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first_imgTo reduce so-called chain immigration, the bill makes it more difficult for citizens to bring in family members other than their spouse or minor children. It also proposes to cap the number of visas given to parents of U.S. citizens at 40,000 annually. “We know that people are not going to stop wanting to be with their family members,” Huang said. “All they’re really going to do is create a new category of undocumented immigrants.” Area representatives appeared to tread carefully on the subject. Rep. David Dreier, R-San Dimas, stressed in a statement that he would not support the Senate-White House compromise if it includes amnesty for the nation’s estimated 10 million to 12 million illegal immigrants. Many immigration hard-liners consider any path to citizenship for those already in the country illegally to be a form of amnesty. Calls to Dreier’s office to clarify whether he sees the bill’s legalization plan as amnesty were not returned. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, called the bill a “promising breakthrough” on a controversial issue. “How we deal with people who are already here without rewarding their illegal entry is very tough,” Schiff said, adding that be believes “making it a long and earned process of legalization is the right approach. A lot of the details \ are going to be very important.” Schiff said the Senate will likely have an easier time reaching a compromise than the House of Representatives. “A lot of the conservatives in the House are very dug in,” he said. “Anything short of deportation of the 12 million people that are here is going to meet with opposition.” Activists in favor of tighter border controls criticized the proposal as being too lenient on people who have violated immigration laws. Reform is not needed, said Andy Ramirez, chairman of Friends of the Border Patrol in Covina. Existing laws need to be enforced, he said. With the bill, “Illegal immigrants get the gold mine and Americans get the shaft,” Ramirez said. “It basically is going to make Uncle Sam the new coyote.” To address those already in the country illegally, the bill allows them to apply for a green card under the merit-based system provided they are employed and pay $5,000 in fees and penalties. Ramirez criticized the Dream Act component of the bill, which stipulates that immigrants under the age of 30 who arrive in the United States as minors are eligible to receive their green card after three years rather than eight. “You are rewarding lawbreakers,” he said, noting that such individuals will be eligible for perks such as in-state tuition at public universities. On the flip side, others said the proposal was not doing enough for immigrants. The bill does not create a path toward permanent residency for guest workers, which they deserve, said Randy Jurado Ertll, executive director of El Centro De Accion Social in Pasadena. “They want them to work here for two years and then go back to their native country,” he said. Legislators must craft something that “would help individuals obtain permanent residency and come out of the shadows so that people don’t have to live in fear.” Without legal status, those workers will continue to be exploited by employers and receive less than minimum wage, he added. “Neither party wants to take responsibility for \, but both parties need to resolve it,” Jurado Ertll said. “It’s only going to get worse if they don’t.” Staff Writer Fred Ortega contributed to this story. patricia.ho@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4586160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Area advocates on both sides of the immigration debate had something in common Friday – their dislike of the immigration-reform bill put together this week by a bipartisan group of senators and the White House. Depending on who is asked, the bill either fails to do enough to protect hardworking undocumented workers, or it penalizes tax-paying American citizens. Immigrant-rights groups say the bill attacks the long-standing family-based visa application system and deprives immigrants of a key support network. “This bill proposes to do things that tries to control immigrants in very unrealistic ways,” said Daniel Huang, a policy advocate with the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles. “Unless it’s amended drastically, it will be something that hurts the immigrant community more than it helps.” last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is considering legislation that would extend the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) volatility waiver to gasoline blended with 15% ethanol (E15). The bill would allow retailers across the country to offer more biofuel choices to customers year-round.The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act has 18 bipartisan sponsors and was introduced in March by Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Thune (R-SD), and Joni Ernst (R-IA). Senate champions have sought to bring the bill to a vote in the next few weeks.Earlier this year, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt also expressed his hope for a fix but acknowledged the need for greater certainty in the laws governing RVP.