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Watch Rubio’s Recycled Talking Points on Immigration

Watch Rubio's Recycled Talking Points on Immigration

Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., broke Sunday TV interview records by appearing on all five major English language networks and the two leading Spanish language stations. And he was on repeat.

The Daily Beast compiled the video sequence at the top of the page that illustrates how Rubio recycled his talking points.

For analysis on Rubio’s immigration talking points from Sunday read Seth Freed Wessler’s story published this morning.

Police Sergeant Caught With Trayvon Martin Shooting Targets Says Sorry I’m Not Sorry

Police Sergeant Caught With Trayvon Martin Shooting Targets Says Sorry I'm Not Sorry

The Port Canaveral, Fla., Port Authority police sergeant who was fired after he brought shooting targets resembling Trayvon Martin to a firearms training says he’s the victim of another sergeant’s political agenda. Sergeant Ron King was fired last Thursday for offering two fellow officers shooting targets with Trayvon’s likeness wearing a hoodie and holding a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona iced tea—items the young teen was holding when he was killed just an hour away from where the gun training was held.

King published a 5-minute video to YouTube on Saturday to say he’s the victim of a scheme based on “lies, false information and political agenda.” King went on to say he had no intention of using Trayvon’s likeness for target practice, instead, his intention was to use them as a training tool for “a no-shoot situation.”

King went on to say his accusers are using “the Martin family and [himself] as a way to further their own political and career agendas.”

“To the Martin Family, I would like to apologize again for those law enforcement officials that chose to use your son’s death as an element for their personal and political gains. I assure you the use of these targets that are in question is to prevent a tragedy from taking place,” King said in the video.

Port Canaveral officials say the Trayvon shooting targets were inappropriate any way you look at it.

“Whether his act was hatred or stupidity, none is tolerable,” John Walsh, CEO of Port Canaveral, told local news station WFTV.

In a statement from Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Trayvon Martin’s family, he said “Using a dead child’s image as target practice is reprehensible.”

TAGS: Police Trayvon

Jamie Foxx Wears Trayvon Martin, Sandy Hook Shirt to MTV Movie Awards

Jamie Foxx Wears Trayvon Martin, Sandy Hook Shirt to MTV Movie Awards

Jamie Foxx appeared at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday night wearing a T-shirt in honor of teenager Trayvon Martin and the Sandy Hook victims.

“Just a little blip just to keep our minds — not political or anything like that — just think about the children,” Foxx told MTV cameras on the red carpet before the awards ceremony. “My daughter’s here, 19 years old, so just protecting our kids that’s all,” Foxx said.

Foxx wore the Trayvon Martin t-shirt just weeks before George Zimmerman’s case goes to trial. Zimmerman, who faces a second-degree murder charge, is set to go on trial June 10.

“Before they can get their constitutional right to trial, Trayvon’s parents have to go through the ‘stand your ground’ hearing where if the judge rules in the killer’s favor, then they [the parents] never even get a jury trial by a jury of their peers so it’s so important that we stay vigilant and that we don’t forget Trayvon,” Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Martin’s parents, told Washington Watch earlier this year.

In February 2013 Foxx performed at a memorial for Martin and spoke to Washington Watch about why he was spending his energy bringing attention to this murder. Watch the video below.

UPDATE: 4/15/2013 12:47PM EST: In an earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the trial start date.

Sen. Rubio Backs Immigration Reform Bill With ‘Toughest Enforcement’

Sen. Rubio Backs Immigration Reform Bill With 'Toughest Enforcement'

In a furious show of support for the immigration reform bill he helped draft, Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., broke Sunday TV interview records by appearing on all five major English language networks and the two leading Spanish language stations. Rubio’s unrestrained endorsement of the Gang of Eight Senate immigration bill comes after weeks of hedging by the Senator and is seen as a green light for introduction of the bill, expected as early as Tuesday.

The Florida Senator spent much of his screen time Sunday arguing the legislation will be as restrictive as it is generous. He told CBS’s Face the Nation the bill includes the “toughest enforcement measures in the history of the United States, potentially in the world.”

Anticipating accusations by fellow Republicans that the reform legislation creates a new path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and that it amounts to “amnesty,” Rubio said that the bill will change nothing about existing routes to citizenship.

