Committed to Passing Bipartisan Immigration Reform

03/25/2014
nation-of-immigrants

President Obama understands the importance and urgency in fixing the broken immigration system and outlined his vision for a 21st century immigration policy:

  • Responsibility by the federal government to secure our borders:Today, our borders are more secure than at any time in the past several decades, and the Administration continues to refine and strengthen its strategy. Enforcement resources should be focused on preventing those who would do our nation harm from entering our country.
  • Accountability for businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers: Employers who deliberately hire and exploit undocumented workers must be held accountable. At the same time, we must give employers who want to play by the rules a reliable way to verify that their employees are here legally.
  • Strengthening our economic competiveness by creating a legal immigration system that reflects our values and diverse needs: Our immigration laws should continue to reunify families and encourage individuals we train in our world-class institutions to stay and develop new technologies and industries in the United States rather than abroad. The law should stop punishing innocent young people whose parents brought them here illegally and give those young men and women a chance to stay in this country if they serve in the military or pursue higher education. A smart 21st century system should also provide farmers a legal way to hire the workers they rely on year after year, and it should improve procedures for employers who seek to hire foreign workers for jobs if U.S. workers are not available.
  • Responsibility from people who are living in the United States illegally: Those people living here illegally must also be held accountable for their actions and get on the right side of the law by registering and undergoing national security and criminal background checks, paying taxes and a penalty, and learning English before they can get in line to become eligible for citizenship. Being a citizen of this country comes not only with rights but also with fundamental responsibilities. We can create a pathway for legal status that is fair and reflects our values.

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For the immediate time President Obama has issued two important policies for immigration:

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
President Obama’s new DREAM relief policy [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or DACA] would allow undocumented youth who qualify to request temporary relief from deportation, making them eligible to receive work permits and a social security number. For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/15/remarks-president-immigration

Family Unity Immigration Policy Change
President Obama’s  final rule in the Federal Register that reduces the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives (spouse, children and parents), who are in the process of obtaining visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States under certain circumstances. The process will be effective on March 4, 2013 and more information about the filing process will be made available in the coming weeks at http://www.uscis.gov/.
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January 25, 2013

Readout of the President’s Meeting with Congressional Hispanic Caucus Leadership

The President and Senior Administration Officials met this morning with leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss the need to make things fairer for and grow the middle class by fixing our broken immigration system so everyone plays by the same rules. The President thanked the Members for their long standing leadership on the issue, and reiterated that this is a top legislative priority.

The President was pleased to hear from CHC members and noted that they share the same vision, including that any legislation must include a path to earned citizenship. The President further noted that there is no excuse for stalling or delay. The President made it clear he will continue to lead on this issue, and that he looks forward to working with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other key Members of Congress in a bipartisan process to move this debate forward at the earliest possible opportunity.

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Readout of [Homeland Security] Secretary Johnson’s Meeting with Organizations Committed to Passing Bipartisan Immigration Reform

March 25, 2014 dhs.gov

WASHINGTON—Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson met with important stakeholders from across the country to discuss the need for commonsense immigration reform, and hear firsthand their comments and perspective on a wide range of immigration issues. The meeting was part of Secretary Johnson’s focus on the effective and sensible enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws, including the ongoing review to assess how the Department of Homeland Security can conduct enforcement more humanely within the confines of the law.

As part of that effort, Secretary Johnson has been taking a hard look at these tough issues, meeting with a range of stakeholders and employees, and assessing where we can further align our enforcement policies with our goal of sound law enforcement practice that prioritizes public safety.

During the meeting, Secretary Johnson underscored his focus on supporting the passage of commonsense immigration reform this year – which remains the only path to fixing our broken immigration system.

Participants in today’s meeting included:

Josh Bernstein, Director of Immigration Policy and Strategy, Service Employees International Union
Greg Chen, Director of Advocacy, American Immigration Lawyers Association
Ron Coleman, Government Affairs Manager, California Immigrant Policy Center
Joanne Lin, Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union
Brian Erickson, Policy Advocate, ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights
Jose Manuel Escobedo, Deputy Director for Policy, Border Network for Human Rights
Kamal Essaheb, Immigration Policy Attorney, National Immigration Law Center
Marshall Fitz, Director of Immigration Policy, Center for American Progress
Matthew Ginsburg, Associate General Counsel, AFL-CIO
Melissa Crow, Director of the Legal Action Center, American Immigration Council
Giev Kashkooli, Political/Legislative Director, United Farm Workers
Richard Morales, Detention Prevention Coordinator, PICO National Network
Royce Bernstein Murray, Director of Policy, National Immigrant Justice Center
Jumana Musa, Consultant, CAMBIO
Brittney Nystrom, Director for Advocacy, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
JJ Rosenbaum, Legal and Policy Director, New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice and National   Guestworker Alliance
Linda Sarsour, National Network for Arab American Communities
Paromita Shah, Associate Director, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
Silky Shah, Interim Executive Director/Communications Director, Detention Watch Network
Tania Unzueta Carrasco, Immigration Strategist, National Day Laborer Organizing Network

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March 26, 2014

Statement by the President on Immigration Reform

Last year, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate came together to pass a commonsense bill to fix our broken immigration system – a bill that would grow our economy, shrink our deficits, and reward businesses and workers that play by the rules. But so far, Republicans in the House have refused to allow meaningful immigration reform legislation to even come up for a vote.

That’s why, today, I applaud the efforts of Democrats in the House to give immigration reform the yes-or-no vote it deserves. Like the Senate bill, the House bill would strengthen our borders, modernize our legal immigration system, and keep more families together. It would make sure everyone plays by the same rules by providing a pathway to earned citizenship for those who are living in the shadows. And according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, it would grow our economy and reduce our deficits by $900 billion over the next 20 years.

Immigration reform is the right thing to do for our economy, our security, and our future. A vast majority of the American people agree. The only thing standing in the way is the unwillingness of Republicans in Congress to catch up with the rest of the country. And I want to thank the leaders in Congress who are doing their part to move us forward.

comparison_immigration_wh_2013immigration_wh


CA’s Gov Brown (D) Leads on Immigrants Rights

10/06/2013

Immigration_Intergration

GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS AB 60

10-3-2013 gov.ca.gov

LOS ANGELES – Joining immigrant rights, community, faith, law enforcement and local elected leaders in Los Angeles and Fresno, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed AB 60, extending the legal right to drive on the state’s roadways to millions more Californians.

