Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

Immigration: Pathway to Citizenship?

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

As often happens, an interesting story or new data about our Kentucky Tonight topic emerges shortly after we broadcast the program. That’s the nature of doing a live show in the context of a 24/7 news cycle. It’s also why I enjoy being able to follow-up our Monday discussions with a blog posting.

This week our Kentucky Tonight panel focused on immigration reform. Tuesday morning, The Huffington Post Politics blog reported on a poll about the same topic conducted among likely voters in 20 swing Congressional districts currently represented by Republicans, including seats in California, Colorado, Florida, and New York.

The poll found strong support among Republican, Democratic, and independent voters for a broad outline of comprehensive immigration reform measures, including a pathway to citizenship.

The survey was commissioned by, an organization of tech industry executives, including Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who support immigration and education reforms they say will help keep America competitive in the global knowledge economy. As reported in Huffington Post, the poll revealed other insights. In addition to supporting a pathway to citizenship, more than 70 percent of voters favor giving legal status to undocumented young people brought to the country as children, and the E-verify program to check the legal status of potential employees.

We discussed many of these same points on Monday’s Kentucky Tonight program with Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl; Nima Kulkarni, an international business and immigration lawyer in Louisville; Kate Miller, program director with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky; and Luis Pozzolo, director of America for Lawful Immigration Solutions Today (ALIST). Here’s a portion of the conversation where they debated how to handle the millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States.

Despite bipartisan support for some kind of reform, our panelists agreed Congress won’t address immigration in their remaining working days this year, and what may happen in 2014 is uncertain. Brian Goettl says Republicans want to tackle immigration to garner the support of Hispanic voters, but the rift in the party between Tea Party and pro-business factions may make agreement on the details challenging.

Next Monday at 8 p.m., Kentucky Tonight will be pre-empted for a special edition of our Education Matters series. My colleague Renee Shaw will join me for a look at the challenges schools face in overcoming poverty. I’ll have a preview of the show tomorrow.

Pathway to Citizenship or Amnesty?

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

During our discussion about immigration on Kentucky Tonight yesterday, I asked the panel if they thought the U.S. House of Representatives would vote on the reform bill currently before them. The Senate passed the legislation on June 27 by a vote of 68-32. One of our guests, Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl, said the measure might have a tough time in the Republican-controlled House because of doubts some representatives have about Obamacare.

The popular Washington, D.C., newspaper The Hill had a piece this morning that sounded a similar theme. The Hill’s Pete Kasperowicz blogged that some House Republicans don’t believe President Obama will fulfill the border enforcement provisions of the immigration bill. Since the administration recently decided to delay a key part of the Affordable Care Act requiring businesses to provide health insurance for their employees, Republicans say Obama could also select which parts of the immigration bill to enforce.

The Hill reported portions of a speech by Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) on the House floor last night:

“One of the biggest fears we have about the Senate amnesty bill… is we can’t trust the president… Whatever we pass into law, we know he’s going to cherry-pick. How do we know that? The Defense of Marriage Act; he refused to defend that to the courts. Appointees to the NLRB; he did that when, of course, the Senate was not actually in session. ObamaCare; he’s picking and choosing the parts of the law that he wants to implement.”

Notice Fleming’s use of the term “amnesty” to describe what many proponents of the Senate-passed immigration measure prefer to call a “pathway to citizenship” or “legalization” for this country’s 11 million undocumented workers.

That idea was central to our discussion on Kentucky Tonight. Luis Pozzolo, an American citizen who emigrated from Uruguay 10 years ago, and who leads a group called America for Lawful Immigration Solutions Today, began the conversation by telling us the distinction he sees between the two concepts:

You can watch the full program here.

By the way, if you’re in Lexington tonight, stop by Joseph-Beth Booksellers for a conversation about the new book, “The Recovering Politician’s Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis.” I’m hosting a discussion with the book’s editor, former Kentucky State Treasurer Jonathan Miller, and one of the book’s contributors, former Kentucky Secretary of State John Y. Brown III. The event starts at 7 p.m. and I hope to see you there.

Immigration Legislation on Kentucky Tonight

Monday, July 8th, 2013

According to news reports, the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives will meet this week to discuss their plans for the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate in late June. We’ll talk about the legislation and its prospects for moving forward on Kentucky Tonight, this evening at 8 on KET, and live on our website.

Here’s a preview of the program:

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