June 29, 2006
colorado gop makes a telenovela (soap opera)
Had the Colorado Supreme Court allowed the anti-immigrant ballot initiative to go forward, I'm sure the GOP would have been gushing about the just decision. But since the ruling went the other way, they quickly lashed out condemning the "activist judges".
It makes me sick.
Now, Governor Owens has set out his agenda for the all-so-important special session. As I review the agenda, I'm struck by the tremendous waste this will be -- especially considering that most of the points are already part of existing law. For instance, undocumented immigrants are already barred from receiving state funds (except in emergencies like prenatal care and public education)... that is unless we are going to start checking green cards at our public parks and city functions. You don't have to be documented to get a valid taxpayer identification number why would that be helpful? Federal law already exists to protect those forced into involuntary servitude... in fact, they can apply for a specific visa which will allow them to work here legally!!! How does putting a law on the Colorado books help this?
Oh, and the most sickening part of all... if the legislature doesn't pass what Owens wants them to pass (and was already denied by the Colorado SUPREME COURT), then he wants the legislature to send the issue along to the voters anyway.
Today I'm annoyed. Tomorrow I will start thinking of more productive ways to make my voice heard.
Read on for the Governor's agenda.
Gov. Bill Owens has called lawmakers back to Denver July 6 for what he said he expects will be a three- to five-day special session.
Highlights from his agenda:
Prohibit state funds for illegal immigrants, except for emergency services that include prenatal care and public education.
Impose heavy fines on employers who submit false documentation about employees without taking reasonable measures to verify the information.
Bar tax benefits for employers who hire illegal immigrants.
Impose a 6 percent withholding tax on compensation to workers who fail to provide a valid taxpayer identification number.
Require proof of citizenship to register and vote.
Strengthen human trafficking laws by criminalizing involuntary servitude, forbidding forced labor and making it a felony to threaten to report an illegal immigrant to extort money.
If the legislature fails to pass substantive immigration reform, send a ballot issue to voters that would prohibit state and local governments from providing nonemergency services to illegal immigrants.
Set a deadline for the Colorado Supreme Court to certify measures for the ballot. He accused the justices of denying the public a chance to vote on an illegal-immigration question this fall by deliberately putting off a decision on a legal challenge.
Come up with a plan to bar young girls from common-law marriages after the state Court of Appeals ruled such arrangements could be legal in Colorado. full article
June 22, 2006
los pineros -- men of the pines
A key point in the bill that passed the Senate is "portability" of guest worker status - the right to move to a different company without jeapardizing immigration status. Current guest workers do not have that privilege and many essentially work as indentured servants -- without knowledge of their labor rights.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is currently working on a class action law suit on behalf of many forestry guest workers. Bear in mind that these are legal immigrants -- and this is yet another reason why our broken system must be reformed. In this article, Beneath the Pines: Stories of Migrant Tree Planters you can read first-hand accounts of the abuses endured.
Then watch this PBS video Be our Guest.
The crumbling immigration policy cannot be repaired by politicians filled with self-ambition. It long ago became less about fixing policy and more about fixing an election year. It is tragic -- not necessarily for the taxpayer, but for the human lives that broken laws allow to be abused each day.
June 20, 2006
swift kick to the backsides that have built sensenbrenner's fortune
Who knew when we marched in April against the famed Sensenbrenner Bill (a.k.a. HR 4437) that our collective derriere has made this man filthy rich?
That's right friends, Rep. James Sensenbrenner is the great-grandson of the inventor of Kotex. Sensenbrenner is now an heir of the Kimberly-Clark fortune. And his portfolio is as vast as the seemingly unthreatening U.S./Canada border is long. Article.
The provisions in the law he proposed were unimaginable precisely because he cannot imagine what it is like to live in poverty (or even among the middle-class for that matter). He has known nothing but excessive wealth, yet himself is responsible for squandering away taxpayer dollars on his "fact finding" trips. But I digress.
So, we've all marched or somehow opposed HR 4437, now let's hit him where it counts... no, not where you might have assault charges filed against you... I mean in his pocketbook. Momentum is building for a boycott against all Kimberly-Clark products. Among those products are: Kleenex, Scott, Viva, Cottonelle, Huggies, Pull-Ups, GoodNites, Little Swimmers, Kotex, Depend and Poise.
A boycott won't solve the immigration issue, but it will send a message. Spread the word.
June 13, 2006
as if the colorado gop couldn't tick me off any more
This week the Colorado Supreme Court decided a ballot measure proposal which would cut off non-emergency services to undocumented immigrants is indeed illegal itself. Well, now the Colorado GOP is throwing a collective temper-tantrum -- the Governor included, who is threatening to call a special session if the court does not reverse its decision.
Hmmmm, activist judges or separation of powers...
The thing is the small government conservatives who pride themselves on saving taxpayer dollars are going to spend a ton of money on a special session which will almost certainly fail. Immigration was deeply debated in the legislature this year and thankfully, most of the proposed laws did not make it through. The likelihood of this passing is so slim, yet they seem intent on spending the money anyway just because they can. Ridiculous.
Part of the proposed constitutional ammendment also allows any citizen of Colorado to sue any government agency that provides non-emergency services to an undocumented person. Talk about out-of-control litigation.
I'm tired. I'm frustrated.
I wish these tantruming lawmakers would just pick up their toys, go home and let the adults handle the legislative process.
June 1, 2006
pardon me, where's the line?
What? No line?
On May 27th, Migra Matters linked to the leaked Republican document which is essentially a cheat-sheet of spin on the immigration issue. When I read the document, I immediately started scouring the internet, certain that I'd already read some of the nearly-exact phrasing from Republican Senators. (I've yet to find the particular article I recall, but when I do, I will post it.)
Now today a great post. If you really want to talk intelligibly about the immigration debate, this is absolutely essential reading. It will reveal the truth about the fabled "line".
By my calculations, if the "line" forming in Mexico continues to move at its current pace, the whole process will only take a mere 250,000 years to reach those currently "at" the rear.
Surely that isn't too much to ask of a man desperate to feed his children.