“When a million people without their documents drive legally and with respect in the state of California, the rest of this country will have to stand up and take notice,” said Governor Brown. “No longer are undocumented people in the shadows. They are alive and well and respected in the state of California.”

AB 60 by Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) requires the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue a driver’s license to undocumented persons who can prove identity and California residency and meet all other licensing requirements, such as passing the written and behind-the-wheel driving exams. The law becomes operative no later than January 1, 2015.

Studies done by the DMV and AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that unlicensed drivers were more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than validly-licensed drivers. AB 60 will help make the roads safer by broadening the state’s effort to ensure that all California drivers are properly trained, tested, licensed and insured.

For more: http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=18246

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GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION

10-5-2013 gov.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – As advocates rally across the nation today to urge Congress to adopt comprehensive immigration reform, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed legislation to enhance school, workplace and civil protections for California’s hardworking immigrants.

“While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead,” said Governor Brown. “I’m not waiting.”

Immigration reform advocates are rallying today in cities across the United States to call on the U.S. House of Representatives to give legal status to undocumented U.S. residents.

While gridlock continues in Washington, California continues to move forward on immigration reform. On Thursday, Governor Brown signed AB 60, extending the legal right to drive on the state’s roadways to millions of Californians and in October 2011, Governor Brown signed AB 131, the California Dream Act.

The Governor signed the following bills today:

• AB 4 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) – Prohibits a law enforcement official from detaining an individual on the basis of a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold after that individual becomes eligible for release from custody, unless specified conditions are met.

 AB 35 by Assemblymember Roger Hernández (D-West Covina) – Provides that immigration consultants, attorneys, notaries public, and organizations accredited by the United States Board of Immigration Appeals are the only individuals authorized to charge a fee for providing services associated with filing an application under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s deferred action program.

• AB 524 by Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) – Provides that a threat to report the immigration status or suspected immigration status of an individual or the individual’s family may induce fear sufficient to constitute extortion.

 AB 1024 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) – Allows applicants, who are not lawfully present in the United States, to be admitted as an attorney at law.

• AB 1159 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) – Imposes various restrictions and obligations on persons who offer services related to comprehensive immigration reform.

• SB 141 by Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) – Requires that the California Community Colleges and the California State University, and requests that the University of California, exempt a United States citizen who resides in a foreign country, and is in their first year as a matriculated student, from nonresident tuition if the student demonstrates financial need, has a parent or guardian who was deported or voluntarily departed from the U. S., lived in California immediately before moving abroad, and attended a secondary school in California for at least three years.

• SB 150 by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) – Authorizes a community college district to exempt pupils attending community colleges as a special part-time student from paying nonresident tuition.

• SB 666 by Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) – Provides for a suspension or revocation of an employer’s business license for retaliation against employees and others on the basis of citizenship and immigration status, and establishes a civil penalty up to $10,000 per violation.

Full text of the bills: http://leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html

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Weekly Address: Time for Congress to Pass Commonsense Immigration Reform

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
June 22, 2013

Hi everybody. Right now, the United States Senate is debating a bipartisan, commonsense bill that would be an important step toward fixing our broken immigration system.

It’s a bill that would continue to strengthen security at our borders, and hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers, so they won’t have an unfair advantage over businesses that follow the law.

It’s a bill that would modernize the legal immigration system so that, as we train American workers for the jobs of tomorrow, we’re also attracting the highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who grow our economy for everyone.

It’s a bill that would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are in this country illegally – a pathway that includes passing a background check, learning English, paying taxes and a penalty, then going to the back of the line behind everyone trying to come here legally.

And, a few days ago, a report from the Congressional Budget Office definitively showed that this bipartisan, commonsense bill will help the middle class grow our economy and shrink our deficits, by making sure that every worker in America plays by the same set of rules and pays taxes like everyone else.

According to this independent report, reforming our immigration system would reduce our deficits by almost a trillion dollars over the next two decades. And it will boost our economy by more than 5 percent, in part because of businesses created, investments made, and technologies invented by immigrants.

This comes on the heels of another report from the independent office that monitors Social Security’s finances, which says that this immigration bill would actually strengthen the long-term health and solvency of Social Security for future generations.

Because with this bill, millions of additional people will start paying more in taxes for things like Social Security and education. That’ll make the economy fairer for middle-class families.

So that’s what comprehensive immigration reform looks like. Stronger enforcement. A smarter legal immigration system. A pathway to earned citizenship. A more vibrant, growing economy that’s fairer on the middle class. And a more stable fiscal future for our kids.

Now, the bill isn’t perfect. It’s a compromise. Nobody is going to get everything they want – not Democrats, not Republicans, not me. But it’s consistent with the principles that I and others have laid out for commonsense reform. That’s why Republicans and Democrats, CEOs and labor leaders, are saying that now is the time to pass this bill. If you agree with us, reach out to your Senators and Representatives. Tell them that the time for excuses is over; it’s time to fix our broken immigration system once and for all.

We can do this, because we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants; a place enriched by the contributions of people from all over the world, and stronger for it. That’s been the story of America from the start. Let’s keep it going. Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Learn more about President Obama’s plan for Immigration Reform

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – 1st Anniversary

08/13/2013

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - 1st Anniversary

One year ago, on August 15 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals directive, an initiative announced by President Obama in June of last year, to grant a 2-year reprieve from deportation and work authorization to young unauthorized immigrants. In just under a year more than 500,000 people have applied, and over 400,000 people have been approved—a remarkable feat of mobilization among unauthorized immigrant communities, and for government officials at USCIS. DACA has profoundly changed the lives of those who have received the status, who now have the opportunity to live without fear of deportation, and use their skills and education to work legally.

As DACA turns 1, The Center for American Progress will look at the results, successes, and challenges presented by the directive. Professor Tom K. Wong—himself formerly an undocumented immigrant—and a team of researchers at UCSD have analyzed data from over 450,000 DACA applications, received through Freedom of Information Act requests. This data provides a wealth of information through which to understand where DACA applicants come from and where they live in the U.S., as well as other information, such as the gender and age breakdown of the population. Most crucially, this data opens a window to assess just how well the DACA program has been functioning, and where it can be improved.

Please join the Center for American Progress for this important discussion on the first year of DACA.

For more: http://www.americanprogress.org/events/2013/08/08/71917/daca-turns-1/?evlc=rsvp

June 15, 2012

Remarks by the President on Immigration

Rose Garden

2:09 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. This morning, Secretary Napolitano announced new actions my administration will take to mend our nation’s immigration policy, to make it more fair, more efficient, and more just — specifically for certain young people sometimes called “Dreamers.”

