02-19-2020  8:50 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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Rep. Blumenauer Joined by Sens. Markey, Sanders, and Warren to Introduce Bill to Hold Big Oil Companies Accountable

"Amidst the growing climate emergency, closing this loophole is a small step we must take to hold Big Oil accountable and to protect our communities," said Blumenauer. 

Trump Appointees Weigh Plan to Build Pipeline in Oregon

If the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves the project, which lacks state permits, it would likely set up a court battle over state's rights

Oregon Lawmakers Ask U.S. Attorney to Investigate Whether Local Police Violated Black Man’s Civil Rights

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer said this racial targeting of Michael Fesser "reflects the worst abuses of African-Americans in our nation’s modern history"

DA to Investigate West Linn Cops Handling of Wrongful Arrest

Former West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus had his officers initiate an unwarranted, racially motivated surveillance and arrest of a Black Portland man as a favor to the chief’s fishing buddy


Wednesday, February 19 Will Be Declared 'Rip City Day'

Ceremony at City Hall will honor the rich history of the organization ...

Seattle Pacific University Hosts Music Events

Seattle Pacific University invites the public to a series of free music events during the months of February and March ...

A Celebration of Portland’s Role in the Negro Leagues to be Held Thursday, Feb. 20

The community is invited for a celebration of Black History Month and the 100th anniversary of Negro League Baseball in America ...

Kresge Foundation Selects PCC To Participate in Its National Boost Initiative

The $495,000 grant awarded to PCC and Albina Head Start will help connect low-income residents and students to services and...

Attorney Jamila Taylor Announces Run for State House of Representatives in Washington

Taylor pledges to continue outgoing Rep. Pellicciotti’s commitment to open, accountable government in a statement released today ...

Seattle City Council OKs more tent cities, tiny houses

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle City Council has voted to allow the creation of up to 40 tent cities, tiny house villages, or parking lots where people living in their cars can camp — a sharp increase from the number the city currently allows.The Seattle Times reports the ordinance...

Oregon cop used badge to get sex; now he wants to be lawyer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon State Bar has rejected the application of an ex-Springfield police officer to become a lawyer after its investigators found that he had used his position to exploit vulnerable women for sex and lied about it.The Board of Bar Examiners determined that Neil...


Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...


House impeachment manager from Texas endorses Joe Biden

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is looking ahead to the critical Super Tuesday primary slate with a new endorsement from a Texas congresswoman who served as an impeachment manager in the Senate trial of President Donald Trump. Rep. Sylvia Garcia, a Democrat from Houston, is the sixth...

Pompeo says South Africa land seizures would be 'disastrous'

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — America's top diplomat on Wednesday asserted that South Africa's plan to allow expropriation of private property without compensation would be “disastrous” for the country's economy and its people.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the comments in...

China cancels press credentials of 3 Wall Street Journal reporters over editorial headline deemed racist and slandering

BEIJING (AP) — China cancels press credentials of 3 Wall Street Journal reporters over editorial headline deemed racist and slandering....


'Fresh Off the Boat' leaving indelible mark on TV landscape

Even before “Fresh Off the Boat” hit the airwaves on ABC in February 2015, the show was facing pressure that other new shows weren't. It was set to be the first network TV comedy with an all-Asian cast since Margaret Cho's “All-American Girl” premiered 20 years earlier....

Eugene Hernandez named director of New York Film Festival

NEW YORK (AP) — Eugene Hernandez will succeed Kent Jones as the director of the New York Film Festival, becoming only the fifth person to lead the esteemed Lincoln Center showcase for cinema in its 57-year history. Lesli Klainberg, executive director of Film at Lincoln Center, announced the...

Jury ends 1st day of deliberations in Weinstein's rape trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Jurors in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial ended their first day of deliberations Tuesday with lots of questions and no verdict in the landmark #MeToo case that could put the once-powerful Hollywood producer behind bars for the rest of his life.The panel of seven men and...


US judge dismisses Huawei suit over government contracts ban

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge in Texas has dismissed Chinese tech giant Huawei's lawsuit challenging a...

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich returns to Chicago, maintains innocence

CHICAGO (AP) — Rod Blagojevich returned home to Chicago early Wednesday, shaking hands and signing...

Syria's Aleppo airport resumes flights amid fighting nearby

ALEPPO, Syria (AP) — A Syrian passenger jet landed in Aleppo on Wednesday from Damascus, marking the...

Devices found in missiles, Yemen drones link Iran to attacks

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A small instrument inside the drones that targeted the heart of Saudi...

