Saturday, September 1, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Justice Department lawyer Daniel Bensing told Chesney that the government wanted the issue resolved before Sept. 14, when the new rule was scheduled to take effect, and objected to a schedule that would delay enforcement until at least October. But he did not indicate any intention to challenge the judge's order.There are probably some good strategic reasons for this--but which strategy and for what?
A conflict between federal immigration authorities and local law enforcement is jeopardizing the effectiveness of a new Colorado State Patrol unit set up to crack down on illegal immigration.
In early August, the State Patrol's newly created Immigration Enforcement Unit pulled over a van loaded with 18 suspected illegal immigrants on Interstate 70 near the Utah border.
But the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency failed to respond to the State Patrol's request for help.
In addition, the Garfield County jail - the nearest jail with available cells to hold the suspects - is no longer considered an allowable detention facility by ICE because the sheriff allows his officers to carry Tasers.
It does seem as though old drafts of the Salazar-Alexander bill (old text here) did not force a withdrawal but instead expressed the "sense of Congress" about what the president should consider doing under certain circumstances. How might this new measure be "tweaked"? Reid had earlier derided Salazar-Alexander as not having "the teeth of a toothless tiger." So will the measure be "tweaked" to give Reid some more teeth, or is he now happy with this tiger?
One measure Reid said he will seek to resurrect would tighten rules on the use of troops by requiring soldiers' leave times to be at least as long as their most recent deployment. The proposal, offered by Sen. James Webb (D-Va.), would not set withdrawal terms, but it could effectively limit U.S. force levels. A vote of 56 to 41 in favor of the measure on July 11 fell four votes short of the 60 needed to overcome a GOP filibuster, but it had seven Republican supporters.
Another approach, left hanging when Reid terminated the July debate, was a proposal from Sens. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to turn the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group into official U.S. policy. The study group's proposals, offered in December and mostly ignored by the White House, include setting the stage for a new regional diplomatic initiative and transitioning U.S. combat forces to more specific roles, including training and counterterrorism. If progress isn't made, troops would begin withdrawing early next year.
The Salazar-Alexander bill has attracted 12 additional co-sponsors, half of them Republicans. Reid said he is willing to listen to their pitch, but he remains concerned that the language is too cautious and may now be outdated.
Alexander said he and Salazar are discussing tweaks to reflect changing circumstances. But he believes that the study group report contains "the seeds for consensus," and he said of his proposal, "It's not withdrawal with a deadline, but it's finishing the job."
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Republican appointees Reps. Kenny Hulshof (Mo), Steven LaTourette (Ohio) and Mike Pence (Ind.)The Hill offers a tentative timeline:
Democrats: Artur Davis (Ala.), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.) and Bill Delahunt (Mass.)
His privileged resolution offered on Aug. 3 directed the panel to offer an interim report on its findings Sept. 30 and a final report no later than Sept. 15, 2008. In addition, Boehner wants the panel to recommend any necessary changes to House rules to ensure the incident is not repeated.More on the panel's powers here.
Johnathan Martin over at the Politico says that we might have an announcement date for Thompson sometime today.
UPDATE: Martin says that sources are telling him that Thompson will announce on September 6.
UPDATE: Martin reports that Thompson will declare on a webcast on September 6.
This report suggests that increasing immigration levels has relatively little effect on the percentage of the working-age population and challenges the assumption that immigration alone can compensate for some of the pressures faced by an aging society.
For example, based on Table 5 of this report, increasing the net immigration rate to 10 million people per year (the current net level is 1.25 million) would lead to 62% of the US population being between 15 and 64 in 2060; having 0 net immigration would lead to 57.2% of the US population being between 15 and 64 in 2060. Currently, 67.3% of the US pop. is between 15 and 64. So even with 10 million new people coming in per year, the percentage of people aged 15-64 would still substantially decrease. A net immigration rate of 3 million/year would lead to 60% of the US population being between 15 and 64 in 2060 and an overall national population of over 615 million by 2060 (see Table 3).
Presuming a retirement age of 64, the ratio of workers to retired-aged persons is currently 5.4. Under 10 million immigrants/year, that ratio would decline to 3.8 by 2060 (it would be 2.4 under 0 immigrants/year). So while immigration rates do have some effect on the worker-retired ratio, even the (by current standards) high rate of 10 million/year would not prevent a somewhat substantial decline in this ratio.
