(Sorry I didn’t get this stuff posted yesterday; I spent much of Monday on the road with Barbara Lee…)
McNerney tours the border: Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, said Monday morning he was enjoying “a very impressive tour” of the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego County, meeting with Border Patrol officials and other federal agencies about their efforts to stem the tides of illegal immigration and drug trafficking. “What these agencies are facing is an immense challenge… They’re doing good work and we need to support them with any resources they require. It’s hard to understand the depth of the challenge just from reading over briefings and going to hearings,” he said, adding he’d like to see Washington ratchet down the fiery rhetoric of recent years and work toward a bipartisan immigration-reform solution. The National Republican Congressional Committee, striving to see the freshman lawmaker unseated later this year, issued a hit-piece yesterday assailing McNerney’s past votes: “Here’s a hint for Jerry McNerney about what ‘isn’t working’ in the federal government’s efforts to stem the flow of illegal border crossings: Voting in favor of taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants only provides greater incentive for illegal immigrants looking to cross the border. Instead of scrambling to spin his damaging record of supporting taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants, McNerney should stop pandering to his liberal leaders in Washington, and start spending more time listening to the voters in his district when it comes to an issue as important as border security and immigration reform.”
Eshoo, Honda win Gold Mouse awards: The Web sites of Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, are among 26 House members’ sites singled out by the Congressional Management Foundation — a nonprofit, nonpartisan management consulting and research group — for being the best in Congress. (Honda won the “Gold Mouse” last year, too.) Sites were graded on how well they incorporate five basic building blocks deemed critical for effectiveness: audience, content, usability, interactivity, and innovation. An evaluation framework was developed by CMF and their research partners at Harvard University, Ohio State, and the University of California-Riverside that would be fair and objective while still taking into account qualitative factors that affect a visitor’s experience on a Web site. Said Eshoo: “As a member of Congress, it’s important to provide a website that serves my constituents with timely information and a convenient way to contact me with questions or concerns. I’m proud that the Congressional Management Foundation has judged my website to be one of the best in Congress. My constituents certainly deserve the best.” Read the whole 2007 Gold Mouse report here; it’s part of the CMF’s broader research project “Connecting to Congress,” funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Lofgren endorses Obama: Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, yesterday announced her endorsement of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., for president, saying he “has the unique ability to unite Americans, and he’s building a coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and independents that will allow us to win the White House in November and to bring the changes we desperately need. Obama understands that change does not begin in Washington, it begins by mobilizing Americans to take on special interests and to address the challenges we face. When it comes to pursuing a clean energy future, innovating to restore American competitiveness, and providing affordable health care for all Americans, Barack Obama is the leader who will bring change we can believe in.” For those keeping count of Bay Area endorsements, that’s Lofgren, Barbara Lee and George Miller for Obama, and Ellen Tauscher and Lynn Woolsey for U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.; all the other local House members have stayed mum thus far.
Posted on Tuesday, January 15th, 2008
Under: Anna Eshoo, Barack Obama, Barbara Lee, Ellen Tauscher, George Miller, Hillary Clinton, Immigration, Jerry McNerney, Lynn Woolsey, Mike Honda, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, Zoe Lofgren | No Comments »
Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, announced today he’ll lead a two-day Congressional delegation trip to the California-Mexico border Sunday and Monday, seeking “a firsthand perspective from Border Patrol agents about what is working and what isn’t in stemming the flow of illegal border crossings and drugs entering our country,” the news release says.
McNerney; Joe Sestak, D-Pa.; and Paul Hodes, D-NH, will be briefed on aspects of the border-control operation in the San Diego Sector, covering 66 linear miles of the boundary with Mexico, and will tour part of the border and meet with Border Patrol Agents. Specifically, the three House freshmen will tours of several Ports of Entry, meet with the San Diego Sector Chief, and eyeball some of the specialty teams and equipment used to monitor and patrol the border.
Illegal immigration and drug trafficking are significant problems. This trip to the border is important because you can only understand so much from reading the newspaper, watching television, or even reading briefings or hearing testimony from experts. Sometimes, it’s important to actually go and see it for yourself.
In particular, I am looking forward to talking to Border Patrol agents and California National Guard troops who serve on the front lines. I’d like to hear what kind of trends they are sensing and if they have found any particularly effective strategies to combat illegal border crossings and drug running.
The San Diego Sector’s territory traditionally has been some of the most active in both illegal immigration as well as drug trafficking, McNerney said in his release; a 1994 Government Accountability Office report estimated that over half of all the apprehensions of those attempting to cross the border illegally took place over just 18 miles out of the entire 1,600 mile U.S.-Mexico border: 13 miles in San Diego and 5 miles in El Paso, Texas.
Since then, the San Diego Sector has made progress in reducing the amount of illegal border crossings through measures implemented under the controversial Operation Gatekeeper program launched in 1994, McNerney says. Operation Gatekeeper represented a shift from a policy of apprehending and returning illegal immigrants to their country of origin to a policy of actively deterring illegal border crossings. While apprehension of those crossing the border illegally has decreased, drug trafficking remains a major concern at the San Diego-Mexico border.
Posted on Friday, January 11th, 2008
Under: Immigration, Jerry McNerney, U.S. House | No Comments »
California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, has two Bay Area speaking engagements this Monday, Dec. 10. First, at 1 p.m., he’ll give a Harris Seminar Brown Bag Lunch Talk at Cal’s Institute of Governmental Studies, 119 Moses Hall, free and open to the public. Then, at 6 p.m., he’ll be part of the Commonwealth Club of California‘s panel discussion on immigrant health care; this’ll be in the club’s office on the second floor of 595 Market St. (at Second) in San Francisco, free for club members, $18 for nonmembers, $7 for students.
