Thursday, November 15, 2012

America must ’seize the moment’ on immigration, Obama says

But he's already got the Hispanics in his  pocket so he won't spend any political capital on it

President Barack Obama says America must ‘‘seize the moment’’ to seek an overhaul of the immigration system and he expects that work to start soon after his inauguration for a second term.

In his first news conference after winning re-election, Obama says conversations are already taking place among his staff and members of Congress.

Obama said it was his ‘‘expectation’’ that a comprehensive immigration reform bill would be introduced ‘‘very soon after my inauguration.’’

His support among Hispanics was one of his keys to victory over Republican rival Mitt Romney, who staked out conservative positions on immigration changes during the GOP primaries. Obama failed to make progress on comprehensive immigration changes during his first term but said he planned to after his inauguration.

The White House is already engaged in conversations with Capitol Hill.

Obama said the legislation should make permanent the administrative changes he made earlier this year that allow some young illegal immigrants to remain in the country legally. He said that the overall bill should include a ‘‘pathway to legal status’’ for the millions of immigrants who are in the US illegally but and haven’t committed crimes unrelated to immigration.

Obama urged lawmakers to codify his decision earlier this year to stop deporting young illegal immigrants brought here by their parents.

He said the country needs to build on momentum from the last week’s election.


New Zealand criminal gets "asylum" in Australia

There's an invitation to the crooks of the world!

A FORMER New Zealand bikie, given refugee status in Australia after seeking asylum from fellow criminals, has become the centre of a new political row in Canberra.

A tribunal decided that the 36-year-old Kiwi, who was in a witness protection scheme before flying to Australia in 2005, faced a threat of significant harm in his home country.

News Limited reports that Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen appealed the ruling in the Federal Court. But the court cleared the man to stay because of the government's own protection visa rules.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the Labor government's new asylum laws had allowed a convicted criminal from New Zealand to gain asylum from "fellow crims and bikies back in New Zealand who want to settle some scores.

"What's next? An 'underbelly visa'? This absurd farce is just another mess of Labor's own making," Mr Morrison said.

News Limited says the man was warned when he arrived in Australia that if he committed one offence on his temporary visa he could be removed.

However, he went on to drink and drive, commit forgery, and breaching his bail conditions. He has also been charged with weapons and drugs offences, and receiving stolen property.


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