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Ideology-Driven Spending Bill Passes House

Ideology-Driven Spending Bill Passes House

A spending bill for the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Commerce has been passed by the House of Representatives with a block on the DOJ spending any money challenging state immigration laws and that would limit DOJ’s ability to oppose the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in court proceedings.

It also has provisions that would restrict the use of funds to provide for hardship relief in certain immigration deportation cases.

However, the House blocked amendments which would bar funding for racial profiling by law enforcement and that would bar the use of funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws.

Said the ACLU:

“[The bill] advanced a narrow ideological agenda. It’s anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-minority and anti-progressive. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain telling you he’s the great and powerful Oz – cutting spending with a vengeance. No, no – it’s the ideology, not the money.”

Democrat Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania argued against the attempt to stop the DOJ challenging state immigration laws as a violation of the separation of powers.

“To take away someone’s right to have a lawyer — that is to say, the Justice Department can’t go into court on behalf of the executive branch when they feel the Constitution is being violated — I think is a bad precedent,” Fattah said.

If it passes the Senate, Attorney General Eric Holder would be blocked from bringing or joining lawsuits against any of eight immigration related laws passed by individual states, including Alabama.

Alabama, meanwhile, is revising its own law, widely considered to be the harshest in the country, after a series of successful court challenges as well as embarrassments and criticisms from business.

According to the Progress League, the law has led to: a loss of up to $10.8 billion of Alabama’s GDP, a loss of 140,000 jobs and a loss of $264.5 million in state tax revenue.

The changes under discussion in Alabama’s Senate include to remove penalties to businesses that knowingly hire undocumented immigrants. But it leaves a requirement for schools to check immigration status, even though that was knocked down by the courts because the U.S. Supreme Court in 1982’s Plyler v. Doe. allows undocumented children to attend school. The police checks regarded by Hispanics as racial profiling also remain.

The DOJ has told Alabama that the law could “implicate” the 1964 Civil Rights Act, banning discrimination in public schools and programs that receive federal assistance. It says that Hispanic students are being singled out in Alabama schools.

Related stories:

Condi Rice Blasts GOP Anti-Immigrant Bias

Anti-Immigrant And Anti-Choice Laws Popping Up In Same States

The Disastrous Consequences of Alabama’s Anti-Immigration Law

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Photo of Selma Voting Rights March by Nicole Cairns, Reform Immigration FOR America

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5:58AM PST on Jan 26, 2013


1:27PM PDT on May 14, 2012

The solution is simple. Vote out every incumbent politician on the vote list. Most of them will be campaigning to get back in next time, but in the meantime, even the thick skulled imbeciles wasting most of our tax money on their luxuries may just pause to wonder if they'll be next. Europe is about to throw out a bunch of political hacks who failed to deliver, why should we stand for ours continuing it? Not the solution? We don’t have to get into another civil war, nor allow continued austerity and poverty to increase, all we have to do is vote!

11:05AM PDT on May 14, 2012

This is what white supremacy looks like in the political arena. White male Christian supremacy!!!And it is just as ugly as any other group of white supremacists. Maybe Republicans should shave their heads and wear brown shirts as a show of solidarity. It seems as if their ideology is far more important to them than even trying to understand just how politics actually works.

9:40AM PDT on May 14, 2012

Gene J. : Quite well spoken comment and Oh-So-True !!!!
Thank you, Gene, for sharing, & I totally agree with you !!!
BTW, I believe Rachel Maddow to be one of our Best &
Most Get-To-The-Truth Commentators around.....

6:51AM PDT on May 14, 2012

There must be a rational Republican somewhere. It would be nice to find one, but none has been spotted since Goldwater died.

6:17AM PDT on May 14, 2012

What next? The re-institution of slavery?

2:09AM PDT on May 14, 2012

Alabama, get the f*ck out of our Union. Secede. You are not part of America! Thanks to the teabagger republicans our country is slowly becoming Nazi Germany. Get rid of them all. Vote to reelect President Obama with a filibuster-proof Democrat majority in the House and Senate!

1:59AM PDT on May 14, 2012

Alabama, get the f*ck out of our Union. Secede. You are not part of America! Thanks to the teabagger republicans our country is slowly becoming Nazi Germany. Get rid of them all. Vote to reelect President Obama with a filibuster-proof Democrat majority in the House and Senate!

10:12PM PDT on May 13, 2012

The right is successfully taking one state at a time.

1:13PM PDT on May 13, 2012

Let's hope things look different after the November elections.

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