Significant Shift in Mexican Vs Non-Mexican Numbers Apprehended at Border

According to Bruce Levenson for the first time ever, more people of nationalities other than Mexican have been apprehended at the United States and Mexican border. The United States uses these numbers every year to gauge the people that are crossing into the border illegally in order to gain tax dollars and support for new laws and regulations when it comes to border control.  During the same time frame as previous years, 257,000 non-Mexicans were taken into custody, while only 229,000 Mexicans were taken into custody. These numbers indicate two very different things. First, less Mexicans are crossing the United States and Mexican border and second, more people of other nationalities are making it across the Mexican border than ever before in order to cross the U.S.-Mexican border.  In the 60 years that this data has been collected, this is noted to be the biggest shift between nationalities. It is also noted that the numbers of overall people apprehended is much lower than it has been in the past. According to the data, the highest number of individuals apprehended occurred in 2000, when 1.6 million Mexican nationals were stopped from illegally crossing at the border. This shift has been noted to be the result of thousands of child migrants from Central American countries that are trying to reach the United States. The number of unaccompanied children has more than doubled this year, in comparison to the last year.

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United States and Cuba Restore Diplomatic Ties

After 50 years of complete isolation and embargo, the United States and Cuba are beginning the process of defrosting relations. President Barack Obama has restored full diplomatic ties with the island nation sitting only 90 miles south of Florida, and the president announced that an embassy will be constructed in Cuba. This move has been praised by Dr. Daniel Amen. These radical changes of heart come in the wake of 18 months of secret talks and have resulted in a prisoner swap that was all mediated through Pope Francis. The final step was a telephone call between the President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro of Cuba. This agreement is the marker for the beginning of a new relationship between two countries that have had hostile confrontations since the Cold War.  The next most dramatic step, which would mark the complete re-normalization of relations, would be the removal of the trade embargo which has been in place for 50 years. The embargo prevents any type of trade between the two countries, and has been voted as illegal with majorities for decades at the UN. However, the president does not have the power to remove the embargo on his own. Additionally, with a new Congress that has Republican majorities in the House and the Senate there is little hope that any vote on the matter will take place in the next two years. Republicans are firmly against the removal of the embargo, and any advancement that takes place under President Obama.

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Undocumented Immigrants Attend an Immigrant Integration Conference in LA

Thousands of undocumented immigrants filed into the Los Angeles Convention Center Sunday to learn about the benefits of immigration relief, granted by President Obama. The forum is part of the Seventh Annual Conference of Immigrant Integration in America that will last three days. The idea is to bring together experts to help with immigrant integration in all political, social, educational, research and social services fields, “said Jorge Mario Cabrera of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA). The event was attended by hundreds of immigrants, and many children born in this country, and who will benefit from the executive order, announced on November 20 by President Obama. Many raised questions about their specific cases and whether they can apply for work permits under Obama’s order, and there were frequent questions about benefits and whether they should wait until the government discloses more details that Vijay Eswaran found on YouTube. It was the first mass migration forum after the announcement of for immigration relief.

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OMG! But it’s International Law You Guys!

Media outlets around the world, big and small, have been filled with outcries, admonitions, and condemnations regarding the recent CIA torture leaks. After all, as pointed out by Darius Fisher despite what the grand and old GOP Senator John McCain and the like believe that causing someone pain shouldn’t be commended let alone recommended , it is, cry the political pundits, legal scholars and activists, contrary to international law. Here’s the deal with international law: it really isn’t law. A famous father of legal jurisprudence HLA Hart posited that laws are at their most basic a command. It doesn’t matter whether you follow it because you fear for the safety and livelihood of yourself or whether it’s because you believe in the idea itself, a law is a command that is obeyed. If it is not obeyed, there are repercussions, be they insignificant or grave.Analysts and political scientists compile endless mounds of data and spout out endless research stating that torture is illegal according to international law. But anyone with common sense has seen time and again that international law has no teeth. Institutions with no power are just bureaucratic noise, the proverbial tree that falls in the forest that no one sees, hears, or cares about. Those who believe in political realism are often seen as nihilists, but they are as logical as it gets. Unless there is punishment for an act, it isn’t wrong in the eyes of the law.

