Every so often, you hear predictions that progress on bipartisan immigration reform is just around the corner. After all, it's an issue on which many Republicans are relatively moderate, the Chamber of Commerce types are supportive, and many GOP strategists worry that the party's current stance is a long-term political disaster. But then the base howls.
Some morning odds and ends: * LITTLE ROCK IN COURT I: Here's a copy of the city of Little Rock's response to the lawsuit over the bungling of a 911 call that led to the death of a woman trapped in frigid water after her SUV slid off an icy road.
Here's a feel-good story from Stephens Media. (Unless you are Tom Cotton, Tim Griffin or any of the other Arkansas Republicans who think the only solution to immigration reform is to send 11 million people back where they came from — no "amnesty.")
Nearly 2,800 young people from Arkansas have been granted deportation relief and given work permits under a program launched a year ago by President Barack Obama.
The New York Times today profiles a pitched effort to prevent sufficient numbers of Republicans from joining modest immigration reform legislation that includes still more border security and a long, long path to citizenship.
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families cites the benefits of immigration reform that would legalize more of the people already at work and building families in the U.S.
With fiscal costs and benefits figuring large in the immigration reform debate, a new analysis estimates that undocumented immigrants are already paying $10.6 billion a year in state and local taxes nationwide, including the $72.4 million they pay in Arkansas.
Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo assesses the developing bipartisan Senate proposal for immigration reform:
Senate Democrats have made the calculation that in exchange for Republican support on a ‘pathway to citizenship’ they’re basically willing to agree to almost any level of wasteful and in many cases needless spending on border security - moat, laser fence, 20 million border guards.
Federal law rules on immigration enforcement. That's the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling today not to hear an Alabama appeal of the decison striking down parts of its anti-immigration law, including making it a crime to harbor people in the country illegally.
Sen. Joyce Elliott's bill to allow colleges to charge in-state tuition to undocumented immigrant students who've graduated from Arkansas high schools and had sufficient residency here failed in a Senate committee today.
Anybody else see a tiny bit of irony in the news that UAMS will announce tomorrow continuation of a grant from the Mexican consulate in Little Rock to support the College of Public Health's Ventanillas de Salud Health Windows Program?
Good piece in Politico from Stanford sociology professor Doug McAdam on the roots of our modern partisan divide. McAdam tells the familiar story of how the South flipped, as yellow dog Democrats in the old Confederacy abandoned the party in the wake of the Civil Rights movement.
The Fayetteville City Clerk's office has certified that enough signatures were gathered to trigger a special election on Fayetteville's new civil rights ordinance, the Fayetteville Flyer reports. The effort to force a popular vote on the ordinance, led by a Repeal 119, a church-led group, gathered 5,714 signatures. Petitioners needed 4,905; the City Clerk's office began certifying the signatures last week and stopped at the end of the day Friday once enough signatures had been validated. The ordinance to discourage discrimination in housing and employment passed in the City Council 6-2 last month. The vote came after 10 hours of discussion, with many conservatives furious because the classes of people protected included gay and transgender people.
Rep. Tom Cotton continues to take a ribbing for his recent ad attempting cover on his vote against the Farm Bill (Cotton, you'll remember, claimed that Obama "hijacked" it and turned it into a food stamp bill; factcheckers pounced). Cotton is trying to have his row crops and eat them too, claiming he supports farm subsidies while voting against them.
The owner of The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range in Hot Springs, Jan Morgan, announced yesterday that she is banning the presence of Muslims in her business. Her reasoning: "Why would I hand guns and ammunition to people whose religion commands them to kill me and my non-muslim patrons?" OK, let's get that lawsuit rolling.
A bench warrant has been issued for a man named Aaron M. Lewis on one count of kidnapping in the disappearance of Beverly Carter, 51, a Crye-Leike real estate agent who disappeared after going to show a house on Thursday afternoon. With updated information as of 10:30 p.m..
The Pulaski sheriff's office reported early this morning that the body of Beverly Carter, the real estate agent apparently abducted while showing a home near Scott Thursday evening, had been found in a shallow grad near Cabot. The charges against Arron Lewis, her suspected abuctor, have been upgraded to capital murder.