Tag Archives: immigration reform

Gang of Eight gets it done in the Senate, 68-32; So why doesn’t it feel so great?

All the talk early in the week of the immigration deal turning into a  “blur” or the possibility of some revolt in the Senate turned out to be just that—talk.  The Senate bill passed handily with all the security to militarize immigration  and none of the humanity that marked the family-oriented immigration policies in the past. Conservatives were appeased enough to show “bi-partisan” support for the bill. Meanwhile, all the items Asian Americans wanted added on to the bill continued to be ignored.

But it isn’t over.

The fight continues on to the House. 

And then the real horse trading begins in conference.

We’ve just finished Act I of a three-act play.

What we end up with may not be very different from what was passed today.

So the compromising isn’t over. 

Check out what I wrote earlier on the proposal on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog.




San Francisco Giants beat Nationals, 4-2; Immigrants win and lose, 13-5

DC’s favorite baseball team, the Nationals, lost to the San Francisco Giants in extra innings 4-2 when the Giants scored a run in the ninth to tie, and World Series hero Pablo Sandoval hit a walk-off homer in the 10th.

Back in DC, also in extra innings, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted that immigration reform package out of mark up and on to the Senate floor, 13-5.

Hard to say who won there.

The Gang of Eight’s compromise is still together, and a pathway to citizenship is still in play for 11 million undocumented immigrants.

But Asian Americans failed to get deleted provisions in the current law restored.

And in the biggest blow, same-sex advocates couldn’t even get a vote on an amendment that would allow for bi-national partners to re-unite.

Same-sex marriage is hard enough. Same sex immigration not even in the discussion.

Discrimination continues. That’s why 13-5 isn’t quite the victory it could have been.

See my 5/22 post on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog.




Linceblog: The Shrinking Giants in Canada; The growing trio of scandals in Washington; And, we’re half-way through AAPI month, have you hugged an AA or a PI yet?

I’m sorry, I must not have the proper immigration visa to comment on the San Francisco Giants poor performance in Toronto.  Multi-run defeats to a last place team? I commented at the start of the series, dismissing it saying ex-Giant, new-Blue Jay, Melky Cabrera was having a non-dairy creamer kind of season.  But he played more like 100 percent homogenized. And well, there are other things than baseball for a few days.

By the way, was that  really baseball? The turf seemed to baffle the Giants, who played like they were newcomers to cricket. That was it, right? It was cricket?

If you can’t trust baseball, what more the government? Between the IRS, Benghazi, and AP scandals,  I’ll have more on that later and how it could affect the immigration bill at www.aaldef.org/blog.

Oh, we’re also half-way done with Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month? So now you can officially celebrate if you’re half-Asian?  No, AAPI Month is for everyone!

No jokes at First Presidential Press Conference since WHCD, but lots on sequester, immigration, and Jason Collins

I know the presser is a 100-day marker. But the WHCD was such a stark contrast. It’s definitely back to the somber stuff today.  Brief mention of the WHCD at the start, but Syria is the lead. Obama still unclear on what the U.S. should do. And even support efforts announced today seem to be a token gesture. A delicate fluid situation.

President was more clear on the sequester and defining the dysfunctional government and putting blame on Congress and its failure to do its job.

“It’s not my job to get them to behave,” said the president. 


(from televison coverage of press conference)



Obama’s example of the FAA instance exposed the short-sighted nature of the GOP. All it’s done is borrow money from airport improvements in the future, which hurts the U.S. long term. Obama said the best strategy is to address issues through a broader deal.

 Obama mentioned a “permission structure,” that may allow  those scared of their political base to reach compromise on budget issues.

 It was as blunt and detailed an answer, of the conseqeunces of sequester and how it  has hurt the country. No pussyfooting here.

“We are using our seed corn, short term.And the only reason we’re doing it is because right now we have some folks unwilling to make some simple changes to our tax code, for example to close loopholes that aren’t adding to our competitiveness and aren’t helping middle-class families,” said the president. “There are common sense solutions to our problems right now. I cannot force Republicans  to embrace those common sense solutions. I can urge them to, I can put pressure on them, I can rally the American people around those common sense solutions. But ultimately they themselves are going to have to say we want to do the right thing.”

The president indicated he understood Congress’ political dilemma. “It’s tough,” he said. “Their base thinks that compromise with me is somehow a betrayal. They’re worried about primaries. And I understand all that, and we’re going to do everything we can to create a permission structure for them to do what’s best for the country. But it’s going to take some time.”

Permission structure? Does he mean political cover so that conservatives can hide behind a tough vote?

The president also weighed in on what is could be the signature accomplishment of this term: Immigration.

The president praised the Gang of Eight’s efforts, saying it may not have been what he would have done, but it did meet the criteria: Border safety, strong employer provisions, improvements to the current bureaucracy, and that pathway to citizenship.

Obama praised the pathway as one where people can earn the right to legalize their status over time.

But that’s one of the contentious issues in the plan.

Obama said he’s open-minded. He’ll need to be. Already some House members have said they don’t want a big package but would rather take up the issue piece meal. 

