Archive for the ‘immigration’ Category

More than 1 million young illegal immigrants expected to seek waivers

The first details on President Barack Obama’s plan to waive deportation for children of illegal immigrants, from the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s new plan to grant temporary work permits to many young, illegal immigrants who otherwise could be deported may cost more than $585 million and require hiring hundreds of new federal employees to process more than 1 million anticipated requests, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The Homeland Security Department plans, marked “not for distribution,” describe steps that immigrants will need to take — including a $465 paperwork fee designed to offset the program’s cost — and how the government will manage it. Illegal immigrants can request permission to stay in the country under the plan by filing a document, “Request for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” and simultaneously apply for a work permit starting Aug. 15.

Under the new program, which President Barack …

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Your morning jolt: Chip Rogers says he’ll vote ‘yes’ on casino gambling

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers and his Republican challenger, chamber executive Brandon Beach, met in a debate up in Milton last night, sponsored by the North Fulton & Friends Tea Party.

Yours truly served as one of two moderators. For the record, the time needed to drive the 40 miles from the state Capitol was one hour, 55 minutes. My partner was former secretary of state Karen Handel, who – should she ever give up on politics – will make a fine TV news anchor.

Topics included the transportation sales tax, ethics, and a new Milton County. Both men support the latter. But stark differences showed up when it came to education and gaming.

Atlanta developer Dan O’Leary wants to harness the Georgia Lottery as the engine to drive a vast entertainment and gaming complex in Gwinnett County. We asked the candidates what they thought about the idea. Said Rogers:

”If people earn money, and they want to spend it in a way that doesn’t violate anybody else’s rights, it’s …

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Your morning jolt: Feds sue over Georgia’s runoff schedule

Federal officials have followed through on a threat issued nearly two weeks ago. From the Associated Press:

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia and its chief election official for allegedly not giving enough time to military service members, their families and citizens living overseas to return absentee ballots for the Aug. 21 federal primary runoff election.

The Justice Department said in a news release Wednesday that the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. The news release says Georgia’s procedures are “inadequate to ensure that its eligible military and overseas voters can participate fully” in the runoff, should one be necessary.

Federal officials contend that under Georgia’s election calendar, absentee ballots for the runoff election won’t be sent out until after the July 7 deadline, or 45 days in advance of the election.

Of course, it’s hard to issue a runoff ballot on July 7 when the first round of voting doesn’t occur until …

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The U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow Georgia Democrats back in the game

Other than that minor decision on health care due out in the next few hours, the most important ruling made this week by the U.S. Supreme Court is the one that will allow Democrats to resume a competitive — if not dominant — role in Georgia politics. Not today, not tomorrow, but within the lifetimes of most of this state’s current residents.

What? You missed that one?

Without being too cute about it, a Democratic resurgence in Georgia may be the ultimate impact of the court’s ruling on how far states — in this case Arizona — can go in the fight against illegal immigration.

This is about numbers, not philosophy. Last week, Alan Abramowitz, the Emory University political scientist, pointed out some interesting statistics on the secretary of state’s website.

In 2001, as the lowering of a segregation-era state flag was about to spark a Republican revolution, whites made up a domineering 72 percent of 4.6 million registered Georgia voters. African-Americans accounted …

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Your morning jolt: John Barrow’s hall pass to escape convention detention

One day later, it’s become clear that U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Augusta won’t be penalized by fellow Democrats for skipping the national convention in Charlotte this September.

The Democrat in charge of congressional campaigns has given him a pass. From Reuters:

“If they want to win an election, they need to be in their districts,” New York congressman Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, [said] Tuesday.

Israel emphasized that Democratic President Barack Obama’s poll ratings – which have hovered around 50 percent – have little to do with his stance.

“I don’t care if the president was at 122 percent favorability right now,” he said. “I think (candidates) should be in their districts,” rather than spend time at the convention, which will be in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3-6.