These are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents — sometimes even as infants — and often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license, or a college scholarship.

Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine you’ve done everything right your entire life — studied hard, worked hard, maybe even graduated at the top of your class — only to suddenly face the threat of deportation to a country that you know nothing about, with a language that you may not even speak.

That’s what gave rise to the DREAM Act. It says that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here for five years, and you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, you can one day earn your citizenship. And I have said time and time and time again to Congress that, send me the DREAM Act, put it on my desk, and I will sign it right away.

Now, both parties wrote this legislation. And a year and a half ago, Democrats passed the DREAM Act in the House, but Republicans walked away from it. It got 55 votes in the Senate, but Republicans blocked it. The bill hasn’t really changed. The need hasn’t changed. It’s still the right thing to do. The only thing that has changed, apparently, was the politics.

As I said in my speech on the economy yesterday, it makes no sense to expel talented young people, who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans — they’ve been raised as Americans; understand themselves to be part of this country — to expel these young people who want to staff our labs, or start new businesses, or defend our country simply because of the actions of their parents — or because of the inaction of politicians.

In the absence of any immigration action from Congress to fix our broken immigration system, what we’ve tried to do is focus our immigration enforcement resources in the right places. So we prioritized border security, putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history — today, there are fewer illegal crossings than at any time in the past 40 years. We focused and used discretion about whom to prosecute, focusing on criminals who endanger our communities rather than students who are earning their education. And today, deportation of criminals is up 80 percent. We’ve improved on that discretion carefully and thoughtfully. Well, today, we’re improving it again.

Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people. Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.

Now, let’s be clear — this is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people. It is –

Q (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: — the right thing to do.

Q — foreigners over American workers.

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, sir. It’s not time for questions, sir.

Q No, you have to take questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Not while I’m speaking.

Precisely because this is temporary, Congress needs to act. There is still time for Congress to pass the DREAM Act this year, because these kids deserve to plan their lives in more than two-year increments. And we still need to pass comprehensive immigration reform that addresses our 21st century economic and security needs — reform that gives our farmers and ranchers certainty about the workers that they’ll have. Reform that gives our science and technology sectors certainty that the young people who come here to earn their PhDs won’t be forced to leave and start new businesses in other countries. Reform that continues to improve our border security, and lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

Just six years ago, the unlikely trio of John McCain, Ted Kennedy and President Bush came together to champion this kind of reform. And I was proud to join 23 Republicans in voting for it. So there’s no reason that we can’t come together and get this done.

And as long as I’m President, I will not give up on this issue, not only because it’s the right thing to do for our economy — and CEOs agree with me — not just because it’s the right thing to do for our security, but because it’s the right thing to do, period. And I believe that, eventually, enough Republicans in Congress will come around to that view as well.

And I believe that it’s the right thing to do because I’ve been with groups of young people who work so hard and speak with so much heart about what’s best in America, even though I knew some of them must have lived under the fear of deportation. I know some have come forward, at great risks to themselves and their futures, in hopes it would spur the rest of us to live up to our own most cherished values. And I’ve seen the stories of Americans in schools and churches and communities across the country who stood up for them and rallied behind them, and pushed us to give them a better path and freedom from fear –because we are a better nation than one that expels innocent young kids.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/15/remarks-president-immigration

En españolhttp://www.dhs.gov/describe-proceso-de-acción-diferida-para-los-llegados-en-la-infancia

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Department of Homeland Security announcement on Young People and Immigration

June 15, 2012

MEMORANDUM FOR:

David V. Aguilar
Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Alejandro Mayorkas
Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

John Morton
Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

FROM:
Janet Napolitano

SUBJECT:
Secretary of Homeland Security
Exercising Prosetorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children

By this memorandum, I am setting forth how, in the exercise of our prosecutorial discretion, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should enforce the Nation’s immigration laws against certain young people who were brought to this country as children and know only this country as home. As a general matter, these individuals lacked the intent to violate the law and our ongoing review of pending removal cases is already offering administrative closure to many of them. However, additional measures are necessary to ensure that our enforcement resources are not expended on these low priority cases but are instead appropriately focused on people who meet our enforcement priorities.

The following criteria should be satisfied before an individual is considered for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion pursuant to this memorandum:

• came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
• has continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and is present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
• is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces ofthe United States;
• has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety;
and
• is not above the age of thirty.

http://www.dhs.gov

Our Nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a strong and sensible manner. They are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. Indeed, many of these young people have already contributed to our country in significant ways. Prosecutorial discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.

For more: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/s1-exercising-prosecutorial-discretion-individuals-who-came-to-us-as-children.pdf

En español: http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/20120803-dhs-describe-proceso-accion-diferida-para-llegados-en-la-enfancia.shtm

US Citizenship & Immigration ServicesConsideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process

Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de Estados UnidosAcción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia

White House Hispanic 
WH.gov en Español

Economics of Immigration Reform

07/04/2013

Economics of Immigration Reform

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CBO Report: Immigration Reform Will Shrink the Deficit and Grow the Economy

June 18, 2013 8:30 PM EDT Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Alan Krueger, Gene Sperling

Today, the independent Congressional Budget Office released its score of the Senate’sbipartisan immigration bill, providing even more evidence that commonsense immigration reform is good for the budget and good for economic growth.

CBO estimates that fixing our broken immigration system will reduce federal deficits by about $200 billion over the next 10 years, and about $700 billion in the second decade. The CBO analysis made clear that the additional taxes paid by new and legalizing immigrants would not only offset any new spending, but would be substantial enough to reduce the deficit over the 20-year window. A significant portion of the new taxes would be paid by previously undocumented immigrants. While many of these workers already pay federal taxes, millions more will pay payroll taxes once they are able to obtain legal status and work above board.

CBO also found that commonsense immigration reform will increase real GDP by 3.3% in 2023, and 5.4% in 2033, a real increase of roughly $700 billion in 2023 and $1.4 trillion in 2033, due to higher labor force participation, increased capital investment, and increased productivity resulting from “technological advancements, such as new innovations and improvements in the production process.”

CBO’s score follows other recent independent analyses which underscore that passing commonsense immigration reform is also one of the best, and often overlooked, ways to strengthen the solvency of the Social Security trust fund.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/06/18/cbo-report-immigration-reform-will-shrink-deficit-and-grow-economy

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Commonsense Immigration Reform Will Strengthen Social Security

July 01, 2013  Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Alan Krueger, Cecilia Muñoz and Gene Sperling

On Friday, we got even more proof of the high costs of inaction on bipartisan commonsense immigration reform.

