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Found 24 results

  1. Freedom Summer 2014 Project

    Hello guys, My name is Francisco Rayado and I am a recipient and beneficiary of the Deferred Action. I work for Mi Familia Vota, a non-profit organization that was started in 2004 and that has been in the immigration reform fight since 2006. We have a project coming up this summer and we are doing it to commemorate the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For those of you that don't know or simply can't recall from High School Social Studies, I suggest watching a 15 minute youtube clip which I can link below. Long story short, in 1964 minorities, but mostly the black population was being affected and their right to vote was being suppressed. Now in present days, we see the similarities but it is now the Latino community that is being affected the most. The fact that we hardly vote and are intimidated by the whole aspect of going to the polls has led to cities such as Phoenix, AZ being terrorized by Sheriff Joe and Jan Brewer making our life miserable by not issuing driver's licenses to us. My point is that we have to vote and for those that can't, like "me." We can sure as hell influence anyone around us to do so. From any girlfriends/ boyfriend, to friends or even complete strangers. The Freedom Summer Project 2014 is a bus tour set for July 2014 where we will travel to different cities within Arizona and engage the community by registering them to vote, in turn, you get an amazing experience where you can listen to different people's stories and a chance for you to develop as a leader in your community. Besides, who doesn't want to travel for 10 days right? As a resident of Arizona, I am tired of seeing families being torn apart, I am tired of worrying about wether my parents will come home from work or not, I am tired of absurd bills becoming laws, and I am tired of not being able to proceed my education because of different roadblocks I encounter. I'm sure all of you can empathize with me and I know for sure that each and everyone of you has their own unique story. That is why I'm reaching out to YOU my fellow Arizona residents. Can you guys join me in this historic process, because believe it or not, that is what we're doing. And for those that are eager to participate but live in other states, Mi Familia Vota is nation wide and has offices established in Callifornia, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, and Florida. Here I leave my contact info for anyone interested in participating in Arizona. Thanks. Francisco Rayado (602)516-9459 [email protected]
  2. Freedom Summer 2014 Project

    Hello guys, My name is Francisco Rayado and I am a recipient and beneficiary of the Deferred Action. I work for Mi Familia Vota, a non-profit organization that was started in 2004 and that has been in the immigration reform fight since 2006. We have a project coming up this summer and we are doing it to commemorate the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For those of you that don't know or simply can't recall from High School Social Studies, I suggest watching a 15 minute youtube clip which I can link below. Long story short, in 1964 minorities, but mostly the black population was being affected and their right to vote was being suppressed. Now in present days, we see the similarities but it is now the Latino community that is being affected the most. The fact that we hardly vote and are intimidated by the whole aspect of going to the polls has led to cities such as Phoenix, AZ being terrorized by Sheriff Joe and Jan Brewer making our life miserable by not issuing driver's licenses to us. My point is that we have to vote and for those that can't, like "me." We can sure as hell influence anyone around us to do so. From any girlfriends/ boyfriend, to friends or even complete strangers. The Freedom Summer Project 2014 is a bus tour set for July 2014 where we will travel to different cities within Arizona and engage the community by registering them to vote, in turn, you get an amazing experience where you can listen to different people's stories and a chance for you to develop as a leader in your community. Besides, who doesn't want to travel for 10 days right? As a resident of Arizona, I am tired of seeing families being torn apart, I am tired of worrying about wether my parents will come home from work or not, I am tired of absurd bills becoming laws, and I am tired of not being able to proceed my education because of different roadblocks I encounter. I'm sure all of you can empathize with me and I know for sure that each and everyone of you has their own unique story. That is why I'm reaching out to YOU my fellow Arizona residents. Can you guys join me in this historic process, because believe it or not, that is what we're doing. And for those that are eager to participate but live in other states, Mi Familia Vota is nation wide and has offices established in Callifornia, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, and Florida. Here I leave my contact info for anyone interested in participating in Arizona. Thanks. Francisco Rayado (602)516-9459 [email protected]
  3. Well, we are at it again... The New York Times reported that the debate to overhaul the broken immigration system is being overshadowed by the debate of potential military intervention in Syria, in addition to debates about the Gov's Budget and its borrowing limits (debt ceiling). Since the Syrian intervention and debt ceiling/budget talks have gained popularity and are also being actively discussed in media outlets, the push for immigration reform has lost some of its lime light, but not its momentum. Even though House Republicans say that Immigration Reform has been pushed to the bottom of the list of priorities, reform advocates still plan to mobilize en masse during the fall to pressure the House to pass a comprehensive bill. During the month of October alone, it is expected that there will be rallies in about 40 cities, with a march/rally on DC on October 8th. Please click here to read the original article...
