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Guest Guest

Why does the Bush administration not enforce the Immigration laws?

 

Why can't a LA cop ask for immigration papers?

 

It took me over 20 years to get my citizenship. It is more than a paper

to me. I am sick of these gang members coming up from the border

to destroy my neighborhood.

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Guest Human

Guest, its several different factors, one of them being priorities;

 

2nd; both parties are after the Hispanic Vote and don't want to piss anyone off. If the Republicans crack down on illegal immigration the democrats will come out, and say (you see they really don't care about Hispanics).

 

3rd; the labor is cheap, and in the farming belt (which for the democrats means that the voter concentration is sparse, hence that group can be ignored. The more pressing issues is trade with that group.)

 

We are also dealing with a World Economy, and this policy is the way the United States deals with it. There's more to this , but that's the short of it.

 

I know that it aint much of an explanation, but It's the most honest one that you will get.

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Guest George

I could care less about the Democrats. I voted George Bush, because I believe

in him. What you are saying is that he has not Huevos to stand up for what is

right. I am sorry, but I do not believe this can be true.

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Guest Human

There are Political Realities that our Side "Republicans" would have to be insane to ignore.

 

George by reading your post it seems to me that you are not into politics, and be REAL HAPPY that you are not.

 

 

 

By the way, I voted for Bush as well.

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Guest wiki

In a move that has already ignited protests around the United States, Arizona governor Jan Brewer yesterday signed into law a bill that would crack down on immigration across the Mexican border.

 

Widely regarded as the harshest measure against illegal immigration in the US, the bill would allow police to legally question and detain anyone if they have "reasonable suspicion" to do so, as well as making the failure to carry immigration papers a crime. Critics say that the bill would lead to discrimination and harassment against Hispanic people, whether or not they are legal citizens. The bill will enter into effect in mid-August of this year, 90 days after the current state legislative session ends.

 

The bill has been widely criticized both within Arizona and across the country. The most prominent criticism has come from President Obama, who said that the bill will "threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe." The clause allowing police to demand documents was compared to Nazism by the Catholic cardinal in Los Angeles.

 

The law is expected to face several court challenges as soon as it enters into effect, and President Obama has already ordered the US Justice Department to determine the legality of the bill.

 

Speaking in support of the bill, Governor Brewer said that the law would represent "another tool for our state to use as we work to solve a crisis we did not create and the federal government has refused to fix." She said that she agreed with sponsors of the bill, who said that it would be an important asset in the fight against illegal immigration, particularly as Arizona is a major crossing point on the US-Mexico border. She said that Arizona had been "more than patient waiting for Washington to act. But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation."

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Guest Voces Sin Fronteras

This year May Day was charged with anger at Arizona's new immigration law, that made illegal to be "driving while Latino". Speakers at the rally said flat out, "Screw Them," in response to the overt racial profiling just institutionalized.

 

@35 people were arrested on May 1st 2010, for a sit-in in front of the White House, holding letters that spelled, "OBAMA STOP DEPORTING FAMILIES". One arrestee held a large red flag.

 

Arrestees included Congressman Guitarrez, Arturo Griffiths, Jaime Contreras, SEIU , Joshua Hoyt, Ali Noorani, Deepak Bhargava, Gustavo Torres, Gregory Cendana, US Students Ass.

 

Students from Florida walked 1500 miles to ask President Obama to stop deporting undocumented students. He sent an aide. The students refused to meet.

 

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/29/1603458/dc-walk-a-big-step-for-students.html

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Guest Lara Cottingham

Time for immigration reform

 

http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_15073077

 

Washington, May 13 - By Rep. Jared Polis, Denver Post

 

I have never seen such a disconnect between the will of the American people and Congress. The American people have had it with our broken immigration system. Across the ideological spectrum, no one is happy with the status quo. In the dozens of community forums and town hall meetings I have held across Colorado, I have yet to meet a single person who is satisfied with the way things currently are. States like Arizona are frustrated to the point of diverting their police officers to enforce immigration laws.

 

Unless Congress acts, more states, counties, and cities will likely pass thuggish and spiteful laws that scare and scapegoat American citizens of certain ethnic heritages.

