February 5, 2014
Fox News Latino, 2/4/14
One of the highest ranking Republicans in Congress joined the chorus of pessimism about the likelihood of an immigration reform bill passing any time this year. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said on Tuesday that the chances are remote for an agreement between the U.S. Senate, where Democrats hold a majority, and the House of Representatives, where the GOP holds say, happening in 2014 on the highly charged issue of immigration.
His predictions come on the heels of a series of generally skeptical comments by Republicans leaders on the prospects for passage this year of an immigration reform bill. He based his comment on the leap years apart that both chambers are on various aspects of immigration reform.
February 4, 2014
The Washington Post, 2/4/14
New momentum in Congress for a broad overhaul of border-control laws has prompted White House allies to demand that President Obama halt deportations of millions of illegal immigrants, many of whom would be allowed to remain in the country under a legislative deal.
The advocates, including the AFL-CIO and pro-immigration groups, argue that Obama should use his executive authority to expand a 2012 decision that halted deportations of young people brought to the United States illegally by their parents. The administration’s aggressive approach to enforcement — which has resulted in nearly 2 million deportations during Obama’s tenure — makes little sense at a time when Congress could be on the verge of providing legal relief, advocates say.
The push places the White House in a difficult political position as it attempts to negotiate with a House Republican caucus sharply divided on immigration. Leading conservatives said over the weekend that the chief impediment to a deal is their distrust that Obama would enforce new border-security provisions if a large portion of the nation’s 11.7 million illegal immigrants are granted legal status.
February 4, 2014
The Washington Post, 2/2/14
Republicans and Democrats in Congress remain worlds apart on most of the items on the president’s agenda this year — but when it comes to overhauling the nation’s immigration rules, they seem to have found some common ground this past week. And if the talks become bills and those bills become law, based on the areas in which the two sides currently agree, business owners could be in store for significant changes to the way they can recruit and hire new workers.
In their newly released outline of principles for immigration reform, for example, House Republicans called for legislation that improves the country’s immigration system by allocating work visas based on demand from employers, rather than a random lottery system or applicants’ family ties in the United States.
January 29, 2014
Washington Post, 1/29/14
The more deliberate the GOP House has been on immigration reform and the more its leadership has strained to differentiate its position from the Gang of Eight, the more Democrats are sounding accommodating about immigration reform. We can ponder the reasons. Maybe the Senate Democrats are desperate for an achievement. Maybe the White House and Congress realize they are heading for a drubbing in November unless they accomplish something which pleases the Democratic base. Or maybe, they understand they may lose the Senate and now is the best time to get a bill to their liking.
Nevertheless, it is surprising to many conservative pro-immigration reformers that GOP talk about a bill that legalizes but does not grant a “special pathway” to citizenship has not been rejected out of hand.
October 18, 2013
Christian Science Monitor, 10/17/2013
By Carlos Heredia
Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto’s political grand bargain among rival parties has helped usher in long-needed reforms. The US has something to learn from Mexico’s willingness to put country ahead of party.
October 2, 2013
The Huffington Post, 9/30/13
Three months have passed since the Senate’s historic and bipartisan passage of S.744, The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act. Now it’s the House of Representatives’ turn to act. So far, the House has not made much progress towards passing a comprehensive bill that includes a pathway to citizenship, leaving millions of immigrant women, children and families in limbo.
Families are waiting for immigration reform that upholds our basic American values of due process and fairness. Fairness requires something as simple as making it possible for parents who are detained to meaningfully participate in the child custody proceedings of their children. Fairness would allow immigration judges to make case-by-case decisions when family unity is at stake, which our current law forbids in certain deportation cases.
September 13, 2013
A group of Republican California lawmakers are breaking with their party’s skepticism over immigration reform and asking the U.S. Congress to give immigrants a path to citizenship to help their state’s heavy dependence on migrant labor for agriculture and construction.
Flanked by representatives of the state’s agricultural, construction and restaurant industries, 16 Republican state senators and assembly members joined a national push to demand a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
January 3, 2013
Fox News Latino, 1/3/2012
The new Congress, convening Thursday, includes the most Latino members ever.
The 113th Congress includes one more Hispanic in the U.S. Senate, bringing the total to three. History was made when Ted Cruz, a Republican candidate, became the first Latino to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate after he handily defeated Democratic challenger Paul Sadler in the seat that was held by retiring GOP Sen. Kay Baily Hutchison.
Cruz, who was backed by the Tea Party, joins New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican. All three are attorneys and Cuban American in a country where an overwhelming majority of Latinos are Mexican.
February 16, 2012
Hispanics are poised for major gains in Congress this fall, ensuring a boost to their clout on Capitol Hill.
Latinos are positioned to seize at least a handful of new House seats, thanks to redistricting. California has three new Hispanic-majority districts, and Texas, depending on the final outcome of legal wrangling over congressional maps, is expected to have one or two. Democrats also are fielding at least six strong Hispanic recruits in other districts currently represented by white members. And the GOP has a high-profile candidate of its own in former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, who’s trying to unseat Rep. Lois Capps, a white Democrat.
Taken together, the Hispanic delegation could see its ranks swell. Hispanic lawmakers currently hold 25 House seats, according to The Almanac of American Politics, and after the election, that number could reach well over 30.
December 7, 2011
For more than 30 years, the United States and Mexico have engaged in a mutually destructive trade in which narcotics are sent north and high-caliber weapons shipped south.
When I was a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles during the late 1980s and early ’90s, investigating the torture and murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement agent Enrique Camarena, I thought the level of drug violence could not be worse.
But it is — beyond anything we could have imagined. As the cartels have fought for survival during the five years since President Felipe Calderon took office, violence against civilians, politicians, journalists and police has reached staggering levels of depravity. Just last month, the Zeta Cartel threatened public school teachers to turn over half their pay or be murdered. Hundreds of schools had to be shut down.