House Republican Shames GOP Members On Stalled Immigration Reform

The Huffington Post, 11/14/2013

capitolRep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), who was the first GOP House member to sign on to a Democrat-led comprehensive immigration reform bill, said Thursday that the effort shouldn’t be declared dead yet.

In fact, he said, three additional members from both parties will announce their support for that bill in the next couple of days, with more to come next week. At the same time, he and five other Republicans are talking to fellow GOP members to get 40 to 45 more to sign a letter supporting immigration reform in general.

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Obama: House has votes to pass immigration reform

CBS News, 11/5/2013

Barack_Obama_being_briefed_on_swine_flu_oubreak_4-29In a meeting with business leaders to discuss immigration reform, President Obama predicted that there are enough votes in the House to pass the contentious issue.

“Although right now there’s been some resistance from House Republicans, what’s been encouraging is that there are a number of House Republicans who have said we think this is the right thing to do as well,” Mr. Obama said Tuesday at the White House. “It’s my estimation that we actually have the votes to get comprehensive immigration reform done in the House right now. The politics are challenging for [Speaker Boehner] and others, and we want to make it as easy for them as possible. This is not an issue where we’re looking for a political win, this is one where we’re looking for a substantive win for the U.S. economy and the American people and the businesses that are represented here.”

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Pelosi: Votes are there to pass immigration reform

Nancy Pelosi

The Washington Times, 10/29/2013

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday  there  is a bipartisan majority in the House  of Representatives ready to pass a  comprehensive immigration overhaul  bill, but she may never get the  chance to prove it if GOP Speaker John A. Boehner doesn’t bring a  vote in the Republican-lead House.

“With 28 Republicans having publicly expressed support for a path  to  citizenship, we believe the votes are there on a bipartisan basis to  pass a  bill,” she wrote on Facebook. “It’s just a  question whether Speaker Boehner can  muster the will to schedule a vote.”

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House Democrats to Introduce Immigration Reform Bill

ABC News, 10/2/13

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants 2 participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 2006House Democrats, frustrated by the lack of action by House leadership and fearing all hope of a bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform bill is lost, are expected to introduce an immigration bill of their own today. The new bill, which is expected to be introduced on the floor today, is purely a Democratic party effort designed, sources say, to put pressure on Republican leadership in the House who have refused to support a comprehensive bill in favor of a piecemeal series of laws, none of which so far includes the critical Pathway to Citizenship component so important to the Hispanic community.

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Outside groups try to revive immigration reform

Politico, 9/18/2013

immigration marchNancy Pelosi is huddling with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, top labor leaders and former AOL exec Steve Case in separate meetings this week as supporters of immigration reform try to revive the issue, which fast seems to be dying on Capitol Hill.

Their goal: get legislation moving in the House again before the Thanksgiving recess.

Proponents concede that it’s a heavy lift, and that Republican lawmakers didn’t come out of the August recess ready to act. The Syria debate, and now the battle over whether to fund the government and hike the debt ceiling are the top priorities in the GOP-controlled House, whose rank-and-file are already skeptical of immigration reform. Putting immigration back on the front burner is going to be tough, especially right before the 2014 elections when Republicans won’t be eager to be seen as agreeing with President Barack Obama’s agenda. But immigration supporters aren’t going down without a fight.

Bringing Down The Mexican Tech Mafia: How Hackers Stopped A $9.3 Million Fraud

blank tabletTech Crunch, 4/14/13

“When the geeks go marching in, good stuff can happen, but if everyone joins in, real change can take place.” That’s what the hackers and team behind Codeando México, a civil innovation platform where government and organizations publish projects, thought when they launched the #app115 challenge, an app competition that aimed to prove that great code can be very inexpensive if motivated by the right reasons.

What motivated them? A couple of weeks ago, the Mexican House of Representatives announced that they were planning to pay $9.3 million to have an app developed. The app would work on mobile devices and would monitor what went on in the sessions: bills, context, statements and media analysis. According to one of Mexico’s most widely read newspapers, they had hired a company called Pulso Legislativo (a company that allegedly has questionable relations with current and former legislators from the party in power) and had agreed to 32 monthly payments of about $290,000.

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Editorial: Immigration Hardball

The New York Times, 11/14/2010

Republicans will have the next two years to set the immigration agenda in the House of Representatives. If their legislation looks anything like their campaign ads, there will be no way for illegal immigrants to get right with the law and no real solution to the problem of illegal immigration. Just a national doubling-down on enforcement, with still more border fencing and immigration agents, workplaces locked down, and states and localities setting police dragnets on what always was — and still ought to be — federal turf.

That hard-line approach mocks American values. It is irresponsibly expensive. It is ineffective.

Two of its architects will be leaders in the House Judiciary Committee, where immigration legislation is drafted: the next chairman, Lamar Smith of Texas; and Steve King of Iowa, who is in line to run the immigration subcommittee. Mr. Smith was the author of a 1996 law that bulked up enforcement and drastically increased deportations by limiting legal immigrants’ access to the justice system. It greatly expanded deportable offenses, and left many immigrants unable even to have their cases reviewed by a judge.

The 1996 law and the billions subsequently thrown at border barriers and mass deportations have failed to deter illegal immigration. But this has not deterred Mr. Smith and Mr. King, who want to go further.

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House Approves Merida Initiative

Helicopter Immigration Reform Caucus, 6/11/2009

Washington, D.C. — Acting to prevent the escalating violence in Mexico and Central America from permeating into the United States, Congressman Brian Bilbray today joined a majority of his colleagues in the House of Representatives in support of an initiative that will help Mexico and other Central American nations take aim at drug cartels.

“Either we can go after these cartels in Ensenada or we can fight them in Escondido,” said Bilbray. “I’d prefer that we move now and take care of this problem south of the border. The drug wars in Mexico and in other regions have grown horrendously violent and their destructive ways must be quashed.”

As approved by the House today (311-106), the Merida Initiative will authorize $1.6 billion for a whole litany of equipment, training, and other assistance. It will provide helicopters, surveillance equipment, computer infrastructure, expansion of intelligence databases, anti-corruption initiatives, human rights education and training, and anti-money laundering programs.

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U.S. considers providing Mexico with $470 million in emergency funds (in Spanish)

dave_obey_official_congressional_photo_portrait
Congressman Obey

Reforma, 5/5/2009

The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday moved one crucial step closer to providing the finances originally agreed upon under the Merida Initiative to collaborate with Mexico in the fight against drug trafficking. The Appropriations Committee suggested providing $470 million to Mexico in emergency funds.

The Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Dave Obey, proposed the 2009 Supplemental Budget provide Mexico with $400 million more than the $66 million requested by President Obama in April for “reconnaissance planes, helicopters, and other equipment for Mexico’s fight against drugs,” Obey said in a statement.

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Gillibrand’s Immigration Views Draw Fire

The New York Times, 1/27/2009
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand

During her one term in the House of Representatives, from a largely rural, traditionally Republican district, Kirsten E. Gillibrand was on safe political ground adopting a tough stance against illegal immigration.

Ms. Gillibrand, a Democrat, opposed any sort of amnesty for illegal immigrants, supported deputizing local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws, spoke out against Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s proposal to allow illegal immigrants to have driver’s licenses and sought to make English the official language of the United States.

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