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October 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Raising the minimum wage to this level would be devastating to immigrant-owned small businesses.
On Nov. 5, SeaTac will consider whether to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for some airport and hospitality workers with Proposition 1. Efforts are under way to raise the same issue in Seattle. Mayor Mike McGinn, who is running for re-election, has already made it an issue in a zoning permit spat with Whole Foods in Seattle. In fact, he would like to raise it even higher in Seattle. His challenger, state Sen. Ed Murray, has also indicated support for the $15 level. (Read both sides of the debate in Tuesday’s Pro/Con on Prop. 1. Our editorial board recommends a no vote on Proposition 1 in an editorial.)
And while the current ballot issue only affects SeaTac, the next stop for the minimum-wage campaign is Seattle.
Supporters of the $15 campaign say it would help low-income people and families working in these jobs. That presumes poor people are a monolithic group, all of whom want to work those jobs for the rest of their lives. (more…)
July 16, 2013 at 6:00 AM
A new Gallup poll released Monday indicates voters identify more with Democrats than Republicans on immigration reform. There’s all sorts of nuances between those numbers, but are GOP House members going to stand by and watch their party get caricatured as obtuse and out-of-touch with Americans? We need more pragmatic Republicans other than U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to speak up and convince members of Congress they should consider a bipartisan Senate plan that includes a path to citizenship. (For more on that proposal, see my previous blog post.)
In the chart below, 48 percent of American adults surveyed between June 13 and July 5 responded their views on immigration and immigration reform aligned more closely with the Democratic Party, while 36 percent went with Republicans. Support for the Ds was even stronger among Blacks and Hispanics. The support of those groups made a difference in the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012. Are stubborn “anti-anything-that-resembles-amnesty factions” of the GOP going to ignore them forever? If so, get ready for the “out of touch” chorus to get even louder and to lose more major elections.
Why are Republicans so stubbornly opposed to moving quickly on immigration reform? Here’s one explanation from a July 5 post: too many of them have nothing to lose and plenty of self-interests to protect.
Before Democrats start cheering, they should look at the Gallup survey’s “bottom line” analysis: (more…)
July 5, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Our Independence Day editorial doesn’t mince words. Now is the time for the U.S. House to give full consideration to the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform package, S. 744.
Remember how Latinos overwhelmingly supported Democrats during the 2012 elections? Afterward, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., called on the GOP to “modernize” and be more inclusive of minorities. Now is her party’s chance to do something substantive, and it’s stalling…
Some politicians might be too caught up in their own self-interests to take timely action. The Wall Street Journal reports only 38 of 234 House Republicans nationwide represent districts where Latinos represent 20 percent or more of the population. Those representatives have nothing to lose by stalling.
An overhaul of the system is long overdue and should include a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people living and working in the shadows, including roughly 230,000 undocumented immigrants in Washington state.
Here’s a link to that Wall Street Journal report cited in the editorial. If you’re looking for an easy-to-read, concise breakdown of what’s in the Senate’s bill, I suggest reading this summary by the Migration Policy Institute.
Here’s an Associated Press interactive on U.S. immigration policy, including a searchable listing by state showing how senators voted. Washington senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell both voted for passage.
The bill isn’t perfect, but it’s a start. The process of becoming a full-fledged American will be anything but easy. (more…)
April 15, 2013 at 6:04 AM
According to our story in Friday’s paper, the practice has been for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to run a computer check on fingerprints of jail inmates and issue a 48-hour “hold” on immigrants (here legally or otherwise) subject to deportation. Previously this was done for anyone deportable, but starting in December, it was limited to those charged with serious offenses, because deporting criminals is ICE’s top priority.
This seems reasonable to me. The story says that immigrant advocates don’t like it, for one thing, because it undermines “community trust in law enforcement.” In other words, it makes people who are here illegally fear the police. Well, yes. I suppose it does. Is that wrong? It objects also because it breaks up families. That is a problem, but what does the law say–and which level of government decides what the law is?
In defending federal power, I’m reversing the position I usually take. I think marijuana not in interstate commerce should be a state matter, not a federal one. The same with assisted suicide, speed limits, and the drinking age. I recently wrote a column on same-sex marriage suggesting that for at least the time being, it be left to the states. I waver on abortion, because there is a case that it should be an individual right, and it has been declared one for 40 years, but press me on it and I have to concede that under the Constitution, read honestly, it was left to the states. But when it comes to issuing state drivers’ licenses to immigrants without papers, I draw the line.
Control of admission to the United States is a federal power. The Constitution gives Congress, not the states, the power “to establish a uniform rule of Naturalization… throughout the United States.” All external issues—war, peace, piracy on the high seas, foreign relations, import duties and naturalization of immigrants — belong to the federal power.
On this issue, I think we have to cooperate.