Today's News and Commentary- May 23
The Hill and Politico analyze the likelihood that President Obama will take unilateral action to institute some immigration reform measures this summer. According to House Democrats, the President will likely start using his “broad prosecutorial discretion” to make changes to deportation policy in June. The move may help Senate Democrats in their quest to keep the majority by turning out Hispanic voters in close Senate races.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State and architect of a controversial Arizona law to crack-down on illegal immigrants, is facing challengers from both parties as he seeks another term. Well-known Kansas Republican Scott Morgan cites Kobach’s efforts to promote stricter immigration enforcement as the reason he is challenging Kobach in the primary. According to the Journal, the Kansas race is reminiscent of the broader debate in the Republican Party over immigration policy.
Jim Tankersley of the Washington Post discusses a new study by David Autor that shows that the gap between the one percent and ninety-nine percent may be less of a problem for the average American than the gap between college graduates and those who do not attend college. According to Autor, the wage premium for college graduates grew $28,000 on average over the last thirty-five years. That number is four times as much as a worker would receive if the income gap between the one percent and the rest of the population was redistributed to workers.
The New York Times reports that a federal mediation panel has rejected the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s contract proposal to Long Island Railroad employees. The panel found that the proposal, which offered an eleven percent raise over six years, was unreasonable. The LIRR workers have authorized a strike, which is set to start mid-summer. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the MTA unanimously approved a new contract with subway and bus workers.
In Boston news, the Boston Globe reports on a protest held by the Boston Taxi Drivers Association in front of the headquarters of the unregulated ride-sharing company Uber. The “UberX” program connects people with drivers who operate their own personal vehicles. These drivers have to undergo a background check, but avoid much of the other regulation that typical cab drivers must comply with. According to the Taxi Drivers Association, business is down about forty percent since companies like Uber started operating in the city.