A bipartisan group of eight senators plans to announce they have agreed on a set of principles for comprehensive immigration reform.
The deal, which will be announced at a news conference Monday afternoon, covers border security, guest workers and employer verification, as well as a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country.
The eight senators expected to endorse the new principles are Democrats Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado; and Republicans John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona.
Read more at Fox News
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A U.S. district judge ruled that ten Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agents have legal standing to challenge the Obama Administration’s edict granting amnesty to illegal aliens in the “Dream Act” category. The agents maintained that the edict violates U.S. law and forces them to violate their oaths to uphold the law. The administration made no comment following the ruling.
Read more at Bloomberg.com
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Almost 5,000 young immigrants in Iowa allowed to stay and work in the United States under presidential order will be eligible to apply for a state-issued driver’s license after all, the Iowa Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.
The agency had angered immigration activists late last month by determining that state law prohibited it from issuing licenses to persons granted “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Status” by President Obama’s administration. But DOT Director Paul Trombino said Wednesday that new guidance from federal officials prompted him to reconsider.
Read more at the Press-Citizen
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New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said Wednesday that she plans a new push to repeal the state law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
Martinez, who has tried to get the law repealed twice before, described it as dangerous in a post on her official Facebook page.
“I am once again asking the legislature to repeal the law that gives driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants,” said Martinez, a Republican. “I am always willing to discuss this issue with legislators from both parties and explore ways to find common ground, but I believe the most effective solution is to simply repeal this dangerous law.”
Read more at CNN.
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Medicare payments to health care providers for services rendered to illegal aliens totaled more than $91.6 million from 2009 to 2011, a new report released by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General revealed.
The $91.6 million in claims went toward services for a 2,575 illegal aliens. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) records, however, identified over 29,100 beneficiaries that were in the country illegally at some point in the timeframe the IOG investigated.
The inspector general’s office limited its audit to those 2,575 to look “at whether CMS had adequate controls to prevent and detect improper payments for Medicare services rendered to unlawfully present individuals
Read more at the Daily Caller.
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Fox News, which once offered commentary against amnesty, now appears to support it. Fox commentators Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, who previously opposed amnesty, have endorsed the legalization of illegal aliens. The network may be following the direction of its owner, Rupert Murdoch, who advocates “sweeping, generous immigration reform,” including a “pathway to citizenship” for illegals.
Read more at The Daily Caller.
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A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted that private agencies involved in refugee resettlement receive substantial public funding for their work. Three months after resettlement the agencies have no further responsibility for the refugees who commonly sign up for public assistance programs. In the past, refugee sponsors had to pay resettlement costs out of their own pockets. The largest resettlement agency is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which conducts resettlement though its affiliate, Catholic Charities.
Read more at The Tennessean.
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Legislation to provide financial aid and other assistance to college-bound illegal immigrants is gaining political support in New York a year after the idea withered in Albany and Washington.
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act is being pushed by powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Now, fellow Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Republicans who share control of the state Senate are interested in discussing the bill.
Known as the Dream Act, the bill would provide a way to help poor immigrant families afford college through the state Tuition Assistance Plan and academic assistance programs. It would also create a commission to raise money for scholarships.
Read more from AP at The Record
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Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) on Tuesday said he hopes legislation aimed at retaining foreign-born engineers and graduates with advanced technical degrees won’t be held “hostage” in the political battle over comprehensive immigration reform.
Moran said he plans to introduce an updated version of his Startup Act 2.0 this month, which includes a provision that would create a new visa allowing foreign students who graduate with a master’s or Ph.D. in engineering, science or math fields from a U.S. university to get a green card. The bill also includes measures that would ease tax and regulatory rules, as well as support university initiatives to bring research to the marketplace more quickly.
Moran said he’s been told that the bill would stand a better chance of passing if he removed the visa provision, but he contends that the measure is the most critical part of the bill.
Read more at The HIll.
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With leaders from both parties calling on Congress to take up immigration reform this year, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has been meeting with news outlets and conservative opinion-shapers to lay out his vision for a plan that would offer temporary legal status to undocumented immigrants. Those applying would have to pass background checks and other tests designed to eventually lead from permanent residency to citizenship.
Though he has not yet introduced legislation, in trumpeting his sweeping proposals Rubio has seized a torch that in recent years burned several similarly ambitious Republican politicians. But in a sign of how quickly the parameters of the debate on this issue have shifted since President Obama’s re-election, prominent conservatives — many of whom were vocal in their opposition to previous similar plans — have been lavishing praise on Rubio’s ideas for reform.
Read more at Real Clear Politics.com
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