In a letter to Senator Rubio released on Friday, the independent Social Security Office of the Chief Actuary provided a long-term analysis of the bipartisan Senate-passed Immigration Reform bill, demonstrating that commonsense immigration reform will strengthen Social Security over the long-term. Reform will ensure full Social Security solvency through 2035 and reduce Social Security unfunded liabilities by nearly half a trillion dollars through 2087.

The Social Security long-term report follows the recent analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that showed commonsense immigration reform is good for the budget and good for economic growth. The new Social Security report confirms that the bipartisan Senate-passed Immigration Reform Bill is also good for Social Security. The Senate-passed bill will strengthen the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund in the short run and the long run by reforming the legal immigration system and by allowing undocumented workers to work above-board and thus ensuring that they pay payroll taxes.

The Actuary’s long-term report confirms that the net effect of the bipartisan Senate-passed Immigration Reform Bill is to strengthen Social Security solvency. The Actuary found that the Senate-passed immigration reform bill will keep the Social Security Trust Fund fully solvent through 2035. (Without reform, the Social Security Actuary and Trustees expect the Social Security Trust Fund to be depleted by 2033.) The Chief Actuary notes that, “Even after depletion of the trust fund reserves, however, the actuarial status of the program is improved because continuing income would be sufficient to pay a higher percentage of scheduled benefits than under current law.” In fact, the Senate-passed bill will reduce the 75-year Social Security shortfall by nearly half a trillion dollars, in present value terms.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/07/01/commonsense-immigration-reform-will-strengthen-social-security

June 11, 2013

Remarks by the President on Immigration Reform

East Room

10:38 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. Welcome to the White House. It is a pleasure to have so many distinguished Americans today from so many different walks of life. We’ve got Democrats and Republicans; we’ve got labor and business leaders up on stage; we have law enforcement and clergy — Americans who don’t see eye-to-eye on every issue, in fact, in some cases, don’t see eye-to-eye on just about any issue — (laughter) — but who are today standing united in support of the legislation that is front and center in Congress this week — a bipartisan bill to fix our broken immigration system.

And I have to say — please give Tolu another round of applause. (Applause.) It takes a lot of courage to do what Tolu did — to step out of the shadows, to share her story, and to hope that, despite the risks, she could make a difference. But Tolu I think is representative of so many DREAMers out there who have worked so hard — and I’ve had a chance to meet so many of them who’ve been willing to give a face to the undocumented and have inspired a movement across America. And with each step, they’ve reminded us — time and again — what this debate is all about. This is not an abstract debate. This is about incredible young people who understand themselves to be Americans, who have done everything right but have still been hampered in achieving their American Dream.

And they remind us that we’re a nation of immigrants. Throughout our history, the promise we found in those who come from every corner of the globe has always been one of our greatest strengths. It’s kept our workforce vibrant and dynamic. It’s kept our businesses on the cutting edge. It’s helped build the greatest economic engine that the world has ever known.

When I speak to other world leaders, one of the biggest advantages we have economically is our demographics. We’re constantly replenishing ourselves with talent from across the globe. No other country can match that history. And what was true years ago is still true today — who’s beeping over there? (Laughter.) You’re feeling kind of self-conscious, aren’t you? (Laughter.) It’s okay.

In recent years, one in four of America’s new small business owners were immigrants. One in four high-tech startups in America were founded by immigrants. Forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were started by a first- or second-generation American. Think about that — almost half of the Fortune 500 companies when they were started were started by first- or second-generation immigrants. So immigration isn’t just part of our national character. It is a driving force in our economy that creates jobs and prosperity for all of our citizens.

Now, here’s the thing. Over the past two decades, our immigration system hasn’t kept pace with changing times and hasn’t matched up with our most cherished values.

Right now, our immigration system invites the best and the brightest from all over the world to come and study at our top universities, and then once they finish — once they’ve gotten the training they need to build a new invention or create a new business — our system too often tells them to go back home so that other countries can reap the benefits, the new jobs, the new businesses, the new industries. That’s not smart. But that’s the broken system we have today.

Right now, our immigration system keeps families apart for years at a time. Even for folks who, technically, under the legal immigration system, should be eligible to become citizens but it is so long and so cumbersome, so byzantine, that families end up being separated for years. Because of a backlog in visas, people who come here legally — who are ready to give it their all to earn their place in America — end up waiting for years to join their loved ones here in the United States. It’s not right. But that’s the broken system we have today.

Right now, our immigration system has no credible way of dealing with the 11 million men and women who are in this country illegally. And, yes, they broke the rules; they didn’t wait their turn. They shouldn’t be let off easy. They shouldn’t be allowed to game the system. But at the same time, the vast majority of these individuals aren’t looking for any trouble. They’re just looking to provide for their families, contribute to their communities.

They’re our neighbors. We know their kids. Too often, they’re forced to do what they do in a shadow economy where shady employers can exploit them by paying less than the minimum wage, making them work without overtime, not giving them any benefits. That pushes down standards for all workers. It’s bad for everybody. Because all the businesses that do play by the rules, that hire people legally, that pay them fairly — they’re at a competitive disadvantage. American workers end up being at a competitive disadvantage. It’s not fair. But that’s the broken system that we have today.

Now, over the past four years, we’ve tried to patch up some of the worst cracks in the system. We made border security a top priority. Today, we have twice as many border patrol agents as we did in 2004. We have more boots on the ground along our southern border than at any time in our history. And in part, by using technology more effectively, illegal crossings are near their lowest level in decades.

We focused our enforcement efforts on criminals who are here illegally and who are endangering our communities. And today, deportation of criminals is at its highest level ever.

And having put border security in place, having refocused on those who could do our communities harm, we also then took up the cause of the DREAMers, young people like Tolu who were brought to this country as children. We said that if you’re able to meet some basic criteria, like pursuing a higher education, then we’ll consider offering you the chance to come out of the shadows so you can continue to work here, and study here, and contribute to our communities legally.

So my administration has done what we can on our own. And we’ve got members of my administration here who’ve done outstanding work over the past few years to try to close up some of the gaps that exist in the system. But the system is still broken. And to truly deal with this issue, Congress needs to act. And that moment is now.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/11/remarks-president-immigration-reform

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June 15, 2013

Statement by the Press Secretary on the First Anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process

A year ago today, the Administration took up the cause of “Dreamers” and took action to make our immigration system more representative of our values as a nation. By removing the threat of deportation for people brought to the country as children, we were able to continue to focus our enforcement efforts on criminals who endanger our communities rather than students who are pursuing an education.

