Posts tagged: Immigration
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, emphasized substance over style in the upcoming budget and immigration policy talks Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Addressing the media with other conservative members of Congress, Labrador said he was encouraged by the ideas behind a budget plan set forth by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to balance the federal budget within a decade. He stressed that policy decisions should flow from that benchmark and urged the Republican party to make policy commitments, rather than simply passing the Ryan budget which has no force of law.
“Some people in this caucus believe that the plan is just to pass the Paul Ryan budget,” Labrador said, adding his goal is not to pass “a meaningless document by itself, unless we actually implement the policies that will get us to a 10-year balanced budget.”
Ryan’s budget is just one of competing visions for a federal government spending plan. Last week, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., released her own spending bill that roundly rejected several of the Republican House’s key provisions. The Ryan plan calls for no increase in taxes and complete reduction of the deficit by 2023 through reforms to Medicare and repealing the Affordable Care Act. Murray’s budget, on the other hand, calls for nearly $1 trillion in tax increases targeting the wealthy, additional stimulus spending and no fixed date for a balanced federal budget.
Both plans are working their way through Congress. President Barack Obama, also required to release a spending plan by law, has delayed doing so since February, to the ire of many Republicans. The White House now expects to release its budget next month.
Labrador is widely hailed as the prominent figure in a potential bipartisan immigration reform deal. Last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the freshman congressman reiterated his stance that there should be no new path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in any reform legislation. He called instead for enforcement of existing laws and granting “legal status” to those who entered the country illegally, without the possibility of citizenship.
He responded to comments made earlier in the week by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in favor of immigration reform. Paul called for a legal status approach in line with his own beliefs, Labrador said, rather than media reports that said he was pushing a path to citizenship. He expressed support for plans to fix what he repeatedly called a “broken system,” including several ideas offered by Paul.
“We’re talking about a minor issue,” Labrador said of the pathway to citizenship proposal. “The real issue that we’re dealing with is immigration reform. Let’s fix it.”
Labrador blamed labor unions for defeating legislation put forward in the Senate in 2007. That law would have allowed for a new type of temporary visa available to undocumented workers. A bipartisan group in the Senate released a set of principles to guide reform in January that included both a new “tough and fair” pathway to citizenship and admitting more workers into the country.
Any immigration reform legislation in the House would have to be vetted by the Judiciary Committee, said Labrador. He said the window for real reform would probably close in December, when campaigning for the midterm elections would begin in earnest.
OLYMPIA — Add immigration to the list of issues that could provoke a heated argument in this year's Legislature. Two mutually exclusive proposals involving undocumented students in the state's colleges will be in the Senate.
Young adults who came to the United States with their parents as young children and were raised and educated in this country would be eligible for some state college aid under a proposal announced Tuesday by Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle.
What's being dubbed the Washington State DREAM Act would open up the State Need Grant and College Bound Scholarship programs to high school students who are undocument residents. Those programs already have long waiting lines; the State Need Grant last year had 32,000 applicants who couldn't get aid because the program ran out of money. . .
OLYMPIA — The Senate began discussion of the 2011-13 Transportation Bill shortly afternoon — and stopped fairly quickly.
A ruling is needed to determine whether Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, can get a vote on an amendment that would require applicants for a drivers license to present a valid Social Security number or some other form of identification that proves they are citizens.
Washington is the only state that does not require citizenship before issuing a drivers license, Benton said. That makes it a “magnet” for illegal immigrants seeking some form of state-issued ID.
Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, argued that the amendment is out of order because it's outside the subject and scope of the transportation bill, which she said is about spending money on transportation projects over the next two years. Benton's proposed change would essentially create a new state law on drivers licenses that would extend beyond the life of the spending plan.
Benton argued it fits in the transportation bill, which has money for a pilot program for a new federal licensing program that mentions Social Security numbers as part of its qualifications.
The budget debate was put on hold, pending a ruling on whether Benton's amendment is out of order. A few minutes later, the Senate adjourned until Wednesday morning because its Ways and Means Committee has a hearing at 2:30 p.m. that will require much of the members to attend.
OLYMPIA – A legislative hearing over a proposal to make drivers license applicants give the state a Social Security Number and a verifiable residence was abruptly halted Thursday after some members of the audience called the plan racist and anti-immigrant.
Senate Transportation Chairwoman Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, ended the hearing when several people in the audience tried to shout her down over the purpose of SB 5407…
A group pushing an initiative to change immigration law in
They’ve used a similar tactic to distribute copies of the I-1043
The group is pushing an initiative that requires extra steps by
the state to verify citizenship for things like drivers licenses and government
services, and by employers who are hiring new workers. Respect
Feller said the initiative organization spent $8,000 to print and distribute the petitions in the S-R, and about $20,000 statewide for the newspaper blitz, which started around Memorial Day.
The group listed only $100 in its Public Disclosure Commission reports as of June 10, but Feller said those reports are being corrected. The group needs about 241,000 signatures of registered voters by July 2, and Feller declined to say how many it had to date. But he didn’t dispute a suggestion that initiative groups that distribute petitions via newspaper usually have a big gap to close.
“We wouldn’t spend the money if it weren’t necessary,” Feller said. “Our success will depend on the response.”