“What I’ve said in the past is that there is a pathway to citizenship, and that is the legal immigration system. And all this bill does is give people access to the legal immigration system,” Rubio said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

Current laws permit undocumented immigrants to apply for citizenship if they leave the country for ten years, though backlogs in the system ensure that many don’t outlive the wait times. How the legislation will clear existing green card backlogs is not clear.

The bill will include a ten-year provisional status visa for undocumented immigrants before they can apply for a green card. According to people familiar with the language and Rubio’s descriptions of its content, the journey to provisional status and ultimately toward citizenship will be a treacherous one.

“Quite frankly, it’ll be cheaper, faster and easier to leave and wait ten years than it will be to go through this process that we’ve designed,” Rubio told NBC.

The Gang of Eight legislation will exclude immigrants who arrived without papers after December 31, 2011, and is expected to allocate several billion dollars for additional border security. It will also nationalize the e-verify system to stop private employers from hiring workers who lack employment authorization.

The bill is expected to include a $2000 application fee, with $500 to be paid upfront and the rest paid over the following ten years. Applicants will be required to pass strenuous background checks and, according to Rubio, must “be gainfully employed so that you are not a public charge.”

In interviews in Spanish Rubio repeated similar talking points though softened his framing of the path to citizenship.

“I don’t believe it would be good the country to have two statuses, two different types of people in the country,” he said on Univision’s Al Punto. “Obviously it will be difficult, but it will also be fair. People will have access to work, to travel and to be here legally, and ultimately, to apply for their residency…apply for citizenship.”

Jackie Robinson Biopic Is Most Popular Baseball Movie Ever

Jackie Robinson Biopic Is Most Popular Baseball Movie Ever

Baseball legend Jackie Robinson is still hitting it big — this time, at the box office.

“42”, the eagerly anticipated new film about Robinson’s integration of Major League Baseball, took in $27.3 million over the weekend. Sports films have often been a somewhat tough sell at the box offices, but Robinson’s biopic offers new hope. “Jackie Robinson is making history all over again!” Gitesh Pandya, head of Boxofficeguru.com, told the New York Daily News. “This was the best opening in history for a baseball movie.”

The film, starring newcomer Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey, had some fans on edge. As I wrote last week at Colorlines.com, Robinson left behind a complex political legacy that goes beyond his one heroic act of breaking baseball’s color barrier.

How an Immigration Bill Could Become Law

How an Immigration Bill Could Become Law

The Senate’s immigration reform bill we’ve all been twiddling our thumbs waiting for—or marching for in Washington—will most likely be released this week. While the Senate bill will be a starting place, it will not be the final word. It’s unclear what route lawmakers will take, but here are the likely timelines and paths to immigration reform.

A Big Senate Bill:

The bill will go through a normal process in the Senate. Once it’s officially introduced, probably next week, it’ll live in the Senate Judiciary Committee where committee chair Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) already scheduled a hearing for Wednesday, April 17. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will testify.

Because of Senate rules and constraints on time, it’s likely the committee won’t tear into the hundreds of pages for a markup until early May. This leaves advocates from across the political spectrum plenty of time for demagoguery and advocacy on the finer points.

After weeks of changes, the committee will vote. If all goes as planned it will send a new version of the comprehensive immigration reform to the Senate floor, possibly in early June. Tears will be shed as it’s reworked. And then, perhaps later in June, it will get a vote. It’s expected to pass the Senate.

A Big House Bill:

Nobody really knows what will happen in the messy, reactionary House of Representatives. The reform bill faces a truly uphill fight in that chamber.

The first possible route is that the House just votes on the Senate’s bill and it becomes law. It’s extremely unlikely that this will happen because House Republicans aren’t likely to support a major piece of legislation handed over by the Democratic-controlled Senate. This goes especially for a bill many Republicans are likely to call “amnesty” despite the deep conservatism of the Senate bill.

So the House could consider it’s own bill, first in the House Judiciary Committee and then as a full chamber. The House has its own version of the Gang of Eight—a Gang of Some Unidentified Number—that’s been secretly drafting reform legislation. It’s reportedly similar to the Senate bill, though with some nuances that provide Republicans more cover.