  4. Washington (CNN) -- House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday rebuked Iowa GOP colleague Rep Steve King for controversial comments on undocumented immigrants, calling the remarks "deeply offensive and wrong," and acknowledged the fallout makes it harder to reach a deal on immigration reform. King, when discussing a proposal to give citizenship to the children of undocumented workers in an interview last week with Newsmax, suggested many of them were drug smugglers. "For everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds--and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert," King asserted. Democrats immediately denounced the comments and Boehner released a written statement with similarly sharp criticism two days ago. But at a time when there is mounting pressure on House Republicans to address an overhaul of immigration policy, Boehner deliberately repeated the message before TV cameras at his weekly press conference. "There is no place in this debate for hateful or ignorant comments from elected officials," Boehner said. He added that what King said "does not reflect the values of the American people or the Republican Party. We all need to do our work in a constructive, open and respectful way." Boehner and many other House Republicans are now backing a proposal that would allow children brought into the United States illegally by their parents to obtain citizenship. But King isn't backing off. He doubled down on Thursday, maintaining his remarks were based on facts. "If people were offended, were they offended by the number or my choice of the fruit? And, if so, what's offensive about the number or that? I can't imagine why it's racist and if I offended anybody it was drug smugglers and it doesn't trouble me to offend drug smugglers. If I intended to offend anybody that would be the group," King said. After speaking on the House floor, King didn't seem phased by Boehner's comments. "We know that the speaker responds to criticism in the press." King said, adding that he would have preferred Boehner to approach him personally before speaking to the media. Many House Republicans quickly recognized the potential political damage King's remarks could have on the GOP as the party works to regain ground with Hispanic voters after losing badly among the group in the 2012 election. California Republican Rep Jeff Denham, who represents a district with a significant Latino population, concurred with Boehner in a tweet. "@SpeakerBoehner is right. Rep. King's comments are hurtful & disrespectful. Lone member's prejudicial statements won't derail progress!" The American Action Network, a GOP leaning group, released a poll on Wednesday that found a majority of Republicans in King's district backed a comprehensive approach to immigration reform. Without naming King, Dan Conston, the group's spokesman, sent a statement stressing the public support for legislation. "Hopefully with knowledge like this, the most ardent opponents of reform will pause to consider what they can support and how they can play a constructive role in fixing this broken immigration system." King brushed off the poll, and suggested the questions were crafted to get a specific response. He admitted his office has been inundated with calls since the public coverage of his comments, and said to date the reaction has been slightly more negative, with 55 opposed and 45 supporting his position. Source: http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/25/politics/boehner-king-immigration/index.html
  5. Hello all - A couple of thoughts as to what transpired last week and what is expected to happen this week : - G-Dub (President Bush) endorsed immigration reform on Sunday in national TV, and said that there was a strong chance that a bill would be drafted in the House. - Rep. Michael McCaul R-TX, criticized the current version of the bill, saying that the provision to secure the border was drafted in a hurry and that it lacked a structured plan...'Candy thrown down there...' In a nutshell, the momentum is there, let us see how the House debates on the issue and hope for the best...keep your hopes up and fingers crossed!!! Further reading: [url/]http://m.cbsnews.com/fullstory.rbml?catid=57592580&feed_id=null&videofeed=null [image/]http://media.tumblr.com/f01e2dfa666303c221a68918ef8ee9c2/tumblr_inline_mph3seA0TL1qz4rgp.gif[image]
  6. As many probably know, a huge milestone was reached when the Immigration Reform Bill passed the Senate with flying colors (68-32). However, the real test is yet to start: The GOP controlled House of Representatives and their leader, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio). Boehner is one of the strongest critics of the current bill that was passed in the Senate, and has explicitly said that he won't send any bill to the House floor unless it has significant support from his Republican colleagues in the House (the Hassert Rule). Moreover, he has stated that the Senate Bill 'needs a lot of work,' and he would rather vote on an immigration bill that has been developed in the House. This guy is a tough cookie with a lot of influence in the House, so the more Republicans that jump on board the bill before they reconvene on July 10, the better. On this date (July 10), GOP members of the House will meet to discuss what options are available to them and how to proceed. Below are a couple things to be aware of before the House opens the floor for Immigration Reform: GOP Members of the House are against a pathway citizenship (at least the majority of them) The House wants to offer both a comprehensive bill and single-item bills Some House GOP members have not even read the Senate Bill All things considered, there is significant pressure on Congress to overhaul the immigration system. Given the unpopular finger-pointing that takes place whenever there is either a gridlock in congress, or when a bill fails to pass because of increased disagreement among the voting parties, citizens (I mean everyone, even you) and voters are demanding that elected representatives get the job done. Also, mid-term congressional elections are fast approaching (2014), and the GOP has been under increased scrutiny because of the perceived notion that Republicans are to blame when something is not done in Washington. In addition, not only do they want to either have significant control of the House or Senate, they also want to be strong contenders for the 2016 Presidential Election and increase their popularity among Latino voters. Let us hope for the best and keep supporting those individuals that are constantly in the front lines fighting for the rest of us. Further reading: http://www.policymic.com/articles/51979/immigration-reform-2013-house-gop-now-control-the-game-but-what-they-will-do-is-anybody-s-guess http://www.voanews.com/content/us-immigration-reform-bill-facing-tough-republican-opposition-in-house/1691559.html http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2013/06/28/immigration-bill-test-for-house-republicans/ http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/28/19188789-congress-all-eyes-on-the-gop-controlled-house-now-on-immigration?lite JULY 10!
