Republican Increase in Visas to Foreign Graduates at US Schools Comes With Reduction in Other Legal Immigration Programs

By: Thursday September 20, 2012 1:20 pm

In one of their last acts before going home to campaign, House Republicans will pass a bill today that would increase the level of high-skill immigrants allowed to stay in the country. It would expand by 55,000 the visas granted to foreign graduates of US colleges and universities in what are known as the STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering and math. This fits with a key part of Mitt Romney’s immigration agenda, which he expressed in a roundtable on Univision last night. He said that any diploma to a foreign student for a high-skill field like this “should come with a green card.”

However, the Republican bill, authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, would not create one new net immigration visa.


More on the $465 Fee for DREAM-Eligible Deferred Action Applications

By: Tuesday August 7, 2012 11:00 am

The application for DREAM-eligible immigrants for deferred action status, enabling them to avoid deportation and stay in the United States with a work permit for two years, will cost $465. I wondered why this signature program announced by the President would end up being so costly, and if it would damage the potential effectiveness of the program. So I asked the office of Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) about it. The agency’s reason: without the fees, there’s no funding to pay for this.

Obama Announcement on DREAM Relief Marred by Right-Wing Heckler

By: Friday June 15, 2012 1:35 pm

President Obama outlined his decision on immigration policy today, granting relief and work permits for approximately 800,000 “DREAMers” brought to America as children. And in the middle of his announcement, Neil Munro, a writer for the right-wing Daily Caller, interrupted the President and asked him why he was taking the side of foreigners over Americans.

As President Obama laid this out today, it became clear that opposition to the DREAM Act is rooted in basically bullying or misplaced anger, which became evident with Munro’s interruption.

White House to Accelerate “Extreme Hardship” Immigration Process

By: Sunday January 8, 2012 1:15 pm

In potentially good news on the immigration front, the Obama Administration will change the rules for immigrants who apply for legal status. They will allow children and spouses of US citizens applying for legal status to go through the process while staying in the country, rather than the current rule, where the applicant has to leave the country while requesting the waiver.

Immigration Activists Decry Administration’s Record Deportations in 2011

By: Wednesday October 19, 2011 9:30 am

The news that the Obama Administration deported 400,000 undocumented immigrants in the last fiscal year, setting another record, did not come as welcome news to immigration advocates. The Administration claims there is new focus on just criminals, but what do they define as “criminal”?

ICE Rounds Up Criminal Immigrants, While DoJ Undercuts Dream Act

By: Wednesday September 28, 2011 1:25 pm

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) announced a roundup over the last week of nearly 3,000 alleged criminal immigrants from across the country. The action follows a recent order from the Department of Homeland Security to focus only on serious criminals in their deportation efforts. But why is the Department of Justice undermining the Dream Act?

Local Law Enforcement Says Secure Communities Harms Their Efforts

By: Tuesday August 16, 2011 1:30 pm

A few people asked me why the Obama Administration is so dead-set on deporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants, when they have no hope of attracting the anti-immigrant crowd from a political standpoint. Rep. Luis Gutierrez explained that to me at Netroots Nation, and I think if more people understood this rationale you’d see even more outcry than you do now:

So why have there been so many deportations, more than under the Bush Administration? Gutierrez suggested that the White House feels they have a mandate from Congress to deport 400,000 people a year. Which means they’re literally breaking up families to fulfill a budgetary authority. Congress has expanded deportation systems and given DHS more money to deport. So the contractors have been paid, and now they have to be used. That’s how Secure Communities, a real cash cow for the contractors, was created. And that’s why they don’t want states dropping out. “The fastest-growing airline in the country is the one that flies around undocumented immigrants,” said Gutierrez. In the end, it comes down to money, for detention, information sharing and the mechanics of deportation.

Obama Speaks on Immigration Reform in El Paso

By: Tuesday May 10, 2011 1:31 pm

The President’s remarks on immigration reform, delivered last hour from El Paso, Texas, reflect a return to promises made during the 2008 campaign, with the experience of a Presidency that has focused on border and workplace enforcement and deportations more than building the coalition for reform.

The Rahm Campaign, Day One: Welcome Home, Dude!

By: Wednesday October 6, 2010 7:05 am

Between being captured using the hand-sanitizer on camera and the discovery that his “I’m baaaaack!” video was made at his home in DC, things are a little bumpy for Rahm, to say the least.

Rep. Gutierrez: McEntee is “Disgrace to Labor Movement” for Endorsing Rahm for Mayor

By: Tuesday October 5, 2010 4:30 pm

Big story from Mike Elk: Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Democratic Congressman from Illinois and potential mayoral candidate for the city of Chicago, slammed AFSCME President Gerald McEntee’s endorsement of Rahm Emanuel for Mayor of Chicago. Gutierriez said McEntee is a “disgrace to the labor movement” for endorsing Rahm’s candidacy.

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