Archive for January, 2010

Election Preview

January 31, 2010

“Turn out the lights, the party’s over” Has the fat lady sang her song? I myself think it’s a bit early to be saying that. Not to mention that between now and “Judgment Day 2010″ an awful lot of damage can be done by the neo-communist that are running things at present. Also despite the current thrills being enjoyed by the election of Scott Brown, he is  a Massachusetts conservative, as exemplified by his voting record. That puts him somewhere to the left of RINO John McCain…

From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File

“You know, I was trying to think about who [Barack Obama] was tonight, and it’s interesting: He is post-racial by all appearances. You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour.” –MSNBC host Chris “thrill up my leg” Matthews, with a slobbering sycophantic (and genuinely racist) analysis of the SOTU

Election Preview: Democrats

Democrats have experienced a nearly unprecedented reversal of fortune lately, and the bad news just keeps on coming. Arkansas Representative Marion Berry became the sixth Democrat to announce his retirement, and his district is expected to go Republican in November. He told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he urged the White House not to repeat the mistakes of 1994, when congressional Democrats were defeated resoundingly at the polls. He said Obama fired back, “Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was, you’ve got me.”

The arrogance necessary to make that kind of comment suggests that Obama has been tapping the keg of his own Kool-Aid. Given the disastrous results of his efforts on behalf of gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey, and on behalf of Ted Kennedy’s senatorial heir apparent in deep-blue Massachusetts, he’s vastly overestimating his marquee value. His much-vaunted health care plan is all but dead, and now House and Senate Democrat leaders will be lucky to keep more members from retiring early. So maybe the “big difference” Obama was referring to is the loss of even more than 54 seats in the House.

Even Vice President Joe Biden’s son Beau has seen the writing on the wall. He announced this week that he would not run for the Senate seat vacated when his father became VP. Beau, who is Delaware’s Attorney General, indicated that he’s just too busy with a controversial child abuse case to focus on a statewide race. Yeah, right. If the Democrats in Massachusetts can’t keep the “Kennedy Senate seat” that they held for half a century, what chance does the vice president’s son have in Delaware? Republican candidate Mike Castle, a popular congressman and former governor, raised almost $2 million in campaign cash and has run virtually unopposed while Biden was still making up his mind about whether to run.

Election Preview: Republicans

The political landscape indeed favors Republicans, which also means tight races at the primary level. The contest for Florida’s Senate seat has turned into a statistical dead heat between Gov. Charlie Crist and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio. The moderate Crist’s comfortable lead has faded away in recent weeks, as he continues to take heat for Florida’s economic difficulties. The state has double-digit unemployment and was the hardest hit by the housing collapse. Crist’s popularity is dropping and Rubio, a solid conservative, is now closing the gap in the polls and in the cash department. Both candidates are comfortably ahead of Democrat Kendrick Meek.

In Arizona, erstwhile presidential candidate John McCain is facing a challenge for his Senate seat. Former Congressman J.D. Hayworth announced his candidacy, claiming he was motivated to take on McCain because the latter was an “enabler” of Obama’s fiscal policies. McCain certainly is not as conservative as he or the Leftmedia fancy. To name but a few examples, he co-sponsored the McCain-Feingold campaign finance debacle that the Supreme Court partly struck down last week; the McCain-Edwards-Kennedy Patient’s Bill of Rights imposing a new set of onerous mandates on the insurance industry; the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship cap-and-trade bill; and the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty and Open Borders Act legalizing dozens of millions of illegal aliens. And that’s not to mention his opposition to the Bush tax cuts; his vicious attacks and vendettas against South Carolina Christians in the 2000 presidential primary, as well as the Swift Boat Veterans and Club for Growth; and his vote (one of six Republicans) against drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Of course, Hayworth’s voting record in Congress is nothing worth bragging about, either. He voted for the hefty farm and highway spending bills and also had a penchant for earmarks before he was ousted in 2006. Barry Goldwater, call your office.

SOURCE

Justice Alito Was Right: Well duh?

January 31, 2010

Epic fail obama really stepped into it at the SOTU. Once again attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people…

Despite claims made by the president, last week’s Supreme Court opinion on campaign finance specifically excludes foreign nationals and foreign-owned corporations from its ruling.

The Supreme Court issued a ruling last week on the campaign finance that is still being discussed all over the country. In fact, it was even mentioned by President Obama at Wednesday night’s State of the Union address. The high court invalidated its own 20-year-old ruling — which had upheld a one hundred-year-old statute on group political contributions — and it also invalidated a portion of the McCain-Feingold Campaign finance law.

The 20-year-old ruling had forbidden any political spending by groups such as corporations, labor unions, and advocacy organizations (like the NRA and Planned Parenthood, for example). Ruling that all persons, individually and in groups, have the same unfettered free speech rights, the court blasted Congress for suppression of that speech. In effect, the court asked, “What part of ‘Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech’ does Congress not understand?” Thus, all groups of two or more persons are free to spend their own money on any political campaigns and to mention the names of the candidates in their materials.

Full Story

PUEBLO ‘EAGLE DAYS’ FEB 6-7

January 31, 2010

PUEBLO, Colo. – The 2010 Pueblo “Eagle Days Festival” is slated for Feb. 6-7 at Lake Pueblo State Park and Wildlife Area.  Activities include live bird demonstrations, bird watching classes, wildlife viewing stations, and performances by the United States Air Force Academy falcons and the Koshare Indian Dancers.

“Eagle Day is a great opportunity for the whole family to get out of the house and enjoy nature,” said John Koshak of the Colorado Division of Wildlife.  “There will be outdoor activities and demonstrations, as well as indoor exhibits and seminars.”

Indoor events take place Saturday at the State Parks Headquarters Building.  Wildlife viewing tours and viewing stations complete with spotting scopes will be set up on the north side of the reservoir.

There are more eagles around Lake Pueblo in the winter than any other time of the year.  The eagles concentrate along the open waters of the Arkansas River Valley because snow and ice has covered the lakes and reservoirs to the north.

This year, due to the growing popularity of Eagle Days, a second day of outdoor activities has been added on Sun., Feb. 7, including a guided wildlife viewing tour on the Pueblo State Wildlife Area.  Koshak said participants for Sunday’s tour should meet at the entrance to the north side of the Pueblo State Wildlife Area at 9 a.m.  (The State Wildlife Area north entrance is located off Nichols Road in Pueblo West.)  Koshak advises to dress appropriately for the weather; and to bring binoculars, spotting scopes, and cameras.

At 11 a.m. on Sun., staff from the Greenway Nature Center and Raptor Center will host a “bird walk” along the Arkansas River followed by an “Open House” with live bird viewing from noon until 3 p.m.

Pueblo Eagle Days co-sponsors are the Arkansas Valley Audubon Society, Lake Pueblo State Park, Pueblo Zoo, Greenway Nature Center of Pueblo, the Pueblo Raptor Center, Black Hills Energy, the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce, Coyote’s Coffee Den, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

THE POPULARITY OF EAGLES

Eagles rank number one on the list of animals that Americans say they want to see in the wild, and Colorado in the winter offers prime viewing opportunities for both bald eagles and golden eagles.

The bald eagle – so named because of its white head – lives only in North America, and it is the second largest bird of prey of the continent.  Only the California condor is larger.

Up to 1,200 bald eagles spend the winter in Colorado.  They are attracted by relatively mild winters.  Bald eagles tend to stay near open water where they can find fish, which is why they gather near large reservoirs along the Arkansas River drainage in the winter.  The bald eagle prefers to nest in large trees near water with little human activity.

