Connecticut Immigration

Napolitano Reiterates Need For Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Fri. May 7, 2009

:  Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, this week reiterated the need for comprehensive immigration reform that addresses all aspects of the immigration problem.

Napolitano, during her testimony before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, `Oversight of the Department of Homeland Security,` insisted that it is the only solution to the current problems, `from border security and interior enforcement to reform of our visa programs and legalization for illegal workers.`

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May 08, 2009

Making the Case: 7 Reasons Why Congress Should Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform this Year

Today in the Senate, Senator Schumer is holding an important hearing: “Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2009, Can We Do it and How?” At


, we believe the answer to whether Congress can pass reform this year is “yes.” Below are seven reasons why:

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May 01, 2009

Obama Backs off Pledge of Swift Immigration Reform

President Obama Wednesday backed off a campaign promise to make immigration reform a priority of his first term, saying work on the issue has begun but his agenda is already stretched.

“We want to move this process,” Obama said in a prime-time news conference at the White House. “I’m going to be moving it as quickly as I can — I’ve been accused of doing too much.”

On the evening of his 100th day in office, Obama met the press in the East Room of the White House for his third formal, nighttime news conference. During the presidential campaign, Obama told the League of United Latin American Citizens that he would make immigration reform a “top priority” in his first year.

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April 24, 2009

Timing Immigration Reform

By T. Alexander Aleinikoff

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Obama administration recently signaled interest in beginning a discussion on comprehensive immigration reform before year’s end. It might seem that a severe economic downtown is not the best time for a major legislative initiative on immigration. But starting this conversation now makes sense for several reasons.


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April 17, 2009

Obama: Comprehensive immigration reform needed

Thu Mar 19, 11:00 am ET


– President Barack Obama says theUnited States

is a nation of immigrants but the country must have control over its borders.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in

Southern California, Obama said immigration is a high-emotion issue that cannot be dealt with in pieces. He says he wants to work with leaders in Congress and inMexico to come up with a comprehensive plan.


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April 02, 2009

Citing Census, Hispanics Urge Immigration Reform



– Saying traditional census outreach will not be enough, Hispanic groups on Wednesday urged the Obama administration to follow through now on its pledge to pass immigration reform or risk an undercount of millions of people.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, Univision Inc., the League of United Latin American Citizens and SEIU announced a grassroots campaign that would supplement Census Bureau efforts to reach the traditionally hard-to-count Hispanic community. An estimated 1 million Hispanics, or about 3 percent of the Hispanic population, were missed in 2000.

“Make no mistake about it: The census cannot succeed if Latinos are not fully counted,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of NALEO, noting that Hispanics make up half of the nation’s percentage growth. “We are the future of the

United States.”


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March 27, 2009

House Democrats Ready to Give Immigration Bill Another Shot

House Democrats are laying the groundwork for another major immigration debate later this year, despite the risk that it could prove politically destructive for their party.

Moving broad legislation that would put millions of illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship seemed politically impossible until fairly recently and may still end up too hot for Congress to touch.

Yet Obama sent a signal this month to Hispanic Democrats that he is still committed to the cause and that he plans to host a White House immigration summit before the end of May. That has bolstered the hopes of the legislation’s biggest advocates on Capitol Hill.

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March 20, 2009

Obama to Address Immigration Reform in Coming Months



) – President Barack Obama will present plans for immigration reform this year, Hispanic lawmakers said Wednesday after strategic talks at the White House.

Obama “was clear and eloquent and determinate to let us know that we are all together in the route of comprehensive immigration reform,” Democratic lawmaker Luis Gutierrez told reporters after the discussion between the president and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (




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March 13, 2009

Will the Economic Meltdown Push Fixing a Broken Immigration System to the Back Burner?

On the campaign trail last year, Barack Obama promised to make comprehensive immigration reform (


) “a top priority in my first year as president.”

Stressing the importance of “finally bring[ing] undocumented immigrants out of the shadows,” Obama laid out the basic framework of  the deal that died twice in Congress in recent years: “they should have to pay a fine, and learn English, and go to the back of the line,” he said. “That’s how we’ll put them on a pathway to citizenship. That’s how we’ll finally fix our broken immigration system and avoid creating a servant class in our midst.”


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March 10, 2009

Pelosi: End Raids Splitting Immigrant Families

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined hundreds of families Saturday evening at a church in

San Francisco

‘s Mission District demanding an end to the immigration raids and deportations that separate parents from children across theUnited States.

