If there is one editorial that nailed the so-called debate on immigration reform, this is it.
From shameless and unrealistic political hacks like our mayor the last honest man in Danbury, narrow-minded dolts like former majority leader Pauline Basso, and laughing stock Joel Urice, to outright extremists/racists such as Elise "deer in headlights" Marciano, Tom "Big(o)T" Bennett, and John "mayoral candidate from Bethel" McGowan, this editorial from the New York Times begs the question on when will someone take a stand and use common sense to fix a complex problem.
The nation certainly sounds as if it’s in an angry place on immigration.
A major Senate reform bill collapsed in rancor in June, and every effort to revive innocuous bits of it, like a bill to legalize exemplary high school graduates, has been crushed. Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York hatched a plan to let illegal immigrants earn driver’s licenses — and steamrollered into the Valley of Death. Asked if she supported Mr. Spitzer, Senator Hillary Clinton tied herself in knots looking for the safest answer.
The Republican presidential candidates, meanwhile, are doggedly out-toughing one another — even Rudolph Giuliani, who once defended but now disowns the immigrants who pulled his hard-up city out of a ditch. A freshman Democratic representative, Heath Shuler of North Carolina, has submitted an enforcement bill bristling with border fencing and punishments. Representative Tom Tancredo, Republican of Colorado, for whom restricting immigration is the first, last and only issue, says he will not run again when his term expires next year. I have done all I can, he says, like some weary gunslinger covered in blood and dust.
The natural allies of immigrants have been cowed into mumbling or silent avoidance. The Democrats’ chief strategist, Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, went so far as to declare immigration the latest “third rail of American politics.” This profile in squeamishness was on full display at the Democratic presidential debate last week in Las Vegas, when Wolf Blitzer pressed the candidates for yes-or-no answers on driver’s licenses and Mrs. Clinton, to her great discredit, said no.
This year’s federal failure will not be undone until 2009 at the earliest, while states and local governments will continue doing their own thing, creating a mishmash of immigration policies, most of them harsh and shortsighted. But the wilderness of anger into which Mr. Tancredo helped lead America is not where the country has to be on this vitally important issue, nor where it truly is.
Mrs. Clinton was closer to being right the first time, when she haltingly defended Mr. Spitzer’s reasoning. Fixing immigration is not a yes-or-no question. It’s yes and no. Or if you prefer, no and yes — no to more illegal immigration, to uncontrolled borders and to a flourishing underground economy where employer greed feeds off worker desperation. Yes to extending the blanket of law over the anonymous, undocumented population — through fines and other penalties for breaking the nation’s laws and an orderly path to legal status and citizenship to those who qualify.
These are the ingredients of a realistic approach to a complicated problem. It’s called comprehensive reform, and it rests on the idea that having an undocumented underclass does the country more harm than good. This is not “open-borders amnesty,” a false label stuck on by those who want enforcement and nothing else. It’s tough on the border and on those who sneaked across it. It’s tough but fair to employers who need immigrant workers. It recognizes that American citizens should not have to compete for jobs with a desperate population frightened into accepting rock-bottom wages and working conditions. It makes a serious effort to fix legal immigration by creating an orderly future flow of legal workers.
Americans accept this approach. The National Immigration Forum has compiled nearly two dozen polls from 2007 alone that show Americans consistently favoring a combination of tough enforcement and earned legalization over just enforcement. Elections confirm this. Straight-talking moderates like Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico thrive in the immigration crucible along the southern border. Those who obsess about immigration as single-issue hard-liners, like the Arizonans J. D. Hayworth and Randy Graf, have disappeared, booted by voters. Voters in Virginia this month rejected similar candidates and handed control of the State Senate to Democrats.
It may not be “amnesty” that gets Americans worked up as much as inaction. They seem to sense the weakness and futility in the enforcement-only strategy, the idea of tightening the screws on an informal apartheid system until it is so frightening and hopeless that millions of poor people pack up and leave.