Most of the bald eagles leave Colorado in late February or March, heading north to nesting grounds in the northern U.S., Canada, and Alaska.  A few bald eagles remain year-round.

Adult bald eagles have a wingspan of up to eight feet and may weigh as much as 12 pounds.  They have large brown bodies, yellow beaks and white heads and tails.  They fly with deep strokes and soar on flattened wings.  Because immature bald eagles lack the distinctive white markings, they are frequently confused with golden eagles until they reach the age of maturity.

Golden eagles prefer rugged cliffs with adjacent open fields where they feed on a variety of birds, reptiles, and small mammals.  Rabbits and prairie dogs make up a large portion of their diet.

Unlike bald eagles, it is more common to find a golden eagle nest in Colorado.  There are between 600 and 900 active golden eagle nest sites.  Colorado’s golden eagles tend to migrate to the northwest during the spring and return to the eastern plains in the winter.  Some golden eagles remain in southern Colorado year-round.

For more information and a detailed schedule of events and times, please visit the Eagle Days Festival Web site at www.eagleday.org or call John Koshak in Colorado Springs at (719) 227-5221 or the Pueblo DOW office at (719) 561-5300.

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For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.

Gun Laws and Colorado plus Rampart Range

January 31, 2010

COLORADO: Pro-Gun Bills Await Action in Denver
Two crucial pieces of legislation are currently waiting to be heard in the Colorado State Legislature.  Emergency Powers legislation (SB 51)is currently awaiting action in the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee.  This bill would remove the Governor’s ability to “suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation” of firearms during a declared state of emergency.  Currently scheduled for a hearing is HB 1094, which guarantee your right to self-defense in the workplace.   It is important that you contact the members of the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee and urge them to protect the rights of lawful gun owners during states of emergency by setting a hearing date for Senate Bill 51.  Also, please contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and respectfully urge them to support HB 1094. Contact information for both committees can be found here.

Governor Bill Ritter Pushing Unconstitutional Gun Tax!
On Thursday, January 21, Governor Bill Ritter’s (D) unconstitutional gun tax proposal hit a roadblock when members of the Joint Budget Committee openly stated that they would not support it. Representative Kent Lambert (R-14) and Senator Al White (R-8) objected to imposing the proposed fee on the constitutional rights of Coloradans, likening it to a poll tax.

The proposal would charge gun buyers a $10.50 fee to pay for state-mandated background checks. The Colorado Joint Budget Committee (JBC) typically submits a budget bill with consensus among its members, but it’s unlikely the “gun tax” will win such favor in the JBC.  This would strike a major blow to the onerous proposal.  The state background checks, conducted by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, were mandated in 1998.  At the time, lawmakers assured gun owners that the state would fund these checks because the National Instant Background Check System is free. At this time, the proposal for the state budget bill is still under consideration and has yet to be introduced in the Colorado State Legislature.

Governor Ritter’s proposal is a blatant attack on our Second Amendment rights and NRA-ILA will continue to monitor state budget debates to ensure this proposal doesn’t advance.  Please be sure to check your e-mail and www.nraila.org for future updates.

Colorado State University Seeking to Outlaw Concealed Carry on Campus
On Wednesday, January 20, Colorado State University (CSU) formally announced a draft proposal to prohibit firearms on all CSU campuses. Exempt from the ban would be firearms used by law enforcement and military personnel and by the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. This draft policy will be brought up for consideration at the CSU Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday, February 23. A copy of the draft can be found at www.safety.colostate.edu/files/weapons_policy_draft_01_15_10.pdf. It is important that Colorado’s NRA members tell CSU’s President that the policy must uphold Colorado law and allow permit holders to carry concealed handguns for self-defense.  Please contact President Tony Frank TODAY by phone at 970-491-6211 or e-mail presofc@colostate.edu and respectfully urge him to comply with Colorado law.

Support Needed to Re-Open Rampart Shooting Range!
Following an accidental shooting last July, the Forest Service closed the very popular and heavily used Rampart Shooting Range on the Pike National Forest.  In its nearly 20 year history, Rampart had never before experienced a shooting-related injury or fatality.   Rampart is the only free public range in El Paso County and receives 40,000 visitors a year.  The Service called the closure a “time-out” in order to assess whether the design of the range was a factor.  An investigation determined that the range was not a factor in the accident.  Safety experts have said that the accident could have happened at any range.  But after it closed Rampart, the Forest Service devised a scheme to keep the range closed permanently.

The Forest Service has listed requirements that must be met before it will reopen Rampart.  There is no timetable for meeting these requirements and likely no money to cover costs.  The most significant issue is the requirement of full time supervision.  Most ranges on federal lands operate without supervision and this requirement could place all such ranges in jeopardy.  Rampart Range is in need of improvements which were identified more than two years ago.  Such improvements can be addressed and implemented with the range reopened.  The Forest Service has said that it could take up to five years before Rampart is reopened, but there is no guarantee that it would reopen Rampart in that timeframe or at any time in the future.

NRA has been working to get Rampart Range reopened since the day it was closed, but we need the help of Colorado hunters and shooters to show the Forest Service and your elected officials that the federal government cannot continue to close public lands to recreational shooting, and certainly not without replacing those areas lost with other areas of the same or great value.  Rampart Shooting Range is an important resource for the shooting community along the Front Range.  There is no incentive for the Forest Service to reopen Rampart unless the shooting sports community demands it!

Shooting ranges on public lands are few and far between in Colorado.  In addition to the closure of Rampart, the Forest Service has closed its lands to recreational shooting near Boulder and on the Pawnee Grasslands, and large acreage closures have occurred west of Sedalia.  The Forest Service is not planning for recreational shooting.  Closures are imposed without opening new areas and needed improvements to existing areas, including the Rampart Shooting Range, have not been made.  Recreational shooting is not being treated by the Forest Service in Colorado as a legitimate and valued recreational activity on forest lands.

Please send an e-mail in support of the immediate reopening of Rampart to:

Tom Tidwell, Chief of the Forest Service, at ttidwell@fs.fed.us, and copy your letter to:

Senator Mark Udall at senator_mark_udall@markudall.senate.gov,
Senator Michael Bennet at http://bennet.senate.gov/contact/,
Congressman Doug Lamborn at CO05ima@mail.house.gov, and
Governor Bill Ritter by clicking here.

Please stress that keeping the range closed is not supportable by the investigative report; that the closure has robbed the shooting community of a valuable resource; and that needed improvements to the range can be planned and implemented without closure.

SOURCE

Epic Fail obama throws a temper tantrum

January 30, 2010

The impostor in chief acted like a two year old when he showed up at a GOP retreat. Just what we need in a POTUS right?

WASHINGTON – President Obama dove headfirst into the belly of the GOP beast Friday – and left the not-so-loyal opposition bleeding on a Baltimore ballroom floor.

He skewered Republicans for obstructionist tactics, dubious facts and a lack of civility in opposing his domestic agenda, especially health care reform.