Pelosi, who has said securing


borders is a top priority, used the forum to call for a comprehensive immigration program that recognizes the broad contributions immigrants have made to the fabric of the country.

“Our future is about our children,” Pelosi told a crowd of mostly Latino families at St. Anthony’s Church.

No matter if those families arrived two days ago or centuries ago, Pelosi said “that opportunity, that determination, that hope has made American more American.”


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Emanuel’s Political Pragmatism on Immigration Reform

Obama’s selection of Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff signals that political pragmatism, not campaign promises to Latinos, may determine immigration policy in the new administration.

It’s not that Congressman Emanuel (D-IL) is a foe of immigration, but rather that he seems to have concluded that comprehensive immigration reform is not a winning political proposition for Democrats.

As Illinois congressional representative since 2003, Emanuel has repeatedly held the line against the immigration restricionists and border security hardliners. For the restrictionists, he has a failing record.

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November 13, 2008

Feds Preparing For “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”

By Eunice Moscoso |

Friday, November 7, 2008

The acting director of U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS), said this week that the agency has made great strides in clearing backlogs of citizenship applications.

The improvements will help the agency show that it can handle new legalization efforts if Congress and the upcoming Obama administration tackle the issue next year, federal officials said.

“Comprehensive immigration reform is obviously a goal that we believe is unfinished business,” said Jonathan “Jock” Scharfen, acting director of USCIS.

Scharfen was referring to a sweeping immigration bill that failed last year which would have given illegal immigrants a path to citizenship and created a guest worker program.

President-elect Barack Obama favors such a measure.

USCIS reported that it has completed more than 1.1 million naturalization applications this year, a 50 percent increase from 2007.

The agency has also interviewed more than 100,000 refugee applicants and completed more than 47,000 asylum applications this year.

November 10, 2008

Bush Admin. Makes Immigration Strides in 2008

The U.S. government arrested and deported record numbers of illegal immigrants nearly 350,000 in the past year, authorities say. It has also naturalized a record number of new Americans during the same time period, more than 1 million.

Bush administration officials consider these to be great accomplishments within a system that President-elect Obama calls “broken and overwhelmed” on his transition Web site.


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July 09, 2008

McCain and Obama Tout Their Support For Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama pressed anew their support for comprehensive immigration reform in separate speeches to the League of United Latin American Citizens. But each candidate was primarily focused on making the case that he — not his opponent — could best lead the country out of economic straits and help the middle class achieve prosperity.

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June 17, 2008

Post-Election Congress Will Pass DREAM Act and AgJobs But “Broader Reform” Seen As Years Away

Per a recent article in the NY Daily News, it is believed that “the post-election Congress will pass the DREAM Act for undocumented students and the AgJobs agricultural worker bills passing no matter who wins the presidency, though immigrants will likely do better under Obama.” However, “broader reform with a path to citizenship for our 12 million undocumented workers is years away.”

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June 13, 2008

Obama Must Commit to Helping Illegal Immigrants Or Risks Losing Latino Vote

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) must commit to helping illegal immigrants achieve citizenship or else risk losing the vital Latino vote in the general election, Hispanic Democratic lawmakers are warning.

If he does not promise so-called comprehensive immigration reform, the lawmakers say, the only other way to win over Hispanic supporters of his erstwhile rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), may be to pick her as his running mate.

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December 18, 2007

Hispanic Cleric Accuses Romney Of Fueling Anti-Hispanic Sentiment In Remarks On Comprehensive Immigration Reform

The president of Esperanza USA, the Rev. Luis Cortes, a member of the multi-denominational Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, said that U.S. citizen Hispanics see an increasingly heated rhetoric among presidential candidates against illegal immigration.

Rev. Cortes specifically singled out Mitt Romney as fueling the fire stating: “He attacks other candidates as being soft”, and believes that this is going to be the key reason he’s going to lose the Hispanic vote if he becomes the Republican candidate.

December 17, 2007

Homeland Security Chertoff Calls Again For A Comprehensive Immigration Reform Program in 2008

In a Dec. 12, 2007 speech in Washington, D.C., Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff stressed the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) priorities in the 2008 calendar year which include immigration and border security, secure identification, cyber security and institutionalization of the functions within the department,

Chertoff again called for a comprehensive program that would provide options for the estimated 12 million immigrants currently living in the United States illegally.