  7. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Monday that it would be a "big mistake" to chase more 70 or more votes on immigration reform in the Senate. The second-ranking Democrat in the Senate said both sides have already made concessions, and expressed worry that making more concessions on border security to win over Republican votes could weaken the bill. Asked whether the bill needed more than 70 votes, Durbin responded with a flat: "No." "We need 60 votes by the Senate standards," he said. "The more the better though. I just don’t want to compromise the values in this bill," he told CBS. Durbin went on to stress that there had been concessions and negotiations on both sides before the bill was first unveiled. "We worked for four months, had 30 minutes, [sens.] John McCain [R-Ariz.], Chuck Schumer [D-N.Y.], Lindsey Graham [R-S.C.], Marco Rubio [R-Fla.], myself, Bob Menendez [D-N.J.], we worked all this time to come up with a basic framework and if we’re going to abandon this now to pick up 2, 3, 4 or 5 votes, that’s a big mistake," Durbin said. The senators he named are all in the bipartisan group that crafted the bill. Those pushing to win more GOP votes argue a big vote in the Senate would increase pressure on the House to take up the legislaiton. The delicate Senate negotiations have been strained in recent weeks as Rubio (R-Fla.) has sought to push the bill farther to the right, in hopes of gaining cover with his base and securing more Republican votes. Durbin suggested that Republicans could pay a political cost if their maneuvering scuttled the bill. "There’s no question in my mind that American is changing, more diverse, the voters are changing, and they’re going to look to those parties and candidates who are receptive to this change," Durbin said. "If your party candidate for president is saying leave, as in self-deport, it really says well you don’t care much for immigrants. And people say, well that means the Hispanic vote." Still, Republicans remain optimistic about the bill rallying support within the party. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that he believed the bill would get the large majority. "I think we are going to get plus 70 votes” in the Senate, said Graham, predicting a “political breakthrough, that Congress is going to pass immigration reform.” Source: http://thehill.com/video/senate/305897-durbin-we-dont-need-70-votes-for-immigration-reform
  8. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) has set an end-of-month deadline for Senate passage of immigration reform, giving the chamber three weeks to debate legislation on the floor. “We are going to finish the bill before the July 4 recess,” Reid said Thursday. “We need to finish this bill and we’re going to do it as quick as we can.” Reid added that the issue has already been thoroughly discussed in committee. “There are very few pieces of legislation that we’ve had come to the floor in recent years that has been [as] thoroughly discussed, debated and presented as this,” he said. Reid has met with Republicans and told them they have already had weeks to review the legislation during the Judiciary Committee’s markup last month. “Everybody knows pretty much what this bill is about,” he said. “No one can complain about not having had time to read the bill. They’ve read it, they’ve studied it and there’s no reason we can’t finish this debate quickly.” The July recess will begin after the last week of June. Senate Democrats met Thursday afternoon to discuss their strategy for handling amendments to the legislation, President Obama’s top domestic initiative. The Senate will vote to end debate on the motion to proceed to the immigration bill at 2:15 pm Tuesday and then vote to proceed at 4 p.m. Members of the Senate Gang of Eight, which drafted the bill, have set a goal of passing it with 70 votes, but Reid is more focused on clearing the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster. Reid downplayed speculation that Democrats must accept an amendment by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) strengthening border security in order to push the bill to final passage. Rubio is a member of the Gang of Eight. “We are interested in getting as many votes as we can and getting as many votes as we can does not depend on any one amendment,” he said. “I am totally convinced that there is tremendous momentum to get this legislation passed no matter what people are saying on the record, off the record.” Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the lead Democratic sponsor of the bill, said “the momentum is getting stronger every day,” citing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, agribusinesses, evangelicals and the high-tech community. He said those groups are contacting undecided senators to urge them to support the bill. Schumer said Democrats are willing to strengthen the border-security provisions but do not want to give anti-immigration opponents a chance to block the path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally. Source: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/303961-reid-wants-senate-to-finish-immigration-before-july-recess
  9. (Sigh) Ok - as many of you are probably aware, the authorities identified the two suspects (one of them deceased) which are from Chechen origin. For those of you wondering where is Chechnya, it is a 'republic' of Russia - by Republic, it should be interpreted as an autonomous region where the majority of the population is of an ethnic minority. In addition, Russia allows them to have another language aside from Russian, and the region is also part of the Commonwealth of Independent States (former soviet republics). Here is a map: Chechnya is the #3 republic according to the map Chechnya has been infamous due to a separatist, radical Islamist group that want to establish the Caucasus Emirate (which would be comprised of the colored area described in the little picture above - not Georgia) and have strived to do it through violent means. The separatist group (read: Chechen Rebels) have been responsible for attacks in Central Asia and Russia due to tensions that have existed in the region for a long time between Chechens and Russians (since ~18th century). Why is this important, you ask? Well, the bombers were immigrants from Chechnya who came to the US and were naturalized. Now you catch the drift. During the time of significant, comprehensive immigration reform, the authors of the bombing were immigrants. They were not hispanic, latinos, asian, african, etc, but they were immigrants nonetheless. I just want to see your thoughts on how this might have a negative impact in the debate for immigration reform... Perhaps it won't stop the reform on its tracks, but it could spark a heated debate, in addition to amendments and changes to the bill. Thoughts? Comments? Concerns?
