I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Two Congresses and Immigration

Politico has an interesting article about the two Congresses and the crafting of the immigration bill. In creating this national policy, individual senators are racing to include benefits for immigrants who tend to come to the lawmakers' little slices of America. For example, Chuck Shumer (D-NY) is trying to help Irish immigrants (NYC has a large Irish community) while Mark Kirk (R-IL) is attempting to ease restrictions on Polish immigrants (Chicago has a large Polish community).

Sen. Barbara Mikulski wants to help the Polish. Sen. Chuck Schumer wants to help the Irish. Sen. Marco Rubio wants to woo foreign workers to help after national emergencies. And Sen. Mazie Hirono wants to reunite Filipino World War II veterans with their families.

As negotiations over a sweeping immigration deal comes to a head, senators are rapidly moving to resolve a bevy of narrow and parochial issues raised by lawmakers nervous about the impact of the far-reaching plan.

Behind the scenes, the chief negotiators are trying to limit dissension both within the Capitol and off of the Hill, though they know the opposition could be intense given the scope of the measure.

Schumer, sources say, was successful in adding language aimed at helping Irish immigrants — many of whom live in New York City. The New York Democrat has long pushed to add Ireland to the E-3 visa program that is currently just available to Australians, meaning about 10,000 new visas would be given to the Irish under the Schumer effort. 

Similarly, Mikulski — who is not a member of the gang — urged the negotiators to include language similar to a bill she drafted with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to help Poland into the visa waiver program. The provision would allow travelers who want to visit family and do business while cutting down on the bureaucratic process. And it would be welcomed by the large Polish communities in Baltimore, Chicago and other American cities.

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