Showing posts with label Immigration Reform. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Immigration Reform. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Fresh Face Of Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio officially announced his candidacy on Monday and instead of being overshadowed by Hillary's announcement, it ended up being a complement and contrast to her video. I have to say I was pretty impressed with his entire speech. He's very smart to present himself as the "Barack Obama" of the Right. His lines about "yesterday" could resonate with young people. The setting wasn't as flashy as Paul's or Cruz's either.

Moreover, I fully support his effort to overhaul immigration. The simple fact that has put out an actual policy as opposed to making his entire ideology about personal attacks illustrates that he is serious about governing (as opposed to Ted Cruz). Of course, the immigration will be his Achilles Heel with the base and the cranky, old white men so I'm not sure I see a path to the nomination. I just don't see the GOP base, in its current form, nominating a non white.

Check out his announcement speech below...

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Compassionate Conservatism

The current situation at our borders that involves unaccompanied children crossing our border has its roots in two US laws passed under George W. Bush. The first is the Homeland Security Act of 2002 which transferred the power to care for these individuals from INS to ORR (the Office of  in the Department of Health and Human Services). So, it became an issue of public health as opposed to immigration.

The second law was the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 which was passed to combat human trafficking. The New York Times has a great piece on this legislation that honestly makes conservative criticism and calls to boot children out look, at best, silly and worst, inhumane. I would imagine that very few conservatives realized that these laws were passed under Republican administrations and were passed with good reason.

Many of these children are in great distress and if we are to be the beacon of liberty and freedom in the world, we must help them. This was indeed the compassionate conservatism of George W Bush seen also in his direct aid to Africa which honestly shifted disease and lifespan on that continent to considerably high degree.

Perhaps it is this compassion that has the conservatives of today apoplectic. They shriek about how "it's the law" and that illegals should deported immediately but the law as it stands today says something much different than their howls and imperial declarations. Perhaps the next time they open their mouths and accuse someone of only following the law when it suits them, they should stop and go look in the mirror.

More importantly, they should recognize that the problem of immigration is the deepest shade of gray of pretty much all of the issues we face today. Their simplistic and xenophobic solution needs to be ejected from the capsule (along with the adolescent insecurity of wanting the other side to always lose) and replaced with reality based initiatives that actually solve the problem. Of course, that's being kind in even saying that they have a solution because it's all still just empty criticism.

I wonder if we will ever see a return to compassionate conservatism.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Give Us Your Tired, Poor, and Hungry (unless they are brown women and children in which case...FUCK OFF!)

Happy Birthday, America. Sorry you still have to deal with people like this...

When the three busloads of immigrant mothers and children rolled into town for processing at a Border Patrol station this week, they were met by protesters carrying American flags and signs proclaiming “return to sender” as they screamed “go home” and chanted “U.S.A.” Fearing for the safety of the migrants and federal officers, immigration officials decided to reroute the buses to San Diego, an hour south.

After a Border Patrol official explained that more buses would probably arrive in Murrieta in the coming weeks as part of an attempt to relieve processing centers near the Texas border, one man took to the microphone and demanded to know: “Why do we have to put them on a bus to Murrieta? Why can’t we just transport them on a bus to Tijuana?” 

The crowd responded with thunderous applause.

I'm feeling pretty ashamed of some of my fellow Americans today. These are children who fleeing violence in Honduras and other Central American nations and this is what they get? Anger and hate?  What would Jesus Christ think of this? Christian nation my ass.

The one thing that gives me hope, though, is Steve Schmidt's prediction contained in the video below. It starts at the 4 minute mark.

Take note, Republicans. Keep up the hate and intolerance and you will end up like the California Republican party.

A regional party with zero fucking power.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Don't Even Bother With 2016

Check out this remark from US Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue.

He's right. The GOP shouldn't even bother putting up a candidate in 2016 if they don't pass immigration reform. So why aren't they doing it now? Wouldn't it help cement their chances in 2014? Of course the reason is that old, angry white people in the GOP primaries don't like wetbacks so no reform until after 2014. This speaks to a larger issue.

Right now, our elderly population is enormous given the glut of baby boomers. Most of these folks are Reagan seniors and tend to vote Republican. They are mostly white and tend to be reliable voters. They look at how the United States is changing and becoming less white as those that are younger than them grow in numbers. So, it's a whole bunch of old whites versus a growing number of non whites. No wonder they are so afraid.

