It was announced over the weekend the bipartisan Senate “Gang of Eight” came to an agreement in principle on a major aspect of creating a commonsense immigration process that benefits all workers.
This agreement includes a new kind of worker visa program called the W-Visa, which will work for everyone, not just employers.
Here are five things you need to know about this new employer-based visa:
A black man—Barack Obama—sits in the Oval Office. A black woman—Oprah Winfrey—joins Warren Buffett and Bill Gates on the Forbes magazine list of richest individuals in the world. A black couple—Jay-Z and Beyonce—own a basketball team and buy an $80,000 diamond-encrusted Barbie doll for their one-year-old daughter. With such examples of impressive success and vulgar excess it’s easy to think that America’s long history of racial inequality has come to an end.
But then along comes a Brandeis University study showing that even as racial inequalities in terms of education and income have narrowed, the gap in wealth between black and white families has dramatically widened. Between 1985 and 2009, the gap in wealth between white and black families nearly tripled. It may be tempting to imagine that poor choices or lack of a work ethic can explain the disparity, but the study found that for the most part, the wealth gap is not the result of differences in education,
As California grapples with a prison system so broken that the U.S. Supreme Court has mandated reductions in the number of prisoners it holds, the three-part “Smart Justice: Rethinking Public Safety in California” discussion begun this past week at the University of Southern California is examining both consequences and possible solutions to the state’s mass incarceration mess.
Moderated by Tomás Rivera Policy Institute director Roberto Suro, the first session—titled “California’s Corrections Systems and the Lives They Impact” and organized by Californians for Safety and Justice and USC’s Students Talk Back program—featured presentations by James Austin, president of the JFA Institute and author of a ground-breaking report on reducing prison populations, Susan Burton, former inmate and founder of A New Way of Life Reentry Program, and USC graduate students Emily Reisner and Jennifer Moore.
A New Way of Life
“Each time I got out of prison,
How will America, which espouses the virtues of forgiveness and freedom, successfully deal with the thousands of people who leave its prisons every year? As the nation with the highest incarceration rate in the world, the United States has a unique responsibility to chart a different, more humane course towards incarceration. Fifty years after the historic March on Washington helped usher the end of legally sanctioned discrimination, the formerly incarcerated remain stripped of basic rights. In many states they can’t vote, live in public housing or receive public assistance. And so they end up recycled in and out of some of America’s most deplorable institutions.
In the same way that Mississippi or Alabama were vital battlefronts in the struggle for civil rights a half century ago, California, with the country’s largest prison population, is ground zero for what many see as the major social and political issue of today. Like other states in the 1980s and 1990s,
In recent weeks Republican state legislators have decided to thwart the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in “Roe v. Wade,” which gave women the right to have an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, usually around 24 weeks into pregnancy.
Legislators in North Dakota passed a bill banning abortions after six weeks or after a fetal heart beat had been detected, and approved a fall referendum that would ban all abortions by defining human life as beginning with conception. Lawmakers in Arkansas have banned abortions within twelve weeks of conception.
The morality brigade worries about fetuses, but not what happens to children after they’re born. They and other conservatives have been cutting funding for child nutrition, healthcare for infants and their mothers, and schools.