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  1. STIMULUS BILL MAKES MAJOR E-VERIFY CHANGES

    by , 01-24-2009 at 01:04 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    The House has included a provision extending the E-Verify program from March 6, 2006. The House Appropriations committee has not released the text of the amendment yet so I'm not able to clarify the exact period of extension. The press release from the committee linked above says it is extended for five years. The press release from the amendment sponsor, Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), says the extension is four years. It's possible that they are both correct and the extension is until September 30, 2013, five years from the expiration last year. A second amendment requiring E-Verify be used by all companies receiving stimulus funds was also passed. The amendment was offered by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA).
  2. IMMIGRANT OF THE DAY: PENELOPE CRUZ - ACTRESS

    by , 01-23-2009 at 01:12 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)

    The beautiful Spanish actress Penelope Cruz was nominated for her second Academy Award today for her supporting role in the recent Woody Allen film Vicky Christina Barcelona. Ms. Cruz was nominated a couple of years ago for her performance in the Spanish film Volver.
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  3. AMERICA'S VOICE URGES GILLIBRAND TO UPHOLD NY PRO-IMMIGRATION TRADITION

    by , 01-23-2009 at 12:11 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)


    America's Voice to Gillibrand: Uphold NY Tradition of
    Sensible Immigration Policy


    Moving from Conservative District to Statewide Office,
    Appointee Must Recognize Policy & Political Demand for Comprehensive
    Immigration Reform in 2009

     

    Washington, DC - Below is a
    statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice in response
    to Governor David Paterson's appointment of Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand
    (D-NY) to the U.S. Senate:   

     

    "Senator-designate Gillibrand of New
    York has a troubling record on immigration.  As a
    member of the House of Representatives, she supported policy proposals aimed at
    driving immigrant workers and families further underground without offering a
    practical solution to the presence of some 12 million hard working immigrants
    without immigration papers in the United States. 

     

    "We understand that as a U.S.
    representative she represented a conservative district, but now she will be
    representing an entire state, which contains one of the most vibrant and
    dynamic immigrant populations in the nation." She is being appointed to
    fill the shoes of former Senator Hillary Clinton, who as a Senator who was a
    strong champion of comprehensive immigration reform, and who as a presidential
    candidate won strong support from Latino voters.  Let's recall that the
    unprecedented turnout of Latino and new American voters, most of whom rejected
    the GOP in part because of its stance on immigration reform, was a major factor
    in the election of President Obama and the expansion of Democratic majorities
    in Congress.  It is also worth remembering that swing voters in swing
    districts rejected enforcement-only candidates and support comprehensive reform
    with an earned citizenship component."

     

    "Most importantly, President Obama and the 2008
    Democratic Party platform promised to tackle comprehensive
    immigration reform during the Administration's first year in office.  Voters
    in New York, Latinos nationwide, and Democratic leadership will be looking to
    Senator Gillibrand to stand with the President, to stand with the Democratic
    Party, and to stand with the majority of New Yorkers to support practical and
    humane immigration reform."
  4. NASHVILLE SAYS NO TO ENGLISH-ONLY AMENDMENT

    by , 01-23-2009 at 11:52 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    I'm proud of my former hometown (though I'm there often enough for work that it still is a home away from home). The city has been known for its hospitality over the years - it once actually garnered an award for the friendliest city in America. But in recent years, it's hostile treatment of immigrants has been making national headlines. That largely stems from the city's aggressive sheriff and the use of its police force as immigration agents. The city made headlines again in recent months for its attempt to pass a measure that would require require all city business be conducted in English. The proposal was controversial enough to garner the warning of another large city that passed an English-only amendment - Miami. The Miami Herald last week ran this editorial warning the voters of Nashville about a host of unintended consequences that city experienced and why voters eventually decided to kill the requirement.  I grew up in Miami and remember the chaos that surrounded that referendum.So yesterday voters in Nashville could have voted to continue down the same anti-immigrant path. Instead, they soundly rejected the proposal by a 56-44 percent margin. I'm also glad to see the main sponsor of the proposal taking a civil tone in defeat:On the losing side was Eric Crafton, a Metro Councilman from Bellevue.
    Crafton had pushed a measure to make English the official language of
    Metro government for two years. After a failed attempt to pass a
    Council bill, Crafton gathered signatures of Davidson County voters.

    His
    first attempt, which would have put the proposal on the November
    presidential election ballot, was disallowed by the Davidson County
    Election Commission. Crafton went back to the drawing board and
    gathered more signatures to force the special election.

    In
    defeat, Crafton promised to abide by the "wisdom of the voters," adding
    that he was glad the issue was finally decided at the ballot.

    "I
    think it's been a net-positive for Nashville," Crafton said. "We've had
    a discussion, the people have decided. I always said I would support
    the collective wisdom of the citizens and they gave a clear statement
    tonight."
  5. Fast and Slow Immigration Change

    by , 01-23-2009 at 05:10 AM (Angelo Paparelli on Dysfunctional Government)
    The first days of the Obama administration have already witnessed a new form of alternative energy.  Long pent-up momentum has been released in the forward movement of rallying cries for comprehensive immigration reform. With no time to wait or patience, the President's campaign supporters urge quick action.  Others urge action on backlog reduction at USCIS and the Labor Department.
    In the yin and yang of immigration, however, immigration advocates are heartened by the negative energy of just-in-time scrutiny of the Bush administration's twilight adoption of immigration regulations. The new President's Chief of Staff has issued a memo that urges the Executive Branch department heads to review for 60 days all new and proposed regulations.  The memo makes exceptions for national security and the public welfare.  But it also raises fresh hopes that ill-advised initiatives like the federal contractor E-Verify mandate might be reconsidered or put on ice until the error-prone system is improved.
    Like a gyroscope spinning in perfect balance, the Obama administration must channel the positive energy of reform.  It must also rethink the failed Bush late-term policy of enforcement-only.
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