“This is a simple and long-overdue fix that will improve air quality, lower prices at the pump, and level the playing field for homegrown biofuels,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “We’ve been working with champions in the House and Senate for three years to get this over the finish line so that local fuel retailers have the freedom to offer cleaner-burning, less expensive biofuel blends all year long. Consumer access to E15 will provide a vital market for continued investment in the next generation of cellulosic biofuels produced from agricultural waste and other natural materials.”The proposal has broad, bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, in part because the current restrictions force many convenience stores to switch to lower ethanol blend options during the summer months, from June 1 to Sept. 15, and discourage many retailers from offering higher biofuel blends altogether.According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), E15 can help to “reduce harmful volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, displace cancer causing emissions, and reduce smog forming potential, as well as cutting greenhouse gases … E15 is also typically two to 10 cents cheaper per gallon than E10.”“There is no reason for the current RVP burden that blocks retailers, like us, from offering our customers less expensive, earth-friendlier fuel choices year-round,” said Steve Walk, COO of Protec Fuel. “The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act is a common-sense policy that lifts this decades-old rule to allow fuel retailers to offer E15 during the summer driving season and provide our customers a consistent option at the pump that contains higher octane for a lower price.”last_img read more

first_imgAs Madhya Pradesh continues to reel under frequent and unscheduled power cuts, officials of the state electricity company are holding bats responsible for the woes, claiming that the flying mammals are causing faults in the supply lines, especially in the state capital. They say bats hanging on the power supply lines sometimes cause short circuits, which ultimately lead to outages. This claim has triggered a fresh round of blame game between the Kamal Nath-led Congress government and the opposition, BJP. The saffron party said instead of giving these excuses, the power utility and the state government should work in a responsible manner, while the ruling Congress said there was no crisis as MP is a power surplus state. State Energy Minister Priyavrat Singh, however, contended that overloaded power transformers and not bats could be the main reason behind the problem. Talking to PTI, the minister said, “In a review meeting of Bhopal district (held on June 14), an official of the power company had said that bats are creating faults in the supply lines along the lake (Upper Lake)…But I don’t think this is a major reason. I pulled up the official, who had said so.”“I told the official to repair the supply lines by insulating them. This work had already been carried out. I asked the officials to consider installation of ultrasonic devices, after due environment clearances, in the areas where bats are creating problems,” he added.Mr. Singh said there were several others reasons that might be behind the faults in supply lines.“At some places, a squirrel may create a problem. But the main reason of fault is overloaded power transformers. Maintenance of power supply lines was neglected for years. I asked the officials to carry out proper maintenance of the distribution lines,” he said. Spokesperson of Madhya Pradesh Central Power Distribution Company Ltd, Manoj Dwivedi, said, “The faults in power supply lines in the vicinity of Upper Lake (in Bhopal) were reported due to bats. This largely happens due to short- circuits caused by bats hanging on the power supply lines.” The company carries out work of insulation in such cases, he said.“That area of Bhopal had bats earlier too, but power supply used to be uninterrupted. Instead of giving excuses, the power company as well as the government should work responsibly. Were the bats born only after the Congress came to power?” state BJP spokesman Rajnish Agrawal said. The Congress government had earlier said that poor quality of transformers purchased during the previous BJP dispensation was the reason behind the electricity issues. During the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in April this year, Chief Minister Kamal Nath had alleged that there was a conspiracy behind the power cuts in the state. At that time, state Finance Minister Tarun Bhanot had also said that some officials of the power distribution company were working against the ruling Congress, resulting in power outages.“During the campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, Nath, in order to hide his government’s failure, used to blame the BJP and certain officials for power cuts. But even after the polls, outages continued in every part of the state despite it being a power surplus state,” Mr. Agrawal said. He said that inept handling by the Congress government has created this crisis. However, the state Congress said that the BJP had run out of issues and was raising hue and cry over such “non-issues“.“Pre-monsoon maintenance is a routine process and it was happening during the BJP rule as well. The technical faults are being repaired. MP is a power surplus state and there is no crisis. Opposition is spreading lies,” state Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said.“Due to factionalism within the BJP, the leaders of that party are trying to outdo each other and levelling false allegations,” he added.last_img read more