These young men and women are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every way but on paper. And because the Administration acted, today thousands of ambitious, hardworking young people have been able to emerge from the shadows, no longer living in fear of deportation. But the steps we took were never meant to be a permanent solution. That’s why we need Congress to pass a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform bill as soon as possible so that these “Dreamers” can keep contributing to this country and help us live up to our history as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Business & Labor Immigration Talks Breakthrough

02/21/2013

Immigration_Reform.JPG

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Business and labor make breakthrough in immigration talks
2/21/13 12:23 PM ET By Kevin Bogardus – TheHill

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO on Thursday announced a breakthrough in talks on immigration reform, releasing joint principles for a temporary worker program.

The nation’s largest labor federation and Washington’s biggest business lobby have been holding talks for weeks on how to fix temporary worker programs. It’s a sticky issue that split unions during the last major push for immigration reform in 2007 and helped doom the effort in Congress.

In a lengthy joint statement, the two groups agreed to a set of three principles for temporary workers and advocated for the creation of an independent agency to determine when and where foreign workers are needed.

First, the AFL-CIO and the Chamber agreed that U.S. workers should get “the first crack” at available jobs. Second, they agreed that there are times where U.S. employers will need foreign workers. And third, the immigration process needs to be fixed with a transparent, data-based solution.

In the end, business and labor believe a new agency in the executive branch could provide that solution.

Read more: http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/284235-business-and-labor-announce-breakthrough-in-immigration-talks

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immigration system - sml

Immigration

America’s immigration system is broken. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living in the shadows. Neither is good for the economy or the country.

“Together we can build a fair, effective and common sense immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.”

The President’s plan builds a smart, effective immigration system that continues efforts to secure our borders and cracks down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. It’s a plan that requires anyone who’s undocumented to get right with the law by paying their taxes and a penalty, learning English, and undergoing background checks before they can be eligible to earn citizenship. It requires every business and every worker to play by the same set of rules.

There are four principles to the President’s common sense proposal:

CONTINUING TO STRENGTHEN BORDER SECURITY

STREAMLINING LEGAL IMMIGRATION

EARNED CITIZENSHIP

CRACKING DOWN ON EMPLOYERS HIRING UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS

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“So if we’re truly committed to strengthening our middle class and providing more ladders of opportunity to those who are willing to work hard to make it into the middle class, we’ve got to fix the system. We have to make sure that every business and every worker in America is playing by the same set of rules. We have to bring this shadow economy into the light so that everybody is held accountable — businesses for who they hire, and immigrants for getting on the right side of the law. That’s common sense. And that’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform.”

President Barack Obama, January 29, 2013

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6/15/12

Secretary Napolitano Announces Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

En español: http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/20120803-dhs-describe-proceso-accion-diferida-para-llegados-en-la-enfancia.shtm

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US Citizenship & Immigration Services - Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process

Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de Estados UnidosAcción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia

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1/2/13

Secretary Napolitano Announces Final Rule to Support Family Unity During Waiver Process

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO START WORKING WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA on Immgration Reform!!

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Comprehensive Immigration Reform

01/27/2013

Immigration March

President Obama understands the importance and urgency in fixing the broken immigration system and outlined his vision for a 21st century immigration policy:

  • Responsibility by the federal government to secure our borders:Today, our borders are more secure than at any time in the past several decades, and the Administration continues to refine and strengthen its strategy. Enforcement resources should be focused on preventing those who would do our nation harm from entering our country.
  • Accountability for businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers: Employers who deliberately hire and exploit undocumented workers must be held accountable. At the same time, we must give employers who want to play by the rules a reliable way to verify that their employees are here legally.
  • Strengthening our economic competiveness by creating a legal immigration system that reflects our values and diverse needs: Our immigration laws should continue to reunify families and encourage individuals we train in our world-class institutions to stay and develop new technologies and industries in the United States rather than abroad. The law should stop punishing innocent young people whose parents brought them here illegally and give those young men and women a chance to stay in this country if they serve in the military or pursue higher education. A smart 21st century system should also provide farmers a legal way to hire the workers they rely on year after year, and it should improve procedures for employers who seek to hire foreign workers for jobs if U.S. workers are not available.
  • Responsibility from people who are living in the United States illegally: Those people living here illegally must also be held accountable for their actions and get on the right side of the law by registering and undergoing national security and criminal background checks, paying taxes and a penalty, and learning English before they can get in line to become eligible for citizenship. Being a citizen of this country comes not only with rights but also with fundamental responsibilities. We can create a pathway for legal status that is fair and reflects our values.

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For the immediate time President Obama has issued two important policies for immigration:

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
President Obama’s new DREAM relief policy would allow undocumented youth who qualify to request temporary relief from deportation, making them eligible to receive work permits and a social security number. For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/15/remarks-president-immigration

Family Unity Immigration Policy Change
President Obama’s  final rule in the Federal Register that reduces the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives (spouse, children and parents), who are in the process of obtaining visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States under certain circumstances. The process will be effective on March 4, 2013 and more information about the filing process will be made available in the coming weeks at http://www.uscis.gov/.
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January 25, 2013

Readout of the President’s Meeting with Congressional Hispanic Caucus Leadership

The President and Senior Administration Officials met this morning with leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss the need to make things fairer for and grow the middle class by fixing our broken immigration system so everyone plays by the same rules. The President thanked the Members for their long standing leadership on the issue, and reiterated that this is a top legislative priority.

The President was pleased to hear from CHC members and noted that they share the same vision, including that any legislation must include a path to earned citizenship. The President further noted that there is no excuse for stalling or delay. The President made it clear he will continue to lead on this issue, and that he looks forward to working with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other key Members of Congress in a bipartisan process to move this debate forward at the earliest possible opportunity.

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January 29, 2013

FACT SHEET: Fixing our Broken Immigration System so Everyone Plays by the Rules

America’s immigration system is broken. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living in the shadows.  Neither is good for the economy or the country.

It is time to act to fix the broken immigration system in a way that requires responsibility from everyone —both from the workers here illegally and those who hire them—and guarantees that everyone is playing by the same rules.
President Obama’s commonsense immigration reform proposal has four parts. First, continue to strengthen our borders. Second, crack down on companies that hire undocumented workers. Third, hold undocumented immigrants accountable before they can earn their citizenship; this means requiring undocumented workers to pay their taxes and a penalty, move to the back of the line, learn English, and pass background checks. Fourth, streamline the legal immigration system for families, workers, and employers.
Together we can build a fair, effective and commonsense immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
The key principles the President believes should be included in commonsense immigration reform are:

1) Continuing to Strengthen Border Security.

