By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Nueva Azalea would use new technology that would make it cleaner burning than other fossil fuel–driven power plants, but would still release toxic emissions into a densely populated, low-income, heavily minority area that is already one of the state’s most polluted.
South Gate residents, who get energy from Southern California Edison, have seen their bills creep up, but speakers told council members they would rather pay more for power than endure a new source of pollution.
“The citizens of South Gate have sent a message,” said Councilwoman Xochilt Ruvalcaba, an outspoken project opponent. “We don’t want this in our city.”
Clinton Shafts Immigrants
Immigrant-rights groups must have smiled earlier this month when conservative political columnist Linda Chavez lost her bid to become the new secretary of labor following her admission that she “helped” an undocumented immigrant by allowing her to live in her home and giving her small sums of money, otherwise known as the minimum wage.
But undocumented immigrant-bashing Chavez’s karma-like comeuppance will do little to temper the sour taste left by the Clinton administration during its final days in office.
Last month, Clinton signed the Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act, known as LIFE, ending the hopes of thousands of immigrants who had trusted the administration to soften some of the draconian measures enacted by the GOP Congress.
While revising visa regulations to help spouses and children of immigrants to enter the country, the bill did nothing for thousands of Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and Haitians who fled their homelands during the 1980s. Those groups had pleaded for the same deal the Republicans helped Cubans and Nicaraguans secure in 1997. Under the 1997 law, Cubans and Nicaraguans who fled governments seen as hostile by Republican lawmakers were allowed to apply for permanent residency.
But the bill Clinton signed off on left the Central and Caribbean Americans out in the cold. “We were angry and disappointed,” said Angela Sambrano, director of the Central American Resource Center. “The implications are really devastating for thousands of people.”
The bill also marked a tactical shift by Republicans, who stole a page from the Democrats by including a late amnesty provision, which they quickly presented as their own idea. The move was surprising given that amnestyhas long been a dirty word among Republicans.
But amnesty was apparently a selling point used by Republicans such as Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) who now support giving an estimated 400,000 immigrants wrongly denied permanent residency under the 1986 amnesty program a chance to apply for residency. The immigrants had filed a class-action lawsuit against the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). INS denied it did anything wrong. Hatch, however, acknowledged that the service made a mistake. Calling it an opportunity to correct an “error,” Hatch gave the bill his blessing, lauding it as an opportunity to reward those who “play by the rules.”
And whose rules might those be, Mr. Hatch?