Tags: Illegal | Alien | Work | Permits | Canada | Healthcare | Delays

Obama Hands Out Millions of Illegal Work Permits; Canada Healthcare Delays Shocking; CDC Polls Favorably

By    |   Sunday, 08 Feb 2015 03:16 PM

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. US Gave 957,000 Illegal Aliens Work Permits Under Obama
2. 1920 Shipping Law Has 'Devastating Effects' on Consumers
3. Brian Williams Attacked Ballplayer for 'Lying'
4. Canadians Wait 18.2 Weeks to See a Specialist
5. Pew Poll: CDC Most Favored Federal Agency
6. Miami Has America's Most Efficient Schools

1. US Gave 957,000 Illegal Aliens Work Permits Under Obama

In the first six years of President Barack Obama's term in office, the U.S. government has issued 5.46 million new work permits to immigrants, including nearly 1 million to illegal aliens.

That is in addition to the 1.1 million legal immigrants and 700,000 guest workers admitted to the country each year.

The immigrants receiving the new work permits form "a huge parallel immigrant work authorization system outside the limits set by Congress that inevitably impacts opportunities for U.S. workers, damages the integrity of the immigration system, and encourages illegal immigration," according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

The CIS obtained the figures from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) following a Freedom of Information Act request.

The USCIS data reveal that about 1.8 million new work permits, or Employment Authorization Documents, were issued to aliens with temporary visas or those who entered under the Visa Waiver Program, including about 1.2 million who had a visa status for which employment is not authorized by law.

For example, 470,028 work permits were issued to aliens on tourist visas and 531,691 to foreign students.

About 982,000 new work permits were issued during the Obama administration to illegal aliens or aliens unqualified for admission, including 957,000 aliens who crossed the border illegally and were listed as Entered Without Inspection.

Some 12,000 permits were issued to aliens who were denied asylum, were suspected of using fraudulent documents, were stowaways, or were refused at a port of entry.

Work permits are gateway documents to driver's licenses and other benefits, the CIS noted.

From 2009 to 2014, work permits were issued to 417,680 refugees and 174,309 to foreign nationals granted asylum.

And 1.7 million permits were issued to aliens whose status was unknown or not disclosed by USCIS.

Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for CIS, said in a statement: "I was astonished at the huge number of work permits that are being issued by the Obama administration outside the legal immigration system through executive discretion, especially at a time of high unemployment and stagnant wages. Besides the effect on the American worker, it encourages and rewards more illegal immigration."

Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Refugees, said on his website: "This drastic expansion of foreign workers, which includes many illegal workers, undermines jobs and incomes for all residents, including recent immigrants."

Editor's Note:

 

2. 1920 Shipping Law Has 'Devastating Effects' on Consumers

Sen. John McCain has introduced legislation to repeal a 95-year-old shipping bill that critics say is a protectionist act that raises prices for American consumers.

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, was introduced by Sen. Wesley Jones and became law in 1920.

The law requires all goods transported by water between United States ports to be carried on ships built in the U.S., owned by American citizens, and crewed by U.S. residents.

"While this Act may sound harmless, it has devastating effects on American consumers and domestic business investment," charges Jared Meyer, a fellow at Economics21 at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

While some shipbuilders may benefit from the law, most consumers suffer. The restrictions raise prices for everyday goods shipped between American ports because of the lack of competition from foreign shippers.

Due to the Jones Act, it costs about $6 per barrel to ship crude oil from the Gulf Coast to New England, three times what it would cost to ship crude from the Gulf to Canada on a foreign-flagged ship.

Crew costs on U.S.-flagged ships are about 4.5 times higher than they are on foreign-flagged ships. And ships built to satisfy the Jones Act can cost three or four times more than ships built in Korea or Japan due to higher labor costs, according to The Maritime Executive website.

The Jones Act is especially harmful to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, which must rely more on shipping than states that can use trucks and railroads for transporting goods.

Former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou of Hawaii told Meyer: "The Jones Act is an antiquated piece of legislation that needlessly drives up the cost of living in Hawaii."

Hawaii has the nation's highest cost of living, 12 percent higher than No. 2, Connecticut.

A study by the Federal Reserve Bank in New York found that the Act also hinders economic development in Puerto Rico.

"With the Jones Act, the negative economic consequences are felt daily in small amounts, when purchasing anything that was transported by water, in whole or in part," Meyer writes in an article published by the Washington Examiner.

