The LuLac Edition #2780, November 20th, 2014
Richard Hughes has been elected President Judge of the Luzerne County Court En Banc. Hughes was elected in 2011 and is a good consensus choice. He’s fair, personable and succeeds Thomas Burke who navigated the Luzerne County Judiciary through stormy seas after the Ciavella/Conahan debacle.
President Obama is taking Executive Action tonight on The Immigration situation in the United States. A bill was crafted in the Senate, a bi partisan bill by the way that was scuttled by the House. Here’s what the action would do:
FACT SHEET: Immigration Accountability Executive Action
The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions will help secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable, and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules. Acting within his legal authority, the President is taking an important step to fix our broken immigration system.
These executive actions crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay their fair share of taxes as they register to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
These are common sense steps, but only Congress can finish the job. As the President acts, he’ll continue to work with Congress on a comprehensive, bipartisan bill—like the one passed by the Senate more than a year ago—that can replace these actions and fix the whole system.
Three critical elements of the President’s executive actions are:
• Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration at the Border: The President’s actions increase the chances that anyone attempting to cross the border illegally will be caught and sent back. Continuing the surge of resources that effectively reduced the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally this summer, the President’s actions will also centralize border security command-and-control to continue to crack down on illegal immigration.
• Deporting Felons, Not Families: The President’s actions focus on the deportation of people who threaten national security and public safety. He has directed immigration enforcement to place anyone suspected of terrorism, violent criminals, gang members, and recent border crossers at the top of the deportation priority list.
• Accountability – Criminal Background Checks and Taxes: The President is also acting to hold accountable those undocumented immigrants who have lived in the US for more than five years and are parents of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents. By registering and passing criminal and national security background checks, millions of undocumented immigrants will start paying their fair share of taxes and temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation for three years at a time.
The President’s actions will also streamline legal immigration to boost our economy and will promote naturalization for those who qualify.
For more than a half century, every president—Democratic or Republican—has used his legal authority to act on immigration. President Obama is now taking another commonsense step. As the Administration implements these executive actions, Congress should finish the job by passing a bill like the bipartisan Senate bill that: continues to strengthen border security by adding 20,000 more Border Patrol agents; cracks down on companies who hire undocumented workers; creates an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who pay a fine and taxes, pass a background check, learn English and go to the back of the line; and boosts our economy and keeps families together by cutting red tape to simplify our legal immigration process.
CRACKING DOWN ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AT THE BORDER
Under the Obama Administration, the resources that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) dedicates to security at the Southwest border are at an all-time high. Today, there are 3,000 additional Border Patrol agents along the Southwest Border and our border fencing, unmanned aircraft surveillance systems, and ground surveillance systems have more than doubled since 2008. Taken as a whole, the additional boots on the ground, technology, and resources provided in the last six years represent the most serious and sustained effort to secure our border in our Nation’s history, cutting illegal border crossings by more than half.
And this effort is producing results. From 1990 to 2007, the population of undocumented individuals in the United States grew from 3.5 million to 11 million people. Since then, the size of the undocumented population has stopped growing for the first time in decades. Border apprehensions—a key indicator of border security— are at their lowest level since the 1970s. This past summer, the President and the entire Administration responded to the influx of unaccompanied children with an aggressive, coordinated Federal response focused on heightened deterrence, enhanced enforcement, stronger foreign cooperation, and greater capacity for Federal agencies to ensure that our border remains secure. As a result, the number of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the Southwest border has declined precipitously, and the Administration continues to focus its resources to prevent a similar situation from developing in the future.
To build on these efforts and to ensure that our limited enforcement resources are used effectively, the President has announced the following actions:
• Shifting resources to the border and recent border crossers. Over the summer, DHS sent hundreds of Border Patrol agents and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel to the Southwest border, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) reordered dockets in immigration courts to prioritize removal cases of recent border crossers. This continued focus will help keep our borders safe and secure. In addition, Secretary Johnson is announcing a new Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Plan which will strengthen the efforts of the agencies who work to keep our border secure. And by establishing clearer priorities for interior enforcement, DHS is increasing the likelihood that people attempting to cross the border illegally will be apprehended and sent back.
• Streamlining the immigration court process. DOJ
• Protecting victims of crime and human trafficking as well as workers. The Department of Labor (DOL) is expanding and strengthening immigration options for victims of crimes (U visas) and trafficking (T visas) who cooperate in government investigations. An interagency working group will also explore ways to ensure that workers can avail themselves of their labor and employment rights without fear of retaliation.