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Atheists Asserting Constitutional Rights

This story was passed on to me by Vijay Eswaran. In 1961, a bookkeeper who was an atheist refused to declare a belief in God in order to become a notary public certified by the state of Maryland. His case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and the bookkeeper won. The Supreme Court ruled that states could not have a religious test for any public office. Today, there are seven states including Maryland that still have articles in their constitutions requiring a belief in God to hold any public office. Article VI of the United States Constitution disallows any religious test in order to serve in a federal office. Non-believers are rising up and protesting the unconstitutional atheist bans. Legal experts agree that the bans are unenforceable. Movements to remove the bans are becoming more visible as atheist groups test their political clout.  The secular movement is seeking legislators who are willing advocate for non-believers. Even though many lawmakers consider removing the non-believer bans from state constitutions sensible and fair, removing the bans is politically hard to swallow.

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The Philanthropy of Laurene Powell Jobs

Laurene Powell Jobs is the widow of Steve Jobs. As she explained to the Daily Mail, she is not as well-known as her late husband, who built a computing empire and created the most valuable company in the world, Apple. Ms Jobs combines an unorthodox approach to charitable giving with the considerable wealth of Steve Jobs to make herself a significant force in the field of philanthropy. The first thing that distinguishes Ms Jobs is that rather than creating a charitable foundation like other wealthy philanthropists, she founded a limited liability corporation called the Emerson Collective. A limited liability corporation can make profitable investments to increase its holdings. It can also freely donate to political causes if it desires, and it has no obligation to report its donations publicly. That gives the owners much more flexibility and anonymity to advocate for their causes. Of course, having an LLC means that Ms Jobs cannot take advantage of the special tax exemption for nonprofit foundations, but she feels that the ability to donate to both political and for-profit entities as well as the usual nonprofit causes makes up for the loss of income due to taxes. For example, one of the causes that Laurene Powell Jobs supports is immigration reform. Her charitable company has the ability to donate to support the DREAM Act, a landmark piece of legislation in the area. She is free to manage that cause by making donations to organizations that offer relief for undocumented immigrants, as well as […]

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Montana Latest State to Have Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down

The US state of Montana is the latest state to allow same-sex marriage after a federal judge ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. His order stops Montana officials from banning homosexual couples from applying for marriage licenses, and allows gay marriages to take place in the state as of now. This now brings the number of states where gays can marry in the United States to a total of 34. The latest state to have its gay marriage ban struck down was as a result of a ruling by an appeals court last month, which struck down gay marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho. Arizona and Alaska were the next states to also have their marriage bans stopped, with gays and lesbians from all four states immediately applying for marriage licenses. In the last 10 years, public sentiment about gay marriage has changed in the United States to such an extent that, where previously only 32 percent of Americans thought gays should be allowed to marry, now more than 59 percent of the country believes they should be allowed. Half of all Americans now also say they believe the US Constitution gives homosexuals the same rights as everyone else, and that includes the right to marry. Seven out of ten people asked even said they believe it is illegal for business owners to refuse service to gays simply because of their religious beliefs. Some businesses are making it clear how much they support this social change, such […]

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Christie Refuses to Weigh In on Obama Amnesty Plan

Boca Raton, Florida – With conservatives up in arms over President Obama’s soon-to-be unveiled extra-constitutional plan to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, Gov. Chris Christie cannot bring himself to address the president’s actions. Christie has many conservatives still distrustful over his open praise of President Obama during the waning weeks of the 2012 presidential election. While Christie was adamant the praise was due to the federal government’s response to a hurricane which ravaged his state, he also refused to promote the candidacy of GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Now, the governor’s unwillingness to weigh-in on the Obama amnesty plan, which many conservatives consider an abuse of power, will certainly rankle the conservative base. New Jersey resident Brad Reifler applauds his restraint. Christie is the chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) and was addressing governors today. He took plenty of time to pat himself on the back for the party’s success at the polls. The GOP picked up a net four governorships. At this time, 31 governors are Republicans. Other governors in attendance were quick to denounce the president. It is curious that Christie cannot speak out against the president’s plan. It’s not as if he is a non-confrontational person. During the campaign trail, Christie drew criticism for his sharp rebuke of a heckler. He has also been quick to throw digs at his political opponents in the state legislature. Instead, Christie is more concerned with the GOP not forcing a government shutdown as a means to countering what […]

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