"Why has this protectionist law, which only benefits a select industry, not been repealed? It turns out that defeating powerful entrenched interests such as maritime shipping unions and shipbuilders is remarkably difficult."

But now Sen. McCain has introduced a bill that would essentially annul the Act. The Arizona Republican tried but failed to repeal the law in 2010.

"Reform of the Jones Act is long overdue," Meyer concludes. “The Act does nothing more than protect a politically powerful few at the expense of the rest of America."

Editor's Note:

 

3. Brian Williams Attacked Ballplayer for 'Lying'

NBC News anchor Brian Williams' false claim that he was on a helicopter hit by Iraqi rocket-fire appears especially hypocritical in light of his 2010 attack on Major League Baseball star Mark McGwire for "lying."

McGwire, who hit 583 home runs over a career spanning from 1986 to 2001, was one of 11 baseball players and executives subpoenaed to testify at a congressional hearing on steroid use.

On March 17, 2005, McGwire declined to answer questions under oath when he appeared before a congressional committee.

He said: "My lawyers have advised me that I cannot answer these questions without jeopardizing my friends, my family, and myself."

But on Jan. 11, 2010, McGwire admitted using steroids on and off for a decade. "I wish I had never touched steroids," he said. "It was foolish and a mistake."

That night, Williams said on his "Nightly News" broadcast: "Because this is a family broadcast we probably can't say what we would like to about the news today that Mark McGwire, the home run hitter, the fan favorite from the St. Louis Cardinals, stopped lying today and admitted that he did it while on steroids."

He also said on a tape aired by CNS News: "He didn't tell the truth to Congress or to his fans until finally, formally coming clean today. He's been unable to get into the Hall of Fame and apparently even for him the shame here was too much. Kind of an American tragedy the way it's ended so far."

Williams has said several times that he was flying in a U.S. military helicopter when it was hit by Iraqi rocket-propelled grenades in 2003, and had been forced to land. He repeated the story most recently in late January.

But on Wednesday night's broadcast, Williams said: "I made a mistake in recalling events of 12 years ago. I want to apologize. I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by RPG fire. I was instead in a following aircraft."

His apology was prompted by a report in Stars and Stripes that crew members on the stricken helicopter said Williams was not aboard.

Editor's Note:

 

4. Canadians Wait 18.2 Weeks to See a Specialist

In Canada, which has the single-payer healthcare system many American liberals clamor for, the average wait time to see a specialist is more than four months.

The latest annual report from the Fraser Institute, "Waiting Your Turn," shows that the median length of time Canadians wait for necessary medical treatment after being referred by a general practitioner is 18.2 weeks, up from 9.3 weeks in 1993.

Canada "rations" healthcare through long waiting times and limited access, Dr. Roger Stark, a healthcare policy expert at the Washington Policy Center, told The Heartland Institute.

"These long waits would not be acceptable to Americans, who are rightly accustomed to timely healthcare."

The 18.2-week figure is a median wait, meaning half of the patients must wait longer than that to see a specialist.

Wait times very significantly between Canadian provinces, the Fraser report found. New Brunswick has the longest wait, 37.3 weeks, and Ontario the shortest with 14.1 weeks.

Waits also vary widely by specialty. The wait for orthopedic surgery is 42.2 weeks, neurology patients wait an average of 31.2 weeks, and the wait for radiation oncology is 4.2 weeks.

This year, Canadians could expect to wait 3.8 weeks for a CT scan, 8.7 weeks for an MRI scan, and 3.3 weeks for an ultrasound.

Wait times can have serious consequences, report co-author Bacchus Barua points out.

"For example, they may force some patients to endure months of physical pain and mental anguish, they may result in lower worker productivity and [forgone] wages, they can sometimes result in a potentially treatable illness being transformed into a debilitating permanent condition, and in the worst cases, they may result in death."

He said the waits are not due to insufficient funding, since healthcare expenditures per capita have risen about 50 percent, adjusting for inflation, since 1993.

Among more likely culprits are the government monopoly on the financing and delivery of core medical services and the lack of appropriate incentives for providers.

"This is indirect rationing," said Dr. Dale Dunn, a policy adviser to The Heartland Institute. "Almost 30 years ago I started seeing doctors leaving Canada because they were disgusted with the system because it prevented them from treating patients."

FOOTNOTE: The New York State Assembly's Health Committee held a hearing on Jan. 13 on Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried's bill to adopt single-payer healthcare in the state.

