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from Judgement Call:

Weighing immigrants’ economic power

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“Now is the time to [reform immigration laws] so we can strengthen our economy.” So said President Barack Obama on Tuesday as he challenged Congress to give 11 million illegal residents of the United States a road map to citizenship.

“When you legalize those who are in the country illegally, it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, costs American workers thousands of jobs.” So said Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), senior member of the Judiciary Committee, earlier this week.

These statements contradict one another. One must be wrong.

Actually, both are.

There are powerful reasons to change the nation’s immigration rules, but economic necessity is not one of them. Yes, immigrants make a positive economic impact.  But little of the benefit, according to careful research, spills over to non-immigrant workers. The overall economy barely notices. Besides, there’s no evidence to suggest that illegal immigrants’ effect on the economy differs from that of legal immigrants.

Translation: The compelling reasons to reform our immigration rules involve politics, not economics. Therefore, Congress can amend immigration laws to fit our values and ambitions. It need not twist the rules out of fear of economic catastrophe.

from MediaFile:

Tech wrap: Apple reveals child labor at some suppliers

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Apple revealed its suppliers in response to harsh criticism that it was turning a blind eye to dismal working conditions at partner factories. Apple's audit found six active and 13 historical cases of underage labor at some component suppliers. It also found a number of other violations, among them breaches in pay, benefits and environmental practices in plants in China, which figured prominently throughout the 500-page report Apple issued. Other violations found in the audit included dumping wastewater onto a neighboring farm, using machines without safeguards, testing workers for pregnancy and falsifying pay records.

"I would like to totally eliminate every case of underage employment," Apple CEO Tim Cook told Reuters in an interview. "We have done that in all of our final assembly. As we go deeper into the supply chain, we found that age verification system isn't sophisticated enough. This is something we feel very strongly about and we want to eliminate totally."

from Tales from the Trail:

Obama ‘grappling’ on gay marriage, Nadler to introduce respect bill

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President Barack Obama has ordered the U.S. government to stop defending in court the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that bars gay marriage, but his personal views are not so clear.

CALIFORNIA-GAYMARRIAGE/White House spokesman Jay Carney emphasized that there was a distinction between Obama's personal views and the legal issue.

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