by Matthew Rusling
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—A battle over immigration reform is brewing in
Washington after President Barack Obama’s announcement last month that he would
act alone and issue an executive order to prevent the deportation of millions of illegal
The announcement has sparked much controversy, as critics lambasted the president
for what they call circumventing Congress and taking matters into his own hands to
reform the broken immigration system. A number of opponents call Obama’s action
illegal. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
by Napp Nazworth
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—An immigration reform bill that includes a path to citizenship now appears unlikely, but there is a possibility of getting a path to some other form of legal status, speakers at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference’s “Justice Summit” said Tuesday.
Republican leaders are now working on legislation that would provide legalization, but not a path to citizenship, for current unauthorized immigrants, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the NHCLC, explained. And, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has been a leading spokesperson for those opposed to the Senate’s immigration reform bill, told Rodriguez he could support such a plan.
Several members of Congress met with the NHCLC during the two-day summit. Rodriguez was on a panel hosted by The Christian Post and moderated by Dr. Richard Land, executive editor for CP and president of Southern Evangelical Seminary.
The NHCLC has been a strong supporter of immigration reform and has called for a path to citizenship as part of a broad reform package. Rodriguez, who is also a senior editorial advisor for CP, told the NHCLC members in attendance that they would have “a lot more conversation” in the next few weeks about whether or not they would support the proposed compromise.
Robert Gittelson, vice president of governmental affairs for the NHCLC, seemed supportive of the proposal. While he wants citizenship, he explained, he is also pragmatic and realistic.
“I would like to have a path to citizenship. I would love even more for everybody to be safe. For all of our families to be able to live in dignity, for all of our families to live above board and live a normal productive life and pursue the American dream. They can do that without a path to citizenship, as long as they have a significant legal status,” he said. Two of the main obstacles for passage of immigration reform has been that House leaders will not bring any legislation to the floor that does not have the support of a majority of Republicans, and will not join a conference committee with the Senate’s bill.
Gittelson believes, though, that a bill that provides a path to legal status, but not a path to citizenship, has the support of a majority of House Republicans.
“Let’s take what we can get now and fight about citizenship another day,” he advised. “Let’s get families into a state of safety.”
One factor that Rodriguez believes will cause Republicans to take notice of immigration reform is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s reelection. Christie received 50 percent of the Latino vote, he explained, and that was, in part, due to his support for comprehensive immigration reform, according to exit polls.
“The Chris Christie factor is ginormous,” Rodriguez argued, because it showed that Republicans can “make inroads” with Latino communities by supporting immigration reform.
“Immigration reform will determine whether a Republican” can win the White House in 2016, he concluded.
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by Paul Stanley
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—Leading Hispanic evangelical the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez has offered his support to an immigration bill put forth in Washington on Tuesday. Republican Sens. John Kyl (Ariz.) and Kay Bailey Hutchinson (Texas) have filed legislation to address immigration reform and appeal to an ever-increasing Latino population that has steered clear of GOP candidates in recent elections.
Named the Achieve Act, the legislation appears to be a watered-down version of the Dream Act that would have helped young immigrants find a quicker path to U.S. citizenship. Many Republicans opposed earlier forms of the Dream Act because it gave too many illegal immigrants a direct path to citizenship without first taking steps to secure the borders.
The new version establishes three new visas for undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. prior to the age of 14 and have been here for a minimum of five years. These individuals could apply for student visas if they are younger than 29 years of age and currently enrolled in a college degree program. And undocumented immigrants younger than 32 years of age who hold a degree from an American university or college can also qualify for a visa.
But the first major issue with the legislation is neither senators will be around next year to push passage of the bill because both chose not to seek re-election. Another obstacle that will eventually surface is the fact that Democrats may want to take credit for any immigration bill that reaches the president’s desk so Republicans cannot use the issue to their advantage in the 2014 elections.
Rodriguez, who has been an outspoken proponent of comprehensive immigration reform for many years, sees the political reality of the situation and believes both Democrats and Republicans must come together if any such legislation is expected to pass in the near future.
“In order for immigration reform to be passed, both parties need to set aside corresponding political agendas for the purpose of doing the right thing and fulfilling the moral obligation of delivering millions of undocumented individuals from the shadows that they currently find themselves entangled in,” Rodriguez told The Christian Post.
“It doesn’t matter – it shouldn’t matter – who gets the credit. In reality, it’s going to have to look similar to the 1996 Welfare to Work bill where both President Clinton and a Republican House led by Speaker [Newt] Gingrich each took credit for getting millions of the public on payroll and back to work. But 2013 is the perfect time to pass a bill. We all know that by this time next year all the House members and a third of the Senate will go into re-elect mode and start towing their respective party’s line.”