Let’s see Mister President. You can’t seemtofigure it out, so I will address just a few of the issues that have the people of America not just angry, but thoroughly ticked off at you, and your gang of thugs!
  • Health care is for us to decide about not you, or any of your czars!
  • Cap and trade is nothing but a money making scheme that will cripple our economy even further.
  • Man made climate change is a farce. Call it what it is and get on with business…
  • Your closet attempts at gun control will only lead to a full blown revolution. Molan Labe!
  • The American people are against illegal immigration as well as any sort of amnesty for those that broke our laws. Figure it out bright boy!
  • Taking over private business’s should be done through our quasi free market system, not by politicians.
  • We really are in a war on terrorism, and as of late most terrorist’s are muslims. Admit it, and do your job as CIC.
  • Americans do not bow to foreign leaders, ever!
  • The stealth approach to gun control via the U.N. isn’t so stealthy, read above.
  • You hired a pervert to be “safe schools czar?”
  • The economy will not be helped by more Keynesian socialism. Stop spending our grandchildren’s  heritage.
  • Lastly, stop blaming Bush, it’s your agenda now.

No Mister obama, it’s not the Republicans. It is the American People that are against you, your programs, and the thugs that you have working on your team…

Tax Increases Out the Wazoo‏

January 28, 2010
Thanks to Lakewood activist Natalie Menten for alerting us about these debilitating tax increases to be heard very soon…
“On Wednesday, January 27, multiple bills raising taxes (through eliminating tax exemptions) will be heard in the House Finance committee. I’ve listed the worst bills below. Click on the bill number to read the text.

These bills are being fast tracked and would become effective almost immediately. Please e-mail or phone the committee members to voice opposition to these tax increases. This is the BEST opportunity we have to kill these bills before they go to the House floor.

Alternaitvely, you can attend the committee meeting to voice opposition. The Finance committee will meet at 1:30 pm, in the Legislative Service Building at 14th & Sherman, room LSB-A, across the street from the capitol (Note that the “House Calendar” incorrectly reflects different meeting information).

HB 10-1189

Elimates Sales Tax Exemption on Direct Mail

HB 10-1190
Temporarily eliminates the sales tax exemption on storage, use or consumption of electricity, fuel and other energy products.

HB 10-1191
Eliminates the sales tax exemption on candy and pop.  By the definition included in this bill, even honey roasted nuts are candy.

HB 10-1192
Eliminates sales tax exemption on some software products.

HB 10-1193
Requires out of state retailers to collect sales tax on Coloradan’s purchases.

HB 10-1194
Eliminates sales tax exemption on non-essential items such as plastic ware, condiments, napkins, bags and other items.

HB 10-1195
Suspends sales tax exemption on products used to care for livestock and crops.

HB 10-1198
Suspends the Alternative Minimum Tax credit.

HB 10-1199
Reduces net operating loss carryover to $250,000 for businesses.

To contact the House Finance Committee, e-mail them using the e-mail address strings I’ve provided below. Just copy them into your e-mail address box:

repjoeljudd@joeljudd.com,debbie@debbiebenefield.org,
kjerryfrangas@earthlink.net,cheri.gerou@gmail.com,
repkagan@gmail.com,john.kefalas.house@state.co.us,
replabuda@yahoo.com,ellen.roberts.house@state.co.us,
ken.summers.house@state.co.us,spencer.swalm.house@state.co.us,
brian@briandelgrosso.com

Alternatively, you can call the committee members:
Rep. Joel Judd (D) 303-866-2925
Rep. Debbie Benefield (D) 303-866-2950
Rep. Jerry Frangas (D) 303-866-2954
Rep. Cheri Gerou (R) 303-866-2582
Rep. Daniel Kagan (D) 303-866-2921
Rep. John Kefalas (D) 303-866-4569
Rep. Jeanne Labuda (D) 303-866-2966
Rep. Ellen Roberts (R) 303-866-2914
Rep. Ken Summers (R) 303-866-2927
Rep. Spencer Swalm (R) 303-866-5510
Rep. Brian Delgrosso (R) 303-866-2947″

Please contact the members of the House Finance Committee and express your concern over these crippling tax increases.  Even John Hickenlooper said raising taxes during a recession “counter-intuitive.”  I on the other hand, would call it plain DUMB.
Thanks for listening,
Justin Longo
Legislative Director, Libertarian Party of Colorado
“Whoever wishes peace among peoples must fight statism.” -Mises
==============================================
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My contact information:
Justin Longo
Legislative Director, LPCO
Phone: (703) 994-7104

LegislativeDirector@LPColorado.org


Epic Fail obama: The State of dis-union

January 28, 2010

Last evening I wanted to puke as I listened to epic fail obama. What follows, by Mark Alexander sums it up better than I could ever call out the impostor in chief!

State of the Union: Obama v. Constitution

“The duty imposed upon him to take care, that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will ‘preserve, protect, and defend the constitution.’ The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose; and without it, be the form of government whatever it may, it will be utterly worthless for offence, or defence; for the redress of grievances, or the protection of rights; for the happiness, or good order, or safety of the people.” –Justice Joseph Story

The ObamaPrompter

In the wake of Barack Hussein Obama’s first State of the Union address, much of the critical analysis from Republicans posited that he should do “this” instead of “that.”

Unfortunately, when there is no more constitutional authority for a president to do this rather than that, Republicans fail to distinguish themselves from Democrats since both parties are then advocating unlawful extra-constitutional policies.

Obama’s SOTU teleprompters fed him a steady stream of poll-tested rhetoric, none of which comports with the authority granted the Executive Branch, unless, of course, one subscribes to the adulterated “living constitution” as amended by judicial diktat.

Predictably, Obama offered only Socialist solutions to all ills, and not a single suggestion that individual responsibility or the private sector economy should shoulder that burden, at least not without government “incentives,” a.k.a. centralized social and economic planning.

In 6,200 words (second longest SOTU after Bill Clinton — two narcissists who just can’t hear enough of themselves), Obama referred to himself repeatedly, and alleged that he was the anointed spokesman for “we,” the American people, more than 100 times.

On the other hand, he mentioned the Constitution only twice.

First, in his opening remarks Obama said, “Our Constitution declares that from time to time the president shall give to Congress information about the state of our union.”

Correct.

Second, he asserted, “We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution, the notion that we’re all created equal…”

As the Internet meme goes these days: FAIL! Uh, uh, uh, — that “notion” was enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, third paragraph, first sentence. One would think that this alleged professor of “Constitutional Law” at the University of Chicago Law School would have noticed such a simple, yet substantial, error.

Our Constitution is devoted to clearly delineating the limited role of the central government from the unlimited rights of the states and the people.

To that end, James Madison, author of our Constitution, wrote, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Accordingly, Obama mentions freedom only once, and made absolutely no reference to liberty.

Nowhere in our Constitution is there any authority or provision for these key proposals from Obama’s SOTU:

1. The power to further centralize regulation of our economy.

2. The power to completely regulate our national health care system. (Note: both the Democrat and Republican proposals lack constitutional authority). Obama even repeated his claim that the American people are just not smart enough to get on board: “I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people.”

3. The power to further regulate and tax the production of CO2.

Obama reiterated his claims that the current recession was caused by “Wall Street,” and then went on to insist that the only hope for ending the recession was government “investment,” a euphemism for taxing money out of the private sector, taking bureaucratic handling fees out, then giving it to political constituencies.

To correctly interpret Obama’s SOTU, you need only filter everything he says through his foremost pledge that the his administration’s charge is the “fundamental transformation of the United States of America.”

That is a line Obama lifted from the primary architect of his Socialist platform, Robert Creamer, who had earlier proclaimed, “If Barack Obama is elected president, then we have the opportunity to fundamentally transform American politics and the economy.”

