Immigration Reform vs Business

Obama: Immigration reform can help trade with Mexico

Achieving immigration reform will help facilitate the growing economic relationship the U.S. has with Mexico, President Obama said Thursday in Mexico City.

It is unwise “for us to get constantly bogged down on these border issues,” Mr. Obama said in a press conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, “instead of… making sure legal immigration and legal trade and commerce is facilitated.”

Mr. Obama said he’s “optimistic” immigration reform will be passed in the United States. “If we’re going to get that done, now is the time to do it,” he said.

The U.S. president stressed, however, that his three-day trip to Mexico and Costa Rica this week focuses on the critical economic ties between the two countries. The two leaders today confirmed their commitment to concluding negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. They also established ways in which they can broaden the bilateral economic partnership between the U.S. and Mexico.

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Additionally, the two leaders announced the formation of a bilateral formation on higher education, innovation and research. They also made commitments on energy security and international relations.

“As Mexico works to become more competitive, you’ve got a strong partner in the United States because our success is shared,” Mr. Obama said, noting that annual trade between the two countries has surpassed $500 billion. Mexico is the second-largest market for U.S. exports, and the U.S. is Mexico’s largest customer.

The U.S. has an opportunity to boost Mexico’s role on the world stage — which would, in turn, benefit the U.S. — and Mr. Obama commended Pena Nieto for pursuing reforms in areas like energy and labor law.

“What I have been impressed with is the president’s boldness in his reform agenda,” he said. “He’s tackling big issues, and that’s what the times demand. We live in a world that’s changing rapidly… We can’t be flat-footed as the world advances.”

Mr. Obama also said that when it comes to criminal and drug-related security issues in Mexico, he supports Pena Nieto’s focus on reducing violence. Mr. Obama promised “strong cooperation” from the U.S. as Mexico pursues that goal and said the U.S. will work to “meet our responsibilities to reduce the demand for illegal drugs and reduce the Southbound flow of guns and cash.”

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Obama: We must “look before we leap” on Syria

The U.S. president also addressed comments made Thursday by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who said the U.S. is considering arming opposition forces in Syria in the wake of evidence that the Syrian regime may have used chemical weapons on its people.

Mr. Obama said that Hagel’s remarks were “what I’ve been saying now for months.”

“We are continually evaluating the situation on the ground, working with our international partners,” he said, in an effort to end Syrian President Bashar Assad’s rule.

“We’ve made enormous investments not just in humanitarian aid but in helping the opposition organizing itself,” he said. “As we’ve seen evidence of further bloodshed, potential use of chemical weapons inside of Syria, we’re going to look at all options… We want to make sure we look before we leap and what we’re doing is actually helpful.”

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Saturday, May 4th, 2013 Get Educated!, Get Motivated!, Self Employment Ideas Comments Off

Immigration Plan

White House: Leaked immigration plan is only partial draft

(CBS News) WASHINGTON — Over the weekend, a partial White House plan for immigration reform leaked to the press and caused an uproar.

White House officials tell CBS News that what was leaked is real — it’s a partial draft of half a bill. What we know is the administration’s current thinking about what to do about the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States right now.

The administration wants a temporary four-year visa to provide legal status — meaning no more deportations — that could be renewed. After eight years, they can apply for what’s known as permanent legal residency, or, more commonly, a Green Card.

(At left, watch White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough discuss the leaked immigration plan on “Face the Nation.”)

There’s also administration thinking on border security and an unspecified increase in border security, subject to negotiations with Congress. For workers who try to find jobs in the future and who might not have documents, the plan includes an E-Verify system to make sure undocumented workers aren’t given jobs.

GOP: Leaked WH immigration plan “counterproductive”
W.H. immigration plan circulating in case Congress talks “break down,” McDonough says

What’s missing is a section dealing with all future legal immigration issues: high-skilled workers, seasonal farm workers and workers who work in hotels or restaurants. Without that, this plan doesn’t have much of a chance.

The plan is not likely to get through Congress without the section dealing with legal immigration. That’s why Republicans were so critical this weekend.

Last year, Republicans criticized the president for being missing in action and failing to draft a bill. Now that he admits he is, Republicans say he’s contaminating that process; they argue that if you don’t have a comprehensive bill — one that can pass Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate — this is a futile effort.