  •  Strengthen border security and infrastructure
  • Combat transnational crime
  •  Improve partnerships with border communities and law enforcement
  • Crack down on criminal networks engaging in passport and visa fraud and human smuggling
  • Streamline removal of nonimmigrant national security and public safety threats
  • Improve our nation’s immigration courts

2) Cracking Down on Employers Hiring Undocumented Workers

  • Improve our nation’s immigration courts
  • Combat fraud and identity theft
  • Protections for all workers

3)  Pathway to Earned Citizenship

  • Create a provisional legal status
  • Create strict requirements to qualify for lawful permanent resident status
  • Earned citizenship for DREAMers
  • Create administrative and judicial review
  • Provide new resources to combat fraud

4) Streamlining Legal Immigration

  • Keep Families Together
  • Cut Red Tape for Employers
  • Enhance travel and tourism
  • “Staple” green cards to advanced STEM diplomas
  • Create a “startup visa” for job-creating entrepreneurs
  • Expand opportunities for investor visas and U.S. economic development
  •  Create a new visa category for employees of federal national security science and technology laboratories
  • Better addresses humanitarian concerns
  • Encourage integration

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/01/29/fact-sheet-fixing-our-broken-immigration-system-so-everyone-plays-rules

Jan 31, 1PM –  The White House  administration officials hosts the next in an ongoing series of conversations of President Obama’s vision for a 21st century immigration system  on Google+.

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO START WORKING WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA TO HELP TO ACHIEVE IMMIGRATION REFORM!!

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White House Hispanic 
WH.gov en Español


2012 Presidential Debate – Domestic Policy

10/02/2012

Moderator Jim Lehrer, (L), Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and President Barack Obama, (R), on stage during their first debate at the University of Denver, 10/3/12, in Denver. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

October 3, 2012

9:00 – 10:30 PM ET

Presidential Debate at University of Denver - Domestic Policy

Denver, Colorado

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10/3/12 Presidential Debate Viewed By 67.2 Million 

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President Obama on the Issues

CIVIL RIGHTS
DEFENSE
DISABILITIES 
ECONOMY
EDUCATION
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
ETHICS
FAMILY
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
FOREIGN POLICY
HEALTH CARE
HOMELAND SECURITY
IMMIGRATION
POVERTY 
RURAL
SENIORS & SOCIAL SECURITY
TAXES
TECHNOLOGY
URBAN POLICY
VETERANS
WOMEN
ADDITIONAL ISSUES 

RE-ELECT PRESIDENT OBAMA  2012


US Supreme Court Cases

09/30/2012

US Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate (but largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state court cases involving issues of federal law, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. The Court, which meets in the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., consists of a chief justice and eight associate justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate.

A term of the Supreme Court commences on the first Monday of each October, and continues until June or early July of the following year. Each term consists of alternating periods of approximately two weeks known as “sittings” and “recesses.” Justices hear cases and deliver rulings during sittings; they discuss cases and write opinions during recesses.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Supreme_Court

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Federal Judiciary Oaths

In the United States, federal judges are required to take two oaths. The first oath is this:

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as (office) under the Constitution and laws of the United States. [So help me God.]

The second is the same oath that members of Congress take:

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]

Federal statute specifically says that the latter oath “does not affect other oaths required by law.”

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The Supreme Court: Justices

The Supreme Court is made up of nine Justices. One of these is the Chief Justice. They are appointed by the President and must be approved by the Senate. Once a person has been approved by the Senate and sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice, s/he remains in the job for life. The only way a Justice may leave the job is to resign, retire, die, or be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate. No Justice has ever been removed by impeachment. There are no official qualifications in order to become a Justice, although all have been trained in the law and most pursued legal and political careers before serving on the Court. Several justices served as members of Congress, governors, or members of the Cabinet. One president, William Howard Taft, was later appointed chief justice.

 

Justices of the Supreme Court:

Hon. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. (age: 57, apptd by GW Bush)
Hon. Antonin Scalia (age: 76, apptd by R Regan)
Hon. Anthony M. Kennedy (age: 76, apptd by R Regan)
Hon. Clarence Thomas (age: 64, apptd by GW Bush)
Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (age: 79, apptd by B Clinton)
Hon. Stephen G. Breyer (age: 74, apptd by B Clinton)
Hon. Samuel A. Alito, Jr. (age: 63, apptd by GW Bush)
Hon. Sonia Sotomayor  (age: 58, apptd by B Obama)
Hon. Elena Kagan (age: 52, apptd by B Obama)

October 1, 2012
10-1491 KIOBEL V. ROYAL DUTCH PETROLEUM CO.
11-626  LOZMAN V. CITY OF RIVIERA BEACH

October 2, 2012
11-184 KLOECKNER V. SOLIS
11-192 UNITED STATES V. BORMES

October 3, 2012
11-465 JOHNSON V. WILLIAMS
11-597 ARKANSAS GAME & FISH COMMISSION V. UNITED STATES

October 9, 2012
11-218 TIBBALS V. CARTER
10-930 RYAN V. GONZALES

October 10, 2012
11-702 MONCRIEFFE V. HOLDER
11-345 FISHER V. UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

October 29, 2012
11-1025 CLAPPER V. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA
11-697 KIRTSAENG V. JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC.

October 30, 2012
11-820 CHAIDEZ V. UNITED STATES
11-770 BAILEY V. UNITED STATES

October 31, 2012
11-564 FLORIDA V. JARDINES
11-817 FLORIDA V. HARRIS

November 5, 2012
11-864 COMCAST V. BEHREND
11-1085 AMGEN INC. V. CONNECTICUT RETIREMENT PLANS

November 6, 2012
11-8976 SMITH V. UNITED STATES
11-1327 EVANS V. MICHIGAN

November 7, 2012
11-982 ALREADY, LLC V. NIKE, INC.
11-1175 MARX V. GENERAL REVENUE CORP.

For More US Supreme Court Oral Arguments: http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/oral_arguments.aspx

President Obama put two new Supreme Court justices on the bench — Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who bring rich and diverse experience to the Court

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Conservative Scholars Bullish That A Romney Supreme Court Could Reverse Longstanding Liberal Jurisprudence

OCTOBER 26, 2012, 6:51 AM SAHIL KAPUR – tpm
A potential Mitt Romney presidency carries huge implications for the Supreme Court that have conservatives excited and progressives fearful about the future.