Sound precarious?  It is. And this is the President’s best issue going forward.

Obama was almost out the door when he came back to the podium to discuss Jason Collins’ coming out statement.

Said the President:

“Yeah, I’ll say something about Jason Collins. I had a chance to talk to him yesterday. He seems like a terrific young man, and, you know, I told him I couldn’t be prouder of him. You know, one of the extraordinary measures of progress that we’ve seen in this country has been the recognition that the LGBT community deserves full equality, not just partial equality, not just tolerance but a recognition that they’re fully a part of the American family.

And, you know, given the importance of sports in our society, for an individual who’s excelled at the highest levels in one of major sports go ahead and say, this is who I am, I’m proud of it, I’m still a great competitor, I’m still seven feet tall and can bang with Shaq and, you know, deliver a hard foul — and for, you know, a lot of young people out there who, you know, are — are — are, you know, gay or lesbian, who are struggling with these issues, to see a role model like that who’s unafraid, I think it’s a great thing. And I think America should be proud that this is just one more step in this ongoing recognition that we treat everybody fairly. And everybody’s part of a — part of a family, and we judge people on the basis of their character and their performance, and not their sexual orientation.”

That was a question the president was glad to answer.

See my latest at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog.


Sen.Russ Feingold on Immigration, Boston, Terror, Citizens United

The senator is now teaching at Stanford Law for the semester, but still watching the big stories like the Gang of Eight’s immigration proposal,the Boston bombings, terrorism, and his pet concerns,  Citizens United, and campaign finance reform.

See my interview with Feingold just before his keynote address at the Asian Law Caucus Dinner in San

Francisco on 4/25/2013.


My Super Bowl prediction and an appearance on KQED’s “This Week in Northern California”; Plus, a late final addition about the 49ers’ super failure

Game time is coming up and I have completed all my superstitious rituals that have helped bring me to a vision, of which I will share with you now.

But before that, this could have been a very literary SuperBowl, what with the Ravens named after the masterpiece of famed Baltimore homey Edgar Allen Poe. 

What if the 49ers had been named after the work of a San Francisco literary figure. Kerouac? The Roadies? Jack London? The White Fangs? Danielle Steele? The Romancers?

No, no, no.  Last night, the movie version of the great Dashiell Hammett classic was on. Imagine the Ravens vs. the Maltese Falcons. 


OK, nevermore.

I’m feeling 24-20 for some reason.

Here’s how it goes, 49ers score first with an Akers field goal (hooray!) , then add a TD, a run by Frank Gore, then another by Kaepernick.  That’s 17 in one half.

The Ravens come back after the field goal to go ahead 7-3.

Niners make it 10-7.

Then make it 17-7 at half-time.

In the second half the Ravens come back, scoring to make it 17-14.

Twice more they penetrate 49er territory, but get only field goals to go ahead 20-17.

In the final quarter, the 49er offense wakes up with some long passes to Vernon Davis.

And then sensing man coverage at the line, Kaepernick uses his legs to score a game-winnng touchdown.

49ers go ahead, 24-20.

That’s my copyrighted vision of today’s SuperBowl  that I have licensed the 49ers to use as they wish.

If you’re a better and take the Ravens and the points, or the 49ers giving, the line is 4, and what do you know, it’s a push, a tie.

That should make the Harbaugh’s parents’ happy.

But the 49ers win the game.

BTW, I made a rare appearance on the KQED “This Week in Northern California” program where I joined a panel talking about immigration reform.

If you missed it, here’s a link to the TV show.

LATE ADD: OK, my prediction, the game, nothing worked out quite the way I said. For the most part, Beyonce won the game, as the 49ers were lip-synching through three quarters. But then came that 34 minute delay due to a power failure. You mean a 49er power failure wasn’t enough, now the Superdome had to be less than super?  And though what usually is spawned by a power failure is a baby boom nine months later, this power failure birthed an explosion of energy from the 49ers who nearly made it all the way back from the dead. 28-6 certainly made us all more interested in whatever buffet was before us and not the football game. But then, the 49ers began to play,  outgaining, outscoring the Ravens, topped off with a Kaepernick score to bring the 49ers to a 31-29 deficit.  The Ravens added a field goal making it 34-29. Then, with the ball on the Baltimore 5-yard line, the 49er juggernaut hit a wall–the Ravens defense. Four plays, goal to go, and nothing. No runs, passes. Lots of penalties. Oh, those aren’t penalties? Well then, the pistol was shot. The 49ers empty.

Oh, what could have been? From 34-29, the Niners go 36-34. Flacco and the Ravens still had a lot of time to drive for a game winning FG or a TD. Or maybe the 49er defense finally prevails. We won’t know that ending. We’re stuck with the one we’ve got.

A Super Bowl win you cherish and commemorate.  A Super Bowl loss burns eternally.

You do learn from it, as team and as a fan. And you go on from there, perhaps to achieve or witness greatness again.

But until that happens, you can never quite turn off the lights on such a super loss.