Bite-Sized Bills From the House:

In a third option, the House may consider and vote on a series of smaller bills on border enforcement, E-verify, the DREAM Act, a path to citizenship for other undocumented immigrants, an expanded program for high-skilled immigrants and agricultural workers, and so on. This would allow rightwingers to vote against the parts that scare them—namely, those that involve pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants—while supporting the enforcement pieces.

Lawmakers from the House and Senate Confab and Report Back:

Whichever approach the House takes, the legislation it produces would have to be reconciled with the Senate bill. To do so, a group of lawmakers from both chambers would have to sit in a room, somehow resolve the differences and then issue a conference report, which would then make its way back to the individual chambers.

That new language would likely pass the Senate. In the House, reform advocates hope that Speaker John Boehner will break the so-called Hastert Rule, an unwritten Republican principle that the speaker will not bring a bill to a vote unless it carries the support of a majority of members of the party. Breaking that principle might get the bill through the House with near unanimous support from Democrats and just enough Republican support to make a majority.

If it all moves ahead without a glitch, President Obama could find an immigration reform bill on his desk in August. Or, it could all fall apart.

Fact-Checking the Right’s Latest Lie About Kermit Gosnell and Abortion

Fact-Checking the Right's Latest Lie About Kermit Gosnell and Abortion

Over at Salon, Irin Carmon reports on what appears to be a coordinated strategy by Brietbart.com, Michelle Malkin and FOX News to amplify and redistribute a false claim about “liberal media” and reproductive health activists concealing details of the ongoing trial of Kermit Gosnell, proprietor of West Philadelphia’s deceptively named Women’s Medical Society.

According to the 280-page, 2011 indictment filed by Philadelphia DA Seth Williams, the 69-year-old and his staff of unqualified medical assistants and fake doctors routinely took patients who were well over the legal limit of 24 weeks pregnant, overdosed them with Demerol, induced labor, delivered their babies, then “ensured fetal demise” by cutting their spinal cords with scissors.

Over the past couple of months I’ve noticed that the anti-abortion portal Lifenews.com has been claiming a liberal media and feminist coverup. Since the claim didn’t even attempt to examine why poor African-American, Latina and Southeast Asian immigrant women were using this ghastly clinic to terminate unwanted pregnancies, I considered it a red herring.

Now that, as Carmon reports, mostly white, male journalists from relatively mainstream outlets have legitimized this false claim, let’s reiterate:

In 2011, in the first Colorlines.com Gender Matters column, I detailed accusations from the indictment (and cried after filing it). The piece was called “How Kermit Gosnell Got Over—and Poor Women of Color Paid the Price.”

Predictably, abortion foes are using this scandal to fuel their rhetoric. And choice advocates are (rightly) citing the continued need for safe, affordable family planning options. But the way I see it, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, his staff, and his filthy clinic are just another example of how profit parasites feed on the bodies of poor women of color and how the agencies funded to protect them don’t really give a f@#k. As Philadelphia D.A. Seth Williams states in the grand jury report:

” Bureaucratic inertia is not exactly news. We understand that. But we think this was something more. We think the reason no one acted is because the women in question were poor and of color, because the victims were infants without identities, and because the subject was the political football of abortion.” Let me put it more bluntly: Politics and profits do not belong in a woman’s uterus. Period. End of story.

H/T to Jill Filopovic of Feministe.us.

Leaked Memo Shows Michelle Rhee Knew About Possible Teacher Cheating in D.C. Schools

Leaked Memo Shows Michelle Rhee Knew About Possible Teacher Cheating in D.C. Schools

Michelle Rhee, the hard-charging and polarizing former Washington, D.C. school chief, knew much more than she’s let on about the possibility of teacher cheating on student high-stakes tests under her watch. On Thursday PBS’s John Merrow published a heretofore secret memo written by a consultant Rhee hired which suggested that teacher cheating was widespread in D.C. schools, including possibly some 191 teachers at 70 schools.

Rhee told Merrow that she “received countless reports, memoranda and presentations,” and couldn’t remember ever seeing this particular document. Yet other district staffers say that Rhee and D.C.’s current school chief Kaya Henderson discussed the memo in meetings.

