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January 10, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - Immigrants who are in California illegally should have access to health insurance through a state version of the Affordable Care Act, the head of the Legislature's Latino caucus said Friday. State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) said immigration status should be irrelevant if the goal of the federal law is to provide coverage to the uninsured, so he will introduce legislation to involve the state in providing coverage to those in the country illegally. "Immigration status shouldn't bar individuals from health coverage, especially since their taxes contribute to the growth of our economy," Lara said.
January 10, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
A new flow of money to a handful of low-income Los Angeles neighborhoods could cause the areas to gentrify and squeeze out the poor who live there, according to experts reacting to news that the city has been included in a special federal anti-poverty program. The White House announced this week -- marking the 50th anniversary of the launch of President Johnson's War on Poverty -- that five areas in the country would be designated "Promise Zones," pushing them to the top of the list for federal grants and making them test sites for President Obama's new poverty reduction initiative.
January 9, 2014 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY - Nearly seven in 10 Mexican city dwellers believe that crime has rendered their cities unsafe, according to a new poll that underscores the ongoing challenge facing President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office more than a year ago promising to beat back the lawlessness that affects law-abiding Mexicans. The December poll was released late Wednesday and is the second of its kind to be produced by Mexico's National Institute of Statistics and Geography. [Link in Spanish]
January 2, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - A Mexican immigrant without a green card on Thursday won the right to practice law in California, an unprecedented ruling that will permit others in similar circumstances to become lawyers. The state Supreme Court agreed unanimously that Sergio C. Garcia - who passed the bar examination four years ago - should receive a law license while awaiting federal approval of his green card application. The court, which has the final word on licensing lawyers, said it was able to approve Garcia's admission to the State Bar because the Legislature had passed a law last year that cleared the way. "The fact that an undocumented immigrant's presence in this country violates federal statutes is not itself a sufficient or persuasive basis for denying undocumented immigrants, as a class, admission to the State Bar," Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote for the court.
December 1, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Last year, when the Supreme Court struck down the noxious Arizona law known as SB 1070, it sent a clear message to states seeking to enact their own immigration laws: Don't do it. The court ruled that the law, which in effect sought to bully undocumented immigrants into leaving the state, was an unconstitutional intrusion by a state government into an arena - immigration policy - that is the responsibility of the federal government. But apparently the high court's decision has done little to diminish support for such laws in Hazleton, Pa., and Farmers Branch, Texas, where officials have spent millions defiantly defending local housing ordinances intended to regulate immigration.
November 22, 2013 | By Joel Silberman, guest blogger
This week, Americans from across the political and cultural spectrum have paid tribute to Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy with nostalgia-tinged reverence, a longing for a time when strong, inspiring leaders could bring us together in unity and move our country forward . The irony is that while the memories of Kennedy and Lincoln now serve mostly to unify Americans, both men were exceptionally divisive in their own times -- and the...
November 16, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner is becoming a financial industry executive, taking a high-level job with the private-equity firm Warburg Pincus, the firm announced Saturday. Geithner, who was a major player in the federal government's response to the 2008 financial crisis and the Obama administration's formulation of economic policy, will become a managing director of the company and a member of its executive management group, Warburg Pincus said.
November 15, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Late payments, glitch-prone computers and swamped call centers aren't the only problems bedeviling California's unemployment insurance program. The insurance fund that pays state jobless benefits - run by the Employment Development Department - owes nearly $10 billion to the federal government. That's because the state has been paying far more in jobless benefits than it receives in employer-paid taxes, and the feds make up the difference. "The whole system is really whacked out right now and needs a fix," said Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills)
November 11, 2013 | By Michael McGough
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. isn't a member of the tea party, but he alluded to one of the movement's obsessions the other day during oral arguments in one of the more unusual cases of the court's current term. It involves Carole Anne Bond, a Pennsylvania woman who tried to poison her romantic rival by smearing dangerous chemicals on her doorknob. Bond was prosecuted by the feds under a statute enacted to implement the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. Bond's lawyer - superstar litigator and former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement - argued that the federal government lacked the constitutional authority to prosecute a purely local crime.
November 3, 2013 | Doyle McManus
Only two weeks ago, President Obama looked like a man on the rise. He and his party had successfully stared down Republicans in a 16-day government shutdown. Voters were angrier at the GOP than any time since, well, the last government shutdown. A confident-looking Obama declared it was time to get the country back on track with quick action on a budget agreement, immigration reform and a bipartisan farm bill. "One of the things that I hope all of us have learned these past few weeks is that it turns out smart, effective government is important," he said.
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