This is a big reason why we have all the problems we have with no solutions. It's not necessarily a left-right thing. It's a baby boomer thing. All of their problems with race, economics, politics, science and society negatively color the day and prohibit real solutions. To be quite frank, as their numbers dwindle over the next 20 years, many of these issues won't be issues anymore and I think we are going to be cut loose from their bullshit shackles and be able to truly progress as a nation.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Jeb Bush Pwns Anti-Immigration Mouth Foamers

Well, there went every anti immigration reform argument down in flames. Very impressive, Mr. Bush...four words I thought I would never say. This will be a real test to see how the Republican base responds which is exactly why he did it:)

Thursday, January 02, 2014

What Will 2014 Bring?

It's always fun at the beginning of a new year to predict what may happen. I've enjoyed reading all the partisan predictions for 2014 over the last few days that have ranged from the likely to the absurd so I figured I should throw out a few of my own.

Barring some outlying incident, the economy will continue to improve and unemployment will drop to below 6 percent. GDP will be steady at 3-4 percent for each of the four quarters. This will be the number one factor in the 2014 elections. For those of you inside the right wing bubble, our country is facing imminent economic collapse because of the liberals so nothing really new here.

The Affordable Care Act will be a 2014 campaign issue but not in the way the GOP would like it to be. The hundreds of thousands of Americans who will be benefiting from this law will dwarf those who are complaining about it and turn out to vote. The nervous and hyperventilating Democrats will suddenly become calm and happily stamp the ACA to their foreheads:)

After primary season is over in the Spring, GOP House members will pass comprehensive immigration reform. The new law will largely be the same one that was authored by Marco Rubio, Republican Senator from Florida. Political reality will become quite stark for Republicans this year in terms of the Latino vote and they will have no choice.

Failing to extend unemployment insurance for the long term unemployed will erase the political capital gained from the poor rollout of the Affordable Care Act. The Right's failure to address the issue of inequality with anything other than failed economic ideas and bloviating platitudes will take larger chunks out of the electorate for them.

There will be another school shooting and the Gun Cult will scream about Hitler coming to take their guns away, stomp down the hallway to their rooms, and act like belligerent adolescents.

The settled science of climate change will continue to be on display throughout the year. The Right will scream about Stalin coming to take their freedoms away, stomp down the hallway to their rooms, and act like belligerent adolescents.

President Obama's approval ratings will come back up again (they are already) and his 89th political death will quickly be forgotten.

For the 2014 election, the House will largely remain unchanged with either party picking up or losing a few seats. In the Senate, we can say goodbye to Mitch McConnell, Mary Landrieu, the Democratic seats in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. That's a net loss of three seats which would put the Dems at 50 + Bernie Sanders and Angus King who caucus with them. Of course, that's how it looks now without the possible surprise retirement of Susan Collins or the GOP deciding to run far right candidates in the states they should easily pick up. Throw in some more Todd Akins and Richard Murdocks into the mix and nothing in the Senate really changes with the Democrats still holding the majority.

The most interesting races of the 2014 will be the governor's races. Governors Brewer, Heineman and Perry are all retiring. Rick Scott, Tom Corbett, Rick Snyder, and Scott Walker are going to have tough reelection fights. I see the Democrats taking most of these seats and holding on to the very blue states where they are running for reelection. The only one I really see holding on is Scott Walker in Wisconsin. I could be wrong because the state where I grew up really hasn't improved since he took office but I just don't see Kathy Burke beating him. He has moderated his language and criticized the crazies in his own party just enough to win the middle and set himself up for a presidential run.

Well, those are my predictions. What are yours?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Last week, President Obama announced that the children of illegal immigrants would no longer be deported and would be allowed to have work permits to stay in this country. It may not be the Dream Act but it is an important first step in recognizing that the complexities of illegal immigration have to be managed in a nuanced way.

These children had no control over whether or not they came into this country legally and they shouldn't be punished for it. Now that they are here and especially if they want to work and make a life here, they need to be embraced. No doubt, the president is doing the right thing.

Even Republican darling Marco Rubio thinks so.

Today’s announcement will be welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer. There is broad support for the idea that we should figure out a way to help kids who are undocumented through no fault of their own, but there is also broad consensus that it should be done in a way that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future. This is a difficult balance to strike, one that this new policy, imposed by executive order, will make harder to achieve in the long run.

Of course, he didn't want to be ex-communicated from the Cult so he threw in mouth foaming about the Constitution and Barack X just to keep them happy.

Still, Rubio himself has put forth a very interesting first step himself regarding immigration.

The bill would offer 50,000 new visas so that US-educated foreign students achieving a master’s degree or PhD in so-called STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, or mathematics – can receive green cards. It likewise offers 75,000 visas for entrepreneurs who have legally immigrated to the US to stay in the US for up to three years. Both options also include a path for the visa recipients to become permanent residents or American citizens.

