Tag Archives: republicans

LA Times: DHS Considering Options on Deportation

Obviously, Friday was a slow news day, so, when this story came out in the afternoon, it was obvious that it wasn’t meant to be a major news event. As cynical as I’ve become with the Administration, I usually look to organizations like Presente.org to gauge their level of excitement on any moves by the President or his people. Despite what may seem like good news, it is still obvious that deportations must stop.

As far as the two changes go:

The first change would ease or stop deportations of foreigners who have no criminal convictions other than immigration violations. If approved, deportation efforts would chiefly target people who have been charged or convicted in court and pose a potential threat to public safety.

and

Another change under consideration would scale back a controversial program known as Secure Communities. It allows immigration authorities to request that immigrants in the country illegally be held in local jails until they can be transferred to federal facilities for deportation.

The proposed change would limit those local detentions and focus only on people with criminal records.

As I have mentioned previously, any major changes would have to take into consideration how local law enforcement would be affected. Obviously, less work at warehousing immigrants should be considered a good thing, and having more local cops on the street should help fight crime. It’s a no-brainer.

Politically, though, some law enforcement agency leaders wouldn’t want to get rid of Secure Communities all that easily since it serves as a political crutch. Lately, it’s been a crutch for Democratic sheriffs like in Travis County. Some activists would say locally, too.

Let’s hope the Obama Administration wants to move forward to stop deportations, since the Republicans are intent on stopping any kind of real reform of the citizenship and visa system.

I’m of the opinion that these kind of administrative changes will prod the Republicans into doing one of two things:  A change of course on reform, or a whole new course of bat-shit craziness.

Let’s see what happens.

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New Tactic on CIR; Same Old Stuff from GOP

dreamIn the middle of primary election morning, it was reported that NCLR’s  Janet Murguia had changed her mind about President Obama, calling him “deporter in chief.” As I mentioned in a Facebook post, I figured she would lose White House dinner privileges–or at least be forced to enter through the kitchen, since she was so supportive of President Obama’s stance and pushed for the badly flawed Gang of 8 bill, S. 744.

Then Congressman Luis Gutierrez was up speaking on the floor of the House, using the same “deporter-in-chief” line. Later, I saw that Gang of 8 member Dick Durbin was now singing the same song on deportation. And even Chuck Schumer, who has supported the private prison expansion to warehouse immigrants, is suddenlly speaking up. What the heck is going on?

A lot of pro-migrant folks who had been pushing President Obama on stopping deportations were not all sold on the Gang of 8 bill, but were surprised, yet supportive, that Murguia had appeared to switch course. Me, not so much.

The thing is, Durbin, Gutierrez, Schumer, and Murguia have all been part of the  push to sell S. 744. Met with a direct “NO!” from the Republicans in the House, the frustrations of all involved have reached their limits, no doubt. But, still, they continue to push Boehner and the GOPers to no avail, and still push. But it is President Obama who they are also pushing to curb deportations–and now.

The Republicans, though, made a mistake. They called out President Obama as being weak on “enforcing immigration law.” Well, they seemed to have walked right into something. Pro-migrant supporters can now utilize the whole “deporter-in-chief” line as a means of proving the Republicans wrong because the bottom line is that the Republicans are wrong. President Obama is the deporter-in-chief who holds the keys to the deportation buses that have deported almost 2,000,000 people. Sure, Boehner and his Republicans re-fuel those buses, but they have made it quite clear that 2 million is not enough. If anything, they won’t be happy until 50 million are deported–including Latino-American citizens.

Today, House Republicans supported a measure that would virtually end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has benefited over 500,000 applicants, all because President Obama signed the executive order.

House Republicans said passing the bill was necessary because the president had shown an unwillingness to enforce the law and a desire to go around Congress,including through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

Senate leader Harry Reid (D-NEV) said that that the bill is “dead on arrival.”

Blame Obama for his deportation program or not, it is pretty obvious where the Republicans stand on immigration reform or deportation programs. If anything should help those who support immigration reform make a decision on Election Day, it is this.

In the mean time, it is time for President Obama to end his deportation program with his pen and his phone.

For the latest polling on deportations, click here.

Pro-Migrant Poll on Latino Support for GOP Unrealistic

When it comes to polling anyone, it’s all in the question. Republican pollsters ask questions one way, Democratic pollsters ask another way, usually. Well, Latino Decisions’ recent poll on Latino support for Rubio, Bush, and Paul Ryan is quite disingenuous. 

