Archive for the ‘justice’ Category

Immigration embers could turn into political fire for Obama

March 22, 2009

President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, already burdened with pushing through the president’s massive agenda, seem to be sidestepping the issue of illegal immigration.

But with Hispanics expecting big things from the party they helped put in control of Washington last year, fancy footwork won¹t be enough. Hispanic lawmakers went to the White House last week to find out why Obama’s overflowing agenda left out the immigration reform he promised during his campaign.

By Susan Ferrechio
The Examiner

Days before, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had drawn criticism when she told an audience in San Francisco that some raids by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency are “un-American” because they separate illegal immigrant parents from their U.S.-born children.

The remarks brought quick denunciations from opponents of illegal immigration and amnesty for illegal immigrants.

But putting a halt to such raids has been one of the top priorities for Hispanic leaders. At their meeting with Obama last week, the Hispanic lawmakers managed to get the president to pledge that he is “pursuing ways”
to end such raids.

That may be the closest Obama gets to reforming immigration anytime soon.

“Immigration reform makes Social Security reform look like a walk in the park,” said former Rep. Martin Frost, D-Texas., who chaired the House Democratic Caucus from 1999-2003. “It is the single toughest, meanest subject Congress has to deal with. Given the scope of the problems they are facing right now it would be very hard to put immigration reform into the mix.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/
politics/Immigration-embers-could-tu
rn-into-political-fire-41631172.html

Related:
 La Raza has a new best friend at Justice

immigrants protest INS raids
“Stop the racist raids” signs are held by Latino activists as they protest recent immigration raids across the country at a demonstration and news conference in front of the downtown Federal Building December 19, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (File photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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La Raza has a new best friend at Justice

March 22, 2009

President Barack Obama’s nomination of Maryland Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division was met with “profound disappointment” by the National Council of La Raza. The Latino advocacy group would have preferred another candidate.

But La Raza will get over its disappointment once they learn more about Perez. Maryland is one of three states that gives driver’s licenses to people without worrying if they recently snuck across the border. Perez, a former Clinton administration official, lives in Takoma Park, Md., a “sanctuary city” that allows illegal immigrants to vote in local elections. He’s also a former president and board member of Casa de Maryland, a nonprofit group that receives millions of tax dollars — in addition to a $1.5 million donation from Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.

Casa is suing Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, the first Maryland sheriff to participate in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement 287(g) program, which deputizes local police forces to enforce federal immigration laws. In just 10 months, 309 of 337 illegal immigrants arrested in Frederick have been slated for deportation — including MS-13 gang members, a Nicaraguan sniper, and others with drug, child abuse, rape and burglary convictions.

On March 4, Sheriff Jenkins told the House Committee on Homeland Security that his first 287(g) case involved a man caught driving drunk in a school zone. For doing his job and protecting his community, Jenkins now stands accused by Casa of breaking the law.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa, Ariz., is also under investigation — by the same Justice Dept. office that Perez will soon head — for alleged racial profiling in dealing with illegal immigrants. His accusers include Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, whose city has become America’s kidnapping capital — where drug cartel thugs intimidate terrified Mexican nationals. Ten Republican congressmen warn that targeting Arpaio will have a chilling effect on other law enforcement agencies battling Baghdad-like levels of drug violence now spilling over our southern border.

James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation says only a three-pronged approach will quell this ongoing invasion: Beef up law enforcement in Mexico, promote strong community policing in border states, and follow up with integrated prosecution efforts at the federal, state and local levels. “Without those three things, you don’t have a strategy,” Carafano says. With Perez at Justice, La Raza will be pleased to learn, at least two of these essentials will go by the boards during the Obama administration.

The Examiner
http://www.sfexaminer.com/opin
ion/41604157.html

On Inauguration Day, One Nation

January 21, 2009

Time and again, incoming presidents point Americans toward unity. Jefferson did so in the great debate over strong central government. Lincoln did when slavery cleaved the country. Now, after decades of cultural and political polarization and in the face of great challenges, it’s Barack Obama‘s turn at choirmaster for the nation’s disparate voices.

Americans excel at pulling together when needed. Look no further than last week’s Hudson River emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549, which combined the expertise of the pilots, the quick response of harbor boats, and the calm aid of crew and passengers.

But such common effort reaches far beyond a crisis, back over the centuries to the ideals that set the American experiment apart.

The diverse faces of the millions who came to witness the swearing in of the country’s first African-American president testify to what ultimately unifies. It’s not ethnicity or religious creed, which define so many nations, but the founding ideals of the United States – liberty, justice, and opportunity for all.

When put into practice, they attract and inspire the world over. They are the reason many in other countries tuned in to President Obama’s inauguration and sent e-mails like this one: “Today, I feel like an American, too.”

These values have had the power to throw off a monarchy, abolish slavery, and make way for women’s suffrage. They have been worth suffering and dying for. They have plied the decades, refining and improving laws and behaviors until almost unawares, they produced a president whose very identity embodies unity as none before him has, and whose personal story is a nonfiction American dream.

As a candidate, Mr. Obama campaigned on oneness. In the weeks since the election, he has put that concept into practice: in his Cabinet, in reaching out to Republicans (including his opponent, John McCain), and in meeting with conservative columnists. He appears to be not just asking for input, but listening. As Jefferson pointed out, woe to that democracy that does not protect minority interests.

Obama repeatedly states that his will be an administration influenced by what works, by empirical evidence – not by party ideology. He’s set a tone that honors that of his political hero, Lincoln: “With malice toward none, with charity for all.” Applied consistently, it may earn him charity in return when he disappoints either side – as he will.

So far, Obama’s having a unifying effect. Forty-seven percent of voters rejected him on Nov. 4, yet a New York Times/CBS News poll shows 79 percent of Americans are optimistic about the next four years under the new president – a level of support greater than that of the past five incoming chiefs.

It’s a tall order, bringing a country together. But Obama is reaching beyond political bridge-building – as hard as that is – to a spiritual union grounded in individuals caring for each other, what he calls “a new era of responsibility.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt hinted at the same in his first inaugural: “These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.”

As America’s 44th president recognizes, the job ahead belongs to all of us.

From the Christian Science Monitor