Chad’s Morning Brief: Ted Cruz Seeks to Ban Illegal Immigrants From Welfare and Citizenship, Campus Carry Has New Life in the Senate, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of May 9, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am.
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1. Cruz Steps in on Immigration (link)
Senator Ted Cruz is seeking to ban illegal immigrants from receiving any kind of welfare, but that’s not all. Another amendment by Cruz would ban those here illegally from gaining U.S. citizenship.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a newly elected Republican with a penchant for making headlines, filed an amendment that would bar undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States from ever earning citizenship.
There are an estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally, and a bipartisan immigration reform measure would create a pathway to citizenship over the course of 13 years by requiring those people to pay penalties and back taxes, as well as learn English. Conservatives opposed to reform decry the path as amnesty, but Democrats say they will not support reform that does not cope with the immigrants already living in the U.S.
Cruz also filed amendments that he says would “strengthen border security measures; reform the high-skilled temporary worker program; modernize, streamline and expand legal immigration; and prohibit federal, state or local entitlement benefits for those here illegally.”
“The amendments filed today to strengthen border security and reform our legal immigration system will not only bring meaningful, effective improvements to our immigration system, but also have a chance of becoming law,” said Cruz in a press release. “America is a nation of immigrants, built by immigrants and we need to honor that heritage by fixing our broken immigration system, while upholding the rule of law and championing legal immigration.”
The committee is set to vote on the amendments Thursday.
2. It’s Alive (link)
Is Campus Carry alive in the Senate? Because the House bill is so weak, it appears as though Campus Carry could actually pass the Senate.
Just two days after it had been declared virtually dead, a controversial House-passed bill move to allow concealed weapons in college and university buildings appeared to get new life Thursday in the Texas Senate.
Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chairman John Whitmire, who earlier blocked a Senate version of the bill from passing out of his committee, confirmed that he now plans to give House Bill 972 a hearing if it is assigned to his committee.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who will make that assignment, has not said to which committee he plans to send the House bill.
Whitmire, D-Houston, had voted for a campus-carry bill two years ago. It failed to pass the House and died.
Whitmire on his change-of-heart:
“The House bill allows public universities to opt out, and allows private schools to opt in, so the presidents of each campus can make the decision. That’s better than (state Sen. Brian) Birdwell’s bill that doesn’t allow that. “
Whitmire said that if the House bill by state Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress, is assigned to his committee, he will give it a required public hearing next week. “It will pass, I think, and we’ll get it to the floor where the full Senate can vote on it,” he said.
Will it pass the Senate? “I think so,” said Whitmire.
Well this is an interesting development. The question is, is this a good development? There are two ways of thinking here. The first way is to recognize that this is a weak bill, but it’s progress and we should rally behind the progress that is being made. The other way of thinking is that this is such a weak bill we should oppose it and hope it dies.
I understand both arguments, but I have to say that I still think this is a terrible bill. This Campus Carry bill hands over control to university and college administrators. The House and Senate are about as conservative as your going to get and this is all the progress they can make? Passing the buck? How are we supposed to believe that eventually the law will improve? I think the argument could be made that this bill could end up hurting the Campus Carry movement more than helping.
I don’t believe in passing garbage bills just to say you could. Those that buy into this bill are buying into some fantasy that college administrators, many of whom are pretty liberal, will allow this change on campus. Sorry, I don’t buy it.
3. Cheerleaders Win! (link)
On Wednesday a state district judge ruled that Cheerleaders at Kountze ISD can display Bible verses on banners at athletic events.
The national headline-grabbing lawsuit arose last fall when Kountze Independent School District administrators ordered its high school cheerleaders to stop displaying religious messages during athletic events after a group advocating for the separation of church and state threatened to sue. Instead, some of the cheerleaders’ parents sued, saying the district had violated their constitutional rights. Their plight has earned support from state leaders including Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott.
“This is a victory for religious liberties and for high school cheerleaders who stood up to powerful forces that tried to silence their voices,” Abbott said in a statement on the ruling, adding, “Students’ ability to express their religious views adds to the diversity of thought that has made this country so strong.”
The case hinges on the question of whether the cheerleaders were representing the school when they held the banners. Their lawyers have argued that because the squad came up with the idea on their own, bought the supplies with their own money and made them off campus, it is clear that they were acting as individuals.
On Wednesday, Judge Steve Thomas of Hardin County issued a summary judgment ruling in favor of the cheerleaders, meaning the school district will have to appeal for the case to proceed. According to the Beaumont Enterprise, the order states: “The evidence in this case confirms that religious messages expressed on run-through banners have not created, and will not create, and establishment of religion in the Kountze community.”
This was the right ruling in my opinion. What do you think?
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