On Monday, October 14th, America will be celebrating Columbus Day—the celebration of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas! In August 1492, Columbus and ninety crewmen boarded the Niña, Pinta, and the Santa Maria in search of the East Indies. On October 12, 1492, Columbus first saw the islands of the New World, landing in the Bahamas, and thought he had reached Southeast Asia. Columbus’s journey was very important because it was the first connection between Europe and the Americas, resulting in the permanent European colonies in the New World, which later became the United States of America.
CALIFORNIA OFFERS NEW RIGHTS TO NONCITIZENS
The state of California made headlines last month when it announced several laws that offer new rights to its noncitizen population. The state houses 3.5 million noncitizens who are legal permanent residents and 2.5 million undocumented immigrants. According to the new laws, noncitizens will be able to sit on juries and monitor polls for elections, even though they may not vote. With legal permanent residents monitoring the polls, they can help translate instructions and offer assistance to voting citizens. Additionally, immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children will now be able to practice law in the state of California. Although these laws have faced much criticism, they seem to be in line with national trends including offering in-state college tuition to undocumented immigrants and allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers’ licenses.
IMMIGRATION REFORM UPDATE
The bipartisan group of politicians in the House of Representatives that was working to create a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill has been reduced from a group of eight to a group of five. The two latest Congressmen to leave the group explained that they left because they do not trust President Obama to enforce the laws that they feel are necessary. The divide continues to be between the Republican and Democratic parties, but leaders from both sides are still hopeful that a bipartisan bill will be possible before the end of the year. Furthermore, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has announced that she will introduce a new Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, that represents a compromise.
In Colorado, business leaders are reminding Congress that passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform needs to be as much of a priority as it was before the vote was passed in June, stressing the crucial impact that it will have in building businesses and the economy, particularly in their own state. John Brackney, President and CEO of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, further explained, “The fact that 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children should tell us that so many are hardworking innovators who are eager to help build our economy….We’ll gain a competitive edge and more jobs by passing immigration reform.” Stay tuned for continued updates on Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the office!
Susan W. Scheer and Staff