  10. In case you would like to see it! What did you think about what was said? Share your opinions...
  11. WASHINGTON, April 15 (UPI) -- Unauthorized immigrants may have to pay $2,000 as part of a bipartisan U.S. immigration reform plan, a person familiar with the talks told The New York Times. The fee, whose amount was not finalized but which would have to be paid before an immigrant could earn legal status, would include $500 when the person applies for a temporary work permit and $1,500 or so that the person would have 10 years to pay, before they apply for a green card, the person said. A Senate aide described the $2,000 figure to the Times as "significant but not impossible, punitive but not unreasonable." Democrats and immigration advocates had earlier pushed for a lower amount. The fees, reported Monday, came a day after Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., dismissed colleagues' fears the immigration overhaul that awards citizenship to people in the United States illegally would amount to amnesty. "It's not amnesty because you pay serious consequences for having violated the law," the first-term senator and possible 2016 presidential contender told NBC's "Meet the Press." The measure would boost the number of taxpaying Americans and be a "net positive for the country economically, now and in the future," Rubio told "Fox News Sunday" in one of seven Sunday talk show interviews he did on the five major networks, plus the Spanish-language Telemundo and Univision networks. The measure -- expected to be unveiled by Rubio and seven other senators of both parties as early as Tuesday -- calls for unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the United States on or before Dec. 31, 2011, to be allowed almost immediately to apply for temporary legal status that would let them live and work in the country. At the same time, the Department of Homeland Security would be required to monitor the nation's entire southwest border with Mexico -- and catch 90 percent of people trying to cross the border illegally, said Rubio, a member of the so-called Gang of Eight senators. "We are going to get the toughest enforcement measures in the history of this country," he told ABC's "This Week." In addition, the senators' plan also requires business owners to use the federal government's free, Web-based E-Verify system that checks new employees' immigration status. Washington would also have to identify each time a foreigner enters and exits the country, USA Today reported. If those benchmarks are reached, and after 10 years pass, unauthorized immigrants could apply for a green card, which grants permanent legal status. If approved, they could apply for U.S. citizenship three years later. "I'm very optimistic about it," Rubio said on the CBS News program "Face the Nation" in a reversal of the caution he expressed about the measure several weeks ago. The bill is expected to be examined by the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Rubio said lawmakers would have weeks to study the bill, but he also told CNN's "State of the Union" he expected unspecified lawmakers would introduce amendments "designed as poison pills" to doom the measure. "I'll oppose those if I know that's what they're for," he said. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who appeared on ABC's "This Week" after Rubio, said he was "not convinced" by his colleague's pitch. "I know Senator Rubio's heart is exactly right," he told the program. "And I really respect the work of the Gang of Eight. But they have produced legislation, it appears ... that will give amnesty now, legalize everyone that's here effectively today, and then there's a promise of enforcement in the future. "Even if you pass laws today that appear to be effective, it doesn't mean they're going to be enforced," Sessions said. Rubio said newly legalized immigrants wouldn't receive federal benefits during the 13 or so years it would take them to qualify for full legal citizenship. "This is an important point. No federal benefits, no food stamps, no welfare, no Obamacare," he said on Fox. "They have to prove they're gainfully employed," he said. "They have to be able to support themselves, so they'll never become a public charge." Rubio is a son of Cuban immigrants. Cuban immigrants, through the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act, can become permanent U.S. residents after a year. Being a public charge doesn't make a Cuban ineligible to become a permanent resident. Source: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/04/15/Unauthorized-immigrants-may-have-to-pay-2000-to-earn-legal-status/UPI-69571366011000/
  12. Here is an interesting article I found in the Huffington Post regarding how Immigration Reform could have a positive impact in the Social Security Trust Fund... It also describes briefly costs and long-term benefits of undocumented immigrants, and how CIR could significantly contribute to the Economy... Source:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/18/immigration-reform-social-security_n_3103500.html
  13. WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senators has largely agreed on a broad immigration bill that would require tough border measures to be in place before illegal immigrants could take the first steps to become American citizens, according to several people familiar with drafts of the legislation. But in a delicate compromise worked out over weeks of negotiations, the bill avoids any hard hurdles related to border enforcement that could eventually halt the progress of those immigrants on a pathway to citizenship. Instead, the bill sets ambitious goals for the Department of Homeland Security to fortify the borders — including continuous surveillance of 100 percent of the United States border and 90 percent effectiveness of enforcement in several high-risk sectors — and other domestic enforcement measures over the next 10 years. It provides at least $3 billion to meet those goals. The bill includes provisions or “triggers,” that allow Congress at different points to ensure that the enforcement goals are being met. On the same day that the group of eight senators continued to iron out details of the bill, thousands of immigration activists who support a path to citizenship for immigrants who are here illegally were converging on Washington for a rally. The activists are pressing Congress to move quickly to pass a broad immigration overhaul, and they are calling for a direct path for