Tag Archives: barackobama

Obama’s Immigration Policy Change: Is it a step in the right or the wrong direction?

Are children who are brought here illegally responsible for their actions? Or is the decision their parents made for them when they were young beyond their control? That has been a debate in the realm of immigration, and people tend to stand on one side of the issue.

Some feel that being here illegally is a black and white situation, and regardless of ones age, they are responsible for breaking the law. Others argue that many children are brought here without a say.

On Friday, Obama made a policy change to reflect those concerns. Under his new policy, people younger than 30 who entered the United States under the age of 16 can receive a two-year deferral from deportation. In order to qualify, these individuals have to pose no security or criminal threat and either have to be enrolled in school, a graduate or in the military. Those who qualify can also apply for work permits.

In his announcement, Obama said, “This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure.”

According to CNN, this policy change is expected to affect approximately 800,000 people. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNN, “I’ve been dealing with immigration enforcement for 20 years and the plain fact of the matter is that the law that we’re working under doesn’t match the economic needs of the country today and the law enforcement needs of the country today.”

Obama has received many complaints, including a tweet from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who called the decision “a classic Barack Obama move of choosing politics over leadership.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith released a statement that said, “Many illegal immigrants will falsely claim they came here as children and the federal government has no way to check whether their claims are true.” Other complaints the CNN article shared included that now more illegal immigrants will be taking jobs from Americans in an already tough economy.

Others are in praise of the policy change. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois said the new policy “will give these young immigrants their chance to come out of the shadows and be part of the only country they’ve ever called home.” In a response to claims that this was to earn more votes, he rejected the idea and said that this move will cost Obama votes as well, making this a leadership decision not a political gain decision.

Clarissa Martinez del Casto, director of immigration and national campaigns for the National Council of La Raza, stated, “There is overwhelming support for the protection of these children, as there is in the rest of the country. I think this could have an energizing effect on Latino voters,” she added, according to an NPR story.

Presumed Republican Nominee Mitt Romney shared that he believes a more permanent conclusion needs to be found. “I believe the status of young people who come here through no fault of their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis so they know what their future would be in this country,” said Romney, according to an article on Examiner.

How do you weigh in? Do you think this was the right move, or do you oppose the new policy change?

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Does the young vote matter?

It’s no secret that the young generation of voters rallied around Barack Obama and helped push him into the presidential spotlight in the 2008 election. Can he count on that vote to carry him through 2012?

The Harvard Institute of Politics conducted a survey of voters ages 18 to 29 to see who they preferred. Obama had 43% of the vote, whereas Romney has 26%. In December, Obama was at 37% and Romney was at 26%.

Obama may still have the young vote in his favor, but he should not consider the presidency in the bag. The LA Times writes about how although young voters favor him, they are also less likely to vote or volunteer for campaigns.

John Della Volpe, polling director for the Harvard Institute of Politics, gives some reasons why the interest in voting may be tapering off. “There were some factors that led people to increase engagement in ’02, ’06, ’08 — Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan, not agreeing with Bush, 9/11, and obviously Obama and the use of new tools to mobilize,” explained Della Volpe. Della Volpe went on to say as students focus on getting an education, paying loans and staying afloat, political involvement is not at the forefront of concern anymore.

That is part of the push behind Obama’s current trip. Obama is visiting the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Iowa this week. His main topic? How to keep the costs of college loans down. It’s a popular topic among the young voters, and if Obama’s message is loud and convincing enough, he might motivate some more voters to participate.

The problem Obama is running into? Romney voiced that he agreed with Obama’s focus. This could mean Romney could snatch some voters Obama was counting on. Overall, however, Romney has been focused middle class families.

What do you think? Do Obama and Romney need to fight to gain the young vote? Or will it be a different crowd of people who carry the election this fall?

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Happy Birthday Obamacare.

There is a birthday in Washington. On March 23 2010, the Affordable Health Care Act was signed into law. As its two year birthday came around, it became a hot topic among Republican groups working against both the act and Obama himself. Obama’s administration, however, continues to support and promote the law.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, an email came out from the Obama Campaign that read:  “Today is the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Since then, the law that almost everyone calls Obamacare has been doing exactly what the other side has hoped it wouldn’t do: It’s been working. It’s about time we give it the love it deserves.”

According to Barack Obama’s Twitter, he sent out a tweet on March 23 that said “Happy birthday to Obamacare: two years in, the Affordable Care Act is making millions of Americans’ lives better every day.” The twitter account encouraged people to tweet back with the hashtag #IlikeObamacare and supply why they support the law.

Not everyone, however, was excited to celebrate the birthday. It’s no secret that “Obamacare” has its fair share of opposition. The health care act was one of President Barack Obama’s main goals he wanted to achieve, and it’s a monumental act that will forever be associated with his name. It was a huge task on his part, and with any politician and any major action, it was immediately met with boatloads of criticism and continues to meet scrutiny.

To speak in general terms, Republicans tend to hate the bill. Many of the GOP candidates have talked about “killing” the bill as soon as they get into office.  The Republican National Committee strongly opposes President Obama and they have taken fire to Obamacare in recent days. They posted this photo on Facebook on March 23:

Banner hanging from the Republican National Committee headquarters in DC.

The banner was hanging from the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington DC.  According to a blog on the Republican National Committee website, a Fox News poll conducted in 2010 found that 39% of voters approved of the law. The blog reported that a USA Today poll found similar beliefs to be true now. 50% of voters found “’Obamacare’ as a bad thing”.

The Republican National Committee is in the midst of a huge campaign to oppose Obamacare. When you visit their website, it immediately prompts you to sign a petition and join their grassroots movement. When you continue on to the site, they offer a number of ways to get involved including volunteering, donating money and contacting members of congress.