That is the attrition argument, the only answer the anti-amnesty crowd has to comprehensive reform. It is, of course, a passive amnesty that rewards only the most furtive and wily illegal immigrants and the bottom-feeding employers who hire them. It will drive some people out of the country, but will push millions of others — families with members of mixed immigration status, lots of citizen children and practically a nation’s worth of decent, hard workers — further into hiding.
We are already seeing what a full-bore enforcement-only strategy will bring. Bias crimes against Hispanic people are up, hate groups are on the march. Legal immigration remains a mess. Applications for citizenship are up, and the federal citizenship agency, which steeply raised its fees to increase efficiency, is drowning in paperwork and delays. American citizens are being caught up in house-to-house raids by immigration agents.
America is waiting for a leader to risk saying that the best answer is not the simplest one. As John Edwards said at the last debate, “When is our party going to show a little backbone and strength and courage and speak up for those people who have been left behind?”
He was talking about the poor and people without health insurance, but he could — and should — have included a host of others: Business owners who want to hire legal workers. Americans who don’t want their opportunities undermined by the off-the-books economy. Children whose dreams of education and advancement are thwarted by their parents’ hopeless immigration status. And the immigrants, here and abroad, who want to find their place in a society that once welcomed their honest labor, but can’t find a way to do it anymore.
Common sense is needed here: Not political rhetoric who a man who one moment conveniently finds the need to talk "tough" on immigrants during the election season, then the next goes back to doing NOTHING while bodegas that sell phony documents on Main Street goes unchecked, the situation with the day-laborers at Kennedy Park goes ignored, allow irresponsible developments and tax-free condos continues to flourish, and has the arrogant audacity to mislead the public and land the city of Danbury into a civil lawsuit that could have major implications for everyone.
Common sense is needed here: Not close-minded conservatives who are to the right of David Duke, have no understanding of the term "racial sensitivity", attempt to smear those who don't follow their twisted mindset, think their emails are "jokes," and proceed to make complete asses out of themselves on local access television.
Common sense is needed here: Not spineless politicians who are too afraid to do the right thing and work on IMMIGRATION REFORM for fear of a shrieking minority of residents who (in a ideal world) would prefer taking the "law" into their own hands.
Common sense is needed here: Not civic leaders who are too afraid to speak out or editorials from newspapers that run on a theme of "building bridges" then turns around and contribute to a mayor who's single-handedly responsible for tearing down bridges and creating a climate a fear among their neighbors.
Common sense is needed here...and the sooner the better.
Sorry you were hurt in the line of duty...now give us the money back
Time: 2:17 PM
As the local scene is doing the holiday thing, I thought I share this story with you.
This type of crap drives me nuts when it comes to shameless Republicans who use the phrase "Support the Troops" as a political slogan while overlooking those who actually served.
When Jordan Fox was serving in Iraq, his mother helped organize Operation Pittsburgh Pride, which sends thousands of care packages to U.S. troops from his hometown, which prompted a personal “thank you” from the White House. When Fox was seriously injured in Iraq, the president sent what appeared to be personal note, expressing his concerns to the Fox family.
The U.S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.
To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases.
Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.
I watched the report from the CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh, and I kept thinking, “This can’t be right.” Apparently, it is.
In Jordan Fox’s case, he was seriously injured when a roadside bomb blew up his vehicle, causing back injuries and blindness in his right eye. He was sent home, unable to complete the final three months of his military commitment.
Last week, the Pentagon sent him a bill: Fox owed the government nearly $3,000 of his signing bonus.
“I tried to do my best and serve my country. I was unfortunately hurt in the process. Now they’re telling me they want their money back,” Fox said.
Look, if a soldier signed a contract, collected a signing bonus, and then quit, I can understand the military asking for the signing bonus back.
But we’re talking about troops who volunteered, served, and were seriously injured. It’s not their fault they got hurt. How on earth is the Pentagon justified in asking for a refund?