Moreover, he recognized that “the government needs to make a down payment on credibility with the American people by showing we have the willingness to enforce the laws the way they are, and that we’re prepared to use all the tools at our disposal to get the job done,” Chertoff continued. “And that’s a good deal of what we’ve done over the last year and what we intend to do over the year to come, although I am not prepared to give up on some kind of comprehensive reform, or at least some progress toward comprehensive reform, during 2008.”

December 13, 2007

Romney Ad Attacks Huckabee And Giuliani As Soft On Illegal Immigration

Iowa stations will begin broadcasting a Romney spot which attacks Huckabee by name. The Romney ad titled “The Record,” states the following: “Mitt Romney stood up and vetoed in-state tuition for illegal aliens … opposed driver’s licenses for illegals,” the ad’s announcer says. “Mike Huckabee? Supported in-state tuition benefits for illegal immigrants. Huckabee even supported taxpayer-funded scholarships for illegal aliens. “On immigration, the choice matters,” the announcer says.

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said the ad was intended to highlight the difference between the ex-Massachusetts governor’s “pro-enforcement record” and Huckabee’s stance on immigration in the past.

Also, during last month’s CNN/YouTube debate, Romney criticized Rudy Giuliani for allowing New York to become a ‘sanctuary city’ for illegal immigrants while he was mayor, an allegation the rival candidate has denied. In response, Giuliani attacked Romney for living in a “sanctuary mansion,” where illegal immigrants were allowed to work.

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December 11, 2007

2008 Presidential Candidates And Their Position On Immigration

Sen. Joe Biden (D)

Wants to be sure that we enforce our existing laws already on the books and secure our borders.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D)

Wants to strengthen U.S. borders, enforce our laws and allow a path to earned legal status.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D)

“My plan offers comprehensive reform that secures our borders, reduces incentives for illegal immigration, while strengthening our economy …”

Sen. John Edwards (D)

Supports strong enforcement. People already here should earn citizenship by paying a fine and learning English.

Rudy Giuliani (R)

Has made a commitment to end illegal immigration, secure America’s borders, and identify every noncitizen in the country.

Mike Gravel (D)

“The senator favors protecting our borders and monitoring the flow of immigrants into our country.”

Mike Huckabee (R)

“My number one priority is to secure America’s border. I opposed the amnesty bill that was defeated by the Senate.”

Duncan Hunter (R)

Has a 27-year record of fighting illegal immigration and promoting border security.

Dennis Kucinich (D)

“The United States will not be able to resolve its immigration issues until it resolves its trade policies.”

Sen. John McCain (R)

Will restore trust in government and as president will secure the nation’s borders.

Sen. Barack Obama (D)

Supports comprehensive reform that secures the border, fixes the broken immigration bureaucracy and creates a responsible path to citizenship.

Ron Paul (R)

“The talk must stop. We must secure our borders now. A nation without secure borders is no nation at all.”

Bill Richardson (D)

“Gov. Bill Richardson has a record of accomplishment for protecting our nation’s borders and striving for immigration reform.”

Mitt Romney (R)

Believes we must secure our borders, enforce current immigration laws, implement an effective employment verification system for noncitizens.

Tom Tancredo (R)

Believes we must secure the border, enforce the law, and prosecute employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens.

Fred Thompson (R)

The government must secure its borders and determine who may enter and who may not to fulfill a fundamental responsibility.

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Senate Minority Leader McConnell Says Government Should Create ID Cards To Assist Employers;Pessimistic About Reviving Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told a farm group on Saturday that the government should create a program to provide identification cards so employers are assured of hiring workers who are in the country legally.

McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said the cards would be useful because employers will ultimately play a role in enforcing the nation’s immigrations laws. The senator, who will seek a fifth term in next year’s election, focused on immigration during a speech to the Kentucky Farm Bureau convention in Louisville.

McConnell was pessimistic about reviving comprehensive immigration legislation that would include a plan to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants.

December 09, 2007

Republican Candidate Mike Huckabee Releases “Hardline” Immigration Proposal

Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee today released an immigration plan that would give illegal aliens a four-month window to leave the US or face being barred for 10 years.

The proposal, which one pro-immigration advocate described as a “one-way ticket” for illegal aliens, is a marked departure from Huckabee’s more liberal immigration record as governor of Arkansas.