It’s a bombshell revelation for Rhee, who built her reputation as a no-nonsense superintendent determined to clean up D.C.’s public schools and who has since has leveraged the national acclaim and notoriety she garnered as D.C. schools chief to become one of the nation’s most visible education reformers.

The problem is about more than just some adults behaving badly. Teacher cheating has become a serious, widespread problem in the U.S. education landscape. As the mainstream education reform movement, fueled by federal accountability laws like No Child Left Behind and initiatives like Race to the Top, have ratcheted up the use of test scores for determining everything from the stability of a school community to the efficacy of a teacher, people’s livelihoods and student’s school campuses have come to depend on how well their students performed on standardized tests. Rhee herself was a prominent supporter of this kind of approach.

8-year-old Follows Tenn. Lawmaker Until He Drops Bill Linking Welfare to School Grades

8-year-old Follows Tenn. Lawmaker Until He Drops Bill Linking Welfare to School Grades

Last week I wrote about a bill in Tennessee that would cut welfare benefits from parents with children performing poorly in school. The bill cleared both the House and Senate committees but yesterday the lawmaker behind the bill dropped his support for the bill, claiming further research on the impact on families was necessary.

However, The Tennessean reports Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) may have dropped the bill because of a powerful 8-year-old girl:

Before Thursday’s session, activists organized a demonstration in the corridors of Legislative Plaza and the state Capitol. An 8-year-old girl confronted Campfield with a petition signed by opponents of the bill, and a choir of about 60 people, including some in clerical garb, sang “Jesus Loves the Little Children” outside the Senate chamber as lawmakers filed in.

Campfield walked away from the confrontation, saying repeatedly that he didn’t think children should be used as political props. But it was a long walk, and the confrontation extended over several minutes as video cameras recorded the back-and-forth.

Deaf Arizona Teen Separated From Family After Arpaio Immigration Raid

Deaf Arizona Teen Separated From Family After Arpaio Immigration Raid

On February 8, 2013 Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies raided a sports apparel company and arrested 23 workers suspected of working in the country without legal permissions. Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s raid at Sportex Apparel left many sons and daughters without their parents—among them is a deaf teenage girl whose mother, grandmother and grandfather have been in detention since the raid.

Diana Blanco, 17, is deaf. She’s the oldest of three girls who will find out next Monday if their mother, grandmother and grandfather will be deported. All three are being held in the county jail without bond. Advocates for the family believe Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery will charge the detained family members with the maximum penalty, setting them on the pathway to deportation.

“I don’t want her to spend a year in jail. I miss my mom and I need her a lot. We want to tell the one that’s putting the charges to please stop,” Diana, signed at a press conference organized by Puente Movement, an Arizona community-based group fighting for migrant justice and human rights.

Puente Movement has launched a petition calling on Montgomery to drop charges against victims of Arpaio.

Last month, the Los Angeles based band Las Cafeteras heard about Diana Blanco’s ordeal and produced a video with a message of support. The band usually sticks to the sounds of Son Jarocho, folk music from Southern Veracruz, Mexico, but it just so happens that some band members have relatives who are hard of hearing so they can also communicate in American sign language.

Watch Las Cafeteras’ message of support for Diana Blanco at the top of this page.

Post has been updated since publication.

‘Stop Telling Women to Smile’ Exhibit Opens in Brooklyn

'Stop Telling Women to Smile' Exhibit Opens in Brooklyn

“Stop Telling Women to Smile” is an exhibition of new works by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. The work is designed to be placed on the street to add the presence of strong women in that environment to combat street harassment.

“I’ve put them in places where I’ve personally been harassed, and where I know street harassment is prevalent—which, honestly is everywhere,” Fazlalizadeh told FastCompany’s Zak Stone. “So, I’ve placed them on mailboxes in downtown business areas, on abandoned buildings in residential areas, on spare walls in tourist areas. Anywhere I can.”

The exhibit will open in Brooklyn tonight but if you can’t make it, take a look at Fazlalizadeh’s work on her Tumblr.

More information about the show is below.

Reebok Dumps Rick Ross Over Date Rape Lyrics

Reebok Dumps Rick Ross Over Date Rape Lyrics

After outraged fans protested Rick Ross over the rapper’s lyrical endorsement of date rape, Reebok, one of the rapper’s biggest corporate sponsors, has given him the boot.

