Tag Archive: immigration reform

Immigration: The emperor owning the title

Update: Obama’s address at 8:00 pm is on cnn, msnbc, and other cable stations.

Two years ago House Speaker Boehner complained about President Obama’s concern over high student loan interest rates, saying, the issue is “pathetic” and “the emperor has no clothes” – hardly the case. A few days ago, in response to Obama’s plan to announce executive actions on immigration, Boehner called the president a “lawless emperor” – particularly ironic as Boehner’s House of Representatives has failed at creating enactable laws. In 2013 Obama himself said, “I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”

Now our president is beginning to act like an emperor – taking ownership of the title. Let’s remember that in the Roman empire even the emperors had to deal with legislative bodies. We have been waiting a long time for a significant improvement in U. S. immigration policy. After much Sturm und Drang last year the U. S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill. The House ignored it and has continued to take no action. Enter our emperor.                    

President Obama’s Executive Order should have a significant impact in New Jersey. Pew Research indicates we have the fifth highest number of unauthorized immigrants. According to the NY Times, “Obama’s executive action plans may allow up to 5 million unauthorized immigrants to stay in the U. S. and obtain work permits.” Using a more cautious figure of 4 million, out of a total of 11.2 million in the U. S., represents 36%. Multiplying New Jersey’s 525,000 unauthorized immigrants by 36% suggests it will benefit about 189,000 of our residents.

A good day’s work for our new emperor. He will unveil more specifics about his plan in a televised speech to the nation at 8:00 pm tonight. Executive Orders, however, can be repealed by a succeeding President, which places further onus on voters to re-elect a Democrat in 2016.  

How not to further a dialogue on immigration

The  U. S. Senate seems to be moving toward passage of immigration legislation. The issues of border control and a path to citizenship divide the parties. However even Republicans realize that to win elections they need more support from Hispanic immigrants.

The dialogue is not helped when the Star-Ledger uses a derogatory slang term. In today’s article on the Bergen County Jail’s plan to house more immigrants, the reporter used the term “illegals.”

Achieving immigration reform is tough enough and resorting to pejorative language is no help.  

Immigration Reform, 2nd District Style

Here’s a  quick diary for anyone who may be interested in learning what’s doin here in South Jersey, and just as importantly,  hopefully, I’ll  get an opinion or two on one national issue I (a possible survivor of the upcoming June primary for Assembly) might turn to good effect, locally.  

No announced candidates by the “legit” Democrats for the two seats, and one seat is actually open.  

Big Federal Contract for Massive Immigration Detention Center – Is it Worth the Money?

Kathy O’Leary is with Pax Christi NJ, part of the national Catholic peace movement, which has done considerable work in immigration issues. Remember Bill Palatucci? Veteran GOP operative, fundraiser for George W. Bush, member of both RNC and the NJ GOP redistricting team, and driving force behind Christie slush fund ‘Reform Jersey Now’? Well, he stands to make a huge pile of cash from this deal. – promoted by Rosi

At their February 9th meeting, the Essex County Freeholders will be voting on a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) regarding a proposed a new 2,700 bed facility in Essex County.  This facility would constitute a significant expansion to the immigration detention system, more than doubling the current number of immigration detention beds currently in NJ.  

What everyone needs to understand about immigration enforcement and detention is that it is a system that is flawed, that is extremely costly, that it separates families and that it negatively impacts our local economies and communities.  

Menendez talks about the Framework for Immigration reform

Senator Menendez took to prime time cable television last night to discuss the framework for immigration reform he helped release yesterday. First on CNN, he said the proposal is just a framework to get the process started and is an invitation to Republicans to say “come join us.” The Senator also discussed Lindsay Graham’s change of heart:

It’s  only a 26 page proposal that hasn’t been written into a formal bill yet according to reports.The CNN interview also saw discussion about Speaker Pelosi saying the legislation would have to begin in the Senate, to which the Senator responded that there are candidates who don’t want to vote on many issues, but the fact of the matter is that moving in the Senate is going to be the first step. Below the fold I’ll put the segment from Countdown with Keith Olbermann where he talks further about the legislation and also discusses the new Arizona law.

Menendez says Graham may have McCain on the brain

Senator Bob Meenendez is questioning the motives behind Senator Lindsay Graham backing out of efforts to push bi-partisan immigration reform before the November Election: Menendez told Politico that Graham may be more concerned with shielding his friend John McCain from the immigration blow back because he is locked in a tough primary fight with immigration as a prominent issue:

“Clearly John McCain is in a huge fight,” Menendez said in an interview. “He has done a 360-degree turn on immigration – he’s getting a challenge from the hard right, I’m sure the last thing any friend of John McCain wants to see is to see is immigration come for debate.”