The toughest section of the nine-point plan is aimed at preventing “amnesty” for illegal aliens. It would give illegal aliens four months to register with US immigration authorities, then leave the country.

“Those who register and return to their home country will face no penalty if they later apply to immigrate or visit,” the proposal reads.

For full article please see:,,2224049,00.html

December 03, 2007

Democratic Candidates Disagree On Whether Undocumented Workers Should Get Driver’s Licenses

In the second Democratic presidential forum of the day Saturday, the Brown and Black Presidential Forum at a Des Moines high school, candidates agreed on the need for immigration reform, but argued over whether undocumented workers should be able to get driver’s licenses.

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, who is against issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented workers, said the license issue threatens to become a distraction that could sidetrack attempts to pass far-ranging immigration legislation. “Ultimately, we’ve got to move toward comprehensive immigration reform,” she said.

But New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who has signed a measure to provide licenses, said the licenses are needed to help traffic safety. He said he doesn’t buy the argument that lawmakers should wait for a larger solution. “The fact is, Congress hasn’t acted,” Richardson said.

November 30, 2007

Deputy Chief of Staff From U.S. Rep. Chris Shays Office, R-4 from Connecticut: Immigration Reform Unlikely Before Next Election

Paul Pimentel, the deputy chief of staff and district director to U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, R-4, from Connecticut, recently informed the New Canaan League of Women Voters that “It’s unlikely that there will be any real reform before the next election.”

Per Pimentel, Shays’ general views of immigration is that, “He believes in enforcing the laws that are currently on the books. His ideal bill would favor legal immigrants while decreasing the number of illegal immigrants.” Pimentel says that Shays would like to provide illegal immigrants who are already here and who have clean backgrounds with “blue cards” that would give them permission to stay in the country, but not give them a path to citizenship.

In addition, Pimentel informed the group that Shays opposes a guest worker program. “Who is going to go home?” Pimentel asked. Moreover, according to Pimentel, Shays would like to establish a tamper-proof Social Security card or proof-of-work card.

November 26, 2007

San Francisco To Follow New Haven, Connecticut’s Lead And Become The Second City In The Country To Offer ID’s To Undocumented Immigrants

San Francisco will begin issuing municipal identification cards to illegal immigrants next year, becoming the second city in the country (the first being New Haven, Connecticut) to create such a program in the wake of stalled immigration reform efforts in Washington.

The board of supervisors Tuesday gave the final OK needed to create the ID card program, effectively legitimizing the city’s estimated 40,000 illegal immigrants.

The cards will be available to anyone living in the city next August and used as proof of identity when it comes to most facets of city business, from library service to police stops. Although immigrants are the prime target for the ID program, the cards will available to anyone who wants them.

November 23, 2007

Connecticut Senator Dodd’s Recent Statement On The Need For Comprehensive Immigration Reform

The following was a response by Democratic candidate Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd to a question posed by New Hampshire Business Review relating to the topic of foreign workers.

Q: Many New Hampshire employers are dependent on foreign workers, but others say they take jobs from U.S. citizens. What do you propose to do with the immigrant visa programs specifically and immigration in general?

DODD: I strongly believe in the pressing need for comprehensive immigration reform that is tough, fair and practical. While we welcome to our country foreign workers who possess special skills and special motivation, we welcome them here to work with Americans, not instead of Americans. continue to express reservations about expanding the guest worker program.

It is important that we close loopholes that allow American companies to hire lower-paid, high-tech workers from abroad. In order for America to be a land of opportunity for all, we must, first and foremost, make sure that opportunity exists for Americans.

November 21, 2007

New Economic Study Shows Immigration In Cities Is A Net Positive

Noted scholar Gionvanni Peri, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California, Davis and author of a recent landmark study on the positive effects of immigration on overall wages, has produced another insightful, thought-provoking piece, this time on the effects of immigrants on cities. Professor Peri contends that immigration is disproportionately directed towards cities, so it is important to understand what happens to these cities, and the natives who live there, as a result. In short, Professor Peri concludes that immigrants in general have a net positive effect on natives living in cities, consistent with the findings of other researchers. For full article, please see

November 20, 2007

U.S. Representative Heath Shuler’s Immigration Measure Introduced In The U.S. Senate

Rep. Heath Shuler’s immigration measure aimed at reducing the attraction of employment in the U.S. by undocumented immigrants was introduced in the Senate on Thursday. “The American public must have confidence that our immigration system works, and I am happy to work with Rep. Shuler to see that it does,” said Sen Mark Pryor, D-Ark.