While the 2016 presidential election is a full three years away many of the high profile Republican contenders are enmeshed in the immigration reform debate, and if Republicans demonstrate strong leadership on passing comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship possible candidates such as Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan could get strong support from Latino voters.  However if Rubio, Bush or Ryan distance themselves from the immigration bill and House Republicans defeat the measure none of the GOP candidates stands to improve on the historic Romney 2012 defeat among Latinos. [Full poll results here]

Latino Decisions and others have done other polling in the recent past about how Latinos feel about various issues, and when it comes right down to it, Latinos fall in line with Democratic Party-promoted policies on education, health care, and jobs/economy. So, why weren’t these polled voters reminded of the Rubio, Bush, and especially Ryan positions on those policies. Ryan (and Romney) was defeated in 2012 because of those positions.

It is obvious to me that the poll was created to put a scare into Republicans, but assuming that Latinos are solely single issue voters taints the poll. We are not.

On top of that, the current Latino political conversation has included the addition of the “border surge” to the bill which Rubio very loudly insisted be included or he would not play the game anymore. I won’t even go into Bush’s “fertile” remark. And, Ryan, well, he still wants to cut off our viejitos and viejitas from Social Security.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a fan of Latino Decisions. Recently, they even wrote up a defense of the Voting Rights Act backed up by science and numbers. So, I know they are capable of good work. But  this last poll goes against what we should be doing–educating and empowering Latino voters with facts. And especially about candidates.

Besides, we are seeing everyday that the GOP is not going to budge on immigration reform, and moreover, that the GOP has all but given up on the Latino vote. At least, that’s how it looks today.

Border Surge: The Ugly Realities

In case you missed it this week, the U.S. Senate voted to add the Corker-Hoeven “Border Surge” amendment to the Gang of Ocho (or is it Diez now?) bill, bringing the bill to a whole new level of crappy. One can blame the Republicans, but it seems Democrats have thrown immigrants and Latinos under  the bus, yet, again, in the name of some fake bipartisanship. (And to prove the bipartisanship, it is now known as the Leahy amendment.)

Not only does the “surge” include 20,000 brand new Mexican-hunting cops and 700 miles of private contract boondoggle double fencing, it also changes anything that could have been thought of as a “path to citizenship” to a decade-plus long second-class status.

Notably, it would also require all enhanced border security elements to be in place and operational before the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States could obtain legal status and begin trekking the path to citizenship.

In other words, you can be “provisional,” but it’ll take a decade before you can even gain a green card. And actual citizenship? Is that even being discussed, anymore? But at least American citizens can be harrassed by 40,000 border cops on the border for being brown, right? I say this because there is no talk of reforming the border cops agency.

Peter Schey from the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law has some honest, hit-you-in-the-face analysis of S. 744.

About 4 to 5 million immigrants will most likely be left facing an extremely harsh and unforgiving set of laws almost certain to eventually force their detention and deportation (if detected) or more likely leave them in undocumented status for the rest of their lives (if undetected).

Again, I ask, where are the Democrats in this? Where is Obama for America, or whatever they call themselves now? I mean, other than showing movies. And where are the national Latino organizations, like LULAC and NCLR, other than waiting at the trough for tickets to the next White House dinner or fighting over who gets to be President and Past President and Immediate Past, But Wanna Be President Now…President? They all seem to be in agreement with the “surge,” apparently, as a means to “move forward.” Forward to what?

I have spoken about this during my recent presentations to Democratic groups, and my predictions seem to have come true. In my presentation, I’ve also spoken about the 1.4 million Obamites who signed a petition to support a weakened background check for guns legislation, but there being a lack of effort nationally regarding immigration reform, other than President Obama’s secret room at the Capitol. Of course nothing is happening–they’re too busy giving away the store and calling it bipartisanship.

So, now, they will have a couple more votes to pass it and send it to the House, where it will only get worse and likely amended to death. We are getting to a point where Republicans will be against it because they’ll always be bigots and against immigration reform, and where Latinos will be against it because we will still be a hunted and second-class people in America (if they are informed about it). Oh, but right-wingers and blue dog-o-crats can continue to boast about getting tough on Mexicans, while regular Dems can wipe the sweat off their brows and say, “we did it, you may continue to worship us.” Even if S. 744 goes down in flames, each side gets cover for “trying.”

Fawn Johnson reminds us that the House really is just trying to run out the clock by doing piecemeal stuff and enjoying their recesses.

After senators get the bill done – probably in time to make their weekend barbeques — they have a weeklong July 4 break. And then they get to wait for colleagues on the other side of the Capitol who will have four weeks – four weeks – to deliberate before Congress takes off for an even lengthier recess in August. Once Washington meets autumn, immigration falls off the priority track thanks to the reemergence of fiscal crisis.