From TMZ:

Reebok tells TMZ … “Reebok holds our partners to a high standard, and we expect them to live up to the values of our brand. Unfortunately, Rick Ross has failed to do so.”

Reebok goes on: “While we do not believe that Rick Ross condones sexual assault, we are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse.”

The rapper has refused to apologize for his date rape lyrics, saying, “The term rape wasn’t used,” the rapper said. “You know, I would never use the term rape.” He even had this insulting follow up on New Orleans’ Q 93.3: “I just wanted to reach out to all the queens that’s on my timeline, all the sexy ladies, the beautiful ladies that had been reachin’ out to me with the misunderstanding,” Rick Ross said in the same breath. “We don’t condone rape, and I’m not with that.”

TAGS: Rick Ross

Louis CK Talks in Depth About Being a Mexican Immigrant

Louis CK Talks in Depth About Being a Mexican Immigrant

Louis CK is on the cover of Rolling Stone tomorrow, and it appears he speaks more in depth about his experience growing up Mexican than he has before.

Rolling Stone’s blog has a preview of the profile piece on Louis CK:

Where does Louis C.K.’s off-kilter comic vision come from? Turns out the answer may be “Mexico.” C.K. was born in California, but moved to his father’s native Mexico at age one - he and his family didn’t move back to the U.S. until he was seven or so. “Coming here and observing America as an outsider made me an observing person,” C.K. tells senior writer Brian Hiatt in the new issue of Rolling Stone. “I grew up in Boston and didn’t get the accent, and one of the reasons is that I started in Spanish. I was a little kid, so all I had to do was completely reject my Spanish and my Mexican past, which is a whole lot easier because I’m white with red hair. I had the help of a whole nation of people just accepting that I’m white.”

“Race doesn’t mean what it used to in America anymore,” he continues. “It just doesn’t. Obama’s black, but he’s not black the way people used to define that. Is black your experience or the color of your skin? My experience is as a Mexican immigrant, more so than someone like George Lopez. He’s from California. But he’ll be treated as an immigrant. I am an outsider. My abuelita, my grandmother, didn’t speak English. My whole family on my dad’s side is in Mexico. I won’t ever be called that or treated that way, but it was my experience.”

CK’s paternal grandfather, a Hungarian, immigrated to Mexico, where he met CKs paternal grandmother, who was Mexican of Spanish and indigenous Mexican ancestry. CK told Tavis Smiley in 2009 that he still holds his Mexican citizenship.

Louis CK is really comfortable talking about race and one of the most fascinating things to watch is when he deconstructs U.S. culture with older white males who have no idea how to respond.

Take for instance his latest appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno earlier this year when he brought up slavery.

“Every year white people add 100 years to how long ago slavery was. I’ve heard educated white people say, ‘slavery was 400 years ago.’ No it very wasn’t. It was 140 years ago…that’s two 70-year-old ladies living and dying back to back. That’s how recently you could buy a guy,” CK told Leno.

And for three minutes Leno had absolutely nothing to say. During the three-minute exchange the only time Leno said something was when he tried to change the subject.

USA Today ‘Will No Longer Use the Term Illegal Immigrant’

 USA Today 'Will No Longer Use the Term Illegal Immigrant'

USA Today announced on Wednesday the newspaper “will no longer use the term illegal immigrant outside of direct quotes.” The decision by the newspaper with the largest print circulation in the U.S. comes a week after the Associated Press dropped the i-word from their Stylebook.

The full memo was obtained by Romanesko and is published in its entirety below:

From: Coon, William

Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 6:16 PM 
To: USAT ED Virginia Staff; USAT ED Field Staff
Subject: Change in USA TODAY style on illegal immigration

You probably have heard that the Associated Press recently changed its style on the term illegal immigrant. Starting tonight, USA TODAY is also changing its style. It is not exactly the same as AP’s, but the upshot is that we will no longer use the term illegal immigrant outside of direct quotes. Here’s the new style:

illegal immigration

The term illegal immigration is acceptable, but do not label people as illegal immigrants, except in direct quotes. Undocumented immigrant, undocumented worker and unauthorized immigrant are acceptable terms — depending on accuracy, clarity and context — for foreign nationals who are in the country illegally. An alternative is to use a phrase such as “people who entered the U.S. illegally” or “living in the country without legal permission.”


