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Posts tagged: Barack Obama

Labrador: Obama immigration move ‘blatantly political’

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador, an immigration attorney who touted his expertise on the issue as he ran for Idaho's 1st District congressional seat two years ago, blasted President Obama's announcement today of a major change in the nation's immigration law enforcement: Young illegal immigrants will be able to avoid deportation if they can prove they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed.

“Our nation's first commitment must be to follow the rule of law and this action by the president bypasses the existing legal process,” Labrador said in a statement. “President Obama had two years in the White House to move immigration legislation through a Democrat-controlled House and Senate and he failed to do so. There are many Republicans in Congress who have been working to fix our broken immigration process. Instead of joining them to produce legislation in a constitutional manner, the president acted unilaterally in a blatantly political manner.”

Click below for a full report on the president's announcement from the Associated Press in Washington, D.C.

Luna joins Obama at White House, praises new NCLB waiver process

Idaho state schools Superintendent Tom Luna was among more than a dozen state school chiefs invited to joint President Obama and his education secretary, Arne Duncan, at the White House this morning to unveil a new waiver process for states under the No Child Left Behind Law. Luna said Idaho, which earlier refused to comply with changing rules in the program, will be among the first states to apply for one of the new waivers in November.

“Idaho has been extremely vocal on what the waiver process should look like, so I'm not surprised they invited Supt. Luna,” said Melissa McGrath, Luna's spokeswoman. After the White House ceremony, Luna said in a statement, “This will not be a waiver from accountability, but it will give the necessary flexibility states need to increase accountability and focus on making sure every student in Idaho is growing academically every year they are in school. I believe this is a symbolic shift of power from the federal government back to the states.”

Luna made the trip to the White House from New York, where he was attending a conference on education technology hosted by the New York Times. After the D.C. ceremony, he's scheduled to fly back to New York to participate in NBC's “Education Nation” school-reform summit, part of which will be televised on Sunday on MSNBC. Luna is due back in Idaho the evening of Sept. 29. Click below for a full report on the new waiver process from AP reporter Jessie Bonner, and you can read Luna's full statement here.

Idahoans have nation’s dimmest view of President Obama’s job performance

Gallup Polls is reporting today that Idahoans gave President Obama the lowest approval rating in the nation, at 27 percent, for the first half of 2011, even as the number of states where Obama's approval rating was 50 percent or higher jumped from 12 in 2010 to 16 in the first half of 2011. Overall, the president's approval rating is at 47 percent, the polling firm reported; you can see its full report here. Idaho's 27 percent approval rating of the president's performance falls well below the three next-lowest states, Wyoming, Utah and Oklahoma, which were tied at 32 percent.

Luna: Obama back-to-school speech was ‘appropriate and timely’

Idaho state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna watched President Barack Obama’s back-to-school speech today with a classroom full of 8th graders at Fairmont Junior High School, and afterward Luna called the president’s speech “appropriate and timely.” He said, “I thought the message was very similar to messages that we hear public officials give to students often - it’s definitely something that I say every chance I get in front of students, that students need to be responsible for their education, they need to come to school every day ready to learn.”

Luna said the kids he watched with paid attention and took notes, then answered questions from both their teacher and him afterward. “I had a number of kids tell me that they were going to try a little bit harder this year … that even if they encounter obstacles or challenges, they were going to keep trying and do a little bit better every day.” Luna, a Republican, said he was puzzled by the outcry from some quarters over the president addressing school kids, “because I remember when I worked for the Bush Administration … the president was always at a school the first day talking to students. That’s why he was at a school Sept. 11 reading to students, because it was the first day of school in Florida.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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