It’s likely that you’ve never heard of Bob Creamer, because Barack Obama is very adept at concealing his association with his Marxist patrons.

In his younger days, Obama was not concerned about such associations: “I chose my friends carefully,” he wrote. “The more politically active black students; the foreign students; the Chicanos; the Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.”

But when he announced his aspirations to become a U.S. senator in 2004, Obama began to cover his tracks. He stopped associating publicly with Leftist colleagues and mentors such as Jeremiah Wright, Michael Pfleger, William Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Khalid al-Mansour, Rashid Khalidi, Bob Creamer and others.

Creamer is a member of Obama’s Chicago mob, a fellow “community organizer” and disciple of Saul Alinsky. Like all of Obama’s Chicago benefactors, Creamer believes that he is above the law, or, more appropriately, that he is the law in today’s age of the rule of men. But like Tony Rezko, another of Obama’s slick Chicago political backers, Creamer was caught with his hand in the till and was convicted of a felony (bank fraud) back in 2004 when Obama was a state senator. Creamer got a softball sentence, though: five months in a minimum-security facility for white-collar criminals and another 11 months of house arrest.

With all that time on his hands, Creamer authored a book, “How Progressives Can Win,” which, along with Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” serves as the template for Obama’s campaign to “fundamentally transform” America.

Obama didn’t use the word “transform” in his SOTU, but he did insist that government must “lay a new foundation for long-term economic growth,” under the pretense of “reform,” in order to “give our people the government they deserve.”

“I campaigned on the promise of change, change we can believe in. I know there are many Americans who aren’t sure if they still believe that I can deliver it. I never suggested that change would be easy … and when you try to do big things and make big changes, it stirs passions and controversy.”

And well, it should.

Though Obama’s efforts to nationalize the nation’s health care sector have been temporarily stalled, he has no intention of giving up, announcing that he is redoubling his efforts to expand central government controls over the private sector under cover of “economic crisis.” As White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Leading up to his SOTU, Obama endeavored to portray himself as a fiscal conservative: “We can’t continue to spend as if deficits don’t have consequences, as if waste doesn’t matter, as if the hard earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like monopoly money, that’s what we’ve seen time and time again, Washington has become more concerned about the next election than the next generation.”

This is subterfuge.

Obama endeavors to portray himself as a constitutional conservative: “We will lead in the observance of … the rule of law. … Don’t mock the Constitution. Don’t make fun of it. Don’t suggest that it’s not American to abide by what the Founding Fathers set up. It’s worked pretty well for over 200 years.”

This is deception.

Obama endeavors to portray himself as a resolute commander in chief. Regarding Operation Iraqi Freedom he decreed, “Let me say this as plainly as I can: By August 31st, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.” On Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, he declared, “After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home.” On the treatment of captive terrorists, he says, “I will restore America’s moral standing.” On the Long War with Jihadistan, Obama claims, “The United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam.”

This is farce.

Obama is a dangerous neophyte in matters of national security, and he shows no signs of improving.

If Republicans really want to defeat Obama’s Leftist agenda, they need to adopt the tried and true conservative message founded on Essential Liberty. Only then can they truly take control of the debate.

And while Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s response to Obama’s SOTU address was encouraging, the current crop of Republican leaders continues to play by Democrat rules, attempting to sell a dangerous and debilitating elixir: “We don’t offend the Constitution as bad as they do.”

Bottom line: Republicans must refocus on First Principles and govern accordingly.

Republicans can best distinguish themselves from Democrats by, first and foremost, honoring their sacred oath to “support and defend” our Constitution.

To that end, Obama declared, “If you abide by the law, you should be protected by it.”

True, but on the other hand, if you are not going to abide by the law, you should be impeached.

P.S. If you are going to seat two police officers next to your wife in the gallery, the two who brought down the Ft. Hood jihadi terrorist, you might at least acknowledge them.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, PatriotPost.US

Enumerated Powers Act: Answering Critics‏

January 26, 2010

The Enumerated Powers Act (EPA) requires that every bill must specify its source of Constitutional authority. Since our previous report in December, four more Representatives have signed on as sponsors of the EPA.

You can find the 60 House sponsors here.

And the 22 Senate sponsors here.

The problem is, many in Congress don’t want to be bothered with this simple requirement. They think that anything Congress passes must be Constitutional. Let’s persuade them to change their minds, with our arguments and our pressure.

You can use this letter as an example . . .

I think I know why so many in Congress want to ignore the Enumerated Powers Act (EPA). The attitude was expressed by Sen. Burris and Rep. Anna Eshoo in replies to constituents published at DownsizeDC.org. http://www.downsizedc.org/blog/enumerated-powers-act-some-congressional-responses

Sen. Roland W. Burris says, “I believe the genius of our Constitution rests in its timeless applicability. There is no better example of this than the Necessary and Proper Clause, also known as the Elastic Clause. Instead of the powers of Congress being confined to outdated principles and issues, the Necessary and Proper clause expands the authority of Congress to all areas tangentially related to one of its enumerated powers.”

Burris’s position is scary. “Tangentially” means “Merely touching or slightly connected; Only superficially relevant; divergent.” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/tangentially

How can the “superficially relevant” be necessary and proper?

Indeed, the Necessary and Proper Clause does not give Congress the sweeping authority Burris imagines. It instead authorizes Congress “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing (i.e., “enumerated”) Powers.” The Enumerated Powers Act doesn’t overrule the Necessary and Proper Clause, it only demands that the appropriate “enumerated power” be cited in the bill.

Burris goes on: “As your Senator, I can assure you that Congressional power is only used to make decisions that are intended to benefit the American people.”

Sen. Burris believes that the Necessary and Proper Clause means Congress can do whatever it wants because its intentions are good.

If the federal government was to be unlimited in its powers as Burris suggests, then why didn’t the Framers give Congress absolute, unlimited powers to begin with?

Rep. Eshoo’s response isn’t much better. “H.R. 450 would require Congress to adhere to the perspective that unless something is specifically enumerated in the U.S. Constitution, it is prohibited. Based on my understanding of the Constitution . . . I disagree.”

But H.R. 450 doesn’t adhere to a “perspective.” It just requires a citation of the Constitutional clause that authorizes the new law.

In this sense, passing the Enumerated Powers Act is actually in Congress’s best interest. If Congress won’t explicitly state the source of the Constitutional authority for a law they pass, why should Congress expect the Supreme Court to uphold it?

She goes on: “America’s Constitution has often been described as a ‘living, breathing document,’ specifically designed by our forefathers to allow flexibility to manage our nation within the rule of law.”

I’m sorry, but this “living, breathing” business is code for “the Constitution gives us as much power as we want to have.” This is not “within the rule of law,” this undermines the rule of law. The Constitution is only supposed to change by amendment, not by Congressional dictate.

Rep. Eshoo asserts: “The original U.S. Constitution never anticipated industrial factories, let alone airplanes and the Internet.”

Actually, as written it did make room for such things. It gave Congress jurisdiction over *interstate* commercial air traffic. It gave Congress jurisdiction over the *interstate* shipment of goods.

And she says, “I assure you that I would never sponsor, cosponsor or support a bill that I considered unconstitutional in nature.  I also would not support legislation that weakened one branch of government in favor of another, thereby undermining the very premise of the “checks and balances” concept which was crafted so carefully by our forefathers . . .”

But by what other standard does she consider bills constitutional or unconstitutional, aside from the text itself? She doesn’t say.