This is the answer that was offered a few years ago by Jim Manzi in regards to investment in human capital vis a vis immigration. It's a fantastic plan that needs to be acted upon immediately. Why?

The nation is getting grayer. The labor force is expanding at a meager 1 percent per year while the median age continues to rise, meaning that in the absence of more immigration the US will have to wring more and more productivity out of a steady number of people in order to grow its economic output. That's a tall order, economists say.

Right. And what sort of effect will they have on our economy?

Research shows that immigrants provide important fuel to America's economic engine. The line of thinking goes like this. Between 1980 and 2005, startups (businesses less than five years old) created an average of 3 million jobs per year and accounted for nearly all net job creation during that time. Immigrants, research suggests, are disproportionately likely to be in the entrepreneurial mix.

Of the current Fortune 500, more than 40 percent were founded by a first- or second-generation American. While immigrants are 12 percent of the US population, they account for a quarter of the nation's Nobel Prizes and patent applications, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy survey. Nearly half of the top 50 venture capital-backed companies in the US last year had at least one immigrant among their founders. 

And the outcome? A study by Partnership for a New American Economy and the American Enterprise Institute found that every immigrant with a graduate degree from a US university working in a STEM field creates 2.62 subsequent American jobs.

We need to embrace these people and encourage them to become the future innovators of our country. That's why the president's unilateral action  was necessary. It's yet another illustrative example of how he wants to actually solve the problems of our nation in a competent and effective way.

Well done, Mr. President!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Look Out! They....aren't coming...

Talk to any conservative these days about illegal immigration and they' ll tell you that our country is being overrun and our president is doing a terrible job of protecting our borders and stopping it.

As with many things they foam at the mouth about, this simply is not true. 

Roughly 6.1 million unauthorized Mexican immigrants were living in the U.S. last year, down from a peak of nearly 7 million in 2007, according to the Pew Hispanic Center study released Monday. It was the biggest sustained drop in modern history, believed to be surpassed in scale only by losses in the Mexican-born U.S. population during the Great Depression.

About 1.4 million Mexicans left the U.S. between 2005 and 2010, double the number who did so a decade earlier. In the meantime, the number of Mexicans who entered the U.S. sharply fell to about 1.4 million, putting net migration from Mexico at a standstill. More recent data suggest that most of the movement is now heading back to Mexico, accounting for the drop in the illegal immigrant population.

Why is this happening?

Much of the drop in illegal immigrants is due to the persistently weak U.S. economy, which has shrunk construction and service-sector jobs attractive to Mexican workers following the housing bust. But increased deportations, heightened U.S. patrols and violence along the border also have played a role, as well as demographic changes, such as Mexico's declining birth rate.

So, the president deserves some of the credit as well.

The Christian Science Monitor has a great piece on why Mexicans are staying home and why its likely to continue. Here's a video to go along with it.

I think we are going to see more of these types of stories as prosperity continues to rise worldwide and as we shift into a multipoloar world.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Oh, Joe, Say Ain't So...

Speaking of Kim Jong Il, our very own version of him, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is having all sorts of problems these days. For those of you who don't know, Sheriff Joe became quite popular several years ago when this email went viral.

Shierff Joe - Re-elected TO THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH JOE ARPAIO - HE IS THE MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF AND HE KEEPS GETTING ELECTED OVER AND OVER. THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY: Sheriff Joe Arpaio (in Arizona) who created the "tent city jail": He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them. He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails. Took away their weights. Cut off all but "G" movies. He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects. Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn't get sued for discrimination. He took away cable TV until he found out there was a federal court order that required cable TV for jails. So he hooked up the cable TV again only let in the Disney channel and the weather channel. When asked why the weather channel he replied, so they will know how hot it's gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs. He cut off coffee since it has zero nutritional value. When the inmates complained, he told them, "This isn't the Ritz/Carlton. If you don't like it, don't come back." He bought Newt Gingrich' lecture series on videotape that he pipes into the jails. When asked by a reporter if he had any lecture series by a Democrat, he replied that a democratic lecture series might explain why a lot of the inmates were in his jails in the first place.

More than likely, you got this email from that right wing relative or friend who sits up, sticks out their tongue, and pants when hearing such dog whistles.

Problem is, though, Sheriff Joe isn't doing his fucking job and hasn't for awhile now.

In El Mirage alone, where Arpaio's office was providing contract police services, officials discovered at least 32 reported child molestations — with victims as young as 2 years old — where the sheriff's office failed to follow through, even though suspects were known in all but six cases.