As with most Republican screw-ups, while all the Republican sin Congress have their heads in the sand and are so silent you can hear a pin drop, it takes a Democrat to come forward and set things straight.
For what it’s worth, Fox’s congressman, Democrat Jason Altmire, has introduced a bill to prohibit the Bush administration from asking the troops for refunds.
Mr. Altmire, D-McCandless, held a news conference yesterday at the Ross municipal building with Spc. Kaminski and other veterans to tout legislation he has authored to aid wounded soldiers.
At the forefront was a bill introduced last week and sent to committee that targets a Defense Department policy preventing eligible soldiers from receiving their full bonuses if discharged early because of combat-related injuries.
“Hard as it may be to believe, the Department of Defense has been denying injured servicemen and women the bonuses that they qualified for,” Mr. Altmire said.
He said he drafted the legislation after hearing “outrageous” examples of bonuses being denied…. Mr. Altmire’s legislation, the Veterans Guaranteed Bonus Act, would require the Defense Department to pay bonuses in full within 30 days to veterans discharged because of combat-related wounds.
Olbermann picked up on this story and rightfully BLASTED the Pentagon...
The year by year figures also looked good overall. Death rates from heart disease among men declined, on average, by 2.9 per cent a year during the 1980s, by 2.6 per cent a year in the 1990s, and 4.4 per cent a year in 2000 to 2002. Among women too, the overall picture showed a gradual year on year decline: the average annual death rate went down by 2.6, 2.4 and 4.4 per cent in those same periods.
The not so good story, however, emerged when the researchers broke the figures down by age.
For men aged 35 to 54 the average yearly death rate from heart disease went down by 6.2 per cent in the 1980s, slowed to 2.3 per cent in the 1990s, and reached a near plateau of 0.5 per cent annual reduction between 2000 and 2002.
For women aged 35 to 54 the news is worse. The average annual decline in deaths due to heart disease fell by 5.4 per cent in the 1980s, slowed to 1.2 per cent in the 1990s, and actually rose again by an annual average of 1.5 per cent during 2000 to 2002. However, the increase was not statistically significant and all that can be said with confidence is that the figures have leveled off.
However, among the younger women, aged 35 to 44, there was an average annual rise in heart disease deaths of 1.3 per cent during 1997 to 2002, and this figure was shown to be statistically significant, so the researchers can say with more confidence that there appears to be a worrying rising trend among female adult Americans in their late 30s and early 40s, of deaths due to heart disease.
You might be saying "what does this have to do with Danbury?" Well, Hat city is home to one of the leading cardiothoracic surgons in Connecticut, Danbury Hospital's Dr. Cary Passik. Recently on FOX61, Dr. Passik gave his opinion on the study's findings.
District 2 Bethel (part), Danbury (part), Redding (part)
2006 Results Jason Bartlett (D) 54% Phil Gallagher (R) 46%
This district was an open seat in 2006, but it had previously been held by a Republican. This district saw the closest race in the state in 2004 (in which Bartlett narrowly lost), so another close race is a definite possibility. Leans Democratic
After the whipping Joe Taborsak and Bob Godfrey gave Republicans Gregg "extra credit" Seabury and Pauline Basso back in '06, I don't expect to see anything near interesting from the Elephant party in 08. With Godfrey, what you see is what you get and he's basically has a lock on the 110th seat. Taborsak has worked pretty hard for a Freshman and for someone in his first term to get a bill HE drafted (public notification of land swapping of city owned land e.g., Terrywile) approved by the House and Senate, and signed into law is rather impressive to say the least.
If the Republicans plan to put up a fight for a seat, it would be in the second district, which makes this race the ONLY one to really watch as we approach the new year.
04.25.22 (RADIO): WSHU Latino group call on Connecticut lawmakers to open a Danbury charter school
06.03.22 (OP-ED): KUSHNER: "Career Academy ‘a great deal for Danbury"
On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.
The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.
Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.
Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.