Bipartisan Senate Group Reach Deal on Immigration Reform, Includes Path to Citizenship & DREAM Act

300px Charles Schumer official portrait Bipartisan Senate Group Reach Deal on Immigration Reform, Includes Path to Citizenship & DREAM Act

Bipartisan Senate Group Reach Deal on Immigration Reform, Includes Path to Citizenship & DREAM Act(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A group of bipartisan senators have unveiled an immigration overhaul bill that comes a day before President Obama unveils his bill tomorrow in Las Vegas. It is clear that the House Republicans, who are beholden to the Tea Party, will most likely object, but this will only work in President Obama’s favor.

According to a five-page draft of the plan obtained by The New York Times on Sunday, the eight senators — including Mr. McCain; Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York; and Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina — have agreed to address the failings of the immigration system in one comprehensive measure, rather than in smaller pieces, and to offer a “tough, fair and practical road map” that would eventually lead to a chance at citizenship for nearly all of the immigrants here illegally.

“We on the Democratic side have said that we are flexible and we want to get a bill,” Mr. Schumer told reporters in New York on Sunday. “But there’s a bottom line, and that’s a path to citizenship for the 11 or so million people who qualify. We’ve made great, great progress with our Republican colleagues.”

Under the senators’ plan, most illegal immigrants would be able to apply to become permanent residents — a crucial first step toward citizenship — but only after certain border enforcement measures had been accomplished.

Among the plan’s new proposals is the creation of a commission of governors, law enforcement officials and community leaders from border states that would assess when border security measures had been completed. A proposal would also require that an exit system be in place for tracking departures of foreigners who entered the country through airports or seaports, before any illegal immigrants could start on a path to citizenship. Source

While I am for immigration reform, I would urge lawmakers to ensure that people who are going through the process legally be given the first shot and not pushed to the back of the line. Of course, people like Michelle Malkin, who is a Filippino-American, is having a heart-attack over the proposed legislation, branding it “shamnesty redux.”

I would venture to say that throwing “amnesty” at immigrants, specifically the Hispanic community, won’t have them running back into their arms come 2016. The base of the Republican Party has insulted immigrants for years — self-deportation, compared to dogs, etc. One election cycle isn’t enough to erase the ugly rhetoric of people on the right such as Michelle Malkin.

 Bipartisan Senate Group Reach Deal on Immigration Reform, Includes Path to Citizenship & DREAM Act

President Obama to Push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform After Fiscal Cliff Fight

300px Official portrait of Barack Obama President Obama to Push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform After Fiscal Cliff Fight

President Obama to Push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform After Fiscal Cliff Fight (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Barack Obama to push for comprehensive immigration reform after the fiscal cliff matter is dealt with. That’s another key campaign issue he ran on, in stark contrast to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s position that illegal immigrants should engage in “self-deportation.”

Los Angeles Times: “As soon as the confrontation over fiscal policy winds down, the Obama administration will begin an all-out drive for comprehensive immigration reform, including seeking a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants… Obama wants a catch-all bill that would also bolster border security measures, ratchet up penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants, and make it easier to bring in foreign workers under special visas.”

“Democratic strategists believe there is only a narrow window at the beginning of the year to get an initiative launched in Congress, before lawmakers begin to turn their attention to the next election cycle and are less likely to take a risky vote on a controversial bill.”

“White House officials have said the president would be ‘all in’ on the issue and would want to push for a broad bill… One of the key strategic moves still being decided is whether or not the White House sends Congress a piece of legislation or lets lawmakers take the lead.”

 President Obama to Push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform After Fiscal Cliff Fight

Obama Administration to Stop Deporting Some Young People Who Came to US as Children with Illegal Immigrants

DREAM ACT 300x225 Obama Administration to Stop Deporting Some Young People Who Came to US as Children with Illegal Immigrants

Obama Administration to Stop Deporting Some Young People Who Came to US as Children with Illegal Immigrants

BREAKING NEWS:  Obama administration to stop deporting some young people who came to U.S. as children of illegal immigrants.  That’s the right thing to do, but it’s ironic that this comes right in the heart of the election campaign. The election-year initiative is aimed at young people who have led law-abiding lives and “addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.”

The initiative will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military. Source

Um, a lifeline to the Obama campaign to appease Hispanic voters? Can Mitt Romney top this? Better yet, is the president bypassing Congress yet again? President Obama plans to discuss the new policy Friday afternoon from the White House Rose Garden. Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano is also expected to make an announcement. Seems like the Chicago way of doing things is in motion. Just saying.

Here’s ThinkProgress reports:

Under the president’s “deferred action” executive order, students in the U.S. who are already in deportation proceedings or those who qualify for the DREAM Act and have yet to come forward to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, will not be deported and will be allowed to work in the United States.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says:

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.

Mitt Romney says:  NOTHING so far but I am sure that self-deportation is still on the table for him. This puts pressure on him to take a position, but we all know how Mitt Romney rolls — Mr. Flip-flopper. It should be noted that this initiative closely mirrors a similar proposal by Florida Republican Marco Rubio, who many view as a leading contender for Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Here’s the policy in a nutshell: The about 800,000 undocumented illegal young people if they meet the following requirements:  They have to had graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED or served in the military, have no criminal record, be younger than 30 and have been brought to the U.S. under the age of 16, “by no fault of their own,” Janet Napolitano said on a conference call with reporters this morning. These immigrants will have an opportunity to obtain work permits, which will give them legal status in the U.S.