DEPORTING FELONS, NOT FAMILIES
By setting priorities and focusing its enforcement resources, the Obama Administration has already increased the removal of criminals by more than 80%. These actions build on that strong record by:
• Focusing on the removal of national security, border security, and public safety threats. To better focus on the priorities that matter, Secretary Johnson is issuing a new DHS-wide memorandum that makes clear that the government’s enforcement activity should be focused on national security threats, serious criminals, and recent border crossers. DHS will direct all of its enforcement resources at pursuing these highest priorities for removal.
• Implementing a new Priority Enforcement Program. Effectively identifying and removing criminals in state and local jails is a critical goal but it must be done in a way that sustains the community’s trust. To address concerns from Governors, Mayors, law enforcement and community leaders which have undermined cooperation with DHS, Secretary Johnson is replacing the existing Secure Communities program with a new Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) to remove those convicted of criminal offenses. DHS will continue to rely on biometric data to verify individuals who are enforcement priorities, and they will also work with DOJ’s Bureau of Prisons to identify and remove federal criminals serving time as soon as possible.
ACCOUNTABILITY – CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS AND TAXES
Every Democratic and Republican president since Dwight Eisenhower has taken executive action on immigration. Consistent with this long history, DHS will expand the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to include more immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. DHS will also create a new deferred action program for people who are parents of U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) and have lived in the United States for five years or longer if they register, pass a background check and pay taxes.
The President is taking the following actions to hold accountable certain undocumented immigrants:
• Creating a mechanism that requires certain undocumented immigrants to pass a background check to make sure that they start paying their fair share in taxes. In order to promote public safety, DHS is establishing a new deferred action program for parents of U.S. Citizens or LPRs who are not enforcement priorities and have been in the country for more than 5 years. Individuals will have the opportunity to request temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for three years at a time if they come forward and register, submit biometric data, pass background checks, pay fees, and show that their child was born before the date of this announcement. By providing individuals with an opportunity to come out of the shadows and work legally, we will also help crack down on companies who hired undocumented workers, which undermines the wages of all workers, and ensure that individuals are playing by the rules and paying their fair share of taxes.
• Expanding DACA to cover additional DREAMers. Under the initial DACA program, young people who had been in the U.S. for at least five years, came as children, and met specific education and public safety criteria were eligible for temporary relief from deportation so long as they were born after 1981 and entered the country before June 15, 2007. DHS is expanding DACA so that individuals who were brought to this country as children can apply if they entered before January 1, 2010, regardless of how old they are today. Going forward, DACA relief will also be granted for three years.
The President’s actions will also streamline legal immigration to boost our economy and promote naturalization by:
• Providing portable work authorization for high-skilled workers awaiting LPR status and their spouses. Under the current system, employees with approved LPR applications often wait many years for their visa to become available. DHS will make regulatory changes to allow these workers to move or change jobs more easily. DHS is finalizing new rules to give certain H-1B spouses employment authorization as long as the H-1B spouse has an approved LPR application.
• Enhancing options for foreign entrepreneurs. DHS will expand immigration options for foreign entrepreneurs who meet certain criteria for creating jobs, attracting investment, and generating revenue in the U.S., to ensure that our system encourages them to grow our economy. The criteria will include income thresholds so that these individuals are not eligible for certain public benefits like welfare or tax credits under the Affordable Care Act.
• Strengthening and extending on-the-job training for STEM graduates of U.S universities. In order to strengthen educational experiences of foreign students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at U.S. universities, DHS will propose changes to expand and extend the use of the existing Optional Practical Training (OPT) program and require stronger ties between OPT students and their colleges and universities following graduation.
• Streamlining the process for foreign workers and their employers, while protecting American workers. DHS will clarify its guidance on temporary L-1 visas for foreign workers who transfer from a company’s foreign office to its U.S. office. DOL will take regulatory action to modernize the labor market test that is required of employers that sponsor foreign workers for immigrant visas while ensuring that American workers are protected.
• Reducing family separation for those waiting to obtain LPR status. Due to barriers in our system, U.S. citizens and LPRs are often separated for years from their immediate relatives, while they wait to obtain their LPR status. To reduce the time these individuals are separated, DHS will expand an existing program that allows certain individuals to apply for a provisional waiver for certain violations before departing the United States to attend visa interviews.
