RHODE ISLANDERS FOR IMMIGRATION
June 2012 – Issue 12-06
P.O. Box 01, Central Falls, RI 02863
www.riile.org - firstname.lastname@example.org
SILENCE IS CONSENT - LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD
Articles are shortened/paraphrased. Go to Insert for websites
Memorial Day – May 28, 2012
God bless our men and women in military service, our veterans, and those who died so that we may live free.
http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=70Ikj1hZDnw&feature=related Angel Flight
We owe it to them to find our American core—our American soul. Who do we believe and what do we believe in? This country was founded with a belief in God and the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness bestowed upon us by Him. America is and always has been exceptional, and it is up to the American people to make sure it stays that way. Our founding documents and the commitment and amazing foresight that created them have guided our country to a success not seen by any other. Let us re-dedicate ourselves to that American core, re-igniting it in ourselves and inspiring it in our young people. Be proud of our country, of who we are, of our values, our history, our future. It worked when our country was born, it’s been working ever since, and the American people must ensure that America stays strong and true to its design and purpose. We owe it to them.
This caption appeared in the Providence Journal on April 30 under a picture of the door to the Senate Hearing Room. At the State House: It was truly “the people’s house” this past week. The addiction-recovery community with a rally honoring advocates, the developmentally disabled fighting to restore their funding, firefighters trying to hold onto their COLAs, activists speaking out for the rights of students without immigration clearance, and the Occupy movement taking aim at income-tax rates for the wealthiest in our state. REALLY? Is that what constitutes “the people’s house”? What about the rest of “the people”—those who don’t have powerful advocates and lobbyists working for them and those who don’t work the system or the players? To borrow some oft-used adjectives, this particular depiction of “the people’s house” is offensive and disenfranchising to many of “the people. But that, of course, is Rhode Island.
Channel 13 Eyewitness News in Indiana is investigating a massive tax loophole in the Additional Child Tax Credit that provides billions of dollars in tax credits to illegal aliens—2 million illegal aliens totaling $4.2 BILLION—for children, some of whom have never set foot in the U.S. On video is Russell George, U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The IRS knows and now Congress knows. See websites at Insert.
PolitiFact 1. Comment: This policy is an example of taking away the right of American citizens to participate in their government that is taking place in Washington and in every state in our country—and Congress and State Legislatures are allowing it to happen. In 2011, the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education approved a policy to grant the college in-state tuition rate to students who are in this country illegally and graduate from Rhode Island high schools (to take effect in September 2012). At an April 24 hearing of the House Finance Committee, William T. “Terry” Gorman, executive director of Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement, argued for reversing the regents’ policy, saying the state would be subsidizing a college education for people who aren’t employable because they are in the country illegally. “Please keep in mind that these students, when they’re attending high school, they’re illegal aliens. When they graduate, they’re illegal aliens. When they enter college, they’re illegal aliens. Because of that status, they’re not allowed to get a job to help pay their way through college. They’re not allowed to get a driver’s license to drive back and forth to college. And when we’ve provided them that four years of in-state tuition, they’re not allowed to get a job.” . . . “How does that help the economy?” Even the advocates for the illegal aliens agreed that Terry’s statements are true. The experts PolitiFact spoke with said he’s generally correct, although they can, in a few cases, be hired as independent contractors (which is a work-around for hiring illegal aliens). Overall, PolitiFact rated Terry’s claim as TRUE.
PolitiFact 2. Rep. Anastasia Williams went before the House Judiciary Committee to propose an amendment to the RI Constitution that would give voting rights (in state and local elections) to non-citizens who are legal permanent residents (LPRs) of the United States (having a so-called “green card”). She said that some elected officials wouldn’t help residents who weren’t registered voters and that her own Cuban mother was a legal resident who declined to seek citizenship out of fear of losing her ties to her country of origin. She told the Committee, “In 2011, Alabama and Massachusetts passed this legislation,” information she received from the General Assembly’s Legislative Council. House spokesman Larry Berman said the legislative research department made a mistake in a memo to Williams, with the wording suggesting that the proposals had become law in those states when they had not. PolitiFact found that neither state had proposed giving voting rights to green-card holders, and they were surprised that a veteran legislator wasn’t suspicious about the claim, given that Massachusetts is a neighbor and Alabama is known for having one of the nation’s harshest laws against illegal immigrants. They rated her statement FALSE.
Rep. Williams’ proposed Resolution H7853, co-sponsored by Reps Slater and McCauley, was held for further study. It should be withdrawn. Evidently Sen. John Tassoni did not share with her the immediate and passionate feedback he received when he introduced the same Bill, S2806 and then withdrew it six days later. He introduced the Bill “by request.” Does that mean he did a favor for another G.A. member? Did he read the Bill? Rep. Williams’ Bill did not indicate that it was introduced by request. Sen. Tassoni is not running again, but Rep. Williams is. Like Sen. Tassoni, she has tarnished her office as a representative of the citizens of Rhode Island.