The White House says Republicans are going to be dared to vote up or down eventually, and that they better get used to that.

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Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 Career Advice, Employment Opportunities Comments Off

More Storm Damage

New Englanders slowly recover from weekend blizzard

NEWPORT, R.I. Travel eased and life slowly returned to normal for most New Englanders after a massive blizzard, but many remained without power in cold and darkened homes and a forecast of rain brought a new worry: Weight piling up dangerously on roofs already burdened by heavy snow.

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Powerful blizzard descends on Northeast

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Northeast sees record snow fall

The storm that slammed into the region with up to 3 feet of snow was blamed for at least 14 deaths in the Northeast and Canada, and brought some of the highest accumulations ever recorded. Still, coastal areas were largely spared catastrophic damage despite being lashed by strong waves and hurricane-force wind gusts at the height of the storm.

President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency for Connecticut, allowing federal aid to be used in recovery, and utilities in some hard-hit New England states predicted that the storm could leave some customers in the dark for days.

CBS News correspondent Miguel Bojorquez reports that Hamden, Conn., about 80 miles from New York City, experienced the deepest snow: 40 inches. The blizzard had dumped five inches of snow per hour.

Hundreds of people, their homes without heat or electricity, were forced to take refuge in emergency shelters set up in schools or other places.

“For all the complaining everyone does, people really came through,” said Rich Dinsmore, 65, of Newport, R.I., who was staying at a Red Cross shelter set up in a middle school in Middletown after the power went out in his home on Friday.

Dinsmore, who has emphysema, was first brought by ambulance to a hospital after the medical equipment he relies on failed when the power went out and he had difficulty breathing.

“The police, the fire department, the state, the Red Cross, the volunteers, it really worked well,” said the retired radio broadcaster and Army veteran.

Utility crews, some brought in from as far away as Georgia, Oklahoma and Quebec, raced to restore power to more than 300,000 customers — down from 650,000 in eight states at the height of the storm. In hardest-hit Massachusetts, where some 234,000 customers remained without power on Sunday, officials said some of the outages might linger until Tuesday.

Driving bans were lifted and flights resumed at major airports in the region that had closed during the storm, though many flights were still canceled Sunday.

Boston recorded 24.9 inches of snow, making it the fifth-largest storm in the city since records were kept.

On eastern Long Island, which was slammed with as much as 30 inches of snow, hundreds of snowplows and other heavy equipment were sent in Sunday to clear ice- and drift-covered highways where hundreds of people and cars were abandoned during the height of the storm.

More than a third of all the state’s snow-removal equipment was sent to the area, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, including more than 400 plow trucks and more than 100 snow blowers, loaders and backhoes.

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Snow leaves Long Island Expressway commuters stranded

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Mass. town powerless after record snow storm

The National Weather Service was forecasting rain and warmer temperatures in the region on Monday — which could begin melting some snow but also add considerable weight to snow already piled on roofs, posing the danger of collapse. Of greatest concern were flat or gently-sloped roofs and officials said people should try to clear them — but only if they could do so safely.

“We don’t recommend that people, unless they’re young and experienced, go up on roofs,” said Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Officials also continued to warn of carbon monoxide dangers in the wake of the storm.

In Boston, two people died Saturday after being overcome by carbon monoxide while sitting in running cars, including a teenager who went into the family car to stay warm while his father shoveled snow. The boy’s name was not made public. In a third incident, two children were hospitalized but expected to recover.

A fire department spokesman said in each case, the tailpipes of the cars were clogged by snow.

Authorities also reminded homeowners to clear snow from heating vents to prevent carbon monoxide from seeping back into houses.

In Maine, the Penobscot County Sheriff’s office said it recovered the body of a 75-year-old man who died after the pickup he was driving struck a tree and plunged into the Penobscot River during the storm. Investigators said Gerald Crommett apparently became disoriented while driving in the blinding snow.

Christopher Mahood, 23, of Germantown, N.Y., died after his tractor went off his driveway while he was plowing snow Friday night and rolled down a 15-foot embankment.

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 Get Educated!, Get Motivated!, Self Employment Ideas Comments Off