• Ensuring that individuals with lawful status can travel to their countries of origin. DHS will clarify its guidance to provide greater assurance to individuals with a pending LPR application or certain temporary status permission to travel abroad with advance permission (“parole”).
• Issuing a Presidential Memorandum on visa modernization. There are many ways in which our legal immigration system can be modernized to reduce government costs, eliminate redundant systems, reduce burdens on employers and families, and eliminate fraud. The President is issuing a Memorandum directing an interagency group to recommend areas for improvement.
• Creating a White House Task Force on New Americans. The President is creating a White House Task Force on New Americans to create a federal strategy on immigrant integration.
• Promoting Citizenship Public Awareness: DHS will launch a comprehensive citizenship awareness media campaign in the 10 states that are home to 75 percent of the overall LPR population. USCIS will also expand options for paying naturalization fees and explore additional measures to expand accessibility, including studying potential partial fee waiver for qualified individuals.
• Ensuring U.S. Citizens Can Serve: To further our military’s needs and support recruitment efforts, DHS will expand an existing policy to provide relief to spouses and children of U.S. citizens seeking to enlist in the military, consistent with a request made by the Department of Defense. (Source: The White House).
President Obama is not the first Chief Executive to take Executive Action on Immigration. Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush took action to remedy flaws in the 1986 Immigration Reform Act. You’ll be hearing the big cry of foul by the GOP but the fact is if they fight this in an unreasonable and ignorant manner, they will look like thugs. This is a good thing for the country. It will keep families together, improve productivity and make this country stronger. Those who fear it are wrong.
The Immigration scare is all about skin color. Plain and simple. The GOP controlled House is set up by districts that are primarily white. There will be push back and debate.
This action is years too late. GOP leaders are crowing that this could have been done when the President had both houses. Very true. But better late than never.
One more prediction: Tonight the President will announce a number of about 4 million people regarding this action. By the time Limbaugh hits the airwaves on Monday, that number will be 60 million complete with right wing caterwauling.
Some say this President is acting outside of the Legislative body. About time. This President has bowed and scraped to accommodate the GOP House. He kissed John Boehner's ass numerous times only to have Boehner break his word. This Executive Action puts the bullies and the party of no firmly in their place.
LEGISLATIVE FUNNY BUSINESS?????
Let’s hope the GOP Legislature in Harrisburg stays put and doesn’t do anything anything to thwart the new administration of Tom Wolf. The rumors are, and let’s hope they are just that, is that the present outgoing State Legislature will go into special session before Wolf takes office and pass Governor Corbett’s agenda. This is crazed because why would they do this now when their leader is on the way out?? If they really believed in this, why didn’t they do it before the election?
MORE WOLF TRANSITION NEWS
(Photo: Tom Wolf campaign)
Governor-elect Tom Wolf named the Steering Committee for his transition team. The steering committee will work with already named leadership on efforts to review state agencies, commissions, departments, and functions.
"As we begin to understand the complexity of the fiscal crisis my administration will face, it is important that my Transition Team move forward," said Governor-elect Tom Wolf. "Today's announcement, which rounds out my steering committee, continues that momentum, and I look forward to working with these individuals to address the steep fiscal and economic challenges ahead."
Neal Bisno is President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, the state’s largest union of nurses and healthcare workers. He has helped thousands of healthcare workers improve their lives and has been a strong advocate for access to quality, affordable care for all Pennsylvanians. Neal is an International Vice President of SEIU and a Vice President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. He is a Trustee of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania’s Training and Education and Health and Welfare Funds and of the Pennsylvania Employee Benefits Trust Fund; a member of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council; co-chaired the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers; and served on Governor Rendell’s 2010 Healthcare Reform Implementation Advisory Commission. Neal lives in Pittsburgh with his partner Lisa Frank and their son, Sam.
David Barasch has over 30 years of public service experience, including time as U.S. Attorney in Harrisburg. Barasch was Pennsylvania's Consumer Advocate in the 1980s and was also the lead counsel in cases involving the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. From 1990 to 1993, Barasch served as Special Assistant to Governor Robert P. Casey, Sr. Following his time with Governor Casey, Barasch served as U.S. Attorney until 2001, where he led federal prosecutions and multimillion dollar settlements. Barasch also served as Executive Deputy Secretary under then-Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf. In addition, Barasch has spent time practicing law in the private sector.