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A few miles south of Charlotte, Gov. Nikki Haley’s choice for Congress, Tom Rice, crushed Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer in the South Carolina Republican …

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Highlights from high court’s Arizona decision

Feel free to join me in a quick reading of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Arizona immigration law by clicking here.

My first impression is that, if you are a supporter of Georgia’s version, HB 87, your cheering may end up a little forced by the end of the document.

Yes, a five-member majority of the high court upheld the portion of the Arizona law (which has a parallel in the Georgia statute) that allows law enforcement to run citizenship checks on those arrested for other reasons, but the court declared that this approval was tentative and subject to future rulings.

Other sections of the Arizona law were overturned, including a provision making it a misdemeanor for an illegal immigrant to apply for a job. While acknowledging the state of Arizona’s legitimate concerns, the bulk of the language reasserts the federal government’s supremacy in immigration.

Walk with me through some excerpts of the majority decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy:

The Government of …

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Southern Baptist leader on immigration order: ‘I’m trying to figure out what the problem is’

Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has served as one of the contrary conservative voices when it comes to immigration reform.

Land, part of the bureaucracy of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, has repeatedly warned Republicans that they risk being on the wrong side of history when it comes to demanding that millions of illegal immigrants, who have lived here for years, exit the country.

This morning on CNN, Land discussed President Barack Obama’s executive order to establish a system of deportation waivers for young people brought here by their illegal immigrant parents. Note that Land does not challenge the legality of Obama’s action. Here’s an abridged transcript:

”These people that were covered by this executive order – this is the low-hanging fruit of immigration reform. These young people – 99.9 percent of them – have done nothing wrong. They didn’t bring themselves …

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Video of President Obama’s decision not to deport kids of illegal migrants

Here’s a heckler-free clip of President Barack Obama on deportation waivers for young illegal immigrants, via the Washington Post:

Click here to read the Homeland Security memo from Janet Napolitano, laying out the Obama administration’s decision not to deport young people who came to the U.S. with their illegal immigrant parents.

Among the requirements for a deportation waiver:

– came to the United States under the age of 16;

– has continuously lived in the United states for [at] least five years….;

– is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or the Armed Forces of the United States;

– has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and

– is not above the age of 30.

The breakdown from the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — …

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Your morning jolt: Nathan Deal steps up on transportation sales tax

On Monday, Gov. Nathan Deal chose Savannah as a venue for one of his strongest endorsements yet of a penny sales tax to boost transportation spending. From Larry Peterson and the Savannah Morning News:

Deal acknowledged that people don’t like higher taxes.

“The question,” he added, “is what is the alternative to keep your area growing and progressive?”

…He said funds from the measure would help move goods more efficiently in and out of the port of Savannah.

Deal said the increase, which would boost sales taxes in Chatham County to 8 percent, is needed because other revenues haven’t kept pace with growth.

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On a similar note, Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News draws a line between July 31 transportation vote and the burgeoning race between Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock and Republican challenger Brandon Beach:

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Then we have the case of Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee, who took time from his re-election campaign last week to refer to …

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Newt Gingrich to take a non-victory lap in Georgia

Slightly less than a year ago, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich launched his GOP campaign for the presidency with a speech before an assembly of the Georgia GOP in Macon.

Then he tanked. Then he resurrected himself. Then he tanked again. And got up again. And tanked again.

This week, it’s been pretty well established that Gingrich will abandon his debt-wracked campaign on Tuesday. At an event in the Washington D.C. area.

But never fear – the bookend is coming. Gingrich will be the twice-featured speaker at next month’s state GOP convention in Columbus, chairman Sue Everhart announced last night. The former Georgia congressman will speak at a May 18 dinner for party donors, then address the entire crop of delegates the next day – before the arguing begins over the final slots for the national convention in Tampa.

If we’re lucky, we’ll get a glimpse of the next, post-campaign edition of Newt Gingrich.

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By now, you’ve heard the friendly reception that …

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