Today’s News & Commentary — February 18, 2015
Yesterday a federal district judge in Texas issued an injunction that will temporarily halt the implementation of President Obama’s immigration actions from last fall. According to the New York Times, the President promised that the ruling would be appealed and reiterated that he stood on firm legal ground in announcing the actions. The ruling blocked the implementation of two related but separated programs: an expansion of the DACA program for those who arrived in the US as children, and another that would benefit immigrants who have children that are US citizens or permanent residents. According to the Wall Street Journal, the ruling