illegal immigrants toward becoming Americans. “We need a clear path to citizenship,” said Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA de Maryland, one of the lead organizers of the rally. “Anything less than that undermines American democracy.” The senators’ compromise allows Republican lawmakers, including Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, to say that they succeeded in including border enforcement advances that will be met before any illegal immigrants will apply for permanent resident green cards, the first step toward citizenship. It also allows Democrats to say that the border measures are goals, but they are not roadblocks that could stop the immigrants from reaching the final stage of citizenship. President Obama, who has been largely silent during the negotiations, is strongly opposed to any hindrances that could be subject to political battles later on. According to the draft, the legislation would provide $3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security to draw up and carry out a five-year border security plan. Officials must present the plan within six months, and no immigrants can gain any provisional legal status until the plan is in place. The plan must include how border authorities will move quickly to spread technology across the border to ensure that agents can see along its entire length. The authorities will also have five years to reach 90 percent effectiveness in their operations, a measure based on calculations of what percentage of illegal crossers were caught or turned back without crossing. Homeland Security officials also have six months to draw up plans to finish any border fencing they deem necessary. If, after five years, border officials have not reached the surveillance and enforcement goals, the bill creates and finances a border commission, made up of officials from border states and other experts, to help the Department of Homeland Security reach its goals. Homeland Security officials will also be required to expand a worker verification system, making it mandatory nationwide for all employers within five years. They must also create an electronic exit system to ensure that foreigners leave when their visas expire. Under the legislation, illegal immigrants who pass background checks and meet other requirements will have to wait in a provisional status for 10 years, during which time they would be allowed to work and travel but not to remain permanently, before they could apply for green cards. At the end of 10 years, officials must show that the border security plan is operational, the fence is completed, and the worker verification and visa exits systems are operating. At that point, immigrants in provisional status will be allowed to apply for green cards. On Tuesday, Senator Diane Feinstein, a Democrat of California who is spearheading a deal on an agricultural worker program, said that she expected to have an agreement between the farm workers and growers within 24 hours. The talks had stalled earlier this month when the labor unions and employers could not agree on the number of workers to allow into the new visa program, and what wage rate to pay the workers. On Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the discussions said that the workers had offered a cap of 200,000 workers total through 2020, in addition to roughly 50,000 workers who are already in the existing agricultural guest worker program, known as H-2A. That number, the person added, is “far more generous” than the cap reached under a similar deal between the nation’s leading business and labor groups, for a low-skilled worker program. In terms of wages for agricultural workers, the person added, there is currently a deal under consideration that offers specific starting wage rates — divided by region, job type, and crop type. If growers and workers cannot agree on fair wages, the senators will likely fall back on a process that takes into account various economic factors and is overseen by the secretaries of agriculture and labor. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/11/us/politics/bipartisan-group-of-senators-agrees-on-outline-of-immigration-bill.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=2&
  14. WASHINGTON, D.C.—A raucous public debate over the nation's flawed immigration system is set to begin in earnest this week as senators finalize a bipartisan bill to secure the border, allow tens of thousands of foreign workers into the country and grant eventual citizenship to the estimated 11 million people living here illegally. Already negotiators are cautioning of struggles ahead for an issue that's defied resolution for years. An immigration deal came close on the Senate floor in 2007 but collapsed amid interest group bickering and an angry public backlash. "There will be a great deal of unhappiness about this proposal because everybody didn't get what they wanted," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a leader of the eight senators negotiating the legislation, said Sunday. "There are entrenched positions on both sides of this issue." "There's a long road," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., appearing alongside McCain on CBS' "Face the Nation." ''There are people on both sides who are against this bill, and they will be able to shoot at it." Schumer, McCain and their "Gang of Eight" already missed a self-imposed deadline to have their bill ready in March, but Schumer said he hopes that this week, it will happen. "All of us have said that there will be no agreement until the eight of us agree to a big, specific bill, but hopefully we can get that done by the end of the week," said Schumer. Schumer, McCain and other negotiators are trying to avoid mistakes of the past. A painstaking deal reached a week ago knit together traditional enemies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO, in an accord over a new low-skilled worker program. The proposal would allow up to 200,000 workers a year into the county to fill jobs in construction, hospitality, nursing homes and other areas where employers say they have a difficult time hiring Americans. The negotiators also have pledged to move the bill through the Senate Judiciary Committee and onto the floor according to what's known in Senate jargon as "regular order," trying to head off complaints from conservatives that the legislation is being rammed through. Source: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/04/immigration_reform_bill_expect.html
