New members in Congress may face tough choices as Tea Partiers say the defense budget shouldn’t be exempt from budget cuts. According to MSNBC.com on Jan. 21, although the $700 billion annual budget is one that few in Congress have been willing to tackle, Tea Party groups declare that if spending is to be cut, “the military’s budget needs to be part of the mix.”
The controversial USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act), signed into law in 2001, is quietly up again for renewal. The Raw Story reports that Representative Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) has introduced a bill intended to “renew controversial provisions of the Bush administration's USA Patriot Act that are due to expire this year."
According to the official White House website:
President Obama’s first priority in confronting the economic crisis is to put Americans back to work. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan signed by the President will spur job creation while making long-term investments in health care, education, energy, and infrastructure.... The recovery plan will save or create about 3.5 million jobs while investing in priorities that create sustainable economic growth for the future.
The biennial meeting of the Texas State Legislature always promises to be the best entertainment in town, and this year’s free-for-all is no exception. Republican State Representative Lois Kolkhorst from tiny Brenham, Texas filed a bill yesterday which, if passed, would give state law enforcement officers a new way to help enforce federal immigration laws. This slightly unusual proposal is not without some Texas-style humor.
Fox News reported on January 28 that every year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials close hundreds of sham "schools" serving as fronts for illegal immigration operations. And when they do, thousands of foreign nationals, who paid "tuition" in exchange for student visas, are left in a helpless situation, and founders of these alleged "schools" are put behind bars.
The number of immigration and drug cases along the U.S.-Mexico border has reached such a serious level that the need for federal judges in Texas and other border states is desperate. On Jan. 17, the Houston Chronicle reported that federal officials are now calling it a judicial emergency.
An Arizona-style immigration bill passed the Mississippi State Senate on Tuesday and could have law enforcement officers checking the immigration status of persons during any lawful stop. The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported on Jan. 19, that in the Democrat-controlled House, Judiciary A Committee Chairman Ed Blackmon (D-Canton) said he’s not sure which committee will get Senate Bill 2179, so its fate remains unclear.
Fox5SanDiego.com reported Jan. 12 that Border Patrol agent Marcos Gerardo Manzano, Jr., 26, was arrested Monday in San Diego and charged with harboring illegal immigrants and lying to a Border Patrol agent. The arrest was made by the Border Corruption Task Force.