The report also has an interesting table on the effects of raising the retirement age on the worker-retired ratio. Presuming a net immigration rate of zero, this table says that raising the retirement age to 68 would lead, by 2060, to a worker-retired ratio of 3.0, the same number as a net immigration rate of 2.5 million/year (double the current rate) would lead to if the retirement age were kept at 65. In order to get to a 3.1 ratio, the net immigration rate would have to add another 500,000 (to 3 mil./year). By 2060, we will have a 2.7 worker-retired ratio (w/retirement age of 65) under the current net immigration level of 1.25 million/year.
This report claims that high levels of immigration have a limited impact on the aging of society. It even observes that, in 2006, the average immigrant's age was 40; the average native-born age was 36.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
A Fairfax Circuit Court judge threw out Herndon's anti-solicitation ordinance yesterday, finding that the town's two-year-old prohibition against laborers and motorists discussing employment on the streets violates First Amendment rights to free speech.
The 11-page opinion by Judge Leslie Alden was a legal setback for town officials, who regarded the ordinance as an important tool in their crackdown on illegal immigrants. Some town leaders say such immigrants account for most of those seeking work.
The town may soon be operating a "day laborer" center and checking to see if these "day laborers" working with the center have proper documentation.
Virginia Republicans announced legislation Wednesday that would prohibit public colleges and universities from accepting illegal immigrants even if they attended a public high school and were brought to the United States at an early age by their parents.
However, some state colleges and universities, such as the University of Virginia, say that they already don't accept "illegal immigrants"--that they require some form of documentation. We'll have to see what form of documentation this new law would require.
Other measures under consideration in Virginia:
The Republican proposal would also require city and county jails to check a defendant's immigration status and to have at least one person on duty who has been certified by the federal government to detain illegal immigrants until deportation proceedings. It would also routinely deny bail for illegal immigrants charged in a crime and suspend the business licenses of anyone convicted of hiring illegal immigrants.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Leading a large delegation of Texas executives trying to drum up business in Mexico, Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday criticized the U.S. Congress for failing to pass an immigration bill that would legalize millions of workers.
"I don't think this is that difficult an issue if Congress would have the maturity to sit down and really discuss it and cut out all the mean rhetoric," Perry said during a break in the third day of meetings with Mexican officials and business executives.
"We need those individuals to continue to grow our economy," he said of Texas' undocumented workers, most of whom hail from Mexico. "The vast, vast majority of those individuals want to come and work and take care of their families."
He also wants some foreign worker program (e.a.):
Perry said he supports a system that would temporarily legalize foreign workers, while making sure they pay taxes and obey the law.
Such a system, Perry said, would allow for a "free flow of individuals between these countries who want to work, who want to be an asset to our country and to Mexico."
A Border Patrol chief yesterday apologized for saying the agency's mission is stopping terrorists, not illegal aliens or drug smugglers, a stance that outraged congressional lawmakers.See this for some background. Some, including Tom Tancredo (R-CO), are not happy with this apology; they want a resignation.
* A candidate can lose in 39 states, but still win the PresidencyOf course, under her national vote proposal, a candidate could lose 49 states and still win the presidency (if, say, he or she lost each of these 49 by one vote but won the fiftieth state by one hundred votes).
David Carle, spokesman for Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Leahy is working with senators from other farm states to pass so-called AgJobs legislation to establish a guest worker program to address the labor needs of farms not being met by Americans.Sen. Feinstein (D-CA), one of the most prominent supporters of AgJobs (along with Sen. Craig [R-ID]), claims that Republicans are opposing the introduction of AgJobs as an amendment to the upcoming farm bill. All of them? The leadership? One wonders where certain Democrats stand...
The legislation was introduced earlier this year but languished while Leahy and others attached a version of it to the massive immigration reform bill that subsequently failed to win Senate approval, Carle said.
"He's trying to get consensus for a stand-alone bill but that's a difficult thing to do because there are objections to having immigration reform passed in pieces instead of as a whole," Carle said. "It might have to be brought in as an amendment to another bill."
He has also attempted other changes, including steps toward worker verification for state contractors:
· Prepare for special 287(g) training and deputization that allows state law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration law as authorized through section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
· Encourage and assist local law enforcement to apply for 287(g) status and to otherwise offer state assistance, resources and support including making available Live Scan for local law enforcement agencies that will use it. To date, the state has invested more than $2 million of homeland security money in Live Scan, which allows fingerprints to be scanned in the field.· Verify the immigration status of every individual presented for incarceration with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) computer background status check and to complete full background checks on any accompanying adults. Anyone identified as illegal will be detained to prevent them from committing any crimes.
He recently sent a letter to the Missouri Housing Development Commission outlining principles for the commission to consider regarding illegal immigration that include possible sanctions of up to a lifetime ban of contractors and developers who knowingly employs illegal immigrants in violation of federal law.