 

Unlike the health care debate, which had a deep ideological divide, both conservatives and liberals agree that we can do better when it comes to our broken immigration system. Yet, Congress seems deaf to these cries.

 

Thankfully, Sens. Harry Reid, Charles Schumer and Robert Menendez recently released a conceptual proposal for immigration reform with a simple theme: If you obey our laws, learn our language and pay our taxes, we will welcome you to America. We can find out who stands in the way of fixing our broken immigration system by turning the Senate proposal into a bill, bringing it to the floor, and seeing which members of Congress dare to oppose it.

 

Similarly, in the House, I am working to pass comprehensive immigration reform that would secure our borders, restore the rule of law to our country, create jobs for Americans, and prevent illegal immigration from occurring in our country. I was recently appointed to the Judiciary Committee in the House (which has jurisdiction over immigration) to push Congress to address this issue. One of my proposals, which has been included in the House Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill (HR 4321) as well as in the Senate outline, would create jobs by allowing investors and entrepreneurs to come here if they create jobs for Americans.

 

While the Senate outline isn't perfect, it's the best available. There are parts that I am skeptical about. I don't see why it should take five years to implement a fraud-proof Social Security card, or six years until businesses are required to scan them. I also prefer the House approach of a fixed fine for those who have worked here illegally rather than a much more vague and hard-to- measure calculation of back taxes.

 

But as Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who studies immigration, has said, the Senate proposal "shows how far the Democrats have moved in terms of tougher and tougher enforcement" and that "across the board you see language that would be very comfortable in a proposal written by Republicans."

 

Why does this disconnect persist? Should we blame the xenophobes who scream "amnesty" at any reform effort? Or the civil libertarians who oppose any real type of verification of employment status? To find out, we must turn the Senate proposal into a bill and bring it to the floor. Anyone opposing or delaying immigration reform will be seen as directly responsible for making the problem worse. Without swift and bold action like the Senate plan, we will likely have twice as many immigrants living and working illegally within our borders in 10 years.

 

Strangely, this is precisely where we could be headed. Despite the cry from Main Street, politicians and political consultants still consider it difficult to pass immigration reform.

 

Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall have both showed leadership in calling upon Senate Majority Leader Reid to fix our immigration system this year. And I am proud that Reps. Ed Perlmutter, Diana DeGette and John Salazar have joined me as co-sponsors of HR 4321.

 

People shouldn't be able to cross the border without being checked, or to overstay their visas, and businesses shouldn't be able to exploit cheap labor off the books. We must stop playing politics with a problem that we should have fixed long ago.

 

So let's not replay this Republican vs. Democrat game with immigration. Good ideas and solutions transcend party. This issue is too important, and it's time for us to get behind a plan to replace our broken system with one that works.

 

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis is a Democrat from Boulder.

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Guest HUMAN

Oh!!! You had to bring up immigration.

 

With a 9.9% unemployment rate getting immigration reform passed now is like walking on Lava.

 

Yeah! the general public is going to take to immigration reform now like a concrete duck to water.

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Time for immigration reform

 

http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_15073077

 

Washington, May 13 - By Rep. Jared Polis, Denver Post

 

I have never seen such a disconnect between the will of the American people and Congress. The American people have had it with our broken immigration system. Across the ideological spectrum, no one is happy with the status quo. In the dozens of community forums and town hall meetings I have held across Colorado, I have yet to meet a single person who is satisfied with the way things currently are. States like Arizona are frustrated to the point of diverting their police officers to enforce immigration laws.

 

Unless Congress acts, more states, counties, and cities will likely pass thuggish and spiteful laws that scare and scapegoat American citizens of certain ethnic heritages.

 

Unlike the health care debate, which had a deep ideological divide, both conservatives and liberals agree that we can do better when it comes to our broken immigration system. Yet, Congress seems deaf to these cries.

 

Thankfully, Sens. Harry Reid, Charles Schumer and Robert Menendez recently released a conceptual proposal for immigration reform with a simple theme: If you obey our laws, learn our language and pay our taxes, we will welcome you to America. We can find out who stands in the way of fixing our broken immigration system by turning the Senate proposal into a bill, bringing it to the floor, and seeing which members of Congress dare to oppose it.