Graham had been working with Senator Chuck Shumer on crafting the bill and denied the claims of Menendez. He said the Senate is just too polarized now, because you know in the run up to the next Presidential election after this November things will be much better. The issue has come back to the front burner in recent days after the controversial new immigration law recently signed in Arizona. Menendez has said he will push forward with Shumer and Majority Leader Harry Reid drafting legislation for this session. But while they plan to push forward, the President said the immigration debate may have to wait.

Menendez: Immigration reform part of the “political equation”

The other day, Senator Menendez sat down with the Star Ledger Editorial board and among the topics of conversation was Immigration Reform. The Senator said that Latinos believe reforming the country’s immigration system is the “civil rights issue of their time”

“I think it’s a real challenge at the end of the day not to seek progress on it and not to have progress on it,” he said. “I think it has a political equation.”

“All of us who are U.S. citizens, all of us who are permanent residents, all of us who wear the uniform of the United States, when we hear the debates on immigration … to hear some senators saying, ‘those people, those people,'” he said. “I’ve heard along the way what that means, ‘those people.’

He said that Latinos identify with the issue no matter what their own immigration status is. You can view the Senators comments here:

The other part of the political equation is that many elected officials are so afraid of the consequences as they perceive, that they’d prefer it not come up now. In the past when the issue has come up, it’s been demagogued and set aside for another day. In order to get the reform the Senator is seeking, they’re going to need to overcome the other sentiment.  

Thousands of New Jerseyans Head to DC to “March for America”

On Sunday March, 21, 2010, scores of buses will head to DC for Reform Immigration for America’s “March for America”.  Immigrant activists, advocates, community leaders, clergy, and people of faith from communities throughout NJ will participate in Sunday’s interfaith service and immigration reform rally.  

Pax Christi NJ like dozens of other organizations in NJ has been participating in the effort by raising funds to pay for buses, recruiting bus captains, matching passengers with buses and promoting the event to affected populations. Buses will be leaving from Bound Brook, Bridgeton, Camden, Dumont, Elizabeth, Hackensack, Jersey City, Long Branch, Newark, New Brunswick, Union City, Passaic, Paterson, Red Bank, Summit, Trenton and others.

During these tough economic times it is more important than ever that we stop wasting money on inhumane enforcement policies and allow everyone to fully participate in the economy.   We cannot afford to continue spending $1.7 billion a year on immigration detention alone in a system that routinely breaks apart families and detains or deports breadwinners.

Dobbs n Dems = Immigration Reform!!! Huh???

Read it and weep…..

Senate Democrats have reached out to former CNN anchor and prominent illegal-immigration opponent Lou Dobbs in an effort to build broad bipartisan support for immigration reform.

Winning the support of Dobbs, who became a prominent critic of illegal immigration and proposals to grant amnesty to illegal workers, could provide a significant boost to reform efforts.

And even though the victory of Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R) in Massachusetts appears to have diminished the chances of passing far-reaching, controversial immigration reform, Democrats are not giving up.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is spearheading the Democrats’ effort to put together a comprehensive reform bill, met with Dobbs on Wednesday.

This is bizarre bipartisanship.  What’s next, Hillary Clinton consulting with Bin Laden on foreign policy?

Dobbs has a deserved reputation for (at a minimum) giving aid and comfort to bigots.  



Some of Dobbs’ greatest hits: in 2005 the talk show host implied that Latino immigrants were spreading leprosy in the U.S. He falsely stated that illegal immigrants make up a third of the U.S. prison population. In a March 2009 radio broadcast, Dobbs declared, “Mexico has become our enemy.” Of Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Dobbs said “pure, pure, absolute pandering to the Hispanics … ”

Dobbs has also stated his support for extremist groups and individuals like the Minute Men, a militia group that patrols the border, and Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who marched inmates from his infamous tent prisons through the streets in pink underwear. Dobbs has ties to the hard-line anti-immigration group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR); the talk show host broadcast one of his radio shows from a FAIR event, and the organization, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has given Dobbs an award for, in their words, “his continued efforts in leading the immigration reform movement.”

More recently, Dobbs shocked even his greatest critics by promoting the birther theory — the thoroughly debunked claim that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya and is therefore not eligible to be President. Although Dobbs was repeatedly slammed for giving the racially charged theory a mainsteam platform, CNN refused to take action against the host; network President Jonathan Klein said that pursuing the discredited birther theory was Dobbs’ editorial decision to make.

Are we Democrats so very afraid and desperate that they now have to kow tow to the bigot vote???  Unbelievable.

Keep NJ Off Hate Group’s List

ALIPAC, which has been classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League is already calling the delay of the vote on S1036 a significant victory. According to an email sent to all of its membership they intend to add the defeat of this bill to their list of major accomplishments for 2010.

Being on ALIPAC’s list of accomplishments is a distinction our state does not deserve and should not have. Please don’t let our legislature side with ALIPAC and other hate groups that seek to dehumanize immigrants. Please call and ask them to vote in favor of S1036.