In an effort to drum up support and get more people to voice their complaints against Obamacare, they released this campaign video and posted it to their Facebook stream. Some feel that it does a great job pointing out the negativity that Obamacare drives and is an effective tool to convince people to join in the movement to kill the bill. Others feel like it’s a childish political ad with no substance, and it only makes a mockery out of the fight that the Republican National Committee is pushing.

What do you think? Is their campaign an effective measure to gain support, or did they miss the mark? Do you support Obamacare? Or would you support the Republican National Committee’s efforts to get it repealed? Comment and let me know your thoughts.

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Is Romney Fighting Satorum or the Latino Population?

Is the Latino population being excluded in the scope of concern of the GOP candidates? According to campaign officials with Barack Obama, they are.

According to the Census Bureau, in 2010 16.3 percent of the United States population was of Latino and Hispanic decent. That is a significant enough portion that the Latino vote could have a noticeable impact in the election season.

An article on Fox News, a recent poll indicated that Latino voters favored Obama to the republican candidates six to one. Some suspect the reason behind that might be related to various GOP candidate’s views on immigration, and on the Latino population.

This became a hot topic this week due to a new campaign advertisement that Mitt Romney released. In his ad, which can be viewed here, he showed the significance of Sonia Sotomayor being appointed to Supreme Court, among many other issues as examples of opponent Rick Santorum being too liberal and not ready to be the GOP candidate. It seems like another simple move to try to rip down a candidate, but as with most political moves in the campaign season, this one is receiving some backlash.

Santorum voted to confirm Sotomayor to the federal circuit court in 1998, according to this CNN article. Sotomayor is a liberal democrat, a viewpoint that opposes the republican stance that Romney takes. Some think the ad was simple created to show how Santorum supports a more liberal agenda, but others are taking it in a very different context. According to Angelo Falcon, president of the National Institute for the Latino Policy, “This unprovoked attack is another example of how Romney and the Republican Party are pushing the Latino vote to Obama … They forget that Judge Sotomayor is an icon for the Latino community. It’s like attacking Martin Luther King or George Washington, for blacks and whites.”

David Axelrod, who works on Obama’s campaign staff, was quoted saying, “This Republican debate should be very concerning to people in Hispanic communities across this country … because you know you’ve seen particularly Gov. Romney use the Latino community as foils to try and gain advantage over his candidates.” The CNN article points to Romney’s “bold” stance against immigration and his vocal appreciation of Arizona’s anti-immigration as two ways Romney pushes against the Latino population.

The Latino population, according to Axelrod, could also view the GOP’s views on several primary issues including education, job training and health care negatively. Democratic National Committee Senior Advisor for Hispanic Affairs, Juan Seulveda, targeted in on Romney, saying, “Mitt Romney has shown time and again that he is after the Tea Party vote, not the Latino vote, and with each attack he locks himself more to his extreme positions.”

Romney spokesperson Albert Martinez said that Sotomayor was picked due to her “liberal sympathy” and Santorum did not do his part to oppose her appointment.  The CNN article pointed towards Newt Gingrich as well, bringing up the fact that he sent a tweet in 2009 calling Sotomayor a racist.

How do you weigh in on this issue? Is this a subtle racism from Romney masked in a campaign ad, or is it simply a GOP candidate attacking another candidate?

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All Male Contraception Panel Sparks Controversy

Do you think men are qualified to make decisions in regards to women’s health concerns? Birth control remains at the height of concern in the government. A congressional committee made the positive step forward of holding a panel on contraception, but they made the seemingly unfortunate mistake of forgetting to include anyone who actually has a female reproductive system on the panel. That’s right. A panel dedicated to talking to contraception with zero women weighing in. As you can imagine, women and men everywhere are expressing their dissatisfaction with the panel and its members.

According to an article on Politico, democratic representatives Carolyn Maloney and Eleanor Holmes Norton walked out in protest of the panel. Maloney summed it up pretty neatly when she said “What I want to know is, where are the women?” Both Maloney and Norton felt that chairman Darrell Issa of manipulating committee rules by blocking women from being on the panel. Maloney added “”I look at this panel [of witnesses], and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventive health care services, including family planning.”

If you look at my previous post, you can see how President Obama’s plan to include contraception to all employees regardless of the employer’s political affiliation sparked this debate in the first place. According to an article on The Grind Stone a law student by the name of Sandra Fluke was to sit on the panel. Her approach was to look at birth control as a health care issue. Republicans did not agree with that request, arguing they wanted to discuss religious liberty. Fluke, according to Issa, was not qualified to testify about religious liberty.

This is not a completely man versus women argument. Representative Ann Marie Buerkle is also cited in the Politico article as agreeing with Issa. She stated “”I really find it so objectionable that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would characterize this as something so narrow as being about contraception. This is a fundamental assault on one’s conscience.”

Ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings echoed the voices of Maloney and Norton, feeling as though the Republican Party had committed a massive injustice by ignoring the viewpoints of millions of women across the country. Norton made a motion to force a vote to seat Fluke, due to the fact that he was breaking committee rules (according to Norton). Fluke ignored the motion, prompting Maloney and Norton to vacate the room.

I stumbled across Larkin Callaghan’s blog in which she shared Senator Boxer’s response to the all male health panel. Senator Boxer serves from California and is a well known advocate for women’s rights. The argument right now is the argument that a panel dealing with elements of women’s health should have at least one woman to represent women’s voices on a congressional panel. According to the government census site in 2010 50.8% of the US population was women. With half the population being of the female sex it makes sense that many would be angered by a 100% male panel making rules over contraception.

If you want to see the testimony Sandra Fluke intended to give, you can view it here. What do you think about this debate? Should a woman have been present for the panel? Or do you believe the panel should have merely remained at religious liberty conversations and that the all male panel did not pose an issue?

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