Rep. Anastasia Williams said that there are 5,000 or more LPRs in Rhode Island and denying them the vote constitutes “taxation without representation.” LPRs are foreign nationals who have been granted the right to work and reside permanently in the U.S. and are allowed to apply for citizenship only after living in the United States as an LPR for at least 5 years. Voting is a right of American citizenship. Legal permanent residents do not take an oath of allegiance to this country, and they may never qualify to become or may never want to become an American citizen. American citizenship is highly valued and much sought after. It cannot be compromised or demeaned, and the five-year waiting period to apply is not much to ask when a legal permanent resident is already living here. Our country allows dual-citizenship, but other countries may not, which is one reason some people do not want to become American citizens.
Background: Issued 2010. RIte Care Coverage for Immigrant Children and Families. According to this site, legal permanent resident children (under 19) and pregnant women are eligible. LPRs over 19 are not eligible until after the five-year waiting period. Children and pregnant women are also eligible in these categories: Deferred Enforced Departure, Temporary Protected Status, Granted Withholding of Deportation/Removal, and only pregnant women in the category of Undocumented/No legal status.
Undocumented children and LPR children had already been participating in Rite Care or Rite Share until 2008. According to the Provider Update Newsletter, July 2008, Volume 189, undocumented children and legal permanent resident children in the U.S. for less than five years were removed from medical assistance (RIte Care or RIte Share) coverage effective June 1, 2008, but LPR children were reinstated by the General Assembly in 2009 even though legal permanent residents were not intended to be included before the end of the five-year waiting period. Participating Health Plans: United Healthcare of NE and Neighborhood Health Plan of RI
PolitiFact 3. Brendan Doherty, First District Congressional candidate, says he’ll put a stop to “rampant fraud and waste” in government spending and will use his years in law enforcement to “shine a light on the unconscionable abuse of hard-earned taxpayer funds,” such as the millions of dollars in pension benefits the federal government distributes each year to deceased federal retirees--$601 million in the past five years. Source: “Wastebook 2011,” issued annually by Sen. Tom A. Coburn, from a report by the Inspector General of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management: “Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased Annuitants.” It states that “the amount of post-death improper payments is consistently $100-$150 million annually.” Some are outright fraud, and some are inactive bank accounts that can go unnoticed for years. After a thorough investigation, PolitiFact rated Doherty’s statement TRUE.
PolitiFact 4. The Buffett Rule, formally known as the “Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012,” proposed to force millionaires to pay federal taxes of at least 30%. When the Bill’s chief sponsor Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse spoke on the Senate floor, he said, “If you put the $47 billion in revenue (raised over 10 years by the Buffet rule) into infrastructure you could create 611,000 infrastructure jobs.” That’s 13,000 jobs for every billion spent, or $76,923 per job. A reader pointed out a discrepancy. A May 2009 report by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), said the 13,000 “jobs” aren’t jobs--they are job-years, which is one job lasting one year, a distinction Whitehouse didn’t make clear anywhere in his speech. A Federal Register notice from the U.S. Department of Transportation says in a footnote that the CEA had revised its estimate, concluding that each billion spent on transportation infrastructure would create 13,000 one-year jobs ($76,923/job). Revenue of $4.7B/year would average 61,000 new jobs for that year. If the same people stayed on the job for 10 years, it would still be only 61,000 new jobs, not 611,000. To get to 611,000, you’d have to fire those 61,000 at the end of the year and hire another 61,000, and do that for a total of 10 years. PolitiFact said that when thinking of a job, it’s not working for just one year. Ultimately, if everyone hired with this money stayed on the job for 10 years, Whitehouse would be off by a whopping 549,900 jobs. For that reason, PolitiFact rated his statement FALSE.
Racial Profiling Bill. Passing an existing racial profiling bill would be “counterproductive to relationship-building” between law enforcement and the community,“ and will only create division,” said state police Col. Steven G. O’Donnell in a letter he sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, referring to the “Comprehensive Racial Profiling Prevention Act of 2012.” O’Donnell’s letter said racial profiling “is unlawful and discriminatory,” however the bill, as written, “will negatively affect efforts by law enforcement to fairly enforce the laws of this state.” He wrote that the bill “seeks to limit or prohibit law enforcement practices” that have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal appellate court and the Rhode Island Supreme Court. The bills are sponsored by Sen. Harold Metts and Rep. Grace Diaz.
Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM) lobbies for passage of Racial Profiling Bill. House and Senate bills are being held in committee. Last year, law enforcement and the Coalition Against Racial Profiling reached compromise legislation that nearly made it to the House floor, but the membership of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association rejected it after the organization’s president testified in support. This year, the chiefs’ association and Rhode Island State Police Col. Steven G. O’Donnell oppose the bill. “We feel that the tools an officer presently has to combat crime and protect the community would be inhibited by this legislation,” said Middletown Police Anthony M. Pesare, president of the state chiefs’ association. They “have been ruled to be constitutionally sound. We feel any retreat from what has been found constitutionally valid would be a disservice to both our officers and the people we’re sworn to protect.” “We’re tired,” said Chanravy Proeung, PrYSM’s executive director. “How many times do we have to go up there [to the State House] and say racial profiling exists? People feel disrespected.” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Michael J. McCaffrey asked all parties to go back to the table, and O’Donnell says he will attend. But while he’s always open to negotiating, “when it comes to issues relating to the safety risk for police, I am not willing to compromise.” He argued that key components of the bill would do just that.