Shuler’s bill would address border security, spend more on workplace enforcement of immigration laws, and require employers to verify workers’ status through a Department of Homeland Security database, which currently is voluntary. The House legislation has 105 Republican and Democratic cosponsors, but the Democratic leadership has yet to signal whether it supports the bill.

“We want to do all that we can to get this bill on the House floor,” Shuler said. “We’re set to have meetings after the first of the year with leadership to discuss this particular piece.”

November 19, 2007

Sen. McCain Hardens His Position On Immigration Reform

Sen. John McCain has hardened his position on immigration reform, hoping the new stand will make his presidential campaign more appealing to conservative Republican voters.

The comprehensive approach he championed for years, one that emphasized a guest-worker program and legalization for those here illegally, has taken a back seat to a plan that puts a priority on tightening border security and beefing up enforcement.

The enforcement-first approach marks a dramatic shift for McCain, R-Ariz., who used his border-state credentials and maverick persona to become the leading Republican proponent in Congress of comprehensive immigration reform.

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November 18, 2007

City Of New Haven, Connecticut Sets Forth A Model On How Other Large Connecticut Cities Should Address The Issue Of Undocumented Immigrants

As cities across the United States try to address the issue of undocumented immigrants, the City of Stamford, Connecticut seems to be following some aspects of the more inclusive approach as set forth by New Haven to its north.
In July, New Haven became the first city in the country to offer its estimated 15,000 illegal immigrants identification cards that would let them open bank accounts and use other services that would otherwise require driver’s licenses or state-issued identifications. “It’s been above and beyond our expectations,” said Jessica Mayorga, a spokeswoman for New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. The city has issued more than 4,600 ID cards.

Unlike New Haven, Danbury, another large Connecticut city where there are an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 undocumented residents, officials are considering a partnership between police and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enforce immigration laws.

Nevertheless, Stamford, where about 5,000 immigrants are believed to be illegal, Mayor Dannel Malloy set up a “no-hassle zone” in 2004 along South State Street when day laborers outgrew their original pickup spot under Interstate 95 and caused traffic congestion. City officials have not pursued a new strategy since then.

While claiming that he is not following one specific strategy, Malloy says that “The model is to honor the Constitution of the United States,” which guarantees equal protection to all persons. “People get along here,” he said. “Maybe our model is one of inclusion as opposed to exclusion.”

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Governor Spitzer Abandons License Plan For Undocumented Immigrants

In confirming his decision to abandon the license proposal, the governor said that he thought the goal of getting illegal immigrants licensed was still a worthwhile and important public policy goal, but he conceded that opposition to the plan was too strong for it to go forward. Even so, Mr. Spitzer, a freshman governor who has had a difficult first year in office, decried his critics, saying that some of them had used the issue as a political football and stoked unreasonable and irresponsible sentiments against illegal immigrants.

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November 13, 2007

New Tancredo TV Ad “Frothing With Hate” Against Undocumented Immigrants

Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo on Monday unveiled a television ad depicting a hooded terrorist detonating a bomb inside a shopping mall, a message the Colorado congressman said he hoped would vault illegal immigration to its rightful place at the center of the campaign.

Critics accused Tancredo of fear-mongering. It ends with the image of a backpack abandoned in a crowded mall, a black screen and the sound of a loud explosion. An on-screen message declares: “Tancredo . . . before it’s too late.”

Dennis Goldford, a professor of politics at Drake University in Des Moines, called the Tancredo spot “an incredibly fear-based kind of advertisement that some might say is trying to terrorize people into supporting his view.”

An immigration activist says it’s Tancredo “frothing with hate.” “I think this is political pandering at its worst,” said spokeswoman Clarissa Martinez of the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

November 11, 2007

Mitt Romney Airs New Ad Attacking Clinton And Other Democrats As Being Wrong on Immigration

Mitt Romney, trying to capitalize on angst about illegal immigration among the Republican rank-and-file, is airing a new TV ad in Iowa and New Hampshire which claims that Clinton and other Democrats “have it wrong on illegal immigration” with their support for a comprehensive reform that offered a path to citizenship for some of the 12 million undocumented workers already in the country, if they paid fines and back taxes and met other requirements.

