Archive for immigration bill

Xenophobes Should Remember M.S. St. Louis, 1939

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MS St. Louis 2

If you could ask FDR about his toughest decisions as President, one of them would be the "Voyage of the Damned" tempest. For those who don't associate that event, here's the simple recap:

In 1939, a German ocean liner, the MS St. Louis, carried 937 German Jewish refugees seeking asylum in the United States. They arrived at our shores but were denied admission to our country. The result was the ship was returned to Europe where most of these refugees were put into concentration camps. 254 of them died.

Now we see a huge influx of refugee children, trying to escape similar circumstances that caused the ill-fated MS St. Louis voyage to set sail for America. And what do today's xenophobic right-wingers propose? They want our country to negate due process of law -- specifically the 2008 George Bush signed bill (the child trafficking law) which sets regulations as to how undocumented minors entering this country are treated.

If Obama were to use his executive order powers, he'd be labeled a tyrant taking the law into his own hands. If he allows the law to work, he is condemned for upholding the law. He's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

children immigrant holding cell 3picture: Western Free Press

Hopefully unlike FDR, Obama won't ice his heart and send these innocent children back home to a fate of rape, severe physical injury/maiming, or even the ultimate, death. These children are refugees, fleeing for their safety. This is the time for compassion, not unfounded fears. America needs to show heart, not knee-jerk reactions to false rumors and innuendos.

The Senate passed a bi-partisan immigration bill over a year ago that might have lessened this influx by adding the manpower and facilities needed to handle this crisis. If the political right needs to do any finger-pointing, then the proper culprit here is one of their own, John Boehner. The Speaker of the House has consistently rejected calls to bring the Senate immigration bill to the House floor for consideration and a vote.

The Republicans in the House made this uncomfortable bed. Now we must all lie in it.

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Volcanic Eruption On Floor Of Congress -- GOP President Pro Tem Destroyed

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It's easy to lose track of how many times Congress has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act -- even members who voted on don't know for sure, 42, 45? Actually, the current number by my understanding is 46 times. Now if that's not a waste of valuable tax payer money, I don't know what is.

Then you come to immigration. In the House, that's been brought to the floor what, six times? Two times? Oh, actually the number is ZERO times. So you can easily see why immigration reform advocates are quite tired of mispent time and money when it comes to the 113th Congress. The Senate passed their version of the immigration reform bill months ago. John Boehner just hasn't gotten around to bringing it up for a vote. He's been too busy bringing up bills to nowhere -- like Obamacare repeals.

This past week, Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Florida) decided to speak up about the real people effected by the lack of immigration reform action. He spoke eloquently and acknowledged a family sitting in the gallery. That was just too much for the presiding officer of the House, Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Indiana). She warned Rep Garcia not to refer to people in the gallery -- in this case people from his own district who are pushing for the bill to come to the floor for a vote. People directly impacted by the proposed bill.

volcanic eruption

Well, that personal rebuke by president pro tem Walorski toward fellow congressman Garcia was immediately jumped on by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado). He held back nothing in blasting the Republican puppet. He put the Republican president pro-tem in her place -- speechless and cowering --  and this will leave you cheering. Congressman Polis wasn't going to take any sh##. The fireworks begin around 2:37 of this short video, but these earlier moments set the stage for what is nothing short of amazing.

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Gang Of 8 Now Down To 7

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What's a two word phrase, both words five letters, that means GOP hypocrite? Try M-A-R-C-O  R-U-B-I-O. Yep, Marco Rubio. The junior senator from Florida.

When Rubio got elected, many in the GOP thought they had found their savior. He was the bright shining beacon that would cause the South to rise up again. The damaged Phoenix would take flight on his back. Atlas would lift up the Republican world. Oh, happy day.

It didn't take the heralded right wing Tea Party savior long to make a name for himself. One of his first tasks in putting an inviting face on his aging white, old man's, party was to deliver the official response to Obama's state of the union speech. You all remember Marco's Gulp-gate speech. I think it was cotton-mouth's finest moment.