 

Similarly, in the House, I am working to pass comprehensive immigration reform that would secure our borders, restore the rule of law to our country, create jobs for Americans, and prevent illegal immigration from occurring in our country. I was recently appointed to the Judiciary Committee in the House (which has jurisdiction over immigration) to push Congress to address this issue. One of my proposals, which has been included in the House Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill (HR 4321) as well as in the Senate outline, would create jobs by allowing investors and entrepreneurs to come here if they create jobs for Americans.

 

While the Senate outline isn't perfect, it's the best available. There are parts that I am skeptical about. I don't see why it should take five years to implement a fraud-proof Social Security card, or six years until businesses are required to scan them. I also prefer the House approach of a fixed fine for those who have worked here illegally rather than a much more vague and hard-to- measure calculation of back taxes.

 

But as Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who studies immigration, has said, the Senate proposal "shows how far the Democrats have moved in terms of tougher and tougher enforcement" and that "across the board you see language that would be very comfortable in a proposal written by Republicans."

 

Why does this disconnect persist? Should we blame the xenophobes who scream "amnesty" at any reform effort? Or the civil libertarians who oppose any real type of verification of employment status? To find out, we must turn the Senate proposal into a bill and bring it to the floor. Anyone opposing or delaying immigration reform will be seen as directly responsible for making the problem worse. Without swift and bold action like the Senate plan, we will likely have twice as many immigrants living and working illegally within our borders in 10 years.

 

Strangely, this is precisely where we could be headed. Despite the cry from Main Street, politicians and political consultants still consider it difficult to pass immigration reform.

 

Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall have both showed leadership in calling upon Senate Majority Leader Reid to fix our immigration system this year. And I am proud that Reps. Ed Perlmutter, Diana DeGette and John Salazar have joined me as co-sponsors of HR 4321.

 

People shouldn't be able to cross the border without being checked, or to overstay their visas, and businesses shouldn't be able to exploit cheap labor off the books. We must stop playing politics with a problem that we should have fixed long ago.

 

So let's not replay this Republican vs. Democrat game with immigration. Good ideas and solutions transcend party. This issue is too important, and it's time for us to get behind a plan to replace our broken system with one that works.

 

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis is a Democrat from Boulder.

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Guest HUMAN

Just for arguments sake; it’s going to be a heck of a road up hill for this one.

 

You got that famous Acorn video, again unemployment, terrorism, socialism, human trafficking in all areas.

 

Drug use has always been a problem so I don't see that really impacting that portion of the debate. Though it will have some impact.

 

Though people coming across the border and shooting up Americans, and then crossing back is a problem.

 

Plus I have asked alot of folks in just what they think of the Arizona law, and almost all the feed back that I have gotten is that; The Democrats ARE Race Baiting.

 

Now one of the problems about the net is that you CAN have democrats posting as far right wingers making outlandish claims, and then stating that they are republicans.

 

That's alot on whoever’s plate that falls upon.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

It is not going to be even considered to after the elections.

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Guest AlwaysRed

This is going to be a nightmare for Democrats.

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=FO4nj87gYHU

 

First Little Girl: My mom … she says that Barack Obama is taking everybody away that doesn't have papers."

 

First Lady Michelle Obama: Yeah, well that's something that we have to work on, right? To make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers, right? That's exactly right.

 

Second girl: But my mom doesn't have any...

 

First Lady Michelle Obama: Well, we have to work on that. We have to fix that, and everybody's got to work together in Congress to make sure that happens. That's right.

 

A Department of Homeland Security official says federal immigration authorities are not pursuing the family of a Maryland girl who told first lady Michelle Obama that her mother "doesn't have papers."

 

DHS spokesman Matt Chandler said in an e-mailed statement Thursday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigations "are based on solid law enforcement work and not classroom Q and As."

 

The girl said she was happy to meet Mrs. Obama and Mexico first lady Margarita Zavala at New Hampshire Estates Elementary School and hoped to return the visit.

