Happy Friday, loyal Gozamos reader! Here’s your need-to-know for the weekend:
House hearing on immigration shows House Republicans aren’t hearing the country
On Tuesday the House Judiciary Committee conducted the first hearing on immigration of the 113th Congress. While questioning San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) described the plan to provide a pathway to citizenship as “extreme.”
“A pathway to citizenship should be the option the country selects,” Mayor Castro answered back. “I don’t see that as an extreme option. The extreme would be open borders.”
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) joined Castro in opposing the option of allowing the undocumented to remain in the country but barring them from ever obtaining citizenship, thus creating a permanent second-class citizenry.
“Partial legalization is not the answer,” she told the panel.
An aged Fidel’s first public appearance in ages
Speaking of Castros, have you seen Fidel Castro lately? The Cuban figurehead showed up at a polling place on Sunday to cast his ballot in Cuba’s parliamentary elections. He’s hunched now and looking frail, but he’s still got that definitive fire in his eyes.
“The people are truly revolutionary; they have really sacrificed. We don’t have to prove it; history will. Fifty years of the blockade and they haven’t given in,” Castro told a group of reporters.
The “Kill List” memo
Early in the week, a memo was leaked to the press revealing Pres. Obama’s justification for the targeting and killing of American citizens through the use of drones.
According to the white paper prepared by White House lawyers, the Obama administration reserves the right to target and kill American citizens who are senior members of al-Qaida or who pose an “imminent threat” to the United States.
The leaked memo has understandably sparked a huge debate over citizenship rights and the powers of the presidency.
The administration’s rationale seems diametrically opposed to the United States, namely the 5th Amendment, which states that “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
One counterargument claims that an American citizen loses their Constitutional protection as soon they begin plotting against the U.S. government. Another suggests that the nature of the global terrorist threat makes it imperative that the president have the power to eliminate threats quickly and effectively.
Discussing the issue on his show, Bill Moyer had an interesting exchange with Vicki Divoll, a former legal advisor to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. (Anwar al-Awlaki was an American citizen target and killed by a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.):
VICKI DIVOLL: Anwar al-Awlaki’s cell phone had more protections than his life.
BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?
VICKI DIVOLL: If we had wanted to target his cell phone, because he’s a U.S. citizen in a foreign place, the Obama administration had to go to a judge in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and get an order authorizing the eavesdropping on his cell phone. If they want to kill him, they don’t have to. So his cell phone’s more valuable, has more protections, because of Congress’s action. Congress gave that review to the court. And the president has to go through it. To kill him, they don’t have to. This is the kind of thing we’re talking about.
John Brennan, the president’s pick to head the CIA, defended the Obama administration’s drone policy during his opening statement during his confirmation hearing on Thursday.
The hearing in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee was constantly interrupted by protesters voicing their disapproval of the administration’s use of drones. One signs read, “Drones Fly Children Die,” as another protester yelled, “Assassination is against the Constitution!”
Is Marco Rubio the Second Coming?
Now that immigration reform (winning Latino votes) has become a top priority for the Republican Party, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is like a golden boy, dipped bronze and covered again with goldleaf.
He even strikes a triumphant pose on the cover of TIME.
But Sen. Rubio did have one objection to the TIME cover. “There is only one savior, and it is not me. #Jesus,” he tweeted Thursday.
Second-generation Americans are dope
Finally, the Pew Research Center reported on Thursday that second-generation Americans are… well… dope. Analyzing 2010 Census data, Pew compared first-gens and second-gens with the rest of America and found that second-gens are more like the rest of America than like their parents’ generation.
That’s not to say that being unlike our immigrant parents is dope, and we have a lot to learn from them and their experiences. But wasn’t it always their dream to come to America and raise American children who achieve American success?
Not are we better off than our parents’ generation, but we’re also better off than the rest of the country in many ways. Second-gens have higher college graduation than the rest of America and a lower poverty rate. The median annual household income is just a hair below the national median.
Two interesting data points were that while a mere 36 percent of the immigrant generation considers itself as “typical American,” a full 61 percent of the second-gens considers itself as “typical American.” Latino second-gens are also much more Democratic than their parents, at rates of 71 percent and 63 percent, respectively. (The percentage of Democratic voters throughout the entire Latino community is 66 percent.)