After taking nearly four years to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request, the U.S. immigration agency is demanding $111,930 for records that describe what is in a government database of claims for U.S. citizenship – not the actual database itself.
Balking at the agency’s request, the non-profit group that filed the FOIA says the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is acting contrary to President Barack Obama’s openness directive, creating “arbitrary cost barriers” to what should be public information, and may be illegal.
The Transactional Records and Access Clearinghouse, a Syracuse University-based research ...
Yesterday, the Senate moved one step closer to passing S. 1639, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, which has been less than popular with the public, and with those on the left, the center left, the center right and the right. Of course, some are supporting the bill, but sadly, lobbying records are no help in determing who might be supporting it.Continue reading
Last night President Bush proposed a National ID card to help identify legal citizens and control illegal immigration. Garance Franke-Ruta at TAPPED asks if Bush's speechwriters read the New York Times before writing this part of the speech:
Whoever wrote this speech obviously hasn't been reading The New York Times lately, or he'd have known that the reason we don't have a tamper-proof card already is because of the self-dealing ways of a certain Kentucky Republican known to his local paper as "The Prince of Pork".That "Prince of Pork" happens to be Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), notorious for his earmarking:
Instead, the road to delivering this critical antiterrorism tool has taken detours to locations, companies and groups often linked to Representative Harold Rogers, a Kentucky Republican who is the powerful chairman of the House subcommittee that controls the Homeland Security budget. It is a route that has benefited Mr. Rogers, creating jobs in his home district and profits for companies that are donors to his political causes. The congressman has also taken 11 trips — including six to Hawaii — on the tab of an organization that until this week was to profit from a no-bid contract Mr. Rogers helped arrange. Work has even been set aside for a tiny start-up company in Kentucky that employs John Rogers, the congressman's son. "Something stinks in Corbin," said Jay M. Meier, senior securities analyst at MJSK Equity Research in Minneapolis, which follows the identification card industry, referring to the Kentucky community of 8,000 that has perhaps benefited the most from Mr. Rogers's interventions. "And it is the sickest example of what is wrong with our homeland security agenda that I can find."The Washington Post previously reported on Rogers' homeland security largesse. The congressman had gotten funds for Reveal Technologies, his largest PAC contributor, to provide small and medium sized explosion-detection scanners to airports through funds in the Transport Security Administration budget. The scanners wound up running at a quarter of the speed of larger machines. So, if you're upset about the lack of movement on a National ID card (as the President ought to be considering his speech last night) or if you are standing in a long line while somebody's bags get searched by a slow machine you can always raise your fist and shake it at Rep. Hal Rogers. Continue reading
Today’s nationwide immigration boycott – in which untold thousands of legal and illegal immigrants will be taking up position in the streets instead of their accustomed supporting roles in the background – is a rare example of unscripted politics in modern America.
Most political discourse these days is so predictable that insiders can recite the lines of both sides on the Sunday-morning talk shows even if the sound is on mute. Professionals handle these sorts of things: you’ve got your Astroturf campaigns, your grass-tops campaigns, email campaigns, talk radio campaigns – all tuned just so for maximum impact on Capitol Hill. Whole armies of specialists take up position inside the Beltway to manage such campaigns every working day of the year. The hoi polloi is often recruited for these campaigns – every army needs an infantry – but the battle plans tend to be drawn up on K Street.Continue reading
Despite the inability of a deeply-split Congress to pass any kind of immigration bill before heading off for their Easter recess, the surprisingly large and widespread turnouts of marchers around the country – largely Hispanic – are keeping this issue very much alive. That’s making a lot of politicians nervous, and for good reason. Unlike most issues dealt with in Washington, this one isn’t being carefully stage-managed solely by the usual inside-the-Beltway operatives: lobbyists, PR companies, and money men. In fact, looked at through the lens of money in politics, the immigration issue is almost invisible. A search of the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets website shows eight PACs with “immigration” in their names: • Americans Against Illegal Immigration • Americans for Legal ImmigrationContinue reading