It’s a shame that PrYsm is tired and feels disrespected. They have to realize that we don’t always get what we want just because we decide to speak out—and anecdotal evidence is never accepted. Now they know how other people feel about going back to the State House year after year to fight for something they believe in only to be disrespected by General Assembly members who put themselves and their re-election first. Law enforcement personnel are sworn to enforce the law and protect the citizens—all the laws and all the citizens. They are constantly scrutinized and criticized, and we all have recourse if we feel we’ve been wronged. Try looking at a situation from their perspective. They have a difficult, dangerous job to do, and they take it very seriously. They don’t magically know who’s OK and who isn’t, and they have procedures to follow. They tolerate all kinds of abuse that the average guy probably would not take. But, they have to take it. You do not have those restrictions. Until you have walked in their shoes, you should not judge.
According to organizers, attendees at the Netroots Nation conference at the RI Convention Center include economist Paul Krugman, U.S. Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren, and President Obama’s former green energy adviser Anthony Kapel “Van” Jones. Netroots Nation is a gathering of liberal and progressive political activists. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras will join NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for the opening keynote on June 7 at 7 p.m. , and Van Jones will close out the conference at 4:30 p.m. on June 10. Keith Olbermann will not be attending because he needs surgery. Other confirmed attendees are U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley, Ben Cardin, and U.S. Representatives Tammy Baldwin, Mazie Hirono, Keith Ellison, Luis Gutierrez, and Rhode Island’s entire four-person congressional delegation.
Occupy Providence intends to maintain a 24-hour sidewalk presence with sleeping bags outside the “Netroots Nation” convention, from June 7-10. The conference is expected to draw nearly 3,000 progressive bloggers, grassroots and union activists, political leaders and others, and a roster of high-profile speakers. Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré said that city ordinances preclude sleeping bags. “We’re looking to have a discussion” with the Occupiers “as to their intent for next week and the limitations under the city’s ordinances.” But as of Friday, he has not been able to contact Occupy. He said, “There’ll be no tents erected. There will be no sleeping bags on the sidewalk. If they have an intention to hold a vigil those four days, or some kind of presence”--minus the sleeping bags--“then we’re interested in accommodating them for that purpose. We’re working with all the parties to make sure it can be peaceful and non-disruptive.” Jared Paul of Occupy Providence said, “There will be people protesting 24 hours a day. There will be people there all night, one way or another.” He argued that sleeping bags “are fair game and legal.”
Robert Malin, a member of Occupy Providence, said many members of his movement came to it from Netroots Nation, an organization of liberal and progressive bloggers. “This is not protesting them,” Malin said. “It is to draw attention to the Occupy message during the convention and have the dialogue that the Occupy movement came out of Netroots.” Occupy draws attention to issues of social, political and economic imbalance and injustice. The Netroots conference (on the convention center website) is “designed to educate, stimulate and inspire the nation’s next generation of progressive leaders.”
U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein, a senior judge in the Eastern District of New York, called federal criminal law “unnecessarily brutal” in remarks at Roger Williams University School of Law’s commencement address. He said that serious social and economic prejudice continues, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions hobbling schools and other institutions in their efforts to overcome the effects of past discrimination and that the United States Sentencing Commission recently noted that mandatory minimum sentences are racially discriminatory in their effects. “We have to check our growing ruthlessness toward the poor,” which “tends to cut food stamps, health, and education … and threatens the most vulnerable members of society,” said Weinstein. He believes the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations have been “justified in peacefully attempting to sensitize the nation to our unprecedented disparities in wealth and opportunity.” Evidently, these are words of wisdom from “an influential jurist,” as the article referred to him, to those who may be taking oaths to uphold our Constitution and our laws—based on the Constitution and the law.
Our freedom of speech can be very difficult to live with—but it is necessary to a free people. The irony is that the people who spew hate against America have no appreciation of what America gives them. They have no excuse. They see what life is like in other countries; but because they are blessed to live in America, it is not real to them. Their misguided ignorance and so-called power is being channeled against the only country that gives them the rights and freedoms they have—including that free speech. In a global government, the American way will be lost to those other countries that do not believe in human rights and freedoms.
God bless America!
R.I.I.L.E. meets the first Tuesday of every month, at 7 p.m., at Ribs & Company, 1383 Atwood Avenue, Johnston (near McDonald’s, across from the entrance to the Johnston Home Depot and BJ’s).
SILENCE IS CONSENT - LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!
Executive Director Terry Gorman
Director Karin Gorman
Writer/Contributor Kathleen Gudaitis
Editor Karin Gorman
RHODE ISLANDERS FOR IMMIGRATION LAW ENFORCEMENT (R.I.I.L.E.)
P.O. Box 1, Central Falls, RI 02863 (401) 475-2410
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