But after that fiasco, the Tea Party wasn't going to jettison him. So he took his shot of confidence and embarrassment and was determined to carry the banner. Waiting in the wings, in case he failed was another freshman, Rafael Cruz, and though only partially Latino and foreign born, Raffy was ready to pounce. He was just waiting for his moment.

And it came. With POTUS eyes, Rubio calculated a risk -- he and the GOP need Latino votes. With his seemingly Italian surname he knew he wasn't guaranteed to bring in the desired Latin demographic, so he joined seven other senators and wrote a bill that became known as the Rubio Immigration Bill. He gave it that name, until he started to get backlash from his own conservative followers. What the hell was he doing giving undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship?

Oops. He hadn't calculated that. But what was he to do. Turn his back on his Latino heritage or turn his back on the old white men of his party? The one's who had the money. Here he was with the Rubio Immigration bill. He was stuck.

Or was he? He immediately went to the press and hammered over and over again that this was the Senate immigration bill, not his. And for a while, he pulled the wool over the eyes of the voracious Fox News talkers and Rush Limbaugh-type radio jawboners. He convinced them that his name shouldn't be associated with this bill. It was the Gang of Eight's bill or even better, the Senate bill. And soon people forgot in who's name the bill was really branded. Rubio.

Now, seeing a little daylight and a chance to pounce, Cruz who's name sounds more Latino but in reality he's only half, jumped in and took on even more right wing Tea Party issues -- shutting down the government. That left Marco battered and bruised. Though he's tried to hold onto Rafael's coattails, he's falling farther and farther behind. Now, most in the party have pretty much given up on him. He's too liberal.

Leave it to Chris Hayes to put it all in perspective. Marco, you can hide, but here's a hint-- you're hiding in plain sight.

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Immigration Bill Dead

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No immigrants

Okay, maybe it's not quite dead, but it's vital signs are all but gone.  Life support is only going to postpone the inevitable.  The stone deaf house of horrors, or representatives, is looking at the clock, ready to call it. Time of death, soon.

Elise Foley has quite succinctly covered the major points:

The majorities in the two chambers have very different ideas about how to reform what members in both bodies consider a broken immigration system. In the House, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), whose committee approves immigration bills, have said they favor a piecemeal approach. Democrats and those Republicans in the Senate who pushed for the gang of eight bill say a comprehensive bill is needed because the various issues on immigration are intertwined.

SNIP

Here's how it's flippantly being treated by congressional members:

"I am absolutely confident that a majority of Republicans are not going to give citizenship to 11 million illegal aliens," Rep Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said Friday on the "Laura Ingraham" show.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) told the National Review's Jonathan Strong that the House should "fold it up into a paper airplane and throw it out the window," referring to the Senate bill. He quipped, "Oh, is that not the right answer?"

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), who serves in the GOP leadership, said Thursday at an event hosted by the National Review that it was "a pipe dream" to think the House would take up the gang of eight's bill.

Boehner has vowed not to break the Hastert Rule, an informal vow to take up legislation only when a majority of his conference supports it, meaning the Senate bill has very little chance of being considered. That would mean an immigration bill could be signed into law only if the chambers combine the piecemeal approach from the House and the Senate's comprehensive one.

An immigration bill without a pathway to full citizenship is just not worth the air of the discussion. And Republicans, fearing the future instead of embracing it, are going to put themselves into oblivion.  Right after the catastrophic Republican defeat in 2012, the party took stock of  itself. Among their desires were to improve their standing with women, minorities, latinos, younger people, gays & lesbians, and the poor. So far they have failed in all of those and continue to dig a deeper hole. This stance on immigration isn't going to help them nationally. I believe, through their own evil device of gerrymandering districts to be solidly republican, they've unintentionally become a local party, not a national one. And they'll pay the price, even locally, over time. Oblivion here they come.  What's that I hear? The doctor has just called the end of life. Time of the passing officially upon refusing to vote on comprehensive immigration reform.

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