Avoid using the word alien to refer to immigrants, except in quoted matter or official government designations. Do not use illegal or illegals as a noun. It is considered pejorative by most immigrants. Migrant can be used instead of immigrant in a tight space.

USA Today is the widest circulated print newspaper in the United States, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, which audits U.S. newspapers’ circulations. The newspaper is also the leader in single-copy newsstand volume, selling more than 425,000 copies per day.

Rand Paul’s Remarks at Howard and the Skeptical Audience’s Tweets

Rand Paul's Remarks at Howard and the Skeptical Audience's Tweets

The GOP outreach for black voters saga continues.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) delivered a speech at Howard University on Wednesday, with a talk that his office said was supposed to focus on “the importance of outreach to younger voters, as well as minority groups.”

The Kentucky Republican was met by some skeptical members of the audience though which made the Q&A an especially entertaining part of the talk. Check out some of the responses to Paul’s speech below.

(If you’re accessing this page through a mobile device please scroll down and set your browser to “desktop view” to see content below.)


Senate Immigration Bill Will Shut Out Same-Sex Couples

Senate Immigration Bill Will Shut Out Same-Sex Couples

The Senate Gang of Eight immigration bill, which is nearing completion, will not include provisions allowing same-sex couples to apply for green cards for non-citizen partners, according to people familiar with the Senate deliberations.

Current immigration laws do not treat gay and lesbian couples as legitimate family for purposes of green-card petitions because the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages. Advocates and many Democrats in Congress hoped that an immigration reform bill would remedy this exclusion by recognizing same-sex relationships.

But supporters of such reforms now publicly acknowledge that the initial bill from the Senate group will fall short of their demands.

“We are not expecting LGBT families to be included in the Gang of 8 [sic] bill,” Immigration Equality director Rachel Tiven told the Washington Blade yesterday. “That in our minds means that of course the bill is incomplete.”

In January, the White House urged Congress to include same-sex couples in legislation. Its proposal on immigration reform recommended “[treating] same-sex families as families by giving U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents the ability to seek a visa on the basis of a permanent relationship with a same-sex partner.”

But Republicans who champion immigration reform have been clear from the start of this round of deliberations that they wouldn’t support rights for same-sex couples. Gang of Eight member Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the provision “a red flag” in a January interview on CBS.

Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced stand-alone bills to provide immigration petitioning rights to gay and lesbian couples. The bills drew support from a few Republicans but appear unlikely to pass on their own. Some members of Congress, including Rep. Jared Nadler, D-N.Y., who introduced one of those bills, said this week that the provision could be inserted into reform legislation once the Senate and House bills are conferenced.

“I will fight like hell to ensure that LGBT-inclusive language remains in any House and Senate conference report,” Nadler told the Blade.

But most acknowledge that the best chance for bi-national same-sex couples rests in the Supreme Court, which is currently considering the constitutionality of DOMA. If the justices overturn it, gay and lesbian couples in states with marriage equality laws could petition for green cards like other married couples.

Immigration Reform, But Not Health Care For Immigrants?

Immigration Reform, But Not Health Care For Immigrants?

Leading conservative think tanks are entering a pitched battle over the fiscal costs, or benefits, of immigration reform. But while right-wing support for an immigration bill may help its chances of passing, many immigrant advocates worry that fiscal conservative backing comes with troubling strings attached. Most notably, they fear that because of pressure from the right, immigration reform will exclude newly legalized immigrants from Obamacare.

In 2007, leading right-wing think tank The Heritage Foundation released a report that claimed the reform bill in the works that year would cost taxpayers trillions. Now, according to news reports, The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector plans to release a new version of that report and anti-immigration groups hope it will again dampen reform’s chances.

But the arguments are met by pro-reform counter attacks from other, equally high profile conservatives, including anti-tax demagogue Grover Norquist and the libertarian Cato Institute. A email this morning to Republican lawmakers from Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform reportedly warns against Rector’s analysis.

“Robert Rector’s work does not speak for the conservative movement,” the letter reads.

