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If you care to read this 643 page bill, here is the complete text.
Text of HR 4321 - The Gutierrez Immigration Reform Bill -
Interesting. I guess as I'm in Europe all week and see
smokers everywhere, I've been working under the assumption that smoking is much
more prominent outside the US and immigrants would therefore be more likely to
be smokers. But apparently immigrants to the US are coming in bigger numbers
from countries where smoking is less prominent. From the AP:
The strongest American advocates
for smoking bans in public venues are the newest Americans, one study said.
Immigrants and their children
were most likely to approve of smoke-free spaces, according to an analysis of
data from the U.S. Census' Current Population Survey from 1995-2002.
Over those years, 75.7 percent
of foreign-born U.S. residents supported a smoking ban in at least four
different types of public space, while 59.1 percent of U.S.-born Americans with
U.S.-born parents did so. Of
the total population, 61.6
percent said they would support a ban in at least four of the six public venues
listed, which included bars, restaurants, offices, hospitals, and indoors
sports venues and shopping malls.
The report can be found at http://ajph.aphapublications.org/.
This is key. We've been hearing that the White House was still up in the air between the energy bill and immigration and that one of the two would likely be pushed back until after the election. Now it looks like the White House thinks it can walk and chew gum (presumably after the President's approval ratings are slipping as people sense the White House is not actually keeping any of its promises).
When I was in law school at the University of Chicago, our economics-oriented professors would often refer to "widgets" when they needed to refer to an unnamed manufactured object. A widget is really an "any object" that is interchangeable with other widgets. The idea is that you can focus on broader economic principles if you can keep the student from focusing on the particulars of a given industry.
And despite a stated concern for workers, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) really think of workers as widgets - interchangeable cogs in the world of business. They are proposing the Employ America Act which seeks to bar employers that have had layoffs from being able to file H-1Bs even if a needed H-1B employee is in a field completely different than the occupation of laid off workers and even if a company only employs a very tiny percentage of H-1Bs in its workforce. This is a sledgehammer approach to immigration policy and is simply protectionism that would likely constitute a violation of the General Agreement on Trade in Services. If it passed, it could land the US in the world trade court.Workers are NOT widgets and to say that any person can basically replace any other person really insults the dignity of the American worker.
grassley letter -
Former EBay CEO Meg Whitman is one of the leading contenders for the GOP nomination to succeed Arnold Schwarzeneger as governor of California. She's also just shown a little courage and made clear that she supports immigration reform that includes a path to legalization for the country's illegal immigrants. While the majority of voters in the state - indeed, across the country - support what Whitman is advocating, winning a GOP primary and being pro-immigration could be tougher.