The responses of Burris and Eshoo scare me. They believe they can do whatever they want with my life, liberty, and property, and they’ll call it Constitutional.

If you don’t sponsor and vote for the Enumerated Powers Act, then, frankly, you scare me too.

END LETTER

You can send your letter using DownsizeDC.org’s Educate the Powerful System.

LANDOWNERS IN SE COLORADO CAN EARN EXTRA INCOME FROM HUNTING LEASES

January 26, 2010

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) is looking for landowners in SE Colorado to lease access for the 2010 hunting seasons.  The DOW’s Big Game Access Program (BGAP) will continue for a fourth year.  This fourth year will provide ongoing private lands access while allowing the DOW time to complete the analysis of the first three years of the pilot program (2007-2009).

The program analysis will be conducted for the first three years, including an annual evaluation to determine the ability to sustain the program and potential to expand.  The evaluation will be based on landowner satisfaction, sportsmen satisfaction, game harvest by species, economic viability, and overall participation in and success of the program.

The pilot was focused on deer and pronghorn hunting in southeast Colorado on private lands in the following Game Management Units: 116, 117, 120, 121, 122, 125, 126, and 127.  This fourth year will continue within the same GMU’s.

The DOW will pay landowners to allow big game hunting access on their property — similar to existing programs that allow access to hunt small game and upland birds.

Eligible cover types of land for this program will be upland grass or prairie habitat with a focus on pronghorn, and river bottom or riparian land with a focus on deer.  Landowners whose properties meet the requirements of this program can receive payment for allowing hunters onto their land.

Landowners whose properties meet BGAP requirements will receive payment for allowing hunters onto their land.  Payments to the landowner will range from 25-cents per acre up to a maximum of $3 per acre depending on the size of the property, type of the habitat and number of day’s access is allowed.

Landowners must apply by Feb. 25.  There will be a ranking process and properties will be rated based on habitat quality, number of pronghorn and/or deer, and budget limitations.  Only a limited number of properties can participate.  The 2010 program will begin with the fall hunting seasons.

Previous properties in the program must re-enroll to participate again in 2010.

BGAP benefits both landowners and hunters.  The benefit to landowners is that it provides additional income.  Hunters benefit because it opens up more hunting opportunities.

Enrolled properties will be clearly marked with DOW “Walk-in Access” signs.  All posting is done by the DOW.  Landowners’ names, addresses or telephone numbers are kept confidential.

Access to hunt on the land enrolled in BGAP is by walk-in only.  Hunters must have a valid license for the season they hunt in and buy a $40 BGAP permit to gain access to enrolled properties.  BGAP permits may be purchased at any license agent or DOW office.

The access stamp will apply to Pronghorn and Deer hunting only.  Any other hunting on the lands enrolled in this program (such as small game) will be at the discretion of the landowner with permission only.

Basic information on GMU’s, locations, and ranches enrolled will be posted on the Colorado Division of Wildlife website (http://wildlife.state.co.us/) prior to the big game license application deadline.  Maps of enrolled properties will be available on the internet as soon as possible after enrollment is completed.  Landowner applications may also be downloaded from the same site.

For more information, or to obtain an application to enroll your land, please contact the DOW office in Lamar at (719) 336-6600.  Correspondence can be sent addressed to the Colorado Division of Wildlife c/o BGAP, 2500 South Main St., Lamar, CO. 81052.

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.

Rep. Gutierrez Introduces Mass Amnesty Bill

January 25, 2010

While everyone’s eyes were on Massachusetts,and the democrat meltdown there were still shenanigan’s going on in foggy bottom. Few things have fired up the American people as much as the illegal immigration issue, and, the democrats are no dummies whether you or I agree or disagree with them. Using sleight of hand, as in during all the distraction mentioned above guess what they were up too?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 4:47 PM EST – posted on NumbersUSA

Rep. Luis GutierrezRep. Luis Gutierrez

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) introduced legislation today that offers amnesty to the nation’s estimated 11-18 million illegal aliens. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act (H.R. 4321) would increase annual immigration numbers while putting an end to many of the enforcement mechanisms currently put into place by federal, state and local governments.

Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas) is the bill’s official sponsor. The bill was introduced with 91 original cosponsors including Rep. Gutierrez.

H.R. 4321 would offer amnesty to all illegal aliens living in the United States at the time of the bill’s passage as long as they meet a short list of requirements, including a criminal and security background check and a fine of $500 which will be waved for children and individuals who entered the country before the age of 16. Illegal aliens can then become citizenship by meeting requirements over a six-year period.

The bill would also discontinue E-Verify in lieu of a new employment authorization system. The initial outline of the bill provided by the American Immigration Lawyers Association does not offer details of the new system, but Rep. Gutierrez championed a biometrics verification system during a Senate Immigration Subcommittee hearing earlier this year.

The bill would create an independent commission that would make recomendation towards the future flow of workers based on the needs of the market place. The bill would also establish a work match system that allows employers who have historically relied on illegal workers to find workers through an internet-based system.

The bill would attempt to close up some of the loopholes in current visa classes, more specifically the H-1B visas for high-skilled workers, but the bill would not reduce the number of these visas currently issued.

The bill also includes the AgJOBS amnesty, which grants amnesty to illegal farm workers who can prove they’ve worked consistently in the United States over a set period of time, and the DREAM Act, which grants amnesty to illegal aliens who graduated from U.S. high schools and wish to attend college.

The following summary is provided by the American Immigration Lawyers Association…

Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP) Act of 2009

TITLE I – BORDER SECURITY, DETENTION, AND ENFORCEMENT

Subtitle A – Border Security:

Subtitle A of Title I assembles a vision of effective and accountable enforcement for the 21st century through maximizing border security by requiring the Secretary of Homeland Security to form a national strategy that is consistent with the progress already made. In order to achieve these goals, oversight and accountability for the Department of Homeland Security is emphasized, especially as they pertain to fiscal appropriations and cost-benefit analyses of operations and programs.

Protecting Our Borders: This subtitle protects United States border cities and communities from violence and crime along the U.S.-Mexico border by:

  • Creating a Southern Border Security Task Force that is composed of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers
  • Requiring a security plan for land ports of entry at the borders involved in international trade
  • Expanding the programs under the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism that is in accordance to the SAFE Port Act
  • Improving the exchange of information between federal agencies on North American Security by a conducting a targeted study of security clearance standards, document integrity, immigration and visa management and coordination, terrorist watch lists and smuggling operations

Effective Enforcement: Subtitle A achieves effective enforcement by improving personnel, assets and technology. This section:

  • Supports additional training, oversight and evaluation for agents who are the first face of America at the borders
  • Ensures that Customs and Border Protection have sufficient personal equipment like body armor, weapons, and uniforms, and that Customs and Border Protection have sufficient assets such as helicopters, power boats, motor vehicles and other electronic equipment
  • Promotes standards for searches of electronic devices and appropriate training for agents in conducting such searches
  • Minimizes wasteful spending by developing and studying comprehensive uses of advanced technologies, such as aerial and automated surveillance
  • Requires an inventory prior to any increase of personnel assets and technology

Securing Ports of Entry: Our nation’s ports of entry are modernized for our economic benefit and security by conducting a study of the infrastructure and operations to identify necessary improvements and projects to enhance border security and the flow of legitimate commerce and travel. This section:

  • Improves infrastructure and recalibrates resources and training to allow for more effective screening of commercial goods and individuals so as to minimize threats to national security at ports of entry
  • Increases the number of full-time port of entry inspectors, agricultural specialists, and support staff to improve the timely and safe flow of commercial goods and individuals
  • Establishes a demonstration project to test and evaluate new port of entry technologies and also refines existing technologies and operational concepts

Combating Criminal Activity: This subtitle recognizes the role of state law enforcement at the border in combating criminal activity by creating border relief grant programs for Northern and Southern border state, local and tribal law enforcement entities. This section:

  • Enables better training and technical assistance for state and local partners that deals with narcotics-related kidnapping, drug trafficking and the interdiction of weapons and currency
  • Facilitates information-sharing and collaboration between federal and state partners
  • Suspends the Operation Streamline program pending review of the goals, impacts and costbenefit analyses
  • Reimburses Northern and Southern border state and local prosecutors for prosecuting federally initiated drug cases
  • Provides expanded resources for Operation Armas Cruzadas and Project Gunrunner to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals involved in the trafficking and smuggling of firearms between Mexico and the United States.