Liberal-leaning Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 79, and Steven Breyer, 74, are likely candidates for retirement during a Romney administration, the GOP nominee has vowed to appoint staunch conservatives, and the influential conservative legal community will make sure he follows through.

Replacing even one of the liberal justices with a conservative, legal scholars and advocates across the ideological spectrum agree, would position conservatives to scale back the social safety net and abortion rights in the near term. Over time, if a robust five-vote conservative bloc prevails on the court for years, the right would have the potential opportunity to reverse nearly a century of progressive jurisprudence.

For all those reasons, conservative legal activists anticipate that a Romney win would be the culmination of their decades-long project to remake the country’s legal architecture.

For more: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/10/mitt-romney-supreme-court.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

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If you want a US Supreme court that consists of  judges that reflect the rich diversity of America then ELECT DEMOCRAT PRESIDENTS!!!



2012 Presidential Candidates on the Issues

09/23/2012


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Mitt Romney

Birth Control – Opposes abortion rights, though he previously supported them; states state law should guide abortion rights, and Roe vs Wade should be reversed by a future Supreme Court ruling; said he would end federal aid to Planned Parenthood.

China- He said he would formally declare China a currency manipulator and would get tougher with China on human rights, religious freedom and intellectual property rights; wants more military capabilities in the Pacific to counter Beijing’s growing influence in East Asia. His company, Bain Capital shipped American jobs overseas to counties like China.

Debt – Promises to cut $500 billion per year from the federal budget by 2016 and to balance it by 2020, but vital specifics are lacking; at same time would increase military spending , reverse $716 billion in Medicare cuts and cut taxes; favors constitutional balanced budget amendment.

Economy – Lower taxes, less regulation, balanced budget, more trade deals to spur growth replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts; proposes repeal of the law toughening financial – industry regulations after the meltdown that sector.

Education – Supported federal accountability standards of “No Child Left Behind Law; has said student testing, charter-school incentives and teacher evaluation standards of Obama’s “Race to the Top” competition “makes sense” though the federal government should have less control of education.

Energy – Pledges US will become independent to energy sources outside of North America by 2020; supports opening Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves, Western Lands, the Artic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore Alaska to drilling; wants to reduce obstacles to energy development by weakening the EPA’s rules.

Environment – Says green power has yet to become viable and the causes of climate change are unknown; opposes “ cap and trade” policy that limits emissions; proposes to remove carbon dioxide from lists of pollutants regulated by the  Clean Air Act.

Gay Rights - Opposes legal recognition of same-sex marriage, says it should be banned with a constitutional amendment; opposes civil unions but says states should decide which rights and benefits should be allowed under those unions; would not seek to restore the ban on openly gay military members.

Guns- Opposes stricter gun control law; suggested he favors tougher enforcement of existing gun laws; as MA governor, vowed in 2002 to protect the state’s “tough guns laws” and in 2004 signed a MA ban on assault weapons.

Health Care – Promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act that was modeled after his MA universal health care ; saying that states should drive policy on the uninsured; would expand individual tax-advantaged medical saving accounts and let saving be used for premiums and medical costs. Said that he would make Medicare a voucher system.

Immigration – Favors US – Mexico border fence; opposes education benefits to illegal immigrants; opposes offering legal status to illegal immigrants who attend college, but would do so for those who serve in the military; would establish an immigration – status verification system for employers.

Mideast- Appears to present a clearer US military threat to Iran; has spoken in favor of coveret action by the US in Syria but not military invervention; said “”Palestinians do not want peace and are committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel”

Social Security – Says he would protect the status quo for people 55 and older but , for the next generation of retirees would raise the retirement age for full benefits by one or two years and reduce inflation increase in benefits fot wealthier recipients.

Taxes – Wants to keep Bush – era tax cuts for all and drop all tax rates by 20 percent ; would curtail deductions, credits, exemptions for the wealthiest, end for individual, end capital gains tax for those Alternative Minimum Tax making below $200,000 , cut corporate tax to 25 percent.

Terrorism – Says foreign terrorism suspects should have no constitutional rights; in 2007 refused to rule out use of waterboarding to interrogate terrorist suspects; his campaign has said he doe not consider waterboarding to be torture. Said that Russia is the current biggest threat to the US.

War – Endorse 2014 end to US combat in Afghanistan, subject to conditions at the time; would increase strength of armed forces, including number of troops and warships, addition almost $100 billion to the defense budget in 2016.

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.President Barack Obama

Birth Control – Pro-Choice; believes in women’s right to choose.

China – Opposes citing China as a currency manipulator, which could lead to broad trade sanctions, instead pressing the matter through diplomacy and aggressively burnt unfair-trade cases to the WTO.

Debt – Promises to cut deficits by $4 trillion over 10 years, a goal that will require Congress to raise the capital gains tax, boost a taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year, impose a minimum 30 percent tax on incomes above $1million.

Economy – Term marked by high unemployment, a deep recession that began in the previous administration and gradual recovery; responded to recession with a roughly $800 billion stimulus plan, expanded auto bailout begun under Bush; inherited and carried forward Wall Street bailout.

Education – Has approved waivers freeing states from the most onerous requirements of the Bush – era ‘No Child Left Behind‘ law; “ Race to the Top’ competition has rewarded winning states with billions of dollars for pursing education policies Obama supports.

Energy – Ordered temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling after the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf Mexico but has pushed for more oil and gas drilling overall; achieved historic increases in fuel economy standards expect to save money at the pump while raising the code of new vehicles.

Environment – Achieved regulations on – heat-tapping gases blamed for global warming and on mercury pollution from power plants; spent heavily on green energy and has embraced nuclear power as a clean source; failed to persuade a Democratic congress tin 2009 to pass limits he promised on carbon emissions.

Gay Rights- Supports legal recognition of same- sex marriage; achieved repeal of the military ban on openly gay members; has not achieved repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

Guns – Has not pushed for stricter gun laws as president; signed laws letting people carry concealed weapons in national parks and in checked bags on Amtrak trains; voices support for renewed ban on assault-type weapons; previously backed stronger gun controls.

Health Care – Achieved landmark overhaul with the Affordable Care Act
including a Medicaid expansion and a mandate for almost everyone to obtain insurance; under the law, insurers may not deny coverage to people with pre-existing illness, tax credits will subsidize premiums, people can seek insurance in new marks and young adults can stay on their parent’s health care plan until age 26.

