President: Rae Chornenky

Editor: Maria Jeffrey

On the Hill this week: 

Last night, the Senate voted 74-20 to invoke cloture on a motion to proceed concerning S. 743, the Marketplace Fairness Act, imposing online sales taxes. At the earliest, Senate Majority Leader Reid could bring the bill to a vote on Sunday, before the Senate (and the House) break for a week-long recess. 

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) has announced he will be retiring after this term. 

NFRW 37th Biennial Convention

                

            Plan now to attend the National Federation of Republican Women's 37th biennial convention in Louisville, Kentucky September 21-22, 2013. Invited speakers include Kentucky's United States Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, along with governors, members of Congress, and leadership experts.

                

            A leadership training institute will be presented on Friday, September 20, followed by the opening reception to be held at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.  Campaign and election workshops will be offered along with two special luncheons, the second of which will be the national awards luncheon. Elections will be held for NFRW officers for the 2014 through 2015 term and convention business including proposed NFRW Bylaw amendments will be conducted.

                

            Hotel reservations at the Galt House in Louisville and site of the convention may now be made by clicking here.  Convention registration will begin in early to mid May.

99.5% of Illegal Immigrant Youth Get         Administration Approval for                 Legal Status          

                

           Last summer President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals non-deportation program and, since then, the administration has approved 99.5 percent of applications by those who have applied for legal status (Washington Times, April 23, 2013). Obama's policy allows children who were brought here illegally to remain and work in the U.S. on provisional legal status with no fear of deportation although they have no pathway to citizenship.  The policy applies to illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. before age 16 years and who were not yet 31 when the program was begun.  To qualify, applicants must have graduated from high school or earned an equivalency degree or served in the military but who have no serious criminal record.

           

           Through the first 7 and months of the program, the U.S. and Citizenship and Immigration Services approved 268,316 illegal immigrant youth for tentative legal status under the program and denied 1,377 applications. Denied applicants are given time to submit more information or appeal their denial while approvals go through immediately.  Through the end of March, 2013, the department had received 472,004 applications and had settled nearly 270,000 of them.

What You Need to Know About the Senate Immigration Bill's Border Security Provisions: First in a Series

 

           Last week, the "gang of eight" released the comprehensive immigration bill they have been working on since January. It stands at 844 pages and was released in the wee hours of the morning last Wednesday, April 17th; the first hearing on the bill was held on Friday in the Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The second hearing was held yesterday, and the third hearing is being held today. The markup, when the committees debate, amend, and rewrite legislation, is scheduled for May. The bill is divided into four titles, and each week for the next three weeks the different titles will be outlined here in detail with the pages in the bill the bullet points refer to in parentheses. The formal name of the bill is "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act," and Section I of the bill states the purpose of the Act: "to control the flow of legal immigration, and to eliminate illegal immigration, which is some cases has become a threat to our national security" (8). The following notes are taken from the Introduction and Title I of the bill, which is titled "Border Security":

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be taking care of border security, working with the Departments of Justice, Agriculture, and Interior as stipulated in Title I.
  • DHS will aim for a 90% effective control rate of securing the border, which is found by dividing the number of apprehensions and turn backs by the total number of illegal entries in a given fiscal year (9).
  • Undocumented aliens can begin applying for provisional immigrant status as soon as the Secretary of DHS submits to Congress the notice of commencement of the department's border security plan. In other words, the border does not have to be secure first before the undocumented can apply for more permanent status (11).
  • According to page 13, the Secretary of DHS can permit registered provisional immigrants to apply for lawful permanent residence if either ten years have passed from the passage of this bill or the border security plan is being implemented, whichever comes first.
  • If the effective control rate hasn't been achieved in 5 years, a Southern Border Security Commission will be arranged (14).
  • The Secretary of DHS has to present a progress report on border security to Congress on May 15 and November 15 of every fiscal year (22).
  • The bill states that 180 days after it is passed, the Secretary of DHS will establish a strategy for determining how to fence the border, including what areas should be double-fenced, and what areas should be virtually fenced. No reference is made in this title of the bill to completing or enhancing the 2006 Secure the Fence Act that President Bush signed into law, which mandated that 700 miles of the 1,969 mile southern border be fenced. As of April 2009, 613 miles had been fenced with 14 feet high chain link fencing.
  • The border security initiatives of this bill are funded in part by $6.5 billion in initial costs plus $100 million in start-up costs, allocated from the general treasury to a new trust fund called the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Trust Fund (25). Of the $6.5 billion, $3 billion is used in 5 years to fund the Secretary of DHS' border security strategy, $2 billion will be used in 10 years for programs and activities, and $1.5 billion will be used in 5 years for the fencing strategy mentioned above. The bill also states that various (visa) fees and penalties will be used to continually fund the trust fund (27-29). It should be noted that these are only the initial and start-up costs of Title I of this bill. Many other sections in this title end in "There are authorized to be appropriated, from the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Trust Fund under section 6(a)(1), such sums as may be necessary to carry out this action," meaning it will be hard to accurately financially score this bill because its authors do not know how much what they are proposing will cost.
  • From 2014-2017, the number of Border Patrol agents at the southern border will be increased by 3,500, but some of that number can be Border Patrol agents re-assigned from the northern border (33).
  • The number of border crossing prosecutions in the Tucson, Arizona border area will increase to 210 a day, and the funding of this operation will come from the Comprehensive Immigration Trust Fund (36).
  • On federal land, which is defined as that land in the border region in the State of Arizona, whichever Secretary has jurisdiction over that land (whether Secretary of Agriculture or Secretary of the Interior) will hold sway in border security proceedings involving any land over which they preside (40). The Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior will confer with the Secretary of DHS to prepare and publish in the Federal Register a programmatic environmental impact statement on the border security initiatives on federal land (41). If they deem that some of the border security measures will negatively impact the environment on those federal lands, then the border security plan may need to be amended (41).
  • 180 days after this bill is passed, the Secretary of DHS in collaboration with the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice will issue the policies concerning force they will use when implementing new border security initiatives (48).
  • Border security agents and immigration enforcement agents will be trained (in part) by the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, concerning stops, interrogations, searches, seizures, arrests, detentions, privacy rights, social and cultural sensitivity, and environmental concerns (49-50).
  • Click here to access the full text of the bill. 

April 21-27 is National Volunteer Week

              

            In a proclamation made last week, President Barack Obama declared this week, April 21-27, National Volunteer Week.  The proclamation refers to what National Federation of Republican Women know is "that fundamentally American idea of service and responsibility" and reminds us that now, more than before, more Americans are answering the call to serve because they seek to uplift the people around them and "because they want to give back."

                

            Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week focuses national attention on the impact and power of volunteerism and service as an integral aspect of American civic leadership.

                

            NFRW expresses its gratitude for all its member volunteers and recognizes the volunteer commitment of each member.  NFRW honors the incredible volunteer work done by its members and celebrates all members who are doing extraordinary things through their service.

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