Editor's Note:

 

5. Pew Poll: CDC Most Favored Federal Agency

Among eight major federal agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the most favored by Americans — and the Internal Revenue Service is the least favored.

A new survey by the Pew Research Center reveals that 70 percent of respondents have a favorable view of the CDC even though it came under criticism last fall for its handling of the Ebola virus outbreak, and 23 percent have an unfavorable view, while the rest did not express an opinion.

Americans have a favorable view of seven of the eight agencies in the survey. The IRS is the lone exception — 48 percent have an unfavorable view of the tax collection agency, compared to 45 percent who view it favorably.

NASA receives a 68 percent favorable rating in the survey, the Department of Defense is favored by 65 percent, and the Environmental Protection Agency by 59 percent.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has recently seen a sharp decline in its favorability rating after the agency was criticized for delays in delivering healthcare to veterans. In October 2013, 68 percent of respondents in a Pew survey had a favorable view of the agency, but its favorability rating has now dropped to 52 percent.

Despite revelations about the National Security Agency's data-mining activities, 51 percent of Pew respondents still view the agency favorably, and just 37 percent have an unfavorable view.

The Central Intelligence Agency is viewed favorably by 54 percent, and negatively by 33 percent.

Republicans and Democrats differ significantly in their views of several agencies. Just 36 percent of Republicans view the EPA favorably, compared to 80 percent of Democrats — a difference of 44 percentage points.

While 62 percent of Democrats view the IRS favorably, just 30 percent of Republicans feel that way.

But Republicans have a more favorable view of the CIA — 64 percent view it favorably, compared to 46 percent of Democrats.

Among demographic groups, tea party Republicans gave the IRS its least favorable rating — just 15 percent view it favorably.

Editor's Note:

 

6. Miami Has America's Most Efficient Schools

Using data on test scores and educational expenditures, researchers have determined the most and least efficient schools systems in the country — and Miami comes in at the top of the list.

State and local governments spent $869 billion on education in 2012, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau, and the WalletHub website estimated the efficiency of city schools by calculating the return on educational investment for 90 of the most populous U.S. cities.

WalletHub, which promotes "efficient spending on education," divided each city's standardized test scores in reading and math for grades 4 and 8 by its total amount of education spending per capita, then adjusted for several factors including median household income.

Miami placed at No. 47 for its average standardized test scores, but its per capita education expenditure of $1,234 was the eighth lowest among the 90 cities, giving it the highest "return on investment" (ROI) score, according to the new WalletHub report by Richie Bernardo.

Grand Rapids, Mich., was No. 2, placing 10th for test scores and just behind Miami at No. 9 for per capita expenditure ($1,237).

Richmond, Va., was third in ROI, followed by Mobile, Ala.; Tucson, Ariz.; Detroit, Mich.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Austin, Texas; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Birmingham, Ala.

San Francisco had the lowest per capita expenditure, $980 per pupil, but its test scores ranked 71st, placing it at No. 51 for ROI.

Corpus Christi, Texas, had the highest test scores and was 41st for expenditures, placing it at No. 11 for ROI.

Buffalo, N.Y., was last for expenditures, spending $3,409 per pupil, and it finished at No. 86 for ROI.

In last place was Rochester, N.Y., with the worst standardized test scores among the 90 cities and the second-worst per capita spending, at $3,176.

The nation's largest school system, in New York City, was No. 86 for ROI, placing at No. 68 for test scores and No. 85 for expenditures.

"More money for schools has not been and will not be the most effective way to provide every child with a bright future," said Jonathan Butcher, education director at the Goldwater Institute. "Flexible learning options, independent public charter schools, and private school scholarship opportunities should be a part of every city’s and state’s strategy to help students succeed."

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Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. US Gave 957,000 Illegal Aliens Work Permits Under Obama 2. 1920 Shipping Law Has 'Devastating Effects' on Consumers 3. Brian Williams Attacked Ballplayer for 'Lying' 4. Canadians Wait 18.2 Weeks to See a...
Illegal, Alien, Work, Permits, Canada, Healthcare, Delays, Shocking, CDC Polls Favorably, Brian Williams Attacked Ballplayer for Lying, 1920 Shipping Law Has Devastating Effects on Consumers, Miami Has Americas Most Efficient Schools
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2015-16-08
Sunday, 08 Feb 2015 03:16 PM
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