Immigration – Issued directive that immigrants brought illegally to the US as children be exempted from deportation and granted work permits if they apply; has failed to deliver on promised immigration overhaul but says he is still committed to it.

Mideast – Opposes near-term military strike on Iran except as last resort to stop it from getting nuclear weapons,; seeks international pressure against Syrian government rather then military aid for oppositions.

Social Security – Has not proposed a comprehensive plan to address Social Security’s long-term financial problems; proposed a new way of measuring inflation that would reduce annual increase in Social Security’s benefits, which would reduce the long-term shortfall be a bout 25 percent.

Taxes – Would raise taxes on the wealthy and ensure they pay at least 30 percent of their income; would extend Bush-era tax cuts for those making under ›200,000 ($250,000 for couples), let top two tax rates go back up on 396 percent and 36 percent, raise rates on capital gains and dividends for the wealthy.

Terrorism – Approved the raid that killed Osama bin Laden ; set policy that the US would no longer use harsh interrogation techniques; expanded use of drone strikes against terrorist targets abroad.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-romney-where-stand-issues-211840370.html

VOTE SMART. RE-ELECT PRESIDENT OBAMA 2012


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

08/12/2012

Immigration

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June 15, 2012

Remarks by the President on Immigration

Rose Garden

2:09 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. This morning, Secretary Napolitano announced new actions my administration will take to mend our nation’s immigration policy, to make it more fair, more efficient, and more just — specifically for certain young people sometimes called “Dreamers.”

These are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents — sometimes even as infants — and often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license, or a college scholarship.

Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine you’ve done everything right your entire life — studied hard, worked hard, maybe even graduated at the top of your class — only to suddenly face the threat of deportation to a country that you know nothing about, with a language that you may not even speak.

That’s what gave rise to the DREAM Act. It says that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here for five years, and you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, you can one day earn your citizenship. And I have said time and time and time again to Congress that, send me the DREAM Act, put it on my desk, and I will sign it right away.

Now, both parties wrote this legislation. And a year and a half ago, Democrats passed the DREAM Act in the House, but Republicans walked away from it. It got 55 votes in the Senate, but Republicans blocked it. The bill hasn’t really changed. The need hasn’t changed. It’s still the right thing to do. The only thing that has changed, apparently, was the politics.

As I said in my speech on the economy yesterday, it makes no sense to expel talented young people, who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans — they’ve been raised as Americans; understand themselves to be part of this country — to expel these young people who want to staff our labs, or start new businesses, or defend our country simply because of the actions of their parents — or because of the inaction of politicians.

In the absence of any immigration action from Congress to fix our broken immigration system, what we’ve tried to do is focus our immigration enforcement resources in the right places. So we prioritized border security, putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history — today, there are fewer illegal crossings than at any time in the past 40 years. We focused and used discretion about whom to prosecute, focusing on criminals who endanger our communities rather than students who are earning their education. And today, deportation of criminals is up 80 percent. We’ve improved on that discretion carefully and thoughtfully. Well, today, we’re improving it again.

Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people. Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.

Now, let’s be clear — this is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people. It is –

Q (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: — the right thing to do.

Q — foreigners over American workers.

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, sir. It’s not time for questions, sir.

Q No, you have to take questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Not while I’m speaking.

Precisely because this is temporary, Congress needs to act. There is still time for Congress to pass the DREAM Act this year, because these kids deserve to plan their lives in more than two-year increments. And we still need to pass comprehensive immigration reform that addresses our 21st century economic and security needs — reform that gives our farmers and ranchers certainty about the workers that they’ll have. Reform that gives our science and technology sectors certainty that the young people who come here to earn their PhDs won’t be forced to leave and start new businesses in other countries. Reform that continues to improve our border security, and lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

Just six years ago, the unlikely trio of John McCain, Ted Kennedy and President Bush came together to champion this kind of reform. And I was proud to join 23 Republicans in voting for it. So there’s no reason that we can’t come together and get this done.

And as long as I’m President, I will not give up on this issue, not only because it’s the right thing to do for our economy — and CEOs agree with me — not just because it’s the right thing to do for our security, but because it’s the right thing to do, period. And I believe that, eventually, enough Republicans in Congress will come around to that view as well.

And I believe that it’s the right thing to do because I’ve been with groups of young people who work so hard and speak with so much heart about what’s best in America, even though I knew some of them must have lived under the fear of deportation. I know some have come forward, at great risks to themselves and their futures, in hopes it would spur the rest of us to live up to our own most cherished values. And I’ve seen the stories of Americans in schools and churches and communities across the country who stood up for them and rallied behind them, and pushed us to give them a better path and freedom from fear –because we are a better nation than one that expels innocent young kids.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/15/remarks-president-immigration

En españolhttp://www.dhs.gov/describe-proceso-de-acción-diferida-para-los-llegados-en-la-infancia

~~~~

Department of Homeland Security announcement on Young People and Immigration

June 15, 2012

MEMORANDUM FOR:

David V. Aguilar
Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Alejandro Mayorkas
Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

John Morton
Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

FROM:
Janet Napolitano

SUBJECT:
Secretary of Homeland Security
Exercising Prosetorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children

By this memorandum, I am setting forth how, in the exercise of our prosecutorial discretion, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should enforce the Nation’s immigration laws against certain young people who were brought to this country as children and know only this country as home. As a general matter, these individuals lacked the intent to violate the law and our ongoing review of pending removal cases is already offering administrative closure to many of them. However, additional measures are necessary to ensure that our enforcement resources are not expended on these low priority cases but are instead appropriately focused on people who meet our enforcement priorities.

The following criteria should be satisfied before an individual is considered for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion pursuant to this memorandum:

• came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
• has continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and is present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
• is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces ofthe United States;
• has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety;
and
• is not above the age of thirty.

http://www.dhs.gov

Our Nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a strong and sensible manner. They are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. Indeed, many of these young people have already contributed to our country in significant ways. Prosecutorial discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.

For more: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/s1-exercising-prosecutorial-discretion-individuals-who-came-to-us-as-children.pdf

En español: http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/20120803-dhs-describe-proceso-accion-diferida-para-llegados-en-la-enfancia.shtm

US Citizenship & Immigration ServicesConsideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process

Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de Estados UnidosAcción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia

¡Un voto para Obama es un Voto Intelegente!

¡Estamos Unidos Para Obama!

White House Hispanic 
WH.gov en Español

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