Friday, October 5, 2007

Update on Gov. Spitzer (D-NY)'s plan to issue driver licenses to the "undocumented":
The state association of county clerks voted on Thursday to condemn Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s executive order allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, and at least a dozen said they would not follow the new policy despite state laws obligating them to do so.
Some of the recent debate over immigration has focused on issues of federalism and the relationship of state powers (or, in some cases, local powers) to the federal government; this refusal now draws attention to a conflict between state and local power.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Senate has passed 95-1--Voinovich (R-OH) voted against it, and McCain (R-AZ), Obama (D-IL), Specter (R-PA), and Warner (R-VA) did not vote--an amendment appropriating up to $3 billion for increased border security. The text:


(a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``Border Security First Act of 2007''.

(b) Appropriations for Border Security.--There is appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $3,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2008--

(1) to achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime border of the United States including the ability to monitor such border through available methods and technology, as authorized under the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-367);

(2) to hire and train full-time border patrol agents, as authorized under section 5202 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-458);

(3) to install along the international land border between the United States and Mexico--

(A) fencing required under section 102(b) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1103 note)); and

(B) vehicle barriers, unmanned aerial vehicles, ground-based sensors and cameras; and

(4) to remove and detain aliens for overstaying their visas, illegally reentering the United States, or committing other crimes for which they would be subject to removal; and

(5) to reimburse States and political subdivisions of a State, for expenses that are reimbursable under 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1357(g)).

(c) Employment Eligibility Verification.--Of the amounts appropriated for border security and employment verification improvements under subsection (b), $60,000,000 shall be made available for employment eligibility verification, as authorized under subtitle A of title IV of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1324a note).

(d) Emergency Requirement.--Amounts appropriated under subsection (b) are designated as an emergency requirement pursuant to section 204 of S. Con. Res. 21 (110th Congress).

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A federal judge has extended for another 10 days a hold order on the enforcement of the new Homeland Security/Social Security worker-verification rules.
In today's WSJ, Richard Nadler has a column (based on his "Border Wars" report) claiming that the GOP will suffer electorally for any seeming opposition to "comprehensive immigration reform." Nadler is the president of Americas Majority, a pro-"conservative" group. This group is now advocating in favor of "comprehensive reform," but with some interesting twists. It seems to be quite openly in favor of "amnesty" (something many supporters of the "grand bargain" said they were against). And it's on the verge of a scorched-earth campaign against opponents of "comprehensive" reform.
For example, in an ad against punishing employers for the hiring of the "undocumented," a voice asks:
Listening to the anti-employer rants on talk radio these days, I wonder: Is it illegality that the anti-immigrant crowd hates? Or is it really free enterprise?
Implication that supporters of enforcing employment laws are closet socialists? Check.
The "Economist" ad also pushes the claim that some are "smuggling Communist theories into the discourse of the political Right."

Monday, October 1, 2007

How will the UK Conservative party approach immigration?
A reader passes along an interesting WSJ story on some businesses' anxiety about a potential "crackdown" on "undocumented workers." An interesting bit of information on the number of construction workers who are thought to be "undocumented":
In the $1.2 trillion construction industry, at least one-third of the work force is undocumented, according to an estimate by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Industry experts believe the actual figure is much higher: Last year alone, nearly half of new construction workers were Hispanics who had arrived in the U.S. since 2000.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Select Committee on Roll Call Vote 814 has issued a preliminary report:

The report outlined four areas of investigation, including an investigation of who is regularly on the Speaker’s dais and how their responsibilities relate to voting.

The panel’s final report is due no later than Sept. 15, 2008.

The probe will dissect the voting process, from the use of electronic voting machines to the proper duration of a vote, to determine what went wrong the night the House melted down into partisan chaos following a vote on a Republican motion to recommit that was gaveled early and ended in an unclear tally.

The panel, formally named the Select Committee on Roll Call Vote Number 814 and led by Reps. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.), will use the information to recommend changes to the House voting system in an effort to rectify any lingering problems that could lead to another chaotic situation such as the one of Aug. 2.

House Clerk Lorraine Miller told the six members of the Select Committee on Roll Call Vote Number 814 that while the voting tally has not been located, the paper voting cards located in the well of the Speaker rostrum had been preserved for the investigation. The voting tally is a piece of paper with the final count that is passed to the chairman to be read for the official record.

The reason the tally is missing was not detailed Thursday, but that likely will be tackled as the committee’s work progresses.

A video of the committee's first public hearing is available here. Both the chair, Rep. Delahunt (D-MA), and ranking member, Rep. Pence (R-IN), say they're hopeful about the success of a bi-partisan investigation.