Rodriguez, as well as other leading conservatives, say that if a reform bill isn’t passed then Latino voters will hold it against the GOP for years to come. Post-election analysis of the presidential race showed that Republican Mitt Romney received about 30 percent of the Hispanic support – far short of what he needed from the country’s fastest growing minority population to win the White House. Exit polling taken on Election Day also showed that Latino voters do not trust the Republican Party to put forth or pass immigration laws that would benefit the 12 million or so immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.
In a Tuesday press conference, Hutchinson admitted that the strategy behind the legislation is to merely “get the ball rolling” and start the process of finding a solution for young people who were brought to the U.S. by their parents.
“We think the best thing that we can do to utilize their talents and the education they have received is to give them a legal status,” said Hutchison during a news conference in the Capitol.
The bill is similar to another one brought forward by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) earlier this year that was trumped by an Obama administration order that deferred deportation action on some young illegal immigrants.
Rodriguez thinks that Rubio and Sen.-elect Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will be key players in any proposal that passes Congress. “I believe Rubio has evolved in his stance on the issue and has pivoted to a more compassionate approach to comprehensive reform,” he said.
The California pastor also believes that conservative groups and elected leaders that have taken hard-line stances on the issue will need to rethink their opposition if they want to capture the White House or key Senate seats in the future.
“Any segment of the conservative cause that opposes immigration reform will do so at their own peril,” exclaimed Rodriguez. “Comprehensive reform is the prescription to revive the conservative movement in America.” http://newscastmedia.com/homeland-security.htm
by Napp Nazworth
Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas—The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill last week that seeks to end the practice of illegal immigrants getting child tax credit refunds. Attention was brought to the issue after an investigative report by a local television news station went viral on the Internet.
Illegal immigrants are fraudulently taking advantage of the federal income tax’s child tax credit to the tune of $4.2 billion per year, reported Bob Segall of WTHR, an NBC affiliate in Indianapolis, Ind., on April 26. Since even those who do not pay takes can receive the credit, illegal immigrants have found that they are able to receive $1,000 per child from the federal government by filing taxes.
In some cases, though, the fraud goes even further. Segall found cases in which undocumented immigrants were taking the tax credit for nieces and nephews for whom they are not legal guardians and do not live in the United States. Some received more than $10,000 from the federal government.
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) sponsored the measure that would no longer allow undocumented immigrants to take the credit. It was added to a bill passed Thursday that seeks to offset planned cuts to defense spending with cuts to other parts of the federal budget. Johnson’s measure would contribute $7.6 billion to the over $300 billion bill.
Johnson credited Segall’s reporting for bringing attention to the issue in his public remarks on the House floor.
“Right now those who are here illegally can get cash from Uncle Sam by providing an IRS-provided tax payer ID number to claim this refundable credit. Illegal immigrants have gone so far as to file tax returns claiming children who do not live in America, according to a recent report by NBC Indianapolis’ WTHR,” Johnson said.
The Internal Revenue Service sent a letter to WTHR explaining that it had no authority to deny the credit to undocumented workers because they are allowed to receive the credit under current law. Johnson’s measure would require a Social Security number in order to receive the credit.
Categories: News Tags: department of homeland security, ICE, immigration and customs enforcement, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Immigration law, immigration lawyers, INS, internal revenue service, irs, us citizenship, US green card, US temporary work visa, US work visa
by Napp Nazworth
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C—A coalition of groups from the religious left held a prayer vigil and “Jericho march” at the Supreme Court this week. The court was hearing arguments in a case on the constitutionality of an Arizona immigration law.
The 48-hour prayer vigil began Monday and ended Wednesday morning, the day of the court hearings, with a “Jericho march” around the Supreme Court building. Over 1,000 people were reportedly participating in the march, which was named after the Battle of Jericho from the book of Joshua in which God brought victory to the Israelites after they marched around Jericho and the city walls fell down.
It will be a “sad day in the life of America” if the Supreme Court upholds Arizona’s immigration law, Lisa Sharon Harper told The Christian Post in a Wednesday interview. In particular, Harper was concerned about “the most heinous pieces” of the law “that legalize racial profiling.”
Harper is the director of mobilizing for Sojourners, one of the groups that participated in the vigil.
The law in question, Arizona’s S.B. 1070, would, among other things, require law enforcement to verify the citizenship status of anyone detained or arrested if there is “reasonable suspicion” that they are in the country illegally, require non-citizens to carry documentation showing they are in the country legally, and make it a state crime to be in the country illegally.
The court is being asked to decide if Arizona has the authority to pass such laws, or if immigration laws are the sole authority of the federal government. http://www.newscastmedia.com/arizona.htm
Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas — As the Texas House passed HB 12, the Sanctuary Cities bill that allows cities and law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws, Barack Obama said he wanted to provide illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship – which he said would benefit the US economy.
“One way to strengthen the middle class in America is to reform the immigration system, so that there is no longer a massive underground economy that exploits a cheap source of labor while depressing wages for everybody else,” Obama said.