  15. As per an article on the Financial Times... http://www.ft.com/in...l#axzz2O0p5LaJz (Not sure if anyone else will be able to read it, though) To briefly summarize: Private Corrections Companies - read: Private Prisons - have joined the fight against comprehensive immigration reform. Two of the biggest ones, Corrections Corporation of America (http://en.wikipedia....ion_of_America) and The Geo Group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEO_Group), have collectively invested around $10 million to lobby government officials to be against a comprehensive reform to our flawed immigration system. These private prison companies operate many detention centers that currently house a significant number of undocumented immigrants. Their business model allows them to profit from the amount of individuals they can keep imprisoned...the more, the merrier. Since many of these companies are publicly listed (they have sold parts or their business or their whole business to private investors in the stock market), they have to maximize shareholder value - read: make money for the owners/investors. Therefore, they are going to 'try' to 'persuade' respective government officials to not only keep the immigration system as it is, but also to make it more draconian (worse), so they can increase profitability (forecast). However, they claim that their lobbying efforts are within the rule of law (snickers). Some numbers to give you an idea of who these companies are: Geo Group earned $1.6 billion in Revenues 2011, and earned around $70 million in profit for the same year The Geo Group also operates prisons in other parts of the world (Australia, UK, South Africa) ICE accounted for about 14% of their Revenues (2011) Significant Operations in CA, TX, FL CCA earned $1.7 billion in Revenues 2011, and earned around $160 million in profit for the same year CCA Operates in 20 states, and it is 'the largest owner and operator of privatized correctional and detention facilities in the US, behind the Federal Government and 3 states ICE accounted for about 12% of their Revenues (2011) I am a die-hard capitalist, and I love when companies make money - but I am completely against what these guys do. The Geo Group has been criticized for alleged human rights abuses, negligence, lack of medical care for inmates, among others. CCA's record is not better either. Further reading: http://www.globalres...of-slavery/8289 http://www.counterpu...-of-immigrants/ http://www.huffingto..._n_1731736.html
  16. This is a video I found today, it's in spanish and it's about Marco Rubio sounding very optimistic about a comprehensive immigration reform. I have a feeling that this year they really might pass something big. http://video.latino.msn.com/?mkt=es-us&vid=f60acafc-31f3-41ba-a173-028986e3df65&src=v5:share:sharepermalink:&from=sharepermalink
  17. I came across an article on Washington post that states a group of senators have been working on an immigration reform bill and they would announce the proposed bill next Friday Lets hope, it will be a good one and it sails through congress to be signed by POTUS soon. Read more about it here
  18. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/01/us/dream-act-gives-young-immigrants-a-political-voice.html?pagewanted=all&pagewanted=print Young Immigrants Say It’s Obama’s Time to Act By JULIA PRESTON NEW HAVEN — It has been a good year for young immigrants living in the country without legal papers, the ones who call themselves Dreamers. Their protests and pressure helped push President Obama to offer many of them reprieves from deportation. So far about 310,000 youths have emerged from the shadows to apply, with numbers rising rapidly. Door-knocking campaigns led by those immigrants, who could not vote, mobilized many Latinos who could, based in no small part on the popularity of the reprieve program. After Latinos rewarded Mr. Obama with 71 percent of their votes, the president said one of the first items on his agenda next year would be a bill to legalize 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, which would offer a path to citizenship for young people. Behind the political momentum, administration officials and advocates say, is an extensive and surprisingly adroit movement of youthful immigrants. Because of their illegal status, however, they have often been more influential than they have been visible. In the past two years, they pursued their goal of legal recognition through a calibrated strategy of quiet negotiations, public “coming-out” events where youths declared their status, and escalating street protests. Now, movement leaders say, it is payback time. When Congress last debated broad reform, in 2007, populist energy was on the side of those opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants. Angry resistance from Republicans defeated a legalization proposal by President George W. Bush. This time the young immigrants are the rising force, and they seek legislation to give them a direct and permanent path to citizenship. But recalling that Mr. Obama also promised at the start of his first term to move swiftly on immigration overhaul, they say their attitude toward him is wait-and-see. “People are not going to hug the president right now,” said Carlos Saavedra, 26, an immigrant from Peru and national coordinator of United We Dream, the largest network of young immigrants here illegally. “They are waiting for him to take some action.” This weekend, United We Dream will gather more than 600 leaders (most still without legal status) from 30 states at a meeting in Kansas City, Mo., to work out their strategy to keep the heat on the White House and Congress during the coming immigration fight. Even some adversaries acknowledge the youth movement’s successes. “They have framed their story in a very popular way, and they’ve leveraged that story very effectively,” said Roy S. Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, a leading group opposing amnesty. There have been other banner moments this year for young people who take their name from the Dream Act, a bill before Congress that would create a formal path to citizenship for young people here illegally who came to this country as children. In June, Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist born in the Philippines, appeared on the cover of Time magazine along with a dozen others without legal status. In August, Benita Veliz, who is from Mexico, spoke at the Democratic National Convention about growing up without legal status. Overcoming Fear The high profile is recent for organizers whose work has often been clandestine. In the early years of the movement, even convening a meeting was a challenge, since so many youths, lacking papers, could not fly or drive without risking deportation. “They put at risk their own safety and being sent back to a country they haven’t seen since they were in diapers,” said Angela Kelley, an advocate and veteran of many immigration wars on Capitol Hill, now at the Democratic-leaning Center for American Progress in Washington. For many Dream leaders, activism began in the last years of high school, when they realized that their status might prevent them from going to college. Here in New Haven, Lorella Praeli, the director of advocacy for United We Dream, said she was 2 years old when she came from Peru. Her father brought her for medical treatment after her leg was amputated following a car crash. Ms. Praeli attended Quinnipiac University on scholarship, and she graduated last year with honors. Now 24, she said exasperation with Congress’s inaction on the Dream Act propelled her to join the movement. Mr. Saavedra, from Boston, was in high school in 2004 when he joined a campaign for an in-state resident college tuition discount for illegal immigrants in Massachusetts. He said he became a full-time activist after the bill passed the state legislature but was vetoed by the governor, Mitt Romney. Gaby Pacheco, 27, originally from Ecuador, hoped to teach children with autism, but without papers could not be certified. In 2010 she joined a four-month protest walk from her home in Miami to Washington with three other students. In California, Justino Mora, 23 and Mexican-born, was an honors student and track team captain in high school. Because of his status, Mr. Mora said, he had to postpone college studies in aerospace engineering. He joined a California branch of the Dream network. The leaders had another moment of truth when they publicly revealed their illegal status. Ms. Praeli’s moment came before television cameras at a news conference called at the last minute in New Haven in 2010. “I wasn’t prepared and I’m thinking, I haven’t even talked to my mom yet,” she said. Improvising, she recounted her personal story. Soon, she felt relief. “Once you’re out in public,” she said, “there is no hiding, there is no fake narrative. The overwhelming feeling is, I don’t have to worry about being someone I’m not.” The Power of Stories United We Dream was founded in 2009 by local groups that banded together into a national network. The leaders realized that encouraging young people to recount the stories of their lives in hiding and of their thwarted aspirations could be liberating for them, and also compelling for skeptical Americans. Now, in tactical sessions, young immigrants are trained to tell their stories to anyone who will listen, from a voter to a United States senator. Two years ago Dreamer groups began holding coming-out ceremonies where students defied the immigration authorities with signs announcing they were “undocumented and unafraid.” “One of our successes has been that we have created a shared identity about being a Dreamer,” said Cristina Jimenez, 28, who was born in Ecuador and graduated from Queens College in New York and is now the managing director of United We Dream. A turning point for the movement was the lame-duck session of Congress in late 2010. The Dream Act passed the House of Representatives. In the Senate, it failed by five votes. More than 200 immigrants watched from the Senate gallery. “A lot of us stepped out of the gallery and we were crying,” Ms. Praeli said. “And it was like that, I think, for five minutes. And then the attitude just changed.” Many left Washington feeling more determined, she said. Ms. Pacheco said she concluded that day that it was time to shift strategies. The House majority would pass to Republicans, who rejected the Dream Act as a reward to immigrant lawbreakers. The movement would have to concentrate on the president, Ms. Pacheco believed, to press him to stop deportations using executive powers. In a meeting after the vote with Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, Ms. Pacheco said she grabbed him and whispered in his ear. “You know the president has the power to stop deporting us,” she said. “You know you could tell him to do this.” Startled, Mr. Reid gave her a hug and walked away. November 30, 2012
  19. This is an interesting immigration blog: http://americasvoice...to-citizenship/ Let’s Get This Straight: Immigration Reform Must Put the Undocumented on a Path to Citizenship by Pili Tobar on 11/15/2012 at 4:43pm With immigration reform legislation moving to the top of Washington’s post-inauguration “To Do” list, it’s important to get some things clear from the start regarding workable and humane reform. The heart of the matter? What are we as a society going to do with 11 million undocumented immigrants who are settled in America. The only solution that works from both a moral and a practical perspective? Creating a common sense immigration process that “creates a line to get into,” one that puts the 11 million undocumented on a path to citizenship. Over the past week, immigration reform has leapt to the top of the Presidential and Congressional “To Do” list. Democrats, starting with the President, clearly want to do it. Republicans, from John Boehner to John McCain, now recognize they need to do it. But one question keeps popping up, either directly or indirectly: should the undocumented be eligible for full citizenship, or only for something less than that, such as permanent residence without a path to citizenship? For example, Sean Hannity made it clear where he now stands when he said he had “evolved” and now supports a “pathway to citizenship.” Meanwhile, Charles Krauthammer called on Republicans to make a bold change in policy, but called for “amnesty, everything short of citizenship.” President Obama, who made it crystal clear during his first post-election press conference yesterday that immigration reform is a top priority he expects to work on with Congress shortly after inauguration, may have inadvertently contributed to this debate when he called for, “a pathway for legal status for those who are living in this country…” Though some interpreted President Obama’s usage of the phrase “legal status” as a signal that he would accept something other than full citizenship, we didn’t. For