by the El Reportero’s wire services
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives needs to approve immigration reform by the end of 2013, President Barack Obama said Tuesday before a meeting with business leaders at the White House.
“So this is something that has strong bipartisan support. Keep in mind that my predecessor, George W. Bush, was a strong supporter of this. We have a fascinating cross-section of people – some unlikely bedfellows, some very liberal folks, some very conservative folks – who all believe that now is the time to get this done,” he said.
“There’s no reason why we can’t get this done before the end of the year,” Obama said.
Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, met with top executives of such companies as Lockheed Martin, Marriott, Motorola and McDonalds.
The president noted the economic advantages of going ahead with immigration reform, since it would mean that “businesses are going to have more customers, we’re going to see people who are currently working here, out of the shadows, paying taxes and getting right with the law.”
A bipartisan reform bill was passed last June by the Senate, which has a Democratic majority, and the House of Representatives must now present its plan.
Obama acknowledged that there is currently “some resistance” on the part of Republicans in the lower house, but said it was encouraging that “there are a number of House Republicans who have said, we think this is the right thing to do, as well.”
The president was referring to announcements made last week by two Republican lawmakers, Florida’s Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Jeff Denham of California, who expressed their support for the reform bill presented by House Democrats.
The Senate plan calls for millions of dollars in investments to improve security along the Mexican border and the opening of a path to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants estimated to live in the United States.
Cleaning crew stumbles across secret files of Argentina’s bloody 1976-1983 military junta
A cleaning crew stumbled on dossiers containing all of the secret orders of the 1976-1983 military regime that is blamed for as many as 30,000 deaths, A rg e n t i n a ’s d e f e n s e minister said Monday.
The documents turned up last Thursday at the Condor building in Buenos Aires, which houses air force offices, Agustin Rossi told a press conference. “We find six original binders of the orders of the military junta, from March 24, 1976, to Dec. 10, 1983,” he said. Those binders were among a total of 1,500 binders discovered inside strong-boxes and closets. The trove, which covers the period from the original military coup to the restoration of democracy, is “ordered and classified and even has a subject index,” the defense minister said. Found along with the binders were three bound volumes of communications from the public to the military, mostly from families trying to track down loved ones “disappeared” by the junta.
The document hoard also includes blacklists containing the names of 331 intellectuals, journalists, artists and others persecuted by the regime for political reasons, Rossi said. Argentina’s military regime killed as many as 30,000 people and brutalized thousands more. Thanks to amnesty laws passed in the 1980s, the junta’s crimes went unpunished for decades, but the Argentine Congress voted in 2003 to overturn the amnesties, which paved the way for a raft of prosecutions. Gen. Rafael Videla, the most prominent figure in the military government, died on May 17 inside the prison where he was serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity.
The 87-year-old former strong man died of a heart attack.