The Cato Institute, which has often supported more open immigration policy, released a paper last week attacking Rector’s 2007 analysis. “That 2007 report’s flawed methodology produced a grossly exaggerated cost to federal taxpayers of legalizing unauthorized immigrants,” writes Cato’s Alex Nowrasteh.

A white paper released today the American Action Forum, a conservative group, claims that immigration reform could reduce the federal deficit by $2.5 trillion over the next decade.

For many immigration reform advocates, the conservative support is a mixed bag. While they recognize a bill can only pass with bipartisan support, the conservative influence also makes it likely that deficit fears will outweigh the needs of low income immigrants.

“While we understand that cost is a significant issue with any piece of legislation, we think that if Congress is going to spend millions of dollars on a border that is already secure, that that money would be better spent fully integrating immigrants into American society by providing them with access to health coverage,” says Don Lyster, Washington director for the National Immigrant Law Center, which advocates for low-income immigrants.

All signs from Washington suggest that immigrants who gain provisional status will be excluded from the healthcare exchanges set up under Obamacare. The White House draft immigration bill leaked earlier this year would exclude new immigrants from healthcare exchanges and the Obama has also excluded Deferred Action recipients from accessing ACA exchanges.

Now, Politico reports that a bill drafted by a group of House members may exclude newly legalized immigrants from access to Obamacare for 10 years while they wait to apply for a green card. And several sources familiar with the beltway deliberations say that the Senate bill will likely do the same.

Lyster and others say immigrants would be left for a decade or more with few options but to go to the emergency room or buy expensive private insurance outside of the exchanges, a financial impossibility for most immigrants.

Sources: Beyoncé, Jay-Z’s Cuba Visit Had US Treasury Department OK

Sources: Beyoncé, Jay-Z's Cuba Visit Had US Treasury Department OK

Beyoncé and Jay Z visited Havana last week on a cultural trip that was fully licensed by the United States Treasury Department, according sources familiar with the trip.

The pop stars’ visit to Cuba made national headlines over the weekend after three Cuban-American members of Congress asked the Treasury Department to look into the licensing of the trip.

In a letter dated on Friday, U.S. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, asked Adam Szubin, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, for “information regarding the type of license that Beyonce and Jay-Z received, for what purpose, and who approved such travel.”

The New York Times reported on Monday that the Treasury Department is investigating the trip, but they also quoted a source who helped plan the trip that said the pop stars broke no laws:

The three-night sojourn, according to the person who helped plan it, came together without input from the Cuban government like other visits for Americans under a “people to people” license — granted by the Treasury Department for trips that focus on “educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction” between Americans and Cubans.

About 10,000 Americans go to Cuba each year with such tours, and the Treasury Department tightened the rules for trip agendas last year after Senator Marco Rubio, another Cuban-American Republican from Florida, criticized the tours for allowing tourism, which is banned by the embargo.

Reuters also reported Monday that the trip was approved by the Treasury Department.

Senator Marco Rubio is also calling for answers.

“According to recent news reports, Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Cuba trip, which the regime seized on for propaganda purposes, was fully licensed by the Treasury Department,” Rubio said in a statement on released on Monday. “If true, the Obama Administration should explain exactly how trips like these comply with U.S. law and regulations governing travel to Cuba and it should disclose how many more of these trips they have licensed.”

Fox News Uses ‘Undocumented’ Instead of its Usual ‘Illegal’

Fox News Uses 'Undocumented' Instead of its Usual 'Illegal'

Last week the Associated Press announced they no longer recommend journalists identify undocumented immigrants as “illegal immigrants” and it appears someone at Fox Nation got the memo.

Fox News generally refers to undocumented immigrants as “illegal immigrants” but not in a story published on Monday. In fact, the story is categorized in the “illegal immigrants” section but the story itself never uses the i-word.

I should note the Fox News story was actually an aggregated story from an ABC affiliate in Texas that originally identified immigrants as “undocumented.” But still, Fox News published the story without updating the headline.


Jamilah King Speaks With Free Speech TV At The National Conference For Media Reform

Jamilah King Speaks With Free Speech TV At The National Conference For Media Reform

Colorlines reporter and editor Jamilah King discusses the importance of independent journalism with Free Speech TV’s Julianna Forlano at the National Conference for Media Reform.

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