one, the White House clarified after his comments that the President remains committed to eventual “citizenship” for the undocumented. Moreover, the President’s position has been crystal clear in favor of full citizenship, as laid out by the Obama Administration’s official immigration blueprint and in his substantial immigration-focused speeches. Remarkably, the President and Democrats in Congress who are committed to creating a path to citizenship recently have been joined by a number of the Republicans and conservatives, including Senators Rand Paul, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller and Lindsey Graham, each of whom have highlighted their openness to eventual citizenship. According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund: Immigration reform that puts the undocumented on the road to full citizenship and participation in American life is the right thing to do and the practical thing to do. We’re talking about Americans-in-waiting, most of whom have lived and worked in this country for more than a decade. Instead of sending them to the back of the bus we should proudly reaffirm our American tradition of welcoming those who are willing to accept as full equals those who learn our language, pledge allegiance to our flag and contribute to our success. And for Republicans interested in getting this issue behind them so they can regain their competitiveness with Latino voters? Be practical. Deal with this once and for all. Help create a ‘line to get into,’ support full citizenship and share in the credit of having gotten it done. Don’t fight to give these new Americans something less than full citizenship. If you succeed in getting less than full citizenship, you’ll only succeed in cementing your brand as the party that doesn’t want to treat Latino immigrants equally. And that would undermine one of the purposes of doing this in the first place.
  20. Reform Could Gain Higher Priority

    After a record-setting number of Latinos turned up at the polls in key swing states across the U.S. on Election Night, lawmakers in Washington look like they might finally be moving towards making the hot-button issue of immigration reform a priority. The Hispanic vote played a major role in President Barack Obama's Nov. 6 victory that secured another four-year term for the president. According to Latino Decisions, which measures Hispanic voting data in the U.S., Latinos turned out to give Obama a record-breaking 75 percent of their votes nationwide, helping him shatter Bill Clinton's 72 percent benchmark among Latino voters in the 1996 election Read more at http://www.latinospost.com/articles/6806/20121112/immigration-reform-2012-latest-news-gain-higher.htm#ylCA6luV965b8pbi.99
  21. (Reuters) - Two U.S. senators launched a fresh move to put together a bipartisan immigration reform plan on Sunday, restarting talks on a proposal that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country. Since President Barack Obama was re-elected last week with overwhelming support from Hispanic voters, many Republicans have expressed a new willingness to work with Democrats to pass immigration reform after years of legislative inaction. Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said he and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham have agreed to resume talks on immigration reform that broke off two years ago. "And I think we have a darned good chance using this blueprint to get something done this year. The Republican Party has learned that being ... anti-immigrant doesn't work for them politically. And they know it," Schumer said. Obama in 2010 called the proposal backed by Graham and Schumer a "promising framework," but it made no headway. There are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States, most of them Hispanics. Speaking on the CBS program "Face the Nation," Graham said the tone and rhetoric used by members of his party on immigration "built a wall between the Republican Party and the Hispanic community." He noted that Republican presidential candidates have been steadily losing the support of Hispanic voters since 2004. "This is an odd formula for a party to adopt: the fastest-growing demographic in the country, and we're losing votes every election cycle. And it has to stop. It's one thing to shoot yourself in the foot. Just don't reload the gun. ... I intend to tear this wall down and pass an immigration reform bill that's an American solution to an American problem," Graham said. PATH TO CITIZENSHIP The Graham and Schumer plan has four components: requiring high-tech, fraud-proof Social Security cards to ensure that illegal workers cannot get jobs; strengthening border security and enforcement of immigration laws; creating a process for admitting temporary workers; and implementing a path to legal status for immigrants already in the country. Schumer said the plan embraces "a path to citizenship that's fair, which says you have to learn English, you have to go to the back of the line, you've got to have a job, and you can't commit crimes." Graham added, "Sixty-five percent of the people in the exit poll of this election supported a pathway to citizenship." Many Republican leaders have taken a hard position against illegal immigrants. Obama's unsuccessful Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, during the campaign advocated "self-deportation" of illegal immigrants. Republicans in Arizona and other states have passed tough laws cracking down on illegal immigrants. Since the election, some influential conservative voices, including television commentator Sean Hannity, have announced support for immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants with no criminal record. "We have nobody to blame but ourselves when it comes to losing Hispanics, and we can get them back with some effort on our part," Graham said. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, said on Friday the U.S. immigration system is broken. He has expressed confidence Republicans could find common ground with Obama. The Obama administration announced in June it would relax U.S. deportation rules so that many young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children can stay and work. The change would allow illegal immigrants who, among other criteria, are younger than 30 years old and have not been convicted of a felony to apply for work permits. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/11/us-usa-immigration-congress-idUSBRE8AA09G20121111