Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY), and Russ Feingold (D-WI) have introduced the Military Families Act (S. 2757). The Military Families bill would allow immediate family members of active military service members to become lawful permanent residents even when the sponsoring solider has lost his or her life in service. Also included in the bill are the sons and daughters of Filipino World War II veterans whose immigration status has been long deferred due to numerical limitations on immigrant visas.
Newspapers are reporting today that during the official Q&A session following the Chicago bid for the Olympic Games, I.O.C. member, Syed Shahid Ali, from Pakistan, asked President Obama how smooth it would be for foreigners to enter the United States for the Olympic Games because doing so can sometimes be "a rather harrowing experience." While this I.O.C. member's concerns raise a red flag about the need for a change in our immigration policies, a litany of voices have been warning for years that the U.S. is slowly adopting an anti-visitor policy that is harming business, higher education and families.
While attempting to reform the nation's health care system, both Congress and the White House are facing considerable pressure to include immigration-related restrictions that are long on rhetoric and short on results. Faced with pressure from the right and immigration restrictionists, the new Senate mark includes over-the-top measures to exclude illegal immigrants and restrict the participation of legal immigrants. These poor policies are nonsensical, do not protect public health, and will undoubtedly result in the exclusion of U.S. citizens. Furthermore, inclusion of these provisions has failed to win support of the very critics they were trying to appease.
It would seem that the Center for Immigration Studies has decided to jump on the talk-radio bandwagon of far-right commentators who are loudly attempting to derail substantive health care reform through fear-mongering and falsehoods. Although CIS has so far steered clear of the baseless rants about "death panels" and "socialized medicine," it has issued a new report that seeks to buttress an equally farcical claim: that health care reform will leave American taxpayers footing the bill for millions of unauthorized immigrants who will receive federally subsidized health insurance.
The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an integral part of Georgia's and Tennessee's economies and tax bases and are a growing share of voters in each state. As workers, taxpayers, consumers, and entrepreneurs, immigrants and their children are an economic powerhouse.
Today, America and the immigrant-rights community have lost one of their greatest champions. Senator Edward M. Kennedy's life-long commitment to civil rights extended from African Americans to the disabled to the millions of immigrants and refugees who come to our nation in search of a better life.
The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an integral part of South Carolina's economy and tax base and are a growing share of voters in the state. As workers, taxpayers, consumers, and entrepreneurs, immigrants and their children are an economic powerhouse.
Today, President Obama once more reaffirmed his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform, pledging that "we can get this done." The President and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Napolitano met with immigrant advocates, faith leaders, labor, business, and law enforcement officials to listen to concerns and discuss the next steps forward.
Immediately after the Presidential election of 2008, it was quickly apparent through exit polling that Latino, Asian, and African-American voting had expanded dramatically compared to the 2004 election. Census Bureau data released late last month confirms the tremendous growth in voting among these groups. Today, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) releases a fact check, Latino and Asian Clout in the Voting Booth, which shows how much the electoral power of racial and ethnic minorities increased in just four years.
As the current debate on health care rages in town halls across the nation, immigration is being used as a way to jam a stick into the wheels of impending reform. Some are scapegoating immigrants as a way to thwart progress on the issue and are arguing that even legal immigrants be restricted from our health system. Linking these two issues does nothing to advance necessary reforms to either health care or immigration. The U.S. can do both, but public debate and discussion must be based on facts, not myths and misinformation.