Geer Services, Inc.
Charles Parish
Geer Services, Inc.
San Marco Properties
Claude Nolan
Geer Services, Inc.
Geer Services, Inc.
Dec 272012

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DES MOINES, Iowa) — Iowa DREAMers — thousands of undocumented people given a repreive from deportation by President Obama before the 2012 election — will not be awarded driver’s licenses.

The state’s Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it will not issue licenses or state identification cards to any of the illegal immigrants.

While some states, including California, Florida and Nevada, have said they will issue licenses, others, including Nebraska, Arizona and Michigan, have announced they will not.

Some groups, such as the National Immigration Law Center, have argued that deferred action recipients are eligible for licenses because they are eligible for work permits. But some states have countered that, because deferred action does not confer legal status upon recipients, state law prevents them from receiving licenses.

“The Iowa DOT understands the exercising of this prosecutorial discretion by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security does not grant lawful status or a lawful immigration path to persons granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival status,” the department said in a statement. “Rather, it is prosecutorial discretion extended in a blanket fashion to persons who are not lawfully authorized to be present in the United States.”

The Department of Homeland Security has said repeatedly that each state is responsible for determining whether to award driver’s licenses.

Immigrants’ rights organizations have filed suits in several states. In Michigan, several groups, including the National Immigration Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a suit against Republican Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson last week for blocking licenses for DREAMers.

According to the Des Moines Register, some Iowa deferred action recipients have already received driver’s licenses. One young man told the paper he was granted deferred action in October and issued a license a short time later after he passed the written and practical exams.

Paul Trombino, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation, said he knows of only one license and one non-operator identification card that have been issued so far. Those will no longer be valid and will have to be returned, he said.

The deferred action policy has drawn criticism from some Republican lawmakers in Iowa, including Representative Steve King and Senator Chuck Grassley, who have called it an overreach of executive power.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Aug 032012

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The Obama administration will formally begin granting some young undocumented immigrants legal status and work permits later this month under a controversial new policy first announced by President Obama in June.

The Department of Homeland Security Friday announced details of the application and approval process for the DREAM Act-like program, outlining specific eligibility requirements and a $465 fee. It will begin Aug. 15.

Illegal immigrants younger than 30 who came to the United States before age 16, have lived here for at least five years continuously, attend or have graduated from high school or college, and have no criminal convictions are eligible to submit requests for so-called deferred action. In other words, they would be exempt from deportation.

The administration said documentation provided by each applicant will be reviewed individually on a case-by-case basis at one of four service centers run by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.  It’s unclear how long each review will take, but some immigrants are expected to receive temporary legal status before Election Day.

While the “dreamers” will not obtain a path to citizenship or the right to vote, Obama’s policy shift — circumventing Congress with executive action – has been widely seen as a politically motivated nod to Hispanics who have long sought the change.

Obama’s Republican critics Friday sharply assailed the new policy as unconstitutional and out of touch with the jobs crisis U.S. citizens face.

“Today’s deferred action guidance is another example of how the president’s policies put the interests of illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of U.S. citizens and legal immigrants,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith said.

“On the same day the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent, the Obama administration announced a requirement for illegal immigrants to apply to be able to work in the U.S.,” the GOP congressman from Texas said. “The administration’s guidelines don’t just encourage illegal immigrants to work in the U.S., they actually require them to apply to do so.”

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the process is a compassionate and common-sense approach to a group of individuals who were brought to the United States illegally by no fault of their own and have grown up as Americans.

“Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” Napolitano said in a statement. “But they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case.

“Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. Discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Apr 232012

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(ASTON, Pa.) – Mitt Romney declined to endorse Sen. Marco Rubio’s version of the Dream Act on Monday, saying only that it is something he is “studying.”

“He and I have spoken about his thinking on his version of a different act than the Dream Act that’s been proposed in the Senate,” said Romney, standing next to Sen. Rubio.

“The one that’s been proposed in the Senate creates a new category of citizenship for certain individuals,” said Romney. “The senator’s proposal does not create that new category but instead provides visas for those that came into the country that came in as young people with their families. Visas, for those that come into the country that came in as young people with their families.”

“I’m taking a look at his proposal,” said Romney. “It has many features to commend it. But it’s something that we’re studying.”

Pressed on his own immigration plan and whether there is any group of undocumented people in the U.S. who he would consider giving some sort of legal path to citizenship to other than members of the military, Romney said he would be speaking about this “down the road.”

“You know, I anticipate before the November election, we’ll be laying out a whole series of policies relating to immigration,” said Romney. “And obviously our first priority is to secure the border.”

“I’ve spoken about the need to have a visa system that’s right sized for the needs of our employment community,” said Romney. “How we adjust the visa program to meet the needs of the country is something I’ll speak to down the road, but I don’t have anything for you on that.”

Asked whether he would consider Rubio, a first-term senator, as qualified enough to be his running mate who would be just “a heartbeat away” from becoming commander-in-chief, Romney shied away from answering.

“I don’t think I have any comments on qualifications for individuals to serve in various positions in government at this stage,” said Romney. “That is something that we’re going to be considering down the road as we consider various potential vice presidential nominees.”

Rubio, who barely spoke at all during the joint press conference other than a brief introductory statement, did chime in at this point.

“I’m not talking about that process anymore,” said Rubio, smiling, seemingly gun shy after accidentally referring to himself as the vice president during an interview earlier this week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Apr 192012

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wants his party to take a more compassionate approach to the issue of immigration. And he wants to start by changing the immigration laws to allow children of illegal immigrants with a clean record to stay in the United States legally.

“We are trying to help real children, real kids who find themselves in an unfortunate circumstance not of their doing, not of their fault,” Rubio told reporters. “I think we have an obligation to do that.”

It’s a move that thrusts Rubio into the middle of the divisive debate over immigration and could pit him against many in his own party. But Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, said his views are a reflection of his personal experience.

“Here’s the bottom line: I have thousands of kids in my state who fall under this circumstance,” Rubio said. “I know people who are under this circumstance. I live in Miami, where you can’t go four steps without walking into somebody who is an immigrant. My wife’s family is from Colombia, the guys around the corner are from Nicaragua, the folks down the street are from Peru. You go to the grocery store, and everybody is from somewhere else.”

Rubio added: “This is the reality of the community I live in, the state that I represent and the life that I have lived for 41 years. These are not theoretical concepts for me. This is the world I have seen.”

Democrats have repeatedly tried to pass a bill to help exactly the people Rubio wants to help: the so-called DREAM Act, which would allow high school graduates “of good moral character” who were brought to the U.S. as children to stay in the United States legally. Mitt Romney has said he would veto the DREAM Act because he says it rewards illegal immigration.

Rubio says he is working on an alternative to the DREAM Act that he hopes Romney will be able to support.

“Mitt Romney is the leader of the Republican party now and our hope would be to come up with something he can be supportive of,” Rubio said.

Rubio says the bill he is drafting would be different than the DREAM Act because it would not provide a special path to American citizenship. But like the Democratic bill, Rubio’s proposal would allow those who qualify to stay in the United States to work or attend college by giving them a non-immigrant visa.

He adds that the Republican party cannot be known simply as the anti-illegal immigration party.

“We are the pro-legal immigration party,” Rubio said. “We believe immigration is an important part of our heritage and an important part of our future, but we cannot be the only country in the world that does not have immigration laws, we can’t be the only country in the world that does not enforce its immigration laws.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio