Immigration reform bill stirs local debate

first_imgArea advocates on both sides of the immigration debate had something in common Friday – their dislike of the immigration-reform bill put together this week by a bipartisan group of senators and the White House. Depending on who is asked, the bill either fails to do enough to protect hardworking undocumented workers, or it penalizes tax-paying American citizens. Immigrant-rights groups say the bill attacks the long-standing family-based visa application system and deprives immigrants of a key support network. “This bill proposes to do things that tries to control immigrants in very unrealistic ways,” said Daniel Huang, a policy advocate with the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles. “Unless it’s amended drastically, it will be something that hurts the immigrant community more than it helps.” To reduce so-called chain immigration, the bill makes it more difficult for citizens to bring in family members other than their spouse or minor children. It also proposes to cap the number of visas given to parents of U.S. citizens at 40,000 annually. “We know that people are not going to stop wanting to be with their family members,” Huang said. “All they’re really going to do is create a new category of undocumented immigrants.” Area representatives appeared to tread carefully on the subject. Rep. David Dreier, R-San Dimas, stressed in a statement that he would not support the Senate-White House compromise if it includes amnesty for the nation’s estimated 10 million to 12 million illegal immigrants. Many immigration hard-liners consider any path to citizenship for those already in the country illegally to be a form of amnesty. Calls to Dreier’s office to clarify whether he sees the bill’s legalization plan as amnesty were not returned. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, called the bill a “promising breakthrough” on a controversial issue. “How we deal with people who are already here without rewarding their illegal entry is very tough,” Schiff said, adding that be believes “making it a long and earned process of legalization is the right approach. A lot of the details \ are going to be very important.” Schiff said the Senate will likely have an easier time reaching a compromise than the House of Representatives. “A lot of the conservatives in the House are very dug in,” he said. “Anything short of deportation of the 12 million people that are here is going to meet with opposition.” Activists in favor of tighter border controls criticized the proposal as being too lenient on people who have violated immigration laws. Reform is not needed, said Andy Ramirez, chairman of Friends of the Border Patrol in Covina. Existing laws need to be enforced, he said. With the bill, “Illegal immigrants get the gold mine and Americans get the shaft,” Ramirez said. “It basically is going to make Uncle Sam the new coyote.” To address those already in the country illegally, the bill allows them to apply for a green card under the merit-based system provided they are employed and pay $5,000 in fees and penalties. Ramirez criticized the Dream Act component of the bill, which stipulates that immigrants under the age of 30 who arrive in the United States as minors are eligible to receive their green card after three years rather than eight. “You are rewarding lawbreakers,” he said, noting that such individuals will be eligible for perks such as in-state tuition at public universities. On the flip side, others said the proposal was not doing enough for immigrants. The bill does not create a path toward permanent residency for guest workers, which they deserve, said Randy Jurado Ertll, executive director of El Centro De Accion Social in Pasadena. “They want them to work here for two years and then go back to their native country,” he said. Legislators must craft something that “would help individuals obtain permanent residency and come out of the shadows so that people don’t have to live in fear.” Without legal status, those workers will continue to be exploited by employers and receive less than minimum wage, he added. “Neither party wants to take responsibility for \, but both parties need to resolve it,” Jurado Ertll said. “It’s only going to get worse if they don’t.” Staff Writer Fred Ortega contributed to this story. patricia.ho@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4586160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

SA surfer runner-up at World Juniors

first_img12 October 2012 Buitendag’s results in 2012 have included a victory in the CHIKO Pro Junior in Newcastle, Australia, another win in the six-star-rated Movistar Women’s Pro in Piura, Peru, and another title in the six-star Azores Pro at the beginning of October. The waves were outstanding and Buitendag and Van Dijk were deserving finalists, having scored six of the top 10 highest wave scores of the event in the lead-up to the final. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material ‘A great warm-up’“Nikki surfed really well, I’m very happy for her. This event has been a great warm-up for me to get ready to surf on next year’s ASP Women’s World Championship Tour,” she concluded. Led throughoutIn the title-decider, the Australian held the lead throughout, using her smooth style to glide down the line and unleash some crisp and powerful carves. Rising South African surfing star Bianca Buitendag fell at the final hurdle at the Oakley ASP World Junior Championships in Bali on Friday, but nonetheless walked away as runner-up for the title of world junior champion. ShoneBuitendag shone throughout the event, using powerful backhand surfing to storm through a draw stacked with the best junior surfers in the world. In the final, unfortunately for her, she was unable to find the best waves to execute the moves that saw her post big scores in the earlier rounds. “I’m feeling the best I’ve ever felt!” Van Dijk said after securing victory. Next year, she will join the top 17 surfers in the world on the elite ASP Women’s World Championship Tour and is certainly one to watch. “I just want to thanks my Oakley for putting this event on, and God for giving us great surf. “I was nervous the whole heat! I was shaky when I was trying to stand up. I think I was just so excited to be out there in such perfect waves. “I’m really happy with second,” Buitendag said. “I came here with no expectations and to finish like this has been great. Australia’s Nikki van Dijk took the victory in six-foot surf, with flawless tubes and walls reeling down the reef at Keramas, which set the perfect stage for the battle for the title. In January 2011, she won the Billabong ASP Women’s World Junior Championships. SAinfo reporter “I’m so honoured to win! This is what I dream of, it’s amazing! To be here with my sister and friends is amazing. I know all my family and friends at home will be so excited!”last_img read more