That initiative, which was supported by President Bush and Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, failed in Congress earlier this year. In the ad, Romney also says he will cut federal funding from cities that don’t enforce federal immigration law.


November 07, 2007

Hillary Clinton Says Allowing Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants Should Depend On The State

In a recent interview, Hillary Clinton, a New York senator, reiterated her support for governors who must contend with large populations of undocumented workers in the absence of federal immigration reform. She then was asked whether she thinks it is a “good idea” for governors to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

“It depends upon what state they’re in. It depends upon what they think the risks are,” Clinton said. “A governor of New York that has a lot of immigrants, many of whom we know are not there legally, has to worry about security. A governor of another state where that’s not a problem doesn’t.”

Clinton aides say she generally supports the concept of granting licenses to illegal immigrants, in the absence of comprehensive immigration reform.

November 06, 2007

New Haven, Connecticut Becomes “Beacon For Immigrant Rights”

New Haven’s new immigrant-friendly municipal ID card was recently celebrated at the 38th annual fund-raising gala for Junta For Progressive Action, a non-profit community agency based in New Haven, Connecticut. The occasion gave participants a chance to reflect on how Junta and New Haven have become, in one member’s words, “beacons for immigrant rights” for the nation.

November 05, 2007

Senator Edwards Says He Wants Comprehensive Immigration Reform Before Allowing Licenses To Undocumented Immigrants

John Edwards on Sunday said he opposes a new program in New York to give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, but the Democratic presidential candidate offered much the same plan for establishing a licensing system as his chief rival and party primary frontrunner, Hillary Clinton.

The former North Carolina senator stated “I believe that, first of all we have to have comprehensive immigration reform and for anybody in this country who is making an effort and on the path to obtaining American citizenship, yes, they should have a driver’s license. If they’re not making any effort to become an American citizen, and we have a system for doing that, my own personal view is, no, I would not give them a driver’s license,” Edwards said on ABC’s “This Week.”

For full Story please see:,2933,308018,00.html

November 01, 2007

Foe Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Rep. Tom Tancredo, Will Not Seek Re-election

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), in the midst of a long-shot presidential campaign, will not seek re-election, his staff confirmed Monday. His decision, first reported by the Rocky Mountain News, makes him the 14th Republican to announce his retirement this election cycle.

His presidential campaign, mired in single-digits in the polls, has been focused primarily on fighting illegal immigration and securing the nation’s borders. The five-term congressman has made a name in Congress by constantly clashing with the Bush administration and has alienated many Republicans in the process.

Karl Rove told him never to “darken the doorstep of the White House” after he loudly opposed the administration on comprehensive immigration reform in 2002.

October 31, 2007

Foreign Nationals Can Now Apply For 2009 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

Foreign nationals in pursuit of life in the United States can now apply online for the 2009 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. The deadline for filing applications is December 2.

Each year, the State Department program awards 50,000 permanent residency visas, known as “green cards,” through a random lottery.The lottery was created in 1990 and designed to bring in people from nations that have not had large numbers of emigrants to the United States.Though controversial in the United States, the visa lottery is immensely popular around the world. Last year’s drawing attracted more than 6.4 million entries – the majority from Africa and Asia.

Applicants to the visa lottery must have either a high school diploma or at least two years work experience in a field requiring at least two years of training.Diversity visa winners are only a small part of the immigrant flow. The Department of Homeland Security reports diversity visas accounted for just 3.5 percent of the more than 1.2 million green cards issued in 2006.

October 26, 2007

U.S. Senate, With White House Encouragement, Killed the DREAM ACT

On October 24, 2007, the United States Senate, with encouragement from the White House, killed the DREAM Act. In so doing, it failed to give a second chance to the single most sympathetic group of immigrants – young people residing in our Nation since childhood who now wish to go to college or join the military.

For full article please see:,208148.shtml

October 25, 2007

DREAM Act Fails in U.S. Senate

The US Senate on Wednesday blocked a bid to give children of illegal immigrants a path to legal status, again dashing the hopes for any meaningful action on Immigration Reform to occur before the 2008 elections. The bill, also known as the DREAM ACT, would have offered children a chance to move towards legal US residency, provided they attend college or served for two years in the military.