Improving Partnerships: The importance of border communities as partners and allies are recognized as key in achieving effective enforcement by prioritizing community consultation in developing enforcement policies, border protection strategies and training. This subtitle:

  • Establishes the U.S.-Mexico Border Enforcement Commission and a Border Communities Liaison Office to foster and institutionalize community consultation
  • Prohibits military involvement in non-emergency border enforcement
  • Prioritizes mitigating adverse impacts to federal, tribal, state, local and private lands, waters, wildlife and habitats by promoting cross-agency development of comprehensive monitoring and mitigation of ecological and environmental impacts of border security infrastructure and activity

Combating Human Trafficking: Subtitle A requires the development and implementation of a plan to improve coordination amongst federal and state partners to address human smuggling and migrant deaths. This section calls for additional ICE agents dedicated to combating human smuggling are stationed at ports of entry, requires reporting on migrant deaths, and establishes a study of strategies used at the Southern border to address this problem.

Subtitle B – Detention:

Improving Conditions of Detention: The bill requires DHS to meet minimum requirements to ensure the humane treatment of detainees. Minimum requirements include:

  • Adequate medical and mental health screenings, evaluations, medically necessary treatment, and continuing care
  • A review process for medical treatment requests and complete and confidential medical records
  • Reasonable access to telephones, affordable rates, and privacy protections for calls
  • Protections from sexual abuse, care for victims, and reports and investigations of abuse
  • Protection from transfers that fail to consider health and access to counsel

To ensure compliance with minimum detention conditions, the bill requires rulemaking and enforcement. An independent immigration detention commission is established to investigate and report on compliance. DHS must report the death of a detainee within 48 hours, and report annually to Congress on the circumstances of all deaths in detention.

Protecting U.S. Citizens, Lawfully Present Immigrants, Vulnerable Populations, and Communities: This section increases screening and protections during immigration-related enforcement activities for U.S. citizens, Legal Permanent Residents, others lawfully present in the U.S., and vulnerable populations. Social service agencies, translators, and legal services must be available during enforcement activities. DHS will be required to:

  • Issue regulations prohibiting apprehensions at enumerated community, educational, and religious locations
  • Provide access to legal orientation programs and access to counsel during enforcement activities and for disabled individuals unable to fully participate in removal proceedings
  • Give timely notice and service of immigration charges, as well as timely bond hearings if detained more than 48 hours

This section increases protections for individuals subject to immigration detainers, limits the use of detainers to confirmed removable aliens, and requires DHS to collect data and report on detainer use. The unnecessary detention of refugees is prohibited. DHS is required to report to Congress on the impact of immigration-related enforcement activities.

Improving Secure Alternative to Detention Programs: Criteria are established to guide detention and release decisions and require release for vulnerable populations. Detention decisions must be in writing, served upon detainees, and are subject to redetermination by an immigration judge.

Protecting Family Unity: Families with children may not be separated except in exceptional circumstances where alternatives to detention are not available. Residential, non-penal facilities are developed for any necessary family detention with appropriate protections for children and parental rights. The bill includes safeguards for families and children during immigration-related enforcement actions by:

  • Improving child welfare services for children separated from parents and guardians who are in immigration detention or have been removed
  • Requiring training for federal and state personnel who interact with separated children and for staff at immigration detention facilities on parental rights, humanitarian, and due process protections
  • Ensuring protections for detained parents, guardians, and caregivers in immigration detention to promote access to children, family courts, child welfare services, and consular officials

Protecting Unaccompanied Alien Children: Training is required for DHS employees who encounter unaccompanied alien children. Upon apprehension of an unaccompanied alien child, immediate notice is required by DHS or ORR and transfer to ORR custody within 24 hours.

Subtitle C – Enforcement:

Protecting workers: Provides temporary visas and work authorization for detained workers when they have been retaliated against by their employer for asserting their labor rights and they agree to pursue labor claims against their employer. Also expands U visas to provide for whistleblower protections with regard to worker exploitation, civil rights violations and retaliation for exercising labor rights.

Address Reporting: Clarifies address reporting requirements

Ending Discrimination: Preempts any state or local law that discriminates against an individual based on immigration status or imposes sanctions on any individual or entity based on the immigration status of its clients, employees or tenants

Repeals the 287(g) program: Repeals the 287(g) program and clarifies that the authority to enforce federal immigration law lies solely with the federal government

ICE Ombudsman: Establishes an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Ombudsman Asylum: Eliminates the arbitrary 1-year bar to applying for asylum

Restores federal jurisdiction: Restores the federal courts of their jurisdiction to review decisions and practices of DHS thereby also restoring the historic role that the courts play in reviewing agency actions

TITLE II – EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION

This section sets up an employment verification system for employers to verify each new hire’s authorization to work. The new system will eventually apply to all workers and all new hires, and will be rolled out in phases, beginning with critical infrastructure employers and large employers. The employment verification system:

  • Creates significant civil penalties for employers who do not comply with the requirements under the new system
  • Establishes serious criminal penalties for knowingly hiring unauthorized aliens
  • Debars employers who repeatedly violate these provisions from government contracts, grants, and agreements
  • Includes privacy safeguards by limiting the data that can be collected and stored in the database and requiring the agencies to develop the system with maximum security and privacy protections
  • Requires the agencies to evaluate impact of system from a privacy perspective and complete privacy impact statements
  • Prohibits creation of a national identification card
  • Includes anti-discrimination provisions. Forbids employers from using the new system to discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of nationality. Prohibits employers from terminating employment due to a tentative non-confirmation, using the system to screen employees prior to offering employment, or using the system selectively
  • Allows an individual to register with the Social Security Administration and acquire a PIN that would allow them electronic access to their file in the system, update their information, and lock their file for purposes of employment

TITLE III – VISA REFORMS

Backlog Reduction and Numerical Limit Reforms:

Reduction of existing backlogs: Permits the “recapture” of unused employment-based visas and family-sponsored visas from fiscal years 1992-2008 and allows future unused visa numbers to roll over to next fiscal year. Immediate relatives are exempted from the annual cap on the number of immigrant visas. This section increases the percentage limit of visas which may be issued yearly to a single country.

Promotion of Family Unity: To recognize family unity principles and facilitate backlog reduction, reclassifies spouses and children of lawful permanent residents as immediate relatives. The government is given greater discretionary authority to waive unlawful presence bars to reunite families upon a demonstration of hardship for applicant’s U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family members.