Greece, US hold live-fire drill following military base deal

LITOCHORO, Greece (AP) — Army aviation forces from Greece and the United States took part in a live-fire...

Dutch farmers protest in The Hague against emissions policy

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Thousands of angry Dutch farmers converged on The Hague on Wednesday in the...

Ben Brumfield CNN

(CNN) -- The border with Mexico must be secure.

This requirement is the cornerstone of an immigration reform bill a bipartisan group of senators are to file on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. There will be no path to legal residency for migrants without it.

Undocumented immigrants may also not reach the status of fully legal residents under the proposed legislation, until the Department of Homeland Security has implemented measures to prevent "unauthorized workers from obtaining employment in the United States."

The bill drafted by the "Gang of Eight" senators stipulates that the security of "high risk border sectors along the Southern border" must be verified, before most undocumented immigrants can access pathways to legal residency laid out in the proposed legislation.

The bill makes exceptions for those eligible for the DREAM Act, law-abiding immigrants who arrived in the United States as minors and completed high school in the country. It also includes allowances for certain agricultural laborers.

Conservative senators have insisted upon the border preconditions, and some Democrats have agreed to it. The latter party holds the majority of seats in the Senate.

Once border security has been established via criteria laid out in the legislation, many undocumented migrants would get a shot at gaining legal footing in the United States, according to a summary of the proposed legislation passed on to CNN.

But it will take time to establish border security, and the pathway to residency can be costly and take more than a decade to complete, although it is quick to reward successful applicants with the right to participate freely in America's workforce.

Quota-based border security

The bipartisan bill lays down strict criteria for the creation of a secure border.

It calls for $3 billion to beef up border security, which includes fortifying fences, staffing up patrols and acquiring surveillance technology from the Department of Defense, including drones and drone pilots.

Border officers must keep "High Risk Sectors along the Southern Border" under constant surveillance, and they must apprehend and turn back at least 90% of those who cross into the United States illegally each year.

A high-risk border sector is defined as a section where the number of apprehended illegal crossers tops 30,000 per year, according to the summary.

The achievement of border security is based on maintaining that quota.

"If an Effectiveness Rate of 90% or higher for all High Risk border sectors is reached during the first 5 years after the bill is enacted -- the 'Border Security Goal' has been achieved," the summary reads.

The path to legal residency? Border security

The bill summary introduces two statuses on the pathway to legal residency: registered provisional immigrant (RPI) and lawful permanent resident. Neither is attainable without border security, with the exception of immigrants eligible for the DREAM Act.

"No immigrant in undocumented status may be adjusted to 'Registered Provisional Immigrant' (RPI) legal status until the Secretary has submitted to Congress the Notice of Commencement upon completion of each of the Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy and the Southern Border Fencing Strategy," the summary says.

To become an RPI, an undocumented immigrant cannot have arrived in the United States after December 31, 2011, and cannot have any felony convictions here or abroad.

But smaller offenses can also block residency; for example, if the applicant has three misdemeanor convictions, such as reckless driving, trespassing or vandalism. Voting illegally also makes one ineligible, and authorities can turn back applicants if they have certain infectious diseases or questionable "morality."

Time and money

Legal status can also be pricey. To become an RPI, the undocumented immigrant has to belly up a $500 penalty for having come to the country illegally and also pay any owed back taxes.

But once the applicant receives the status, the registered provisional immigrant may work for any U.S. employer and is free to travel outside the country. The status lasts for six years and can be extended for an additional $500 fee, if the applicant has not gotten into any trouble with the law.

After 10 years as an RPI, an immigrant may become a lawful permanent resident by following the same guidelines other immigrants must use to receive a green card, which includes a fee of $1,000.

Again, before any RPI is allowed to transition into lawful permanent resident status, the Southern border must be certifiably secure.

In addition, the secretary of Homeland Security must have "implemented a mandatory employment verification system to be used by all employers to prevent unauthorized workers from obtaining employment in the United States," according to the bill summary.

Meeting with Obama

Two senators from the "Gang of Eight" -- John McCain, R-Arizona, and Chuck Schumer, D-New York -- are to discuss the bill with President Barack Obama on Tuesday at the White House, according to a source familiar with the meeting. But the bomb attacks in Boston could disrupt scheduling.

Out of respect for the victims of the violence that marred the marathon, Schumer and McCain have canceled a news conference scheduled for Tuesday, when they had planned to present the proposed legislation to the public.

The other legislators in the "Gang of Eight" are Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado; Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona; Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey; and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois.

Members of the Republican-dominated House of Representatives, which is typically more conservative than the Senate, are working on their own separate immigration overhaul, which also includes border security measures.


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