 

Click Here for Map

 

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Guest Franco

I think they way the administration is handling is clearly right way. I hope they are making sure the proper paperwork is getting done quickly.

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Guest American4Progress

RUPERT MURDOCH ADVOCATES FOR A PATH TO CITIZENSHIP ON HIS ANTI-IMMIGRANT NETWORK: Fox News has a consistent history of "serv[ing] up a steady diet of fear, anger, and resentment on the topic of illegal immigration," as Media Matters has documented. And yet, yesterday morning, when Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy interviewed Rupert Murdoch, the owner of News Corporation -- Fox News' parent company -- and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, both guests advocated for a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants. Murdoch even argued that the media should to be used to "keep the pressure on" lawmakers to enact immigration reform, in addition to saying immigration reform would help the "millions of bright and intelligent people around the world -- whether they are in China or in Hungary or in Germany or something -- who want to come to America and live the American Dream."

 

As the Wonk Room's Andrea Nill argues, considering that "Fox News does the most to promote the talking points and platforms of those fighting to make sure immigration reform is never a reality," "[o]ne step Murdoch could take would be pushing his own network to start providing genuinely 'fair and balanced' coverage of the immigration issue." While Bloomberg asserted on the show that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes, Doocy has baselessly reported that a Virginia anti-immigrant ordinance led to a "huge drop in crime." And, although Doocy used the term "undocumented immigrants" in his interview with his boss, he and his colleagues usually prefer calling them "illegals." In the past week alone, Fox & Friends, along with hosts Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity, have accused the Department of Labor of "going to bat for illegal immigrants" by enforcing wage theft laws for undocumented workers. Murdoch is himself an immigrant from Australia, and in a statement from his and Bloomberg's coalition of pro-immigration reform business executives, the Partnership for a New American Economy, Murdoch stated, "As an immigrant myself, I believe that this country can and must enact new immigration policies that fulfill our employment needs, provide a careful pathway to legal status for undocumented residents, and end illegal immigration."

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Guest Always Red

It is very disturbing that the Obama Administration is planning to use executive actions to amnesty the 12-18 million illegal aliens living in the United States. Please look into this matter and please read Sen. Grassley's letter to President Obama about this matter.

 

Sen. Grassley maintains that the Obama Administration is mulling over plans to "unilaterally extend deferred action or parole to millions of illegal aliens in the United States..." and "while deferred action and parole are Executive Branch authorities, they should not be used circumvent Congress' constitutional authority to legislate immigration policy, particularly as it relates to the illegal population of the United States."

 

I cannot agree more with Sen. Grassley's sentiments. Yes, President Obama does have the authority to pardon individuals for crimes they have been convicted of committing, but he does not have the moral right to undermine Congress' right to control the United States' immigration policy. The American people have elected Senators and Representatives, not a President, to pass legislation dealing with immigration. If President Obama is considering overriding the will of the American people in such a cavalier fashion, the American people have a right to be seriously concerned.

 

Please contact the White House and demand to know what President Obama is planning to do regarding the United States' illegal immigration problem. If the president's solution is to pardon 12-18 million lawbreakers, Congress must act to prevent the president from following through on his undemocratic plan.

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Guest LAW

White House Press Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, 6/29/10

 

Q Thank you, Robert. Since eight members of the U.S. Senate -- just two questions -- since eight members of the U.S. Senate wrote the President strongly opposing the possibility of his using executive power to grant amnesty to more than 10 million illegal aliens in the U.S., is the President still planning to extend any such amnesty?

 

MR. GIBBS: Through what means in that letter?

 

Q Well, he could pardon -- he could pardon them, couldn’t he?

 

MR. GIBBS: But there are no pending 10 million pardon requests, Lester. I can clear that up.

 

Q Okay. What is the President’s reaction --

 

MR. GIBBS: It would be a heck of a fine.

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Guest Human

The racial battles between the African American Community and the Latino Community are really heating up.

 

The black Latinos are trying to pass themselves off as being African American as to avoid the issue altogether.

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Guest Brent

The racial battles between the African American Community and the Latino Community are really heating up.