Sons and daughters of Filipino World War II veterans: Exempts the sons and daughters of Filipino WWII veterans from the annual numerical limitations.

Immigrants with Advanced Skills Exempt from Visa Cap: Exempts several categories of highly skilled workers from the employment-based immigrant visa cap.

Retaining Workers Subject to the Green Card Backlog: Current nonimmigrant skilled workers whose employer has petitioned for an employment-based green card on their behalf and their dependents will be permitted to file an application for adjustment of status, regardless of whether a visa is immediately available. An applicant under this section must pay a supplemental $500 fee, to be used by DHS for backlog reduction and clearing security background check delays. The Secretary shall provide employment and travel authorization in 3- year increments while the application is pending.

Protection of Children and Families:

Relief for Orphans and Widows: Ensures that surviving spouses and children applying for adjustment of status or naturalization, including spouses and children of asylees and refugees, retain eligibility for waivers and other considerations that would have been available to them at the time of the petitioner’s death.

Reform of Cancellation of Removal: Permits immigration judges greater discretion in determining eligibility requirements for long-term lawful permanent residents seeking cancellation of removal. Eliminates prohibitions on including time spent in the United States after becoming inadmissible or being placed in removal proceedings as counting towards continuous presence requirements for cancellation of removal.

Protection for Refugees, Parolees or Asylees: Prohibits the removal of any individual who fled his or her homeland for fear of persecution before the age of twelve and was subsequently admitted into the United States as a parolee or refugee or was granted asylum in the U.S.

Enhanced Protections for Children: Revises current law to ensure that the children of fiancés of United States citizens will be protected from aging out of eligibility to adjust to conditional resident status by requiring that eligibility determinations are based on the child’s age at the time the U.S. citizen files a petition for classifying the child’s parent as a fiancé or spouse. Eliminates he requirement that stepchildren must have been under the age of 18 at the time the qualifying marriage took place in order to be classified as a child for purposes of immigration eligibility.

Limits on Removal for Parents of U.S. Citizen Children: Permits an immigration judge to decline to order the removal of the parent of U.S. citizen child if the judge determines that removal would not be in the child’s best interests and the parent is not subject to removal based on national security, terrorism or trafficking grounds.

Determinations under the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 1998: This section amends the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 1998 (HRIFA) to preserve eligibility for children of applicants based on their age on the date of enactment of HRIFA and permits new applications and motions to reopen on that basis.

Affidavit of Support: Revises the eligibility requirements for sponsorship of immigrants by reducing the level of support required from 125% of poverty level to 100% of poverty level.

Return of Talent Program: Permits lawful permanent residents to temporarily return to their home country to assist in post-conflict or natural disaster reconstruction activities, for up to two years without losing credit towards time as a continuous resident of the U.S. for purposes of applying for naturalization.

Humanitarian Visa Program to Prevent Unauthorized Migration (PUM Visa): Prevent Unauthorized Migration Visa (PUM Visa) Creates a stop-gap new visa program that will provide for safe, humanitarian migration during the three-year transition period before the implementation of recommendations made by the new Labor Commission.

  • One hundred thousand PUM visas will be made available annually, for three years, to persons from sending countries of unauthorized migration to the United States to be distributed on a percentage basis through a lottery system.
  • Individuals may apply to the lottery if they are not present in the United States at the time of filing, do not have other family or employment-based means to immigration, submit to criminal background checks, and have completed less than a 4-year college degree program.
  • Individuals awarded visas will be admitted to the United States as conditional residents and may petition to remove the condition after three years upon showing they have good moral character, pass all required background and security checks, comply with all tax requirements and other factors, including payment of a $500 fee that will be used to fund security and employment programs.

TITLE IV – EARNED LEGALIZATION PROGRAM FOR THE UNDOCUMENTED

Visa Program for Qualified Undocumented Workers: Creates a program providing conditional nonimmigrant status for undocumented immigrants (and their spouses and children) in the U.S., which is valid for six years.

Features of the Conditional Nonimmigrant Program:

  • Provides conditional nonimmigrant visa applicants with work and travel authorization and protection from removal
  • Bars related to undocumented status will be waived (security and criminal bars cannot be waived)
  • Contains provisions for administrative and judicial review of denied applications

Requirements for Conditional Nonimmigrant Status: The alien must:

  • Establish presence in the U.S. on the day of introduction, and continuously thereafter
  • At time of registration, attests to contributions to the U.S. through employment, education, military service, or other volunteer/community service (with exemptions for minors, persons with disabilities, the elderly, or other unusual circumstances)
  • Complete criminal and security background checks
  • Pay a $500 fine plus necessary application fees (fine exemption for children and certain immigrants who initially entered the U.S. before the age of 16)
  • The individual shall be ineligible to receive a visa as a result of a serious criminal conviction, persecution of another person or reasonable grounds for believing that the alien committed a particularly serious crime abroad
  • There is a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment for anyone who willfully falsifies information in an application for conditional nonimmigrant status

Adjustment of Status to LPR: Provides qualified conditional nonimmigrants and their spouses and children with an opportunity to apply for lawful permanent resident status (green card) and eventual citizenship.

Features of the Earned Adjustment of Status Program:

  • No green cards may be issued under this program earlier than six years after the date of enactment unless existing immigrant backlogs have been cleared before that time
  • The Department of State and DHS are required to provide any requesting law enforcement entity with information furnished on an application in connection with a criminal or national security investigation or prosecution
  • New penalties for making false statements in an application for earned citizenship are created
  • Immigrants who adjust from a conditional nonimmigrant visa (including dependents) to lawful permanent resident status shall not be counted against the worldwide numerical visa caps
  • Those appealing decisions associated with the application for adjustment to permanent status have access to a defined administrative and judicial process

Special Rule for Persons Brought to the United States Before the Age of 16: In order to simplify processing of applicants under CIR ASAP, those persons ordinarily covered under the DREAM Act will apply for status through the same program outlined above, with the following special features:

  • No fines for persons who were brought to the United States before the age of 16, have resided in the U.S. for at least five years, and were 35 years of age or less
  • Such persons will be eligible for accelerated LPR status upon graduation from high school, and completion of two years of college, military service, or employment. Persons granted LPR status under this provision will be eligible for naturalization three years after the date LPR status is granted
  • Graduation from a U.S. high school or receipt of an equivalency degree will meet the English proficiency requirement
  • Individual states permitted to determine residency requirements for in-state tuition purposes

Requirements for Earned Adjustment: The applicant must:

  • Demonstrate contribution to the United States through employment, education, military service, or voluntary or community service, where applicable
  • Complete criminal and security background checks
  • Establish registration under the Selective Service (if applicable)
  • Meet English and civics requirements
  • Undergo a medical examination
  • Pay all taxes
  • Show admissibility to the U.S

Other Provisions in Title IV:

AgJOBS Act of 2009

TITLE V – STRENGTHENING AMERICA’S WORKFORCE

Title V of CIR ASAP strengthens America’s workforce by reforming the badly-flawed H-1B, H- 2B and L-1 visa programs and establishes a Commission on Immigration and Labor Markets to provide researched, unbiased, accurate recommendations for future flows of workers. It also permanently reauthorizes the EB-5 visa program and establishes stricter requirements for employers and recruiters of foreign workers. Title V additionally establishes the American Worker Recruit and Match System which will match qualified individuals with job opportunities in fields that traditionally have relied on unauthorized labor. Furthermore, this title establishes the Security and Prosperity Account which directs funds raised from fines in the earned legalization program to fortify America’s workforce, integrate new Americans and safeguard our borders.