It fell eight votes shy of the 60 required to move towards a final vote in the Senate. The bill ran into the same complaints that derailed Comprehensive Immigration Reform earlier this summer. Opponents branded it as amnesty.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton stated that “the enactment of this legislation is long overdue,” and that she would continue to fight for its passage.

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Presidential Candidate Bill Richardson: Immigration raids are “ludicrous” and should Cease

When questioned recently on his thoughts regarding stepped up enforcement raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Governor Bill Richardson stated the following:

“It’s ludicrous. It makes no sense. It shows we have a broken immigration system and enforcement-only will not work. There has to be enforcement and legalization … One, you’ve got to secure the border. That means double the number of border patrol agents. That means keeping the National Guard longer. That means detection equipment so that nuclear material doesn’t get through. The second thing is those that knowingly hire illegal workers should be punished and fined. Third thing is you have a tough conversation with Mexico. They’re our friends. We should be able to be frank with them … Fourth, is a path to legalization. That’s not amnesty. It’s not citizenship. But it’s a path.”

Moreover, when questioned as to whether they should cease the raids, his answer was:

“Yes, they should. Until there is a national comprehensive immigration plan, instead of having these ICE raids, the Congress and the president should go back and pass comprehensive immigration reform.”


October 22, 2007

Senator Obama Proposes Ideas For Immigration Legislation

Sen. Barack Obama gave a rousing speech Saturday to an audience of more than 200 at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles – promising a series of education reforms if he is elected president.

Topics at the town hall-style gathering included the Dream Act, more funding for K-12 teacher salaries, universal health care, comprehensive immigration reform and making higher education more affordable.

At one point, he not-so-jokingly said universities like UCLA should sacrifice “country club” style campuses, including well-furnished dorms, high-end athletic facilities and fancy cafeteria food, to allow more funding for education.

“UCLA is a great school, but I’ll tell you what,” he said. “There are ways we have to control the cost and go for the education rather than the lifestyle.”


For full article please see:

October 19, 2007

Recent Remarks By Republican Candidate Fred Thompson On Illegal Immigration

At a recent fund-raising luncheon with state lawmakers in Atlanta, Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson was asked about immigration and its impact on the South. In his remarks, Thompson said the following:

“Illegal immigration is a problem all over this country. I don’t think it’s limited to just Southern states. People are concerned that the politicians kind of announced one day that there are ‘X’ million people that have come here, and are illegal, and there’s more on the way.

“And there’s basically nothing that we’re doing to stop it.

“And so now we’re struggling with securing the border, which has got to be the first thing that we do — securing the border, which is part of enforcing the law, as the first fundamental step we’ve got to take.”

Regarding the 12 million or so who are already here:

“If you secure the borders, stop luring people here with sanctuary cities, with in-state tuition treatment for illegal immigrants and other things of that nature, if you’ll help these employers do more to identify illegals, with an E-verify system that will allow them to quickly and electronically do that, with the help of the federal government, you will address the problem by attrition in large measure.”

“They set up a false choice — either we get giant busloads of people tomorrow, and round them all up, or we have to grant amnesty. Attrition by enforcement is what makes the most sense.”

Regarding boosting penalties on employers:

“I don’t know that you have to boost penalties on anyone if they know that the law is going to be enforced. I think the issue now has to do more with enforcement than it has to do with the size of the penalties.

“No one wants to have a penalty levied against them. That’s a stigma and bad for business.”

October 18, 2007

Bush Restates His Support For Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Recently, while in Arkansas, President Bush restated his position that he supports comprehensive immigration reform with increased border security and a guest-worker program to formalize the presence of migrant workers.

“ There are not a lot of Americans who want to pluck chickens, ” he said. “ But if you find someone who has a hungry family, it’s amazing how hard they’ll work. ”

Bush said it would be wrong to simply “ kick out” the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, but “ instant citizenship” wouldn’t be a responsible solution either. He called for a plan that would “ give ’em a chance to get in the back of the line” on a clear path to legal citizenship.

“ This debate needs to be constructed in a way that withstands the proud traditions of America. We are a land of immigrants, ” he said. “ However this debate plays out in Rogers or anywhere else, it needs to be constructed by treating people with dignity. ”


October 13, 2007

Gov. Schwarzenegger Considering “California Dream Act”

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is reviewing Senate Bill 1, also known as the California Dream Act. The governor rejected a similar bill last year and opponents say the measure would stretch the state’s already tight resources. He has until midnight Sunday to act on the legislation.