 

The black Latinos are trying to pass themselves off as being African American as to avoid the issue altogether.

 

That is really messed up. I hope someday our world moves past where you are from and what color you skin is. We all breath, eat, drink, sleep, laugh, cry, shout, love, have babies, etc...

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Guest HUMAN

Agreed it's sad, and in a democrat town too.

Christ!! these games never end.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That is really messed up. I hope someday our world moves past where you are from and what color you skin is. We all breath, eat, drink, sleep, laugh, cry, shout, love, have babies, etc...

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Guest Bryan

The Center for Immigration Studies has produced its second web-based film, “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2,” on the impact of illegal activity along the southern border of Arizona. Tomorrow, Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus and ranking Republican on the House Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, will join in the official release of the documentary as well the participate in a panel discussion on border security.

 

The Center's first video on the subject, “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border: Coyotes, Bears, and Trails,” has received over 50,000 views to date. “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2” raises the bar, featuring footage of gun and drug smuggling from within 80 miles inside the Arizona border, including on federal lands, to show the reality of the escalating illegal activity.

 

The 10-minute mini-documentary will be screened on Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 12:15 p.m. in the Zenger Room at the National Press Club, 14th and F Streets, NW. Admission is free and open to the public.

 

Following the screening, several speakers will discuss the issues addressed by the film:

 

* Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus and ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, will discuss the impact of illegal activity on federal lands.

* Janice Kephart, the Center for Immigration Studies' Director of National Security Studies and producer of the film, will discuss the making of the film and the difficulty in obtaining cooperation from the federal government while conducting research for its script.

* A key source of the hidden-camera footage used in this mini-documentary will join the discussion by conference call from Arizona, in order to remain anonymous.

* Moderator: Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

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Guest Human

Does it really matter that the United States is actively engaged in Human Trafficking?

In all honesty who really cares? Republicans did it, Democrats are actively doing it.

 

The Latino community is in agreement that trafficking in their own kind is alright.

The African American Community who knows better agrees with human trafficking.

 

I use to be ashamed of being against illegal immigration since I am Latino, but now

I want nothing to do with politics.

 

There is some thing really wrong with this country when folks view human trafficking

as being OKAY.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Center for Immigration Studies has produced its second web-based film, “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2,” on the impact of illegal activity along the southern border of Arizona. Tomorrow, Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus and ranking Republican on the House Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, will join in the official release of the documentary as well the participate in a panel discussion on border security.

 

The Center's first video on the subject, “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border: Coyotes, Bears, and Trails,” has received over 50,000 views to date. “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2” raises the bar, featuring footage of gun and drug smuggling from within 80 miles inside the Arizona border, including on federal lands, to show the reality of the escalating illegal activity.

 

The 10-minute mini-documentary will be screened on Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 12:15 p.m. in the Zenger Room at the National Press Club, 14th and F Streets, NW. Admission is free and open to the public.

 

Following the screening, several speakers will discuss the issues addressed by the film:

 

* Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus and ranking Republican on the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, will discuss the impact of illegal activity on federal lands.

* Janice Kephart, the Center for Immigration Studies' Director of National Security Studies and producer of the film, will discuss the making of the film and the difficulty in obtaining cooperation from the federal government while conducting research for its script.

* A key source of the hidden-camera footage used in this mini-documentary will join the discussion by conference call from Arizona, in order to remain anonymous.

* Moderator: Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

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Guest American4Progress

In the heat of the fiery debate over Arizona's anti-immigrant law SB-1070, a new attack on immigrant rights is burgeoning within the Republican Party. On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined a growing number of GOP policymakers seeking to review or revoke the citizenship clause of 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which states that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States." While the call to revoke this birthright citizenship was traditionally confined to fringe political parties and right-wing demagogues, the rising call to repeal the amendment is becoming a mantra of the Republican mainstream. But in championing reform of birthright citizenship, Republican lawmakers are directly undermining "revered U.S. constitutional traditions" and reversing "one of our nation's unique achievements, embodied in the current president and many others: that descent does not mean destiny."