Republican presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has a fundraising reception scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Woodside home of Woodside Hotels and Resorts CEO Katherine Alden — $1,500 per person, $2,300 per couple. Then, on Tuesday morning, he has a fundraising breakfast scheduled for 8 a.m. at the home of Behrman Capital managing partner Bill Matthes and his wife, Leigh, in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights; this one’s $2,300 a plate. RSVP for either to Jane Clark, 707-933-9000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett hosts a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the San Francisco Hilton; it’s $100 for a limited number of students or those under 30, $250 for a regular ticket, $1,000 for preferred seating, and $2,300 for a VIP Lunch with Buffett and Clinton. A similar event that the Berkshire Hathaway chairman hosted in June in New York City reportedly raised about $1 million for Clinton.
The Commonwealth Club will host Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska, at noon Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Le Petit Trianon Theater, 72 N. Fifth St. in San Jose; $10 for members, $20 for nonmembers. Says the club’s Web site: “From his advocacy for a universal health-care system to the support of a guest worker program, learn more about how Gravel plans to be the ‘Man for America.’”
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a fundraising double-header scheduled for Friday, Dec. 14.: first, a 12:30 p.m. luncheon at the Oakville home of vintner H. William Harlan and his wife, Deborah; then, a 5:30 p.m. reception at the San Francisco home of investment banker Michael Whitman and his wife, Sandra. Both events are $1,000 a head, $2,300 with a photo op; RSVP to Kristin Hueter at 510-420-1199.
Posted on Friday, December 7th, 2007
Under: Assembly, Elections, Fabian Nunez, Hillary Clinton, Immigration, Mike Gravel, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani | No Comments »
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will host a pair of town-hall meetings on immigration this Saturday, Oct. 6 in Oakland.
The first one — from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Lincoln Elementary School, 225 11th St. — will focus on the Asian-American community’s concerns, and will include representatives from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the Asian Law Caucus, Catholic Charities of the East Bay, the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Filipinos for Affirmative Action, and the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.
The second one — from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Carmen Flores Community Center, 1637 Fruitvale Ave. — will focus on the Latino community, and will include representatives from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation and other community-based organizations.
Experts will be on hand at both to provide free legal consultation, and immigration-related materials will be provided in Chinese and Spanish.
Posted on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007
Under: Barbara Lee, Immigration, U.S. House | No Comments »
State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, and Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman, R-Irvine, are leading a 16-member bipartisan delegation to Washington, D.C., next Monday through Thursday to meet with California House members on issues including flood control and water supply; greenhouse gases; homeland and port security; the No Child Left Behind education law; the Real ID Act; the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) reauthorization; and State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) reauthorization.
The only Bay Area state Senator other than Perata who’ll be on the trip is Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro. With more than a third of the Senate out of the state, there will be no floor session next week. The Senate Appropriations Committee will meet Monday, but will only take up non-controversial items and move things to the suspense file; the Education Committee will have an informational hearing Wednesday on school and campus safety.
Posted on Friday, April 27th, 2007
Under: California State Senate, Dick Ackerman, Don Perata, Ellen Corbett, Global warming, Homeland security, Immigration | No Comments »
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, chaired by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, will hold a hearing tomorrow morning on New York City’s Ellis Island entitled “Past, Present, and Future: A Historic and Personal Reflection on American Immigration,” featuring testimony on the historical trends and personal experiences of American immigration.
Among witnesses scheduled to testify:
David V. Aguilar, chief, Office of Border Patrol, Department of Homeland Security
Igor V. Timofeyev, director of immigration policy and special adviser for Refugee and Asylum Affairs Policy Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Dowell Myers, professor of Urban Planning and Demography and director of the Population Dynamics Research Group, University of Southern California
Dan Siciliano, executive director of Program in Law, Economics, and Business, Stanford Law School
Daniel J. Tichenor, associate professor, Department of Political Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Michael W. Cutler, former senior special agent of the INS, fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies
Jack Martin, special projects director, Federation for American Immigration Reform
Posted on Thursday, March 29th, 2007
Under: Immigration, U.S. House, Zoe Lofgren | No Comments »
California Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres issued a statement yesterday calling on Republican National Committee chairman Mel Martinez and California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring to immediately condemn the actions of the College Republicans, who have been staging “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” events around the country.
“The refusal by national Republican leaders to condemn the disgraceful anti-immigrant behavior of the College Republicans is not only reprehensible, but also demonstrates the profound lack of understanding about the contributions of America’s immigrant population,” said Chairman Torres.
“In light of two highly-reputable studies released this week showing that immigrants clearly benefit U.S. residents by boosting wages and are being unfairly scapegoated, Californians and all Americans deserve a thoughtful discussion based on facts, rather than despicable, hateful stunts.
“I urge Senator Martinez and Chairman Nehring in the strongest possible terms to condemn the actions of the College Republicans and bring them to a stop.”
Campus conservatives have planned or staged these events for years; I’ve found mentions from January 2005 at the University of North Texas; April 2006 at Penn State; October 2006 at the University of Michigan; and most recently, a week ago at New York University, but none thus far in California. Then-GOP Chairman Ken Mehlman disavowed the events last September. Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh defended them yesterday.
Posted on Thursday, March 1st, 2007
Under: Democratic Party, General, Immigration, Republican Party | No Comments »