Category Archives: News

Golden State Side-Step

Is California quietly developing state-level citizenship?

By Gigi Cook

There are 11.3 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States today. The national debate on immigration rages, but while everyone is talking about immigration, one state, California, is quietly moving past the conversation and forward with its own program for local integration.

“The California Package” a term used in referring to a dozen or more laws passed since 2001, collectively re-designs the state’s relationship with the undocumented population. It is being touted by some as laying the ground work for state-level citizenship.

According to a policy brief published by the University of California-Riverside, California’s unique set of laws provide a “never before seen level of opportunity and freedom of movement to unauthorized immigrants.” Public Policy Professor Karthick Ramakrishnan says the package is more progressive than the immigration reform President Obama is currently advocating.

Most recently, California’s legislature passed a bill removing the word “alien” from the state’s labor laws, complementing the expansion of healthcare access to all undocumented children. Many of the children impacted are protected from deportation under the White House’s 2012 “DREAMers” deferred action program.

California is also setting aside funds to insure the undocumented. The bill Gov. Jerry Brown signed provides Medicaid coverage to roughly 170,000 children at a cost of $132 million per year. In a national first, Sen. Ricardo Lara is sponsoring a bill to expand that coverage to allow undocumented residents access to Obamacare insurance.

Gabrielle Lessard, a health policy attorney at the National Immigration Law Center says: “In the absence of federal action on comprehensive immigration reform, states and immigrant communities are just tired of waiting. It makes more sense for them as individuals, for the community as a whole and for the health care system.”

In other policy moves, the state has re-formed education qualifications for in-state tuition based on the number of years any person has spent in the K-12 system rather than their immigrant status. In 2014, the state passed a law requiring professional licensing boards to consider all applicants regardless of immigration status. Unauthorized immigrants are able to qualify for the California state bar, and by 2016 they’ll be eligible for 40 state professional licenses.

The federal government maintains a database called E-Verify that allows companies to easily check the authorization status of potential employees. California bans any municipality from instituting such a requirement.

Currently all California residents can obtain a driver’s license regardless of immigration status.  While this is the law in 10 other states, in California more than half of new driver’s licenses are issued to unauthorized immigrants.

Another measure awaiting Gov. Brown’s approval, the California Agricultural Act establishes a work permit program allowing undocumented workers already living in the state to work lawfully in the agricultural industry. Opponents say the bill will in essence create a legal slave-labor class of residents.

While only Congress can change a resident’s immigration status, other states are also dramatically changing their laws. Connecticut has extended eligibility for in-state tuition and driver’s licenses to its undocumented population and has recently passed a similar law called “the Trust Act” limiting deportations. In 2014, President Obama attempted an executive action that would also expand deportation relief to almost half of the undocumented population; the action is on hold due to a lawsuit to stop the move.

Dan Stein, President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), says California’s moves signal a weakening in the enforcement of immigration laws. “If you see a camel’s nose under the tent, it’s not too long before the whole camel will be in the tent or the tent will be on the ground,” he laments. According to FAIR, illegal immigration costs California taxpayers more than $25 billion annually.

As reported by The Christian Post, “some lawmakers, mostly conservative Republicans, are calling for federal legislation to cut off funding for states and sanctuary cities for refusing to cooperate with or inform Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.” Such legislation was blocked in the United States Senate, but passed the House.

Despite calls for immigration reform, supporters say the “California Package” is more than a personal promise, calling it is a set of laws designed to operate parallel to national citizenship. They boast that  California is boldly moving away from the federal immigration quagmire into a state-designed integration program. Those wanting immigration reform want leadership from the federal government and for states to enforce those policies.

People of faith should pray that:

  • America’s lawmakers will lead wisely
  • Upcoming elections will usher prudent and faithful representatives into office
  • God will bless America’s children and establish their future place in the world

Gigi Cook’s work has been featured in major radio markets, media publications and corporate leadership programs. She is a writer, speaker, and program facilitator with a Masters Degree in psychology.  Residing in Salt Lake City, Gigi enjoys her family, her work, and restoring American Antiques.


Sarah Padbury | WORLD News Service | Monday, August 31, 2015
Denver Discriminates Against Chick-fil-A Over CEO’s Marriage Beliefs

Several Denver City Council members want to stop Chick-fil-A from opening at Denver International Airport (DIA), claiming the fast food chain CEO’s support of “biblical marriage” would hurt the city’s reputation.

Chick-fil-A, along with several other potential vendors, applied for a seven-year concession lease at DIA’s Concourse B food court to replace the exiting Steak Escape. DIA concession officials chose Chick-fil-A to fill the spot because travelers gave the chicken sandwich chain the second highest number of votes in a 2013 survey about potential eatery options. Chipotle ranked first but did not apply for the lease, The Denver Post reported.

Despite being closed on Sundays, DIA officials predict Chick-fil-A will make more money for the city than other concessions that are open seven days a week. After a 10-year absence from the airport, the returning restaurant is expected to generate $4.1 million in its first year—$616,278 in concession fees—according to The Denver Post. Chick-fil-A’s restaurant locator shows 30 franchises already operating in the metro-Denver area.

But when DIA officials presented the plan to the city council’s business development committee for approval on Aug. 18, several members publicly balked at the idea. They declared the religious beliefs of Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy, son of founder Truett Cathy, would be bad for the city’s reputation.