Aradhna Oliphant is the President and CEO of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. Prior to joining Leadership Pittsburgh in December 2004, Aradhna served as the Program Officer of The Forbes Funds, a supporting organization of The Pittsburgh Foundation. Aradhna was the Executive Director of The Children’s Festival Chorus (CFC) of Pittsburgh from 2000-2003. Before moving to Pittsburgh in 1999, Aradhna led an arts organization in Princeton, New Jersey, and taught as an adjunct professor of management and psychology at both Rider University and the College of New Jersey.
Mark Nordenberg joined the faculty of the University Pittsburgh’s School of Law in 1977, eventually serving as Dean and Interim Provost of the university. In 1995, he was elected Interim Chancellor by the university's board of trustees, and in 1996, he was elected Chancellor. Nordenberg served as Chancellor for 19 years. During his tenure, the university experienced tremendous growth with both annual applications and overall enrollments increased.
Phyllis Mundy is currently serving her 12th term as state Representative for the 120th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Mundy serves as Democratic Chair of the House Finance Committee and co-chairs the House and Senate Early Childhood Education Caucus. She has been honored with numerous awards for her achievements, including the 2014 VOICE for Children Distinguished Career Award and the 2013 Children's Champion Award from the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission. Mundy is a graduate of Kingston High School and Bloomsburg State College.
Since 2010, Robert Brooks has served as the Mayor of Murrysville in Westmoreland County, and he currently holds a position on the Board of Trustees at Franklin & Marshall College. Brooks also sits on the NASDAQ Nominating Committee and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Planning Commission. From 1999 to 2004, Brooks was the Executive Vice President of Wabtec, where he had an extensive career. Brooks has thorough knowledge of the rail and financial industries.
Dr. Julie E. Wollman
Dr. Julie E. Wollman became the 17th President of Edinboro University in June 2012, and has an extensive background in teaching, research, and administration. Wollman was the first woman to be named President of Edinboro University. She came to Edinboro from Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts, where she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs. Prior to that position, she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Worcester State University and Dean of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College. Wollman is also active in her community, where she serves on the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership Board of Directors, the Hamot Health Foundation Board of Corporators, the United Way Erie Board of Directors, as well as chairs the United Way’s Volunteer Engagement Cabinet.
Shanin Specter is a partner in the Philadelphia law firm of Kline and Specter, P.C. Specter received a B.A. with honors in Political Science from Haverford College in 1980, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, and an LL.M. with First Honors from Cambridge University in 1984. Mr. Specter has been named one of the nation’s best lawyers in addition to being ranked among the Top 10 lawyers in Pennsylvania by various independent attorney rating services. He is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, described by The Washington Post as “a select group of 100 of the nation’s most celebrated trial lawyers."
Carl G. Cooper
Carl G. Cooper is widely recognized as one of the nation’s first management-level Chief Diversity Officers at a major law firm from his time at K&L Gates law firm. After leaving K&L Gates, Cooper launched a Pittsburgh-based diversity consulting firm in 2007. As a diversity consultant, Cooper works with law firms to design and implement an agenda that promotes, achieves, and maintains a diverse workplace. Cooper received his B.S. degree with a major in Business Administration from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio and completed his law degree at the Howard University School of Law.
Nilda Iris Ruiz
Nilda Iris Ruiz is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc. (APM). From October 1999 to March 2005, Ms. Ruiz was the Senior Community Development Director for the East Coast at National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national constituency-based Hispanic organization. Ruiz also has been honored with a number of distinguished awards, including the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2009 Women of Distinction Award; Girls Inc. 2008 Strong, Smart and Bold Award; El Sol Latino Newspaper’s 2008 Crystal Award; and the 2008 Hispanic Choice Award for Favorite Community Advocate. Ruiz has an undergraduate degree from Temple University and a Masters in Business Administration from Eastern College.
Joseph Meade is the Director of Government and External Affairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Prior to his current role, Meade served as the museum’s Director of Government Relations. Before joining the museum, Meade served as the Director of Government and Public Relations for the School District of Philadelphia; worked for two years as legislative director for the Honorable Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondel Reynolds Brown; and served as Chairman of The Five Guys Political Action Committee. Meade is a graduate of La Salle College High School, West Chester University, and received his Master of Public Policy and Administration from Widener University.