“That’s why immigration reform is an economic imperative.”
Enforcing immigration laws – and opposing the idea of giving “amnesty” to those who broke the law sneaking into the country – has become a rallying cry for concerned Americans who want a clampdown to keep drug crime from crossing the border.
Representative Joaquin Castro’s (San Antonio) statement on sanctuary cities:
Today, a choice was made when HB 12 was passed, legislation which will allow law enforcement to stop people and ask them about their immigration status, under the hospice of “sanctuary” cities.
“Debate ended prematurely last night rather than fully addressing one of the most significant pieces of legislation in Texas in the last 50 years,” said Representative Castro. He continued, “This bill is consistent with other legislation passed this session which targets and disenfranchises minorities.”
Legislation such as “sanctuary” cities is a black mark on our state. On top of that, Texans have been left out to dry by a budget that is simply inadequate to meet our state’s needs. Right now, schools and nursing homes are anticipating closure, teachers are being fired, and students across Texas are unsure if they will be able to afford college.
“The latest emergency item brought to the House floor is another attempt to distract Texans from the most pressing issue facing our state, the budget,” said Castro.
Obama offered no concrete policy initiatives or timelines for introducing broad legislation, underscoring the fact that he is unlikely to advance any major overhaul before the 2012 presidential election.
Categories: News Tags: immigrant workers, immigration bill, Immigration law, immigration lawyers, immigration reform, sanctuay cities, sancuary cities bill HB 12, Texas passes Sanctuary Cities bill, us citizenship, US citizenship test
Newscast Media — Legislation that would end automatic granting of American citizenship to children born in the U.S. by illegal immigrants has been introduced by four GOP lawmakers, who have argued that birthright citizenship encourages illegals to cross the border into America.
Reps. Steve King of Iowa, George Miller of California and Rob Woodall and Phil Gingrey, both of Georgia, said the current practice of extending U.S. citizenship to so-called “anchor babies” is a “misapplication” of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
“Passage of this bill will ensure that immigration law breakers are not rewarded, will close the door to future waves of extended family chain migration, and will help to bring an end to the global ‘birth tourism’ industry,” King said. Miller added that granting birthright citizenship to children of illegal immigrants “rewards those that have recklessly broken our nation’s immigration laws, and costs American taxpayers billions annually.”
The move by the U.S. representatives coincides with legislation being introduced in several states aimed at finding a way to challenge birthright citizenship as well as crack down on illegals through other measures. Automatic citizenship is enshrined in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which was read on the House floor on Thursday. The provision, ratified in 1868, was drafted with freed slaves in mind.
Several state lawmakers operating under the group State Legislators for Legal Immigration met in Washington this week to discuss a legal challenge that would force the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether the 14th Amendment of the Constitution guarantees citizenship to children born in the U.S. to illegal residents.
The lawmakers want states to adopt a bill that would bestow state citizenship on people who meet the state’s definition of a U.S. citizen and are state residents. They also want states to agree to a compact that defines who is eligible for U.S. citizenship. The lawmakers say Congress must approve the compact but it does not require the president’s signature. http://newscastmedia.com/citizenship.html
Newscast Media — Former president George W. Bush appeared on the Rush Limbaugh show to promote his book “Decision Points” and acknowledged that Limbaugh and conservatives played a major role in killing what Limbaugh dubbed the “Amnesty” bill. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Limbaugh attacked George Bush, John McCain and Ted Kennedy for being “illegals’ best friends.”
Below is part of the interview:
RUSH: What was the objective of that legislation? What were you trying to accomplish with your comprehensive immigration reform because many people thought it was amnesty and that he they opposed it.
PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I know, and that’s what happens a lot of times these
issues get labeled and people react poorly. I couldn’t have said it more plainly. I was against amnesty. I don’t know many people who were for amnesty when it comes time for comprehensive reform. … I was trying to basically recognize that our economy required immigrants to work. I mean, there’s a lot of jobs Americans won’t do and therefore there needed to be an orderly, legal way for people to come and work on a temporary basis and that if you’d paid your taxes and had been here for a while and were a good citizen you had a chance to become a citizen, but you had to get at the back of the line.
RUSH:The politics of it though, many people feared that the Democrats simply wanted to register all these people as new Democrat voters, they weren’t concerned about any compassion they weren’t concerned about labor markets or any of that, they just saw they have a new form of Democrat votes and registration, and when Republicans went along with it, people were pulling their hair out saying why do we want to help Democrats out with their political efforts?
PRESIDENT BUSH:I know, I know, a lot of people view things through the political lens, I thought it was good policy though, and not all Democrats were for it on Capitol Hill, I might add. Anyway it is still an issue that needs to be solved at some point in time.
In the interview when Rush asked about the Arizona law, Bush answered implying that if his immigration bill had been passed it would have solved the Arizona immigration issue.