In 2012, Dan Cathy stated he believed in “the biblical definition of the family unit” in an interview with the Baptist Press. At that time, politicians in Boston and Chicago unsuccessfully threatened to deny Chick-fil-A operating permits due to Cathy’s comments.

Denver Councilman Paul Lopez told the committee the restaurant would bring “really, truly a moral issue on the city.”

“We can do better than this brand in Denver at our airport, in my estimation,” Councilman Jolon Clark said at the meeting, according to The Denver Post.

Councilwoman Robin Kniech, the council’s first openly gay member, told The Denver Post she worried about the franchise generating “corporate profits used to fund and fuel discrimination.”

The committee decided to put off a decision on the concession contract until Sept. 1 and seek legal advice on their options, according to the meeting minutes. Assistant City Attorney David Broadwell told the committee he was shocked by the discussion and had never seen a contract controversy like this “in all my years,” according to The Denver Post. Broadwell has worked as Denver’s Land Use and Revenue Supervisor since 1999.

After The Denver Post reported the committee’s discussion, Chick-fil-A found it had a surprising number of supporters. Usually left-leaning columnists pointed out the committee’s potential violation of the restaurant owner’s First Amendment rights.

“The government may impose all sorts of conduct requirements on concessionaires, including non-discrimination rules, but it may not penalize a potential concessionaire because of the political expressions or beliefs of its owners or managers,” wrote Jonathan Adler of The Washington Post. “Private individuals and private companies are free to take such concerns into account when deciding where to take their business. Governments may not.”

The Denver Post editorial board ran its own blunt editorial on Aug. 20: “Think this one through, Denver City Council. If you block Chick-fil-A from returning as a vendor at Denver International Airport, how far might you then go in imposing political litmus tests on corporations seeking to do business there—or elsewhere in the city? And what are the implications for free speech in America if such political vetoes by cities were to become the norm?”

After to the firestorm, some of the committee members tried to backtrack. During an appearance on NBC 9News, Kniech and Clark said they “have conversations like this about contracts all the time” and this “pause” was a “common process to make sure we know who we are doing business with.”

In a statement issued in response to the debate, Chick-fil-A noted both its corporate organization and its franchised restaurant owners are “equal opportunity employers, employing more than 75,000 individuals who represent many diverse viewpoints, opinions, backgrounds, and beliefs.”

Despite the ongoing narrative about Chick-fil-A being a discriminatory organization because of its Christian corporate culture, the facts don’t bear that out, Hans Bader, senior attorney at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told Adler. Bader noted a search on Westlaw, an online legal research service, reveals Chick-fil-A has “basically no lawsuits against it for [sexual] discrimination. Or any kind of discrimination.” While other fast food chains like McDonald’s face lawsuits over everything from wage and hour conflicts to sexual harassment, Chick-fil-A franchise lawsuits are “rare,” he said.

“There is no evidence that Chick-fil-A discriminates against gay patrons, and it has restaurants in many cities than ban anti-gay discrimination,” Bader wrote. “Maybe it treats its employees very well.”

Courtesy: WORLD News Service

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Publication date: August 31, 2015

‘Sister Wives’ cite gay marriage ruling in polygamy case

Associated Press – Thursday, August 27, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A polygamous family says the landmark Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage shows that laws prohibiting consensual adult relationships are outdated even if the unions are unpopular.
Kody Brown and his four wives argue in court documents filed Wednesday that their family life chronicled on the reality TV show “Sister Wives” shows that polygamous marriages can be as healthy as monogamous ones.

The Browns are defending a legal victory they won when a federal judge struck down key parts of Utah’s law banning polygamy, removing the threat of arrest for plural families.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is appealing. The state contends the law prevents abuse of women and children and courts have long upheld anti-polygamy laws.
Unlike the same-sex marriage case, the Browns aren’t seeking full legal recognition of polygamous marriages.

Santorum praised, again, for immigration policy

Monday, August 24, 2015

Chad Groening (

A pro-immigration enforcement organization is praising one GOP presidential candidate for his stance on the issue.

Last week Rick Santorum released his immigration plan, which suggests ending automatic citizenship for children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants.

Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, says Santorum is presenting proposals that benefit U.S. citizens hurt by out-of-control illegal immigration.

“If you look back over the last few years about so-called immigration reform,” says Mehlman, “there has been nothing about the public interest or the national interest. It’s been all about, What do we do for the people who’ve broken our laws? What do we do about cheap labor interests that want to hire more workers in this country?”

Rick SantorumThanks to Santorum discussing the issue, says Mehlman, the presidential campaign is finally talking about how to protect the interests of Americans.

Santorum, the former Pennsylvania U.S. senator, has already enjoyed high marks by immigration organization Numbers USA. He has consistently earned an “A” on its Worker-Protection Immigration Card Grades.

The GOP candidate, meanwhile, is struggling in the current primary, polling at one percent and sitting in 12th place among 15 candidates.

“We ought to select people based on their individual merit,” Mehlman argues, “what they’re likely to contribute once they come to the United States, and that seems to be what Santorum is suggesting.”

The immigration analyst says Santorum, along with Donald Trump and Scott Walker, are all saying that our country’s immigration policies should serve the best interests of the American people.