If that’s not good enough for Dems to come to their senses, then perhaps gaining the support of the bigoted Governor of Arizona can produce a bumper sticker that says:  Hey Democrats, Immigration Reform:  You’re Doing It Wrong!

The big vote on S. 744 is on Thursday. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to watching the floor debate and speeches.

Roberto Lovato has his take on how the private prison boondoggle will explode with this bill.

Judiciary Committee Sends CIR to Senate

Well, at least their version of CIR, which will probably be called by right-wing-nuts in the House the “liberal” bill, or the “amnesty” bill. Or something negative.

After going through almost 300 amendments, the committee passed 100 of them–some good, some OK, many of them bad. One important amendment that went ignored without a vote was one that would allow American citizens to sponsor a foreign-born, same-sex spouse for citizenship. If you can’t even vote, then there are some guts missing in DC.

The Senate is expected to vote sometime next month. Meanwhile, the House has been working on their version of the bill, but a Republican-created glitch regarding health care for immigrants has Dems calling for a re-do.

The language — supported by Republicans and some Democrats in the House group — says that immigrants seeking citizenship must pay for their own health care. In this proposal, immigrants would no longer be eligible for citizenship if government has to pay for it. (DC’s Emphasis)

But the tough language sparked concerns among Democrats about the possibility of emergency surgeries, and whether expensive procedures would plunge these immigrants into debt, and out of the country.

How heartless can you get? Tricking sick immigrants out of getting health care when needed, or worse, keeping them in some some bottom-class status if they do use it, even in an emergency. The Republicans won’t budge without this specific language. The fact that Dems want to stop any health care for those who gain status has me a bit pissed off, too.

I won’t show even a bit of excitement with the Senate’s “progress” as some in the Democratic Party or the non-profit, pro-migrant establishment have been showing in their press releases. As I stated, whatever comes out in the end will more than likely be mostly bad and not even close to being termed a legislative victory.

I’ll keep watching this from the cheap seats, and keep taking a closer look at what’s being proposed.

FYI:  My sis and I are on tour and we’ll be speaking at the Humble Democrats meeting on Saturday, 2 PM, at the Octavia Fields Library. As always, Toni will give the legal/legislative side of things, and I will provide the political side of things. Come on over!

 

 

Republicans Plan Hack Job on CIR

Well, it’s the month of May and all seems to be going as predicted regarding comprehensive immigration reform. While the Gang of 8 attempts to strengthen the bipartisan support for their grand plan–even after Boston–the right-wing fringe of the Republican Party, including the policy hacks at the Heritage Foundation, are announcing plans to derail the whole thing.

The committee will take up the legislation just days after the Heritage Foundation released a report that estimated that the measure, which would offer a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people already in the country, could cost taxpayers at least $6.3 trillion over time.

What no one is saying that the “cost” is factored into a time period of fifty (yes, 50) years, failing to take into account the economic realities of bringing millions out of the shadows. In other words, it’s just another racist fear tactic on the part of the right-wing.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the plan the Gang of 8 is offering is a bad one. The billions more that will be spent on “enforcement” measures will be a boon to a few private corporations, private prisons, and drone manufacturers. But it is still amazing to see that, even with a bad plan, that Republicans are hell-bent on attacking Latinos. In the political sense, they are just not getting it.

So, expect the usual delay tactics, along with the GOP race-baiting where they throw around “illegal” and “amnesty.”

“The longer this legislation is available for public review, the worse it’s going to be perceived,” Mr. Sessions said Monday in a phone interview. “The longer it lays out there, the worse it’s going to smell. The tide is going to turn.”

It’s the tried and true way of Republicans killing legislation–delay it and add even more bad stuff to it until it dies.

Of course, the Democrats leave much to be desired on their “defensive” posture.

“The Judiciary Committee is going to be a good proving ground for our bill because the committee includes some of the Republican Party’s most vocal opponents of immigration reform,” Mr. Schumer said. “By honing our responses to their criticisms, and perhaps even accepting some suggestions for improvement, our compromise will be all the more battle-tested when it hits the floor.”

Reminder:  Local immigration attorney, Toni Medellin, will be speaking on the topic of immigration law and policy on Thursday, Noon, at the Harris County Democratic Party’s Brown Bag. I’ll be joining in to speak on the politics of the whole thing.

 

 

 

It’s Time for Texas to Support Medicaid Expansion

Texas Republican leaders have been quite vocal in opposing any expansion of Medicaid. Much talk from Republicans as a means of attempting to soften on Latinos has centered on immigration, but health care is as much a Latino issue as immigration reform; if anything, it is quite vital to the community.