Approved by the Legislature last month, the bill applies to financially needy illegal immigrant students. It would make them eligible for state grants or community college fee waivers if they graduate from California high schools after attending for at least three years.

The measure, by Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, also would give a break to U.S. citizens who graduate from a California high school but then move out of state. It would make them eligible for the same aid programs if they wanted to return to California for college.

A bill expected to come before the U.S. Senate next month would give illegal immigrants who came into the country as children a chance to become legal residents by serving two years in the military or completing two years of college.


October 11, 2007

U.S. Representative Guiterrez (D-Chicago) Criticizes Republicans and Democrats for Inaction on Immigration Reform

Speaking to an audience of more than 300 at Northeastern Illinois University’s 13th Annual Equity in Action Conference, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago) chastised Republicans and members of his own party Tuesday for their inaction on immigration reform.

Gutierrez said he and other Democrats submitted measures for comprehensive immigration reform that proposed stringent background checks on undocumented immigrants, a mandatory six-year waiting period to gain U.S. citizenship for immigrants required to return home, and mandatory English-immersion and civics classes.

Gutierrez said all these measures were rejected by Congress for political reasons.“This is really not about public policy,” Gutierrez said. “This is about the color of the skin of the people who would be legalized under the program. “Xenophobia in America is nothing new.”

October 10, 2007

Federal Judge Blocks Key Part of Effort Against Illegal Immigrant Workers.

A U.S. federal court judge on Wednesday blocked a key part of the Bush administration’s stepped-up efforts to crack down on illegal immigrant workers and those who employ them.

Judge Charles Breyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction against a program that would force employers to verify Social Security numbers and fire workers whose numbers did not match official records.

The federal program developed by the Department of Homeland Security is at the heart of a new crackdown on the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the country, after Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

“The balance of hardships tips sharply in plaintiffs’ favor and plaintiffs have raised serious questions,” Breyer said in his ruling. Breyer still has to rule on a permanent injunction, but workers’ rights groups celebrated Wednesday’s decision.

Breyer had already blocked the Social Security Administration from sending out 140,000 letters to employers with 8 million employees whose names did not match their nine-digit identification numbers.

October 09, 2007

Mexican President Says Only Way To Stop Illegal Immigration Is To Build Economic Growth in Mexico

Mexican President Felipe Calderon criticized the planned U.S. border fence designed to stem illegal immigration, saying countries should be “building bridges, not fences” in an interview broadcast on Monday.

On ABC television’s “Good Morning America,” Calderon lauded President George W. Bush’s failed attempt to get the U.S. Congress to approve comprehensive immigration reform, and said the way to stop illegal immigration is to build economic growth and opportunities in Mexico, not fences.

For full article please see:

October 08, 2007

Urgent Effort Underway At Departments of Homeland Security, State and Labor to Rescue US Farmers


The US government is quietly rewriting federal regulations to bring more foreign laborers into the country after enforcement measures against illegal immigration introduced earlier resulted in a nationwide shortage of farmworkers, a report said on Saturday.

The urgent effort, underway at the departments of Homeland Security, State and Labor, is meant to rescue US farm owners from the lack of legal farmworkers, which is threatening to leave unharvested fruits and vegetables rotting in fields, the Los Angeles Times reported on its website.

“It is important for the farm sector to have access to labor to stay competitive,” the newspaper quoted White House spokesman Scott Stanzel as saying.

For full article see:

October 04, 2007

United States Senate Passes Senator Graham’s Legislation Providing $3 Billion To Counter Illegal Immigration

The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed Sen. Lindsey Graham’s legislation providing $3 billion in emergency funds to counter illegal immigration.

The Senate voted 95-1 for Graham’s amendment to a defense appropriations bill giving the Pentagon $459 billion for fiscal 2008. Congress last week agreed to fund the federal government at 2007 levels while lawmakers resolve disputes over the annual spending bills.

“Securing our border is a national emergency because it’s a national security problem not to be able to control who comes into your country,” Graham said.

The Graham amendment would pay to build most of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, hire 3,000 more border agents, and install motion sensors and 105 ground-based cameras.

The money also would enhance efforts to compel employers to verify that their workers are in the country legally. In addition, it would fund construction of detention centers for legal immigrants who overstay their visas and for repeat offenders who enter the country multiple times without proper documents.




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