Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

Senate Proposal Would Eliminate Diversity Visas

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

(Hispanic Business) The U.S. Senate proposal to replace diversity visas with a merit-based program is being met with skepticism by some civil rights groups and black lawmakers. 

The current proposal is to create at least 120,000 merit visas a year by 2015 that would be replace the 55,000 diversity visas that have been doled out annually via lottery. 

Advocates said they haven't seen evidence yet a new merit-based program is an acceptable replacement for the diversity visas. 

Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP's Washington office, is advocating the diversity program be retained, the Washington publication The Hill reported Friday. 

Full story…

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders left out of immigration debate

Saturday, April 20th, 2013


(San Jose Mercury News op-ed) For the first time in history, the influx of Asians moving to the United States has surpassed that of Latinos, and although Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders make up only 5 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 12 percent or 1.5 million of the 12 million aspiring Americans in the country. This means that more than 10 percent of this community is undocumented.

Last November, 73 percent of Asian-Americans voters voted to re-elect President Barack Obama, a record turnout that reiterated the demand for prioritizing immigration reform. However, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are underrepresented in today's immigration debate.

The community knows too well the suffering that accompanies restrictive and discriminatory immigration laws, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Asian Exclusion Act, that separate families and result in unequal, second class treatment.

Currently there are 4.3 million people waiting in the family immigration backlogs with no other way to reunite with their children, spouses or parents. The majority of Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants come to the U.S. through this system. Four of the five countries with the longest visa backlogs are Asian. Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders sponsor 39 percent of all family-based immigrants, and nearly half of the family members in visa backlogs are their relatives. An estimated 1.8 million Asian-American and Pacific Islander family members of U.S.

citizens and legal permanent residents are forced to wait an average of 23 years, even though they are eligible to immigrate to the United States.

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Will the immigration debate affect the Hispanic vote?

Thursday, April 18th, 2013


(CBS News) As the Senate's "gang of eight" announces its proposed immigration bill, the political calculus behind any bipartisan push seems clear. Immigration affects many groups but after winning a whopping seven in 10 Hispanic votes last year, Democrats will particularly want to fulfill a promise to tackle it, while Republicans need to start winning some of those voters back. Many will see this as a chance for the GOP to re-engage after finding themselves on the wrong side of a demographic wave that could hinder them in elections for years.

Last cycle it seemed Republicans couldn't get a hearing from Hispanics after the strident talk of fences and deportation that had surfaced during the primaries. The party's own post-election review lamented that – and Mitt Romney's "self-deportation" comment in particular: "If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States they will not pay attention to our next sentence."

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The G.O.P.’s Diversity Deserts

Monday, April 1st, 2013


(New York Times Op-Ed, Charles Blow) Just a week ago, the Republicans issued their much-ballyhooed “autopsy” on why they lost the presidential election last year and how they might remedy their problems.

They concluded that their principles were fine; the problem was how they presented those principles. Their witless wisdom is simply to tone down their rhetoric. They want to turn Teddy Roosevelt’s famous saying on its side: Talk softly but carry a big stigma.

The establishment Republicans’ push for a softer tone, however, is pure political scheming and has nothing to do with what most Republicans seem to fundamentally believe.

And many rank-and-file Republicans are adopting this two-faced tactic. A Pew Research Center report issued Thursday found that although most Republicans say that “illegal immigrants” should be allowed to stay in this country legally, most also believe that immigrants are a burden because they take jobs and health care, and they threaten American values.

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Eric Cantor On Immigration: Children Of The Undocumented Should Get Citizenship

Monday, February 11th, 2013

(Reuters) – A top U.S. Republican lawmaker said on Sunday he would support granting citizenship to children who are undocumented in the country in a sign that conservatives who oppose immigration amnesty will be playing defense as Congress takes on immigration reform in the coming months.

Representative Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, said Congress could make quick progress on immigration if lawmakers agreed to give citizenship to children – an idea he opposed when it came up for a vote in 2010 as the DREAM Act.

