Archive for category political philosphy
HOUSE MEASURE LAUNCHES NEW IMMIGRATION DEBATE
Wall Street Journal Abstracts November 28, 2012 Wednesday
November 29, 2012, 1:30 AM — by Wall Street Journal Abstracts
Democrats seeking broad immigration reform may not support more-narrowly targeted bill that would expand visas for students with postgraduate or doctoral degrees to stay in US, easy labor shortage for high-tech and engineering firms (M)
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Retiring GOP senators introduce bill to give legal status to children of illegal immigrants@ Gannett News Service November 27, 2012 Tuesday
Filed under: Immigration Law November 28, 2012, 6:55 PM — by Gannett News Service
By ERIN KELLY, Gannett Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON – Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl and Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison introduced legislation Tuesday to give legal status to young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.
The bill by the two Southwest Republicans – and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. – would offer special student and work visas and ultimately permanent legal status to those who earn a college degree or serve four years in the military.
“We need to have a discussion that is sensible, that is calm,” said Kyl, who, like Hutchison, is retiring in January. “This particular piece of immigration reform seemed a logical place to begin.”
Unlike several previous “Dream Act”-@style bills, it does not offer a special pathway to citizenship, a conscious omission that is likely to be opposed by immigrant rights' groups and many Democrats.
“I think this is a doubled-edged sword,” said Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, which advocates for immigrants' rights. “On one hand, I think it's great that people are putting ideas out there about how to go forward on immigration. At the same time, I think it's really unfortunate that the choice is being made to put solutions out there that don't include the opportunity for people to become citizens.”
The issue is especially important to Latino voters, who overwhelmingly supported President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional candidates in the November election.
The young immigrants who came to the United States as children are considered the most sympathetic group of illegal immigrants to many Americans, polls have shown. Congress has considered legislation for more than a decade that would allow the immigrants to stay legally in the United States. A bill passed the House in 2010 but died in the Senate.
Kyl said he doubts the Senate will take up the bill in the lame duck session. But he and Hutchison have been working on the plan for about a year and wanted to get the discussion started before they left. They said they believe Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and others will take up the cause next year.
Hutchison said she believes that offering relief to the young immigrants should not have to wait until Congress can pass a sweeping immigration reform bill.
“This is a time-sensitive issue,” Hutchison said at a Capitol press conference with Kyl. “They (the young immigrants) want to go to college and be a part of our system.”
The bill, which the senators named the “Achieve Act,” offers young unauthorized immigrants a chance to earn their way through a three-step visa system that ends with permanent legal status.
To be eligible to apply, immigrants must have lived in the United States for five years prior to the enactment of the bill and entered the country before the age of 14. They must have “good moral character” and must not have committed a felony or more than one misdemeanor. Applicants must be 28 or younger or under 32 if they already have a bachelor's degree from a U.S. college.
Once they are granted a W-1 non-immigrant visa, they have six years to earn a bachelor's, associate's, vocational/technical or advanced degree or serve in the U.S. military for four years.
To maintain their W-1 legal status, immigrants must check in every six months with the Department of Homeland Security. They cannot take public welfare benefits or receive federal student loans. They would be allowed to work while attending school.
Once they have earned a degree or served four years in the military, applicants could receive a W-2 visa, which is a four-year work visa. It also allows visa holders to continue their studies to earn a master's degree or other advanced degree.
After completing four years of work or earning an advanced college degree, the young workers or graduates could apply for a W-3 visa to become permanent legal residents. Their status would have to be renewed every four years.
No new “green cards” would be added by the proposed law, but a W-3 visa holder could apply under current law to obtain one.
The bill does not offer citizenship to those who complete the requirements for a W-3 visa. Kyl said the bill does not preclude visa holders from applying for citizenship, but offers no guarantee that they will receive it.
“No path to citizenship is denied you here,” Kyl said. “We're not relegating people to some desert island.”
But Giovagnoli said it will be difficult for the young immigrants to become citizens unless they have family members who are citizens or an employer who is willing to sponsor them for citizenship.
“By cutting out the ability for them to earn citizenship, you're continuing to perpetuate the possibility of a second-class status for these young people who want to become citizens and contribute to the country that has been their home,” she said. “We're hurting their dream and our country's future.”
The bill comes in the wake of executive action by the Obama administration earlier this year to offer the young immigrants a legal way to stay in the country.
In June, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children",@ do not present a risk to public safety, and meet certain eligibility requirements, can apply to be exempt for deportation for at least two years and receive authorization to work.
Latino voters viewed President Obama more favorably after the action, according to pre-election polls by Latino Decisions.