 

FRINGE POLITICS: The effort to revoke birthright citizenship has traditionally been a tenet of fringe, right-wing political groups. Indeed, the anti-immigrant bigotry expressed by contemporary right-wing radicals like former congressman Tom Tancredo reflects the xenophobia present around the time that the 14th Amendment was adopted. In the 1840s and 1850s, the nativist, anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party "rose to prominence" at the "zenith of Boston's anti-Irish feeling" by opposing "foreign immigration" of Irish Catholics and believing that "Americans must rule America." As Mother Jones' Jen Phillips points out, "when you substitute the tea party for the Know Nothings, and Mexicans and Latinos for the Irish, and Phoenix for Boston," the Know Nothing stance provides a "pretty accurate" reflection of today's right-wing anti-immigrant sentiment. Another long-standing radical group, the John Birch Society, has been "speaking out" against immigration since 1963 and has called for "congressional action to end automatic birthright citizenship for children born to illegal immigrants." While the Society insists it represents a mainstream members "from all walks of life," conservative leader William Buckley "famously denounced" the Society in the early 1960s as "'idiotic' and 'paranoid.'" Now, the Tea Party has picked up the banner, with Kentucky Senate candidate and Tea Party favorite Rand Paul ® insisting that the constitutional right to citizenship "should be stopped." A tell-tale sign of the radical nature of today's right-wing demagoguery is the increasingly virulent rhetoric, characterizing undocumented workers as an "invading army," using children to secure public benefits and demonizing them as "anchor babies," a "politically charged term" used to "make these children sound non-human" and "to spark resentment against immigrants." A "widely circulated" and blatantly sexist email by Minutemen member and Patriots Coalition founder Al Garza said "we need to target the mother" to address "the anchor baby racket" because "men don't drop anchor babies, illegal alien mothers do." Last year, Fox News host Glenn Beck sought to legitimize this sentiment, saying "the anchor baby thing has hacked me off...that baby is a child. It's an anchor. It's an anchor to stay here. ... Why do we have automatic citizenship upon birth?"

 

MAINSTREAMING THE FRINGE: While previously relegated to the margins of the right wing, Republican policymakers are now embracing the extreme viewpoint and bringing the "anchor baby," anti-birthright rhetoric into the legislative arena. After crafting the draconian SB-1070 law, Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce ® has set his sights on an "anchor baby bill" -- because granting citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants born on U.S. soil is somehow an "outrageous" "violation of the 14th Amendment." Despite the twisted logic, Pearce's idea echoes a burgeoning trend on Capitol Hill. Since 1995, Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) has tried and failed seven times to pass legislation that would repeal or reinterpret the 14th Amendment. Reflecting growing popularity, Bilbray is receiving help from senior Republican Rep. Lamar Smith (TX), whose legislation to deny birthright citizenship has 93 cosponsors, including House Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price (GA). While these efforts have precedent in the House, the notion of 14th Amendment revision is now taking hold in the Senate. Once thought to be a proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced last week that he is considering a constitutional amendment to overturn birthright citizenship because that constitutional right is "a mistake." Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) supported congressional hearings into the amendment that would question whether citizenship is "a reward" for "illegal behavior." And Sen. McCain (R-AZ), who once preferred a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants over "pleas[ing] the political extremists," joined his colleagues in calling for hearings against the amendment. In embracing a traditionally radical idea, these senators have moved to the right of outspoken immigration hawks like Lou Dobbs, who insist that "the rule of law" requires recognizing children of undocumented immigrants as "citizens of this country."

