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November 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM
A 16-year-old immigration activist and Redmond high School student was one of two girls who confronted House Speaker John Boehner over the issue of immigration reform as he tried to get breakfast on Capitol Hill this morning.
Jennifer Martinez, who is a U.S. citizen, is active in the OneAmerica Youth Program, which engages high-school students across the Puget Sound region on immigration issues.
She and her companion, Carmen Lima, 13, of California, told Boehner that as a father he might understand what it’s like to be separated from his children, the way many undocumented immigrant parents are.
Boehner responded: “Well, I’m trying to find some way to get this thing done. It’s, uh, you know, not easy — not gonna be an easy path forward. But I’ve made it clear since the day after the election that it’s time to get this done.”
Less than an hour later, Boehner ruled out any action this year on immigration in the House.
Immigrant advocates, religious and labor groups, and employers have been trying to pressure the Speaker to take up an immigration bill pending in the House that would provide a path to citizenship for the more than 11 million unauthorized immigrants in this country. They have also been urging House Republicans to support the bill.
U.S. Catholics across the country, as well as here in Washington state, are being encouraged today to call their lawmakers to ask for their support.
About 13 people were risking arrest outside the Eastern Washington offices of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers, R-Spokane, in an act of civil disobedience similar to one that led to last week’s arrest of 33 women who refused to leave the Bellevue offices of the Washington State Republican Party.
November 7, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Nearly 40 women were arrested after they stormed the Bellevue headquarters of the state GOP and refused to leave, as they called on the state’s Republican delegation in Congress to support changes to immigration law.
Among them were Peggy Lynch, wife of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Kim Mead, president of the Washington Education Association.
The women were among nearly 200 people who participated in a rally and protest that began at the Bellevue Downtown Park and ended up both inside and outside the office building the houses the party headquarters.
Similar acts of disobedience took place in several other cities across the country as immigrant advocates try to get Republicans to act on a Democrat-sponsored immigration bill in the House.
About 50 police officers from Bellevue and other agencies responded to the protest and arrested the women after they refused repeated requests by the building owner to leave. They were arrested on first degree-criminal trespassing.
The protests occur as President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain are now set to discuss immigration and other issues at the White House.
October 24, 2013 at 5:46 PM
Janitors who work inside the Bank of America building on Fifth Avenue in downtown Seattle are expected to join dozens of other immigrants and advocates Friday in a rally outside the bank building.
They are hoping to pressure Bank of America and other large corporations, which they say are major contributors to key Republicans in Congress, into demanding action from those leaders on immigration reform.
On Thursday, President Obama renewed his call for Congress to pass an immigration bill, that among other things would provide a legal path to millions in the country unlawfully.
Months after the Senate passed a sweeping immigration measure in June, action has stalled in the House, where Republicans balked at the measure’s generosity.
House Democrats, including Washington Rep. Suzan DelBene, introduced a measure similar to the Senate version at the start of the recent government shutdown.
Friday’s rally is sponsored by OneAmerica, the state’s largest immigrant-advocacy group and the Service Employees International Union Local 6, which represents a large number of immigrant workers.
March 25, 2013 at 4:18 PM
The White House on Tuesday will honor Rich Stolz, executive director of Seattle-based OneAmerica, with its “Champions of Change” award for his work on immigration.
Stolz is among 11 people from across the country who will receive the Cesar Chavez award for embodying the spirit of the late farm worker and civil rights leader “and for advocating and organizing around immigration-related issues,” the White House said.
Born in South Korea, Stolz grew up in California, and has organized in communities in Maine, Alabama, Arizona, and Washington, D.C. Last June, he was named to head OneAmerica , the largest immigrant-rights advocacy organization in this state.
“These eleven individuals exemplify the core decency and generosity of Americans, by welcoming and giving voice to those that come to our shore,” said Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the president.
The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White house to feature groups of Americans – individuals, businesses and organizations – who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.
September 11, 2012 at 1:27 PM
Outgoing Secretary of State Sam Reed is urging state lawmakers to pass legislation next year requiring those applying for a driver’s license or ID card in Washington to show proof of lawful presence – something 48 other states currently require.
Reed’s recommendation to the 2013 Legislature is based on his office’s inability to access a massive immigration database election officials had hoped to use to scrub non-citizens from the state’s voter registration rolls.
States that currently use the database, called Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, or SAVE, are able to search it using alien registration numbers. These numbers, assigned to new immigrants by the Department of Homeland Security, typically accompany the documents they present as proof of legal presence when applying for a license.
But because Washington does not require immigrants to provide any proof of legal residence, it has no record of alien numbers and therefore no way to access the SAVE system, Reed noted.
While pointing out that his intention is not to purge voter rolls in any discriminatory way, Reed in a statement said, “we do have a strong and continuing commitment to keeping our voter rolls updated and accurate, so that only qualified citizens are allowed to vote.
“To maintain voter confidence in our elections process, we simply cannot tolerate illegal voting.”
August 14, 2012 at 4:28 PM
Beginning Wednesday, young people who came to this country illegally as children, have lived here continuously since then while staying out of trouble, may begin applying for a kind of deportation clemency being offered by the Obama Administration.
Nationally, this so-called deferred action, good for two years, could extend to as many as 1.7 million illegal immigrants between 15 and 30 who are either enrolled in school or have graduated. An estimated 30,000 of them are in Washington state.
Those who show a need will also be eligible for work permits.
Immigrant advocacy groups have hailed the program, first announced by the Department of Homeland Security in June, as a positive step for people who, through no fault of their own, must deal with an unlawful status that places barriers before them.
Now with work permits, thousands of illegal immigrants who have graduated from college will be able to pursue legitimate employment in their chosen fields.
Those who oppose illegal immigration, however, have called Obama’s plan de facto amnesty – a wrongheaded political move that will allow illegal immigrants to compete for scarce jobs at a time when millions of Americans – many of them young people – are already out of work.
The program also isn’t without risk.
While those granted deferred action may apply to have it extended beyond the two years, it is not clear, for example, what happens once the program expires in two years, or if Obama is defeated in November.
Deferred action does not extend any kind of legal status or pathway to citizenship for young people. It also requires young people to provide some identifying information not just for themselves but also for those in their households, a requirement some worry could lead to others being targeted for removal.
Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups across the state are planning a series of town hall meetings, workshops and clinics to help young people better understand the program and apply for deferred action.
Read more information about the program here.
May 2, 2012 at 6:45 AM
Weather: Did you notice it was starting to get light at 5 a.m. today? The chart says light rain for the next four days, but we don’t believe it. The sun is peeking out from the clouds, and we’re banking on that. Sunday looks great, as in sunny. We’re still seeing below-normal temperatures. We’re supposed to be in the low 60s by now. Go figure.
The National Weather Service forecast.
Traffic: The map and cams.
May Day mayhem: We certainly hope it’s over. Thanks to Mother Nature and the rain last night.
Big fine for immigration violation: A Duvall herb farm charged with firing illegal immigrants then turning around and rehiring them has been hit with a $1 million fine in federal court.
Teaching assistant, sex, student: A teaching assistant, Cheri Powers, is charged with sexual misconduct for allegedly having sexual contact with a 16-year-old boy at Goldendale High School in Klickitat County.
Proposed tuition hikes at Wazzu: The board of regents at WSU meets Friday to consider raising tuition by 16 percent. That would mean $11,000 for in-state students and $24,000 for non-residents.
Most-read stories this morning on seattletimes.com:
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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