January 23, 2014
CNN Money, 01/23/2014
In an effort to promote immigration reform, advocacy group FWD.us launched Push4Reform, a Web application aimed at helping supporters connect with Congress members and urge them to take action.
Push4Reform gathers information about members of Congress and their stances on immigration. People who download the app can enter their ZIP code to learn whether their representatives and senators support particular immigration reforms, what their reps have said publicly about the topic and find the best ways to connect with them.
January 23, 2014
The Washington Post, 01/22/201
Plenty of signs suggest immigration reform will move front and center in the next few weeks. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), as The Hill reported, is sounding a positive note, saying he would supporting legalizing the 11 million or so illegal immigrants but not carving a special pathway to citizenship. He joins a number of conservative Republicans including Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) in suggesting that formula. (The devil is in the details: Does this mean they could eventually get citizenship?)
This still will be too generous to satisfy immigration opponents, for whom the goalposts constantly change. If earned citizenship was equated in 2013 with “amnesty,” the same will be true in 2014 of “no special pathway.” At bottom, there are some on the right who want no impediment to deporting 11 million people. Suggesting that this will never happen and that they therefore are eroding the “rule of law” they claim to support doesn’t seem to register.
The next critical step may come at the House GOP confab next week. Leadership can take the pulse of the conference and then see if there is a real chance for progress.
December 16, 2013
The Guardian, 12/13/2013
Immigration reform has emerged as the next Republican battleground after a high-profile split between party leaders and the Tea Party over budget compromise led to growing expectation of a similar bipartisan deal to legalise America’s 11 million undocumented migrants.
House speaker John Boehner signalled a major break from right-wing conservatives on Thursday when he accused activist groups of losing “all credibility” by opposing his efforts to reach a deal with Democrats over the $1tn federal budget. Heritage Action, a group behind many Tea Party Republicans, issued a testy response on Friday, claiming Boehner was trying to clear the way for immigration reform next year by severing his links with opponents on the right of the party.
December 13, 2013
Washington Times, 11/12/13
Republican leaders in the House already have said they won’t take up the immigration reform bill that passed the Senate earlier this year. But that didn’t stop Vice President Joseph R. Biden from guaranteeing Wednesday that, eventually, the Senate measure — and its controversial pathway to citizenship provision — will become the law of the land.
“We’re going to pass this Senate bill that we’re talking about here. It’s going to happen,” Mr. Biden said during an online question-and-answer session, where he and Cecilia Munoz, the White House’s director of domestic policy, took questions via Twitter and Skype.
December 12, 2013
The Los Angeles Times, 12/12/2013
The lower chamber of Mexico’s Congress followed the lead of the Senate on Wednesday night by approving an energy reform bill that would open the country’s nationalized oil and gas industry to foreign investment.
The bill, which proponents say will help Mexico reverse its declining oil production with the help of foreign capital and expertise, passed on a 354-134 vote, clearing the two-thirds vote hurdle necessary for passage. The Senate approved the bill late Tuesday.
As a change to the Mexican constitution, the proposal also must be approved by a majority of state legislatures. They are expected to do so, though opposition to the measure in some quarters remains fierce.
December 12, 2013
The Washington Post, 11/12/2013
Mexico’s lower house of Congress gave general approval to historic legislation that would open the state-run oil industry to private investment, but final passage was delayed by a debate on its provisions that continued throughout the night and past dawn on Thursday.
Just hours after the measure passed the Senate Wednesday on a 95-28 vote, members of the House of Deputies took up the bill after overriding attempts by leftist opponents to block discussions.
December 6, 2013
The Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.
What the English language press had to say…
This week the Washington Post noted that Mexico’s Senate passed the most dramatic political reform attempt in decades which would allow re-election of federal legislators, create new election oversight and make the Attorney General’s office independent from the executive. It also highlighted that the Senate is moving on to energy reform, which is considered the most critical part of the reform package that President Enrique Peña Nieto is pushing to have passed before the end of this year. The Economist noted that it will be difficult for Mexico´s left to stop the Energy Reform after Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador suffered a heart attack on December 3rd. His absence weakened a blockade of the Senate that he had promised. Meanwhile, the Financial Post was not enthusiastic over the Energy Reform. In an article published this week, it argued that that even if the proposed reform is passed within a year, it could take up to 10 years for production to begin in the deep-sea reserves. Additionally, the profit-sharing contracts may not be as profitable as anticipated, as the terms under the proposal stipulate that foreign companies would receive a share of the revenues from the fields, rather than the oil and gas to sell themselves.
In another note, the BBC reported on Wednesday that a truck carrying medical radioactive material had been stolen near Mexico City. Mexico’s Nuclear Security Commission said that at the time of the theft, the cobalt-60 teletherapy source was “properly shielded”. Nonetheless, the Washington Post noted on Thursday, that the theft of the material sparked international concern over the possibility that the cobalt-60 could be used in a “dirty bomb.” By Wednesday afternoon, the same news outlet reported that authorities had found the stolen the radioactive material. The National Journal claimed that after the theft, a group of critics questioned if the International Atomic Energy Agency’s radiological security rules were enough for securing radioactive materials.
Read the rest of this entry »
December 6, 2013
International Business Times, 12/5/2013
More than two dozen Democrats on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama, calling on him to help restart the immigration reform debate in Congress by suspending deportation. They also asked the nation’s chief executive to go a step further and expand “deferred action,” a program that would grant these immigrants reprieve.
The lawmakers’ formal request to the president came more than a week after he was heckled at a California event by an immigrant who asked that Obama use his executive power to protect immigrants from the laws under what they describe as a broken system.
December 6, 2013
Lawmakers in Mexico are considering a major change to their elections. For more than a century, the country has had the ultimate term limits: nobody can be re-elected.
December 5, 2013
The Economist 12/5/2013
Mexico’s legislative blitzkrieg has stepped up a gear. On December 5th the Senate will at last start formally discussing energy reform, which is supposed to be the crowning achievement of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s first year in office. That is the day after both upper and lower houses approved an electoral reform bill that overturns a century-old ban on the re-election of politicians. It has, however, been done in such haste that José Woldenberg, an elections expert, writes in Reforma today of a “sea of imprecisions”.
Speed is the order of the day. To meet the December 15th deadline when Congress shuts for Christmas, senators are working like Santa’s elves: so late into the night that it is hard to contact them by day to discuss what they approved. The initial impression, however, is that the electoral reform, cobbled together by Mr Peña’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the conservative National Action Party (PAN), has good intentions, but is a bit slipshod. It looks like Congress decided that a fast-tracked electoral bill was a price worth paying for a bold energy reform.