 

CHANGING THE CONSTITUTION: In their rush to eradicate birthright citizenship from the Constitution, Republican lawmakers are "squarely outside the American tradition." As a Center for American Progress (CAP) report explains, the conservatives base their exclusive view on "specious" legal reasoning around the Dred Scott v. Sanford case, which found that "only descendants of those fortunate enough to be embraced by the founding generation could claim citizenship." Conservatives insist that the framers of the 14th Amendment rectified the citizenship issue solely for slave descendants and did not intend it to be extended to immigrants. But, as the CAP report notes, framers of the 14th Amendment "explicitly rejected" that notion of America as a "country club." As one framer put it at the time, "we are entirely ready to accept" that under the proposed amendment, "children born here" of immigrant parents "shall be declared by the Constitution of the United States to be entitled to civil rights and to equal protection before the law with others." In two landmark decisions, the Supreme Court verified this "clear constitutional mandate" of birthright citizenship, ruling in 1982 that the "fourteenth amendment extends to anyone, citizen or stranger" regardless if "a person's initial entry into a State, or the United States, was unlawful." Not only would Republican efforts overturn the Supreme Court's "time-tested reading" of the Constitution, but their "regressive approach" would have practical implications on American competitiveness, as evidenced by Germany's restrictions on citizenship for migrant workers. Now, in Germany, "nearly half of foreign students" and "most children from migratory backgrounds, are assigned to the lowest educational track (Hauptschule), which primarily prepares them for low-skilled jobs." Germany also has the largest disparity in an OECD study that examines immigrant versus native student academic performance. In "a startling contrast," the majority of the 40 finalists in the 2010 Intel Science Talent Search were first-generation Americans, children of immigrants born on U.S. soil. By removing the constitutional citizenship right, Republicans would flout the Constitution and risk undermining unique achievement within the American citizenry.

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Guest ALWAYSRED

Immigrant entrepreneurs create jobs and strengthen the economy, and the United States should tailor immigration laws and policies to encourage the best and the brightest to create businesses on U.S. soil, according to a new joint report issued today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) of the American Immigration Council.

 

“The Chamber has a longstanding commitment to championing improvements to federal policies that would create lawful status for immigrant entrepreneurs and permit foreign talent to work in the United States,” said Randy Johnson, senior vice president of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits. “We hope that the report’s findings will spur positive discussions regarding immigration reform, but also provide new fuel for those already ongoing.”

 

The report examines immigrant entrepreneurship in many different sectors, including neighborhood, growth, transnational, and science and technology firms, and demonstrates how these immigrant businesses create jobs for U.S. workers and contribute to America’s economic growth.

 

“Regardless of one’s school of thought, there is very little disagreement among researchers and experts that immigrant entrepreneurship is a powerful and valuable asset to America’s economic future,” said Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council. “There has been a lot of attention paid to the high tech, highly educated immigrant entrepreneur, this report reinforces that it is less about your degree or the product you produce, and far more about recognizing a need in your community and having the skills and commitment to bring a dream to life.”

 

“Immigrant-owned growth businesses are hugely important to strengthening local economies as well as providing jobs essential to economic recovery,” said report author Marcia Drew Hohn, director of the Public Education Institute at The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. “The U.S. Small Business Association estimates that small businesses have generated 64% of the net new jobs over the past 15 years and credits immigrant businesses with a significant contribution to this job growth.”

 

The Chamber and IPC report features profiles of immigrant entrepreneurs and shines a light on some of the difficulties they face. Current immigration laws make it difficult for many immigrant entrepreneurs to contribute to the nation’s growth. The report contains administrative and legislative proposals that taken together could create an atmosphere that fosters growth:

 

• Create an entrepreneur-friendly culture—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should create more business-friendly policies, promote and streamline entrepreneurship programs, and launch further engagement opportunities to seek feedback in how to address the unique circumstances of entrepreneurs, new businesses, and startups.

 

• Cut red tape—DHS should not demand excessive documentation or dismiss the achievements of well-qualified applicants who could start businesses or create jobs in the United States.

 

• Create a visa category specifically targeted for immigrant entrepreneurs—Congress should be urged to create access to permanent resident status for those who establish a business that produces jobs for U.S. workers.

 

• Remove hurdles for foreign students with desirable skills—Immigration law should permit foreign students in graduate programs (especially science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to remain in the United States after graduation.

 

• Recognize that immigrant entrepreneurship occurs across the spectrum of businesses—Immigration policy should address this phenomenon by establishing visa categories that provide opportunities for talented individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life.

 

The full report is available here:

 

http://www.uschamber.com/reports/immigrant-entrepreneurs-creating-jobs-and-strengthening-economy

 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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