Commission on Immigration and Labor Markets: Title V establishes a new independent federal agency known as the Commission on Immigration and Labor Markets. The Commission will:

  • Establish employment based-immigration policies that promote economic growth and competitiveness while minimizing job displacement, wage depression and unauthorized employment
  • Create and implement a policy-focused research agenda on the economic impact of immigration on multiple levels
  • Collect and analyze information on employment-based immigration and publish the data and analysis
  • Recommend to Congress and the President appropriate methods for determining the levels of employment-based immigration and assessing the effects of such immigration as well as the numerical levels and characteristics of procedures for future flows of workers to be admitted into the United States

Security and Prosperity Account: The Security and Prosperity Account is established in Title V to fund efforts to strengthen our workforce, including:

  • Grants to states for adult and dislocated worker employment and training activities
  • Funding for the Electronic Employment Verification System to ensure that all individuals working in the U.S. are authorized to do so
  • Funding for the Commission on Immigration and Labor Markets to provide sound, researched and objective employment based immigration policy
  • Dislocated workers assistance national reserve funding
  • Establishment of AWRMS programs and funds educational purposes
  • Funding to reduce the USCIS visa backlog to ensure a timely and reliable process for all individuals applying for visas and further the integration of new Americas with programs that, for example, facilitate citizenship for legal permanent resident students and create citizenship promotion services
  • Funding for border security, detention and enforcement activities

American Worker Recruit and Match System: Title V establishes the American Worker Recruit and Match System (AWRMS), which is an internet-based program that is set up by each State Workforce Agency (SWA) to be incorporated into current Web-based job search engines. AWRMS is a searchable database that allows employers to post job opportunities in fields that have traditionally relied on unauthorized labor. In addition, individuals can post their employment profiles and AWRMS will match employers with qualified individuals.

Protecting Workers: Title V protects foreign workers from exploitation and abuse by ensuring that each prospective employee is provided a written description of the terms of their employment which may not knowingly include any misleading or false information. In addition, each employer must provide to the Secretary of Labor the identity of all recruiters working on their behalf and any possible violations committed by a recruiter. An employer will be held responsible for the actions of a recruiter and may be subject to civil penalties.

H-1B visa program: The current H-1B visa program does not adequately protect American or H-1B workers. Title V reforms the H-1B visa program to:

  • Ensure that before an employer can hire an H-1B worker, the employer must meet strict requirements for the recruitment of American workers
  • Authorize the Department of Labor (DOL) to initiate investigations into possible fraud and abuse in the absence of a formal complaint and/or the Secretary’s approval.
  • Increase penalties for violations
  • Authorize the DOL to conduct annual audits of employers that rely heavily on the H-1B program

L-1 visa program: The L-1 visa program is currently vulnerable to fraud and abuse. CIR ASAP authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to audit L-1 visa participants. Penalties will be assessed for violations of the provisions of the L-1 visa program.

H-2B visa program: The H-2B visa program is reformed to prevent the exploitation of H-2B non-immigrants and the depression of wages and other workplace abuses by exploitative employers. Reforms to the program:

  • Include stricter requirements for recruitment of American workers
  • Prevent employers from participating in the program if they have conducted a mass lay-off in the past year and includes strengthened worker protections

EB-5 Visa program: The EB-5 Visa program is permanently reauthorized within Title V with an increase in available visas to 10,000. It also allows for an expedited processing of petitions for a fee of $2,500. The definition of Targeted Employment Area (TEA) is expanded to include:

  • Rural areas,
  • High-unemployment areas
  • Counties with a 20 percent or more population decrease since 1970
  • Areas within the boundaries of state or federal economic development incentive programs
  • Areas designated as TEAs by a state agency authorized by the Governor
  • Areas designated as TEAs during the two year period before visa application

In addition, Title V requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to study and report on the current job creation counting methodology and how to promote the employment creation program to overseas investors. Lastly it creates a new category of job-producing foreigners eligible for visas: venture capitalist seeking a Founder’s visa.

TITLE VI – INTEGRATION OF NEW AMERICANS

Immigration Fees: Immigration fees have risen steeply in the past decade. Title VI will ensure that future fee increase requests receive closer scrutiny than provided by the largely perfunctory regulatory public comment process. Title VI incorporates and expands on provisions of the Citizenship Promotion Act of 2007 to make citizenship more accessible and affordable. This title:

  • Provides for greater transparency for immigration application fees and encourages a uniform process to submit fee waiver applications
  • Provides for uniform administration of the naturalization exam
  • Promotes citizenship of the elderly by adjusting the age requirements for English language exemption

Improving the Naturalization Process: The process for naturalization is lengthy and difficult to navigate. Title VI creates reforms that encourage citizenship among immigrant communities. This section requires timely response on background checks and evaluates their efficiency. In addition, this title includes a grant program for community based organizations to promote and help immigrants prepare for citizenship. These grants in support of naturalization efforts will assist legal permanent residents with:

  • English language and citizenship classes
  • Legal assistance
  • Community outreach activities
  • Assisting aliens with applications for citizenship

Integration Grant Programs:

Title VI includes a grant program for education, training and support efforts relating to the provisions of the CIR ASAP Act, including protections from immigration fraud and the availability of benefits provided by the act. Provisions ensure that to the extent possible, the nonprofit community organizations receiving grants serve geographically diverse and ethnically diverse locations.

USCIS Grant Program: Title VI establishes a grant program within USCIS that provides funding to community-based organizations, including community-based legal service organizations, as appropriate, to develop and implement programs to assist eligible applicants for naturalization. Grants provided for in Title VI will be funded through fees and fines deposited in the Security and Prosperity Account.

Initial Entry, Adjustment, and Citizenship Assistant Grant Program: Title VI establishes the Initial Entry, Adjustment and Citizenship Assistance Grant Program. IEACA grants will be awarded to community-based organizations for the design and implementation of programs to provide the following services:

  • Assistance and instruction, including legal assistance, to aliens making initial application for conditional nonimmigrant or conditional nonimmigrant dependent classification
  • Assistance and instruction, including legal assistance, to aliens seeking to adjust their status
  • Assistance and instruction to applicants on the rights and responsibilities of US citizenship and English language proficiency

Improving Naturalization for Legal Permanent Residents: Facilitates citizenship among Legal Permanent Resident students that want to naturalize. Legal Permanent Resident students will be deemed to have satisfied the language and civics requirements for naturalization if they are able to demonstrate they graduated high school after completing grades 6 through 12 in the United States and the curriculum reflects knowledge of U.S. history, Government, and civics.

Strengthening Communities: Title VI strengthens and unites communities by creating incentives for English language acquisition programs. Creates tax credits for teachers in limited English proficient schools. Provides employers with a tax credit for qualified English language education programs. Authorizes states to form State New American Councils comprised of 15- 19 individuals from state and local government, business and community organizations.

Celebrating Citizenship: Title VI celebrates the citizenship of new Americans and encourages these individuals to integrate into their communities. It provides for the availability of funds to the Director of USCIS or to approved public or private nonprofit entities to support public ceremonies for administering oaths of allegiance to naturalizing legal immigrants. Independence Day naturalization ceremonies include appropriate outreach, ceremonial, and celebratory activities. This program shall be funded through fees and fines deposited in the Security and Prosperity Account.

SOURCE


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