"The best place to begin, I think, is with the children. Let's go ahead and get that under our belt, put a win on the board," Cantor said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Cantor is leading an effort to improve his party's image as many Republicans worry they will be consigned to irrelevancy in coming years if they do not reach out to the fast-growing Latino electorate, which strongly supports immigration reform.

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Senators unveil bipartisan framework for comprehensive immigration reform

Monday, January 28th, 2013

One day before President Barack Obama kicks off his push for comprehensive immigration reform, a bipartisan group of Senators has announced agreement on a blueprint for reform:

A bipartisan group of senators has agreed on a set of principles for a sweeping overhaul of the immigration system, including a pathway to American citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants that would hinge on progress in securing the borders and ensuring that foreigners leave the country when their visas expire.

The senators were able to reach a deal by incorporating the Democrats’ insistence on a single comprehensive bill that would not deny eventual citizenship to illegal immigrants, with Republican demands that strong border and interior enforcement had to be clearly in place before Congress could consider legal status for illegal immigrants.

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New data confirm big drop in illegal immigration

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

(NBC News) New census data released Thursday affirm a clear and sustained drop in illegal immigration, ending more than a decade of increases.

The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. dropped to an estimated 11.1 million last year from a peak of 12 million in 2007, part of an overall waning of Hispanic immigration. For the first time since 1910, Hispanic immigration last year was topped by immigrants from Asia.

Demographers say illegal Hispanic immigration — 80 percent of all illegal immigration comes from Mexico and Latin America — isn't likely to approach its mid-2000 peak again, due in part to a weakened U.S. economy and stronger enforcement but also a graying of the Mexican population.

The finding suggests an uphill battle for the Republicans, who passed legislation in the House last week that would extend citizenship to a limited pool of foreign students with advanced degrees but who are sharply divided on whether to pursue broader immigration measures. 

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Hispanic mega-donors eye immigration

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012


(Politico) President Barack Obama won reelection with overwhelming support from Hispanics — and now Latino megadonors aligned with the White House are trying to mobilize that community behind his second-term agenda.

They’re working feverishly behind the scenes to launch an organization that will focus on passing comprehensive immigration reform — the latest attempt to create a new group to assist an administration that often prefers to deal with its allies instead of entrenched, inside-the-Beltway organizations.

Led by a trio of top fundraisers that includes actress Eva Longoria, the effort comes out of The Futuro Fund, a national initiative of Latino leaders who helped reelect Obama. Organizers are aiming to marshal the support of the thousands of Hispanics it galvanized during the campaign to create a robust online and social media presence that can pressure Congress into acting on immigration reform.

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STEM Act Passage Shows Parties Still Far Apart On Immigration

Monday, December 3rd, 2012


(Huffington Post) The House passed a Republican-led bill on Friday to increase visas for foreign nationals who earn advanced degrees in the U.S. for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in a 245 to 139 vote that fell mostly along party lines.

The STEM Jobs Act is unlikely to get a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate, and the White House officially came out in opposition to the bill on Wednesday. But its passage in the House was also a harbinger for things to come as the two parties map out a broad plan for dealing with immigration. While Democrats opposed the bill because they want a more comprehensive approach, Republicans argued a piecemeal process would be a better path forward — a wide gap in views that will be difficult to bridge.

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Obama seeks comprehensive immigration reform in early 2013

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

(Reuters) Emboldened by the large turnout of Hispanic voters in last week's general election, U.S. President Barack Obama said Wednesday he plans to move quickly to address what he has called the biggest failure of his first term – comprehensive immigration reform.

"Before the election, I had given a couple of interviews where I predicted that the Latino vote was going to be strong and that that would cause some reflection on the part of Republicans about their position on immigration reform. I think we're starting to see that already," Obama said at his first press conference since winning re-election.

"And my expectation is that we get a bill introduced and we begin the process in Congress very soon after my inauguration," he added.

Full story…

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