Contact Erin Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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- Mark Levin Weighs In On Executive Privilege via Facebook (riehlworldview.com)
At 10:00 am the Supreme Court heard arguments on the first of four points challenging the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare, National Health Care etc.) Certainly the most uninteresting, it is also the most important.
- Does the Supreme Court have jurisdiction to decide this case? Specifically, does 1867’s Anti-Injunction Act (“AIA”) prohibit any court from deciding the case at all?
- If the answer is that the AIA applies and limits the Court’s jurisdiction, to what extent—if any—does the specific language of Obamacare’s “individual mandate” provision apply?
Congress passed the AIA to prevent a person from interfering with tax assessments and collections. Put differently, the law would prevent an unhappy taxpayer from challenging a tax he or she found objectionable: its amount, rationale, collection procedure, frequency etc.
Here is the language of the AIA:
‘No suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any court by any person, whether or not such person is the person against whom such tax was assessed’
So, if the Court finds that the individual mandate section of Obamacare is a tax, then it would seem to follow that the Justices cannot hear the case. Not necessarily, because:
- States are not “persons.” If Congress wanted to prevent a State from challenging a tax law then it would have stated so.
- Is the “individual mandate” even a tax? If it is, then why did Congress choose to separate collection of the penalty from the usual methods of collecting taxes? The AIA does not apply to any penalty for violations of the law—only infractions of tax law provisions.
- Does Congress’ use of the word “penalty” rather than the word “tax” affect the “individual mandate’s” nature? If it isn’t a tax, then why did Congress chose to enact the mandate’s penalty through its taxing and spending power?
- No person or state has been affected yet. Consequently, what grievance can the Court remedy? In other words, are they too early to have any standing?
So, it turns out the Government and Government and the 26 states and business organizations challenging the law agree that the Court should not use the AIA to throw this case out. Why? Because the Government wants this issue decided now. And, if the Court thinks the AIA applies we’ll all have to wait a few more years before the mandate affects anyone, which would give them a grievance to redress before the Court. Years where doubts over Obamacare’s constitutionality linger, and people gear up to bring new lawsuits. The challengers do not want the mandate considered a tax because they do not want their case thrown out of court.
The players and their positions:
a) For U.S. Gov.,US Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr.: The argues that while the individual mandate is technically a tax, the Court should create an exception in this instance. In other words, the individual mandate is a “special tax.” Why? Because the Obama administration needs to a.) Use federal tax and spending power to legitimize the mandate’s legality yet b.) Refrain from calling it a tax too often because of the, what else, the Obama re-election push.
b) For 26 States, The National Federation of Independent Businesses and four individuals, Gregory G. Katsas of Jones Day: Obamacare opponents argue that the individual mandate is not a tax, period. Essentially, challengers contend that labeling something a tax does not necessarily make it one. . To that end Obama could have labeled it “the wheatpuss provision”—it does not change the mandates purpose.
c) Court Appointed Amicus: Robert A. Long: The Supreme Court appointed Mr. Long as an independent counsel with one purpose; to brief and argue that the AIA restricts a Federal Court to decide the case at all. The Court appointed an outside lawyer because separate courts in different Federal Circuit jurisdictions reached different conclusions, if any at all, about the AIA. And, because neither the government nor the challengers raised this issue in their appellate briefs they are not allowed to raise it for the first time before the Court today.
Scalia and Alito:
- The AIA is inapplicable because Congress never applied it to the States. Whether the individual mandate is a tax or not is therefore irrelevant for purposes of this specific argument.
Roberts and Thomas:
- The AIA does not apply in this instance because congress did not procedurally bar all cases from being heard by courts and, further, the individual mandate is not a tax. . The AIA is a claims-processing law. Moreover, the language “for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax” clearly allows the Court to decide
- If the challenged provision is a tax and
- The provision’s purpose
Kennedy, Breyer and Ginsberg:
- The AIA applies and the Supreme Court may not decide further issues presented. This matter is not ripe for review and judicial restraint dictates that the Court wait to address its constitutionality.
Kagan and Sotomayor:
- The AIA applies in this instance, but the nature of Congress’ individual mandate language place this provision in a separate and unique position: In short, an exception.
Now, watch me get them all wrong.
Do not forget that today the Justice’s positions deal solely with this one issue (the AIA) and not with any other arguments.
 Congress needed to use its taxing and spending power to enact the law, but Mr. Obama probably understood that lableing the individual mandate a tax he might hurt his re-election prospects; This was naturally a top priority in March 2010.