According to the Texas Medical Association, there are 6.3 million uninsured Texans, including 1.2 million children. Of those, groups with a high likelihood of being uninsured are:  Poverty-stricken families; Hispanics; and young adults. And almost 40% of Hispanics live uninsured. And non-citizens have an even higher likelihood of being uninsured; in fact, 30% of the uninsured in Texas are non-citizens.

When one looks at cities around the state, the numbers become quite real:  Houston – 30%; Laredo – 36%; Dallas – 33%; McAllen – 32%; El Paso – 28%, the list goes on. Just 35 counties of the 254 in Texas account for 80% of the uninsured.

So, why are Texas Republicans against the uninsured? Expanding Medicaid will help over a million uninsured Texans. Billions of Federal dollars will be returned to Texas within a few years, and billions more in a ten-year period. Federal dollars means jobs–for doctors, nurses, other medical staff, and businesses who work in the field.

Republican Governors in New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, and Michigan now support expanding Medicaid. They have recognized the crisis, as well as the benefits of receiving Federal dollars that their taxpayers have invested. Public opinion and the opinion of Texas businesses are on the side of Medicaid expansion. It’s just the right thing to do to ensure more Texans have access to medical care, rather than only emergency room care that ends up being more costly and a less efficient use of resources.

One way or another, the taxpayers will foot the bill while Texas plays catch-up at becoming a healthier state. But when a responsible approach is available through Medicaid, then Texas should do the responsible thing.

My friends at Progress Texas are currently promoting an online petition in support of the Medicaid expansion. I’m asking you to sign the petition and support Texas doing the right thing.

DosCentavos will be doing more writing on health care and elder care in Texas. When it comes to health care, Texas is in crisis mode and Texans must come together, put politics aside, and do what is right. And when it comes to Elder Care, there’s no doubt that the lives of many of our viejitos and viejitas are at stake with decisions being made in Austin and Washington, D.C.

Sign the petition. Please.

Texans may also participate in Texas Medicaid Matters! Advocacy Day at the State Capitol on March 5, 2013. (Thanks to our friends at Texas Well and Healthy).

We are mobilizing to:

1)     Protect Medicaid for children and other vulnerable Texans.

2)     Extend Medicaid to low-income adults who qualify for it under the Affordable Care Act.

Get a schedule of events in PDF format here. DosCentavos will be blogging more about this advocacy day, too.

VP Biden: Hispanics Are All That And A Bag of Tostitos

Well, VP Joe Biden sorta said that. What he actually said was:

“What’s finally happened is the American people, the American people have finally begun to understand …the awesome potential, future potential of the Hispanic community,” he said Thursday at a welcome reception for new Latino members of Congress. “…Now the nation — and I might add the hemisphere — understands the Hispanic community must be courted. Must be courted.”

Of course, as I always say, it’s all about policy. And VP Biden didn’t ignore the policy implications of what he stated.

At the same time, the vice president said the deferrals are “only a small part of what has to be done.” But he also said that he believes Republicans have had a “rapid epiphany” since the election about immigration reform.

Obviously, Latinos are not only about immigration reform, but it is the one issue that Republicans, including their great brown hopes like Cruz and Rubio, have used as their means of pumping up their Tea Party base. In 2012, we all know how that went, but the message is clear:  Don’t target Latinos with hateful legislation if you want to win. And the message goes for Democrats, too.

At least the VP seems to get it.

“You’re the center of this nation’s future,” he said.

You Callin’ Me F’urn?

Well, according to SA Mayor Julian Castro, the Republicans sure as heck think of Latinos as something foreign.

“What they’re not getting is that it’s not just about changing the tone, it’s not just about not talking about electrified fences and not being uncivil. It’s also about fundamentally changing the policies that they embrace. Being more willing to engage in conversations and discussions and actually get comprehensive immigration reform done. Get the Dream Act done. Think about and include the Latino community as a part of the fabric, the family of the Untied States which it clearly is and always has been. When they think about the Latino community you can tell in both in tone and in policy that they think of it as something foreign.”

Well, I’m glad someone with national prominence finally said this. Of course, there are a few Dems that do/have done that, too. And the Democrats have fallen over each other to support right-wing, anti-immigrant Dems here in Texas. I won’t bother rehashing the names, but we all know it’s true.

The GOP still has not begun to learn any lessons from their 2012 thrashing at the hands of Latin@s, but they are attempting to write the lesson plan to their own liking. Obviously, Castro reads them like I do.

Ultimately, when we begin to hear these type of remarks from people who do not look like Castro, then we will begin to see a lot more stirring from the Latino community.