The letter follows the governor’s tough stand against illegal immigration and workers. Earlier this year Gov. Blunt ousted a state contractor who hired illegal workers and ordered state agencies to enact a no tolerance policy through tough new contract protections. The governor cancelled the state’s contract with Sam’s Janitorial Services and barred them from doing further business with the state after local and federal law enforcement agencies identified dozens of suspected illegal immigrants working under falsified documents.Blunt also authored the state’s first directive to audit all contractors to ensure that the contract employees are legally eligible to work in the
and to terminate contracts if it is determined a contractor employs illegal immigrants. He added tough provisions in state contracts to allow the state to immediately cancel contracts if it determines the contractor knowingly has employees not eligible to work in the U.S. and to require contractors to certify that all their employees meet state and federal employment eligibility requirements. U.S.
Monday, August 27, 2007
The Senate this year tried to overhaul the nation's immigration system, but the bill foundered over concerns that too little was being done to enforce the laws, illegal aliens were being granted amnesty and guest workers would drive down wages of U.S. workers.
Some high-skilled foreign workers complained that the bill treated illegal aliens better than legal, high-skilled workers already here and waiting for green cards, or legal permanent residence. They said illegal aliens would not be limited by their country of origin, so millions of illegal alien workers from Mexico could gain a path to citizenship while those legally waiting in line would still be subject to country-by-country limits.
To Lowell P. Weicker, the committee Republican who had most actively pursued Mr. Nixon, Mr. Thompson’s late awakening was just that. From day one, he said, Mr. Thompson was the president’s “errand boy.”
“As matters changed and it became increasingly obvious that the White House was standing on quicksand, Thompson himself evolved,” he said. “But the measure of the man was in the early days of Watergate.”
What this story doesn't say is how testy the relationship between Weicker and Thompson could get. In his memoir of the Watergate days, At That Point in Time, Thompson had some early conflicts with Weicker. These conflicts culminated in a shouting match over the phone. Thompson blamed Weicker's office for the leaking of a lot of committee business to the press (press leaks--and their political intent--are a recurring theme of At That Point in Time). So at one point, Thompson, as minority counsel, forbade another Republican Watergate staffer, Bill Shure, from attending (non-public) interviews without Thompson's express permission; Shure used to work in Weicker's office and often provided information to that office that was later leaked to the press. Weicker was not pleased (from page 55 of At That Point in Time):
Weicker exploded; he said he would send Shure where and when he pleased and that I would not interfere. When I described several incidents in which confidential material had "found its way" out of his office, he said this was not true. If he didn't know what was going on in his office, I replied, he was the only person on Capitol Hill who didn't. The conversation continued going downhill, and before long I was standing at my desk engaged in an all-out shouting match.Eventually, each was "almost incoherent with anger." While their relationship somewhat improved after this argument and Washington life is peppered with angry words, this argument does suggest some possible tension between Thompson and Weicker. And Thompson's secretary had told him that she, in all her years on the Hill, had only heard one other staffer talk to a senator that way....
Rev. Walter Coleman said Arellano helped to reunify the movement that now will focus its attention on a Sept. 6 hearing before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Immigration.
"We had to get the discussion going again and take another try at legislation that would at least give relief to the 12 million undocumented immigrants if comprehensive reform is no longer possible," said Coleman, who leads Adalberto United Methodist Church. For a year, Arellano sought sanctuary in the church with her 8-year-old son, Saul, who is a U.S. citizen.
Three days after Arellano's arrest, Coleman met with the staff of U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the immigration subcommittee, to push for the hearing.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
_ Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer, proposed requiring illegal immigrants to post full cash bail.
"When illegals commit crimes, they should be taken off our streets," Turner said.
_ Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, R-Union, proposed requiring county prosecutors to notify federal authorities when an illegal alien is charged.
"It is a very basic concept that when a local law enforcement official is aware that an individual in their custody has violated a federal law, that they should notify the federal authorities," Bramnick said.
_ Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, proposed requiring law enforcement to notify federal officials when an illegal alien is arrested for a felony.
"If the tragedies that recently occurred in Newark have taught us anything, it's that the current system is flawed," Sarlo said.
_ Assemblyman Richard Merkt, R-Morris said he will amend legislation he introduced in June 2006 prohibiting jails from releasing illegal aliens. He said he wants to revise the bill so it covers any arrested illegal alien.
"But I seriously doubt that the Democrats currently in charge of the state government in Trenton will take any action to correct the problem," Merkt said.