I guess he was too busy being a tough guy and proving Democrats wrong to prevent actual crimes from being committed. But here's the kicker.

Many of the victims, said a retired El Mirage police official who reviewed the files, were children of illegal immigrants.

Well, that explains it. Their here illegally...fuck 'em.

Poor Joe, though, because it gets worse.

The report outlines how Arpaio's office has committed a wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos, including a pattern of racial profiling and discrimination and carrying out heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged citizen complaints.

Ah, but that's nothing. Who cares about civil rights? Certainly not 40 percent of this country. How about some real old school stuff?

Apart from the civil rights probe, a federal grand jury also has been investigating Arpaio's office on criminal abuse-of-power allegations since at least December 2009 and is specifically examining the investigative work of the sheriff's anti-public corruption squad.

Abuse of power? Nah, it can't be. The email above says that Joe is cleaning up our country and getting rid of the bad guys. This must all be some sort of liberal plot. I bet Barney Frank is behind all of it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More Than A Toe

Last week, President Obama stuck his toe into the water of the immigration debate. Not much happened largely because he needs to stick in more than a toe. I realize that there are other things going on in our country that, on the surface, appear to require more of his attention but this issue relates to many important aspects of our society.

As Jim Manzi wrote in his epic piece, "Keeping America's Edge," we need to look at the immigration issue from the standpoint of human capital. To begin with, we can't simply deport millions of undocumented workers and their children. It would be crushing to our economy (particularly the food industry) not to mention the really awful PR. Imagine train loads of Mexicans being shipped back to a country that already has crushing poverty and violence. Truly, a terrible idea.

But granting them amnesty, however, could increase revenue without raising taxes on most Americans. More importantly, making it easier for people to immigrate to this country means we can stay competitive in the global economy. As of right now, we are in a unipolar world with America being the central power. But that is changing and part of the reason for this is valuable human capital living elsewhere in the world (see: India and China). We need to encourage them to stay here.

All of this starts, however, with protecting and securing the borders, right? Let's take a look at how President Obama has done on that since he took office.

As of April 9, 2011, we have 20,759 border patrol agents in this country with 17, 659 stationed in the southwest. That's up from 17,499 border patrol agents at the end of September 2008, four months before Obama took office (an 18 percent increase).Singling out just the border patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border, the number has increased from 15,422 to 17,659 (a 14 percent increase).

In 2004, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was created, reorganizing several federal agencies under a single roof. That year, the agency had 10,500 agents to patrol land borders. That number now stands at nearly 21,000. In the aftermath of 9-11, President Bush beefed up security along the border so he deserves the credit for starting this increase. President Obama continued it and, in the proposed 2012 budget calls for increasing the the number of border patrol agents to 21,370.

President Obama has also increased the number of deportation of illegal immigrants who have committed crimes. Deportation has to be a focused effort as President Obama has detailed.

But I want to emphasize we’re not doing it haphazardly. We’re focusing our limited resources and people on violent offenders and people convicted of crimes -- not just families, not just folks who are just looking to scrape together an income. And as a result, we’ve increased the removal of criminals by 70 percent.

That's where the complexity of this issue needs to be managed and he is doing a great job of it.
According to data provided by the Department of Homeland Security, the number of illegal immigrants "removed" rose about 6 percent -- from 369,221 to 392,862 -- between the end of September 2008 (four months before Obama took office) and the end of September 2010. But a much larger percentage of those deported were convicted criminals. In 2008, 31 percent were criminals; but by 2010, the percentage jumped to 50 percent. The raw number of convicted criminals who were deported went from 114,415 in 2008 to 195,772 in 2010. That's 71 percent. 

Data for the first half of the 2011 fiscal year (which began at the end of September) suggests that trend is continuing, with about 52 percent of the deportations involving convicted criminals. And that's just where the focus should be-the violent offenders. On securing and protecting the borders, we are doing a better job and that is because of President Obama's policies.

So what does that leave? We need to embrace the the people we have here who are not violent offenders and integrate them into our economy, The DREAM act is a good start but we need to go further. There are 11 million undocumented workers in this country-the vast majority of which are simply trying to live a better life. If we grant them amnesty and put these people into our economy, we'd help ourselves out in a number of ways.We'd strengthen businesses and add revenue to city, state and federal governments.

More importantly, the "soft power" aspect of this policy would attract Manzi's much needed human capital from the rest of the world so we can keep pace with China and India-the two countries who are showing us every day that we are heading towards a multipolar world.