One thing that’s troubling with the executive order is the fact that criminal illegals may avoid deportation. The president’s executive order states that the illegal young people “not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.” So, what constitutes a significant misdemeanor?

It will be interesting to see how the Republicans will react, since they could potentially further alienate Hispanic voters even further.  The Obama administration is using its executive authority to implement the DREAM Act, which the Republicans used to support, but are playing politics as usual. For the record, my family and I migrated here legally. I do not condone illegal immigration one iota, but children who are brought here with their parents should not be punished for their parents’ actions, when they are underage. The Republicans are just playing politics, but how they wiggle around this slap in the face by the Obama administration will be interesting to watch, since the proposal was outlined by their rising star Marco Rubio.

Now, if President Obama could attack the anemic economy with similar boldness and resolve, then maybe people wouldn’t be so cynical over his bypassing Congress and waving an olive branch at the Hispanic population, much like he did with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community when he embraced same sex marriage. Oh by the way, will he go to bat for the black community? Um, how could I forget. They will vote for him any way, so why should he bother?

Mitt Romney’s Illegal Immigration Solution: “Self-Deportation,” Really Mitt?

Mitt Romney was asked about his position on illegal immigration and the Dream Act during the Florida presidential debate. Well, I also fell off my chair when he said “self-deportation” would be his method of sending illegal immigrants home. Um, really Mitt? Wow, tell all the illegal immigrants here to engage in self-deportation. Just a lot of BS.

Mitt Romney Falls into Trap Set by Rick Santorum During SC Debate Over Restoring Voting Rights to Convicted Felons

Mitt Romney%2C 2006 Mitt Romney Falls into Trap Set by Rick Santorum During SC Debate Over Restoring Voting Rights to Convicted Felons

Mitt Romney Falls into Trap Set by Rick Santorum During SC Debate Over Restoring Voting Rights to Convicted Felons (Wikipedia)

The GOP SC debate were interesting and full of attacks mostly directed at Mitt Romney, who was the target from the start. Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry went for Mitt Romney’s jugular over his record at private equity firm Bain Capital. Perry demanded that Mitt Romney release his tax returns within a week, but he sidetracked and danced around the issue saying he will release it some time in April. Mitt Romney also danced around the issue of immigration, when pressed by one of the moderators. He said he will veto the Dream Act because he believes in legal immigration. Yeah, tell that to someone who has been here illegally for 20 years, gainfully employed, with children, is it right to ship them back home, knowing families will be divided? Mind you, there aren’t only illegal Mexicans living in the U.S. There are many Europeans also living in this country illegally.

I think Rick Santorum showed us a side of Mitt Romney that most people haven’t really thought about — racism in the judicial system, with the deck stacked against blacks:

Challenging the fairness and accuracy of a television ad aired by a super PAC supporting Romney that accused Santorum of letting felons vote, Santorum asked Romney what he would have done

“Do you believe people who are felons who’ve served their time, who’ve exhausted their parole, do you think they should be allowed to vote?” Santorum asked.

When Romney tried to pivot back to a discussion about super PACs, Santorum picked up cheers and applaud for demanding a straight answer. “I don’t think people who’ve committed violent crimes should be allowed to vote again,” Romney said.

It was then that Santorum reminded Romney that when he was governor of Massachusetts, the state had a more liberal policy than what Santorum had advocated, and even let those on parole vote – and said Romney did nothing to change it.

“This is Martin Luther King Day. This is a huge deal in the African-American community,” Santorum said, bringing racial implications into an already sensitive discussion about personal rights. “This was a provision that specifically targeted African Americans, and I voted to allow them have their voting rights back.” Source: The Hill

Um, tell that to outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who pardoned a bunch of convicted murderers, but didn’t bother to pardon two sisters, Jamie and Gladys Scott who were falsely imprisoned. I am here to tell you that all that glistens isn’t gold. In other words, Mitt Romney isn’t the man with the Midas touch. He doesn’t care one iota about the poor and middle class. I am also amazed that not one of his sons have enlisted in the military. Oh wait, the privilege of the wealthy is a prerequisite not to serve their country.

Watch GOP SC debate highlights:

TX High School Senior Joaquin Luna Commits Suicide Over Illegal Immigration Status

TX high school senior Joaquin Luna commits suicide over illegal immigration status and bemoaned the chances of federal Dream Act passage.

Illegal immigrant high school senior Joaquin Luna, 18, of Mission, TX, committed suicide Friday because he “felt trapped by his lack of opportunities” and his despair at the chances of the federal Dream Act.

Mr Mendoza said: ‘He was actually doing this for the cause, mainly the Dream Act.

‘He was doing this to show politicians, to show that something had to be done because there are a lot of kids out there in the same situation.”

The sad death highlights the plight of hundreds of thousands of illegal-immigrant students who are caught between a decision their parents made when they were young and the realities of U.S. immigration law.

Luna was a student at Benito Juarez-Abraham Lincoln High School in Mission, Texas, where he earned A and B grades and a particular talent for design.  Source

This is disturbing on so many levels, but to commit suicide over one’s immigration status takes the cake. Please share your thoughts over Joaquin Luna’s suicide