The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

July 2, 2013

House Dems seek path to final immigration deal

(Continued)

Rewriting the nation's immigration rules is far more than an abstract policy debate for many House Democrats who are first- and second-generation Americans. The issue is a chance to pay tribute to grandparents and parents who sought and found opportunity in the United States.

These minorities add up to a majority in the Democratic caucus to pressure party leaders. Their presence also creates a pronounced racial and political divide in the House, where the large Republican caucus is overwhelmingly white and male, and underscores the difficulties for immigration legislation.

Of the 201 Democrats, less than half are white men while 41 are blacks, 25 are Hispanic and nine are Asian. There are 60 Democratic women. Of the 234 Republicans, 207 are white men, eight are Hispanic, two are native Americans and 19 are women. There are no black House Republicans.

After last year's elections, Pelosi boasted about the numbers, saying it "reflects the great diversity and strength of our nation." Within the caucus she leads, the numbers add up to a force that can't be ignored.

"We have leverage," said Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., a member of the Asian Pacific American Caucus and the grandson of Japanese immigrants who spent the first few years of his life at a Japanese-American internment camp in Colorado during World War II.

The Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to change or scuttle the individual bills from the House Judiciary Committee, none including a path to citizenship and several they've described as mean-spirited.

One provides for a crackdown on immigrants living in the United States illegally. Another sets up a temporary program for farm workers to come to the United States, but without the opportunity for citizenship that the Senate-passed measure includes.

A third, which drew several Democratic votes, requires establishing a mandatory program within two years for companies to verify the legal status of their workers. The Senate bill sets a four-year phase-in, although supporters of the legislation have also signaled they are agreeable to tighter requirements. A fourth House bill increases the number of visas for highly-skilled workers, also a feature of the Senate bill.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Congress racing to finish Congress races to finish veterans, highway bills

    July 31, 2014

  • Target New CEO [Duplicate] Target names Pepsi's Cornell as chairman, CEO MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target has hired Pepsi executive Brian Cornell as its new chairman and CEO as it looks to recover from a huge data breach and troubles in Canada. Cornell replaces interim CEO John Mulligan, who is chief financial officer for the M

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brain wave monitoring is better gauge than using a focus group, study says To predict a large population’s likely response to something — a product, politician or policy — political consultants, marketing gurus and advertising execs have long favored the focus group. Ask a small segment of the target audience what it thinks

    July 31, 2014

  • Argentina slides into default as debt talks fail NEW YORK (AP) — The collapse of talks with U.S. creditors sent Argentina into its second debt default in 13 years and raised questions about what comes next for financial markets and the South American nation's staggering economy. A midnight Wednesd

    July 31, 2014

  • Exchange Bee Researcher [Duplicate] Bee researcher takes aim at central Minnesota park WAITE PARK — Crystal Boyd strained four bees, three flies and one leafhopper from a yellow pan trap, the third of 12 in a transect topping a granite outcrop in Quarry Park Scientific and Natural Area.She popped everything into a labeled, zip-top plas

    July 31, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cinema verite documentarian Robert Drew dies at 90 Filmmaker Robert Drew, a pioneer of the modern documentary who in "Primary" and other movies mastered the intimate, spontaneous style known as cinema verite and schooled a generation of influential directors that included D.A. Pennebaker and Albert M

    July 30, 2014

  • Homeowner killed, another injured in Vegas crime spree LAS VEGAS — A horrific carjacking and home invasion spree ended with two people dead and a woman in critical condition. One victim, Richard Ramos, a 59-year-old father of four, “fought to his death” to protect his wife and children from their attack

    July 30, 2014

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-9 [Duplicate] UPDATE: Suspect in Minnesota officer killing in custody WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police in Minnesota say a man wanted in the shooting death of an officer is in custody after being shot by police. St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos says 39-year-old Brian Fitch Sr. got out of a minivan firing at

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-3 [Duplicate] Minnesota officer killed making traffic stop WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A police officer in Minnesota was fatally shot Wednesday while making a traffic stop and authorities said they were searching for a suspect. Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick, 47, was shot about 12:20 p.m. after pulli

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Possible suspect caught in Minnesota cop shooting WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A potential suspect in the shooting of a police officer in Minnesota has been captured. Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the officer was killed. Television news footage showed the man being pulled from his vehicle Wednes

    July 30, 2014