CARTWRIGHT SENDS LETTERS TO OHIO AND WEST VIRGINIA’S ENVIRONMENTAL ADMINISTRATORS REGARDING FRACKING WASTE DISPOSAL
(Photo: LuLac archives)
U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright sent letters to Randy Huffman, the Cabinet Secretary for West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection, andCraig Butler, the Director of Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency. The letters are a significant step in a comprehensive investigation Cartwright is leading in his role as Ranking Member of the Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The letters requests information about the respective state’s regulatory process for monitoring the handling and disposal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) waste.
Cartwright writes, “As you know, fracking wastes are categorized as "special wastes" and are exempt from federal hazardous waste regulations under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). As a result, fracking wastes are regulated as non-hazardous wastes by state governments under the less stringent RCRA Subtitle D solid waste regulations. I am writing to inquire about your state’s reporting requirements for fracking operators, fracking waste transporters and disposal site operators.”
The letters go on to ask several detailed questions about the waste disposal practices and oversight capabilities in both Ohio and West Virginia. Just last month Cartwright sent a similar letter to Pennsylvania’s acting Department of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP) Secretary Dana Aunkst.
In Pennsylvania, the state’s oversight of the process has come under scrutiny after the release of PA Auditor General Eugene Depasquale’s audit of the PA-DEP’s performance in monitoring potential impacts to water quality from fracking.
The audit concluded that Pennsylvania’s current system for oversight of fracking waste “is not an effective monitoring tool” and “it is not proactive in discouraging improper, even illegal, disposal of waste.” Source: Congressman Cartwright's office).
ECTV Live host David DeCosmo welcomes Rusty Fender back to the Co-host seat during the week of November 24th as they discuss plans for an exciting Concert to benefit the Toys For Tots campaign. Steven Perillo, President of Making a Difference Ministries is the guest for the week's programs which air daily on Comcast Channel 19 (and 61 in some areas).
This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with Sharon Roginski from the Lackawanna County Office of Children & Youth Services about the agency's "Adopt An Angel" program.
Brian speaks with home improvement expert Danny Lipford about how to prepare your home for the coming winter storms.
Brian interviews food expert Maureen Petrosky on how to make quick and healthy meals as the holiday season approaches.
And an encore of Brian's interview with Dr. Mary Dundon about Flu Season.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, and 6:25am on Magic 93.
BOLD GOLD COMMUNITY FORUMSunday morning November 23rd on Community Forum Mike Remish welcomes Maureen McGuigan and Fran Pantuso from the Lackawanna County Department of Arts and Culture. You'll hear the program Sunday at 6 am on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 am on The Game 1340/1400/1440 am and 100.7 and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 am on 105 The River
SUE HENRY’S SPECIAL EDITIONTune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. Special Edition is heard Saturdays and Sunday on these Entercom stations, WILK FM Saturday at 2pm Sunday at 6 am on Froggy 101 Sunday at 7 am on The Sports Hub 102.3 Sunday at 7 am on K R Z 98.5 Sunday at noon on WILK FM 103.1.
BUDDY RUMCHEKWant to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”
KAREL ON THE STREETTune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.
CORBETT’S SOMEBODY’S WATCHING MEEvery Wednesday at 5PM, Steve Corbett shines the light on a Public official with his “Somebody’s Watching Me” segment. Corbett picks an alleged public servant to eye ball and observe. Batten down the lawn furniture in the driveway and that e mail machine. There is nowhere to hide when “somebody’s Watching”. Wednesdays at 5 on WILK’s Corbett program.
UN General Assembly recognizes Palestine right to sovereignty…… 60 Ethiopia government officials executed……..2 truck hijackers freed (3/3/1974)…….62nd CFL Grey Cup: Montreal Alouettes defeats Edmonton Eskimos, 20-7….38th US President Gerald Ford & Leonid Brezhnev signs SALT-2-treaty...Jane Blalock wins LPGA Lady Errol Golf Classic- Irish Republican Army is outlawed in Britain following deaths of 21- Rangers' Mike Hargrove wins AL Rookie of Year….Approximately 140 die when suspension bridge collapses (Nepal)……Catfish Hunter & Charlie Finley meet in arbitration……..Senator Hugh Scott says that the signing of SALT 2 Treaty reinforces the fact that U.S. Foreign policy is still intact even after the tumultuous year of 1974…..and in Luzerne County County Controller Steve Yanoshak says he will run for County Commissioner on the GOP side. Already there is speculation that a rival GOP team consisting of Hazleton’s Bob Warren and Labor Leader Bob Leonardi will compete with him…and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was Bobby Vinton’s “My Melody of Love”.