke

Comic replaces colourful tweet

Comedian Sarah Silverman came under fire Wednesday night after she tweeted a joke about being raped by Bill Cosby, leading her rewrite the joke in a tamer tweet she posted an hour later.

She initially tweeted:

The tweet elicited scores of angry responses.

An hour later, Silverman said she wanted to “edit” her joke, though she did not delete the original from Twitter.

These Twitter exchanges come amid a growing scandal of sexual assault allegations against Cosby.

TIME execution

Utah Wants to Bring Back Execution by Firing Squad

Rep. Paul Ray, of Clearfield, Utah, addresses a committee hearing, Nov. 19, 2014, at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City.
Rep. Paul Ray, of Clearfield, Utah, addresses a committee hearing, Nov. 19, 2014, at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. Rick Bowmer—AP

The last time Utah carried out an execution by firing squad was in 2010

Lawmakers in Utah have endorsed a proposal that would bring back execution by firing squad in the wake of a series of botched executions by lethal injection.

“If we go hanging, if we go to the guillotine, or we go to the firing squad, electric chair, you’re still going to have the same circus atmosphere behind it. So is it really going to matter?” said Republican Rep. Paul Ray, who is backing the proposal, according to Yahoo News.

Ray’s proposal would allow the state to use a firing squad if it cannot obtain the lethal injection drugs 30 days before the scheduled execution. Under current law in Utah, death by firing squad is only used for inmates sentenced to death before 2004.

TIME Careers

Angelina Jolie Plans To Give Up Acting

She directed Unbroken, which hits theaters Christmas day

Angelina Jolie revealed this week that she plans to give up acting and focus solely on directing.

“I love directing, I’m much happier directing,” she said on the red carpet in Sydney, according to Yahoo News. “I like following a project all the way through. I like spending two years on something and learning about it… I like being pushed mentally to have to learn so much and be a part of every single aspect of a production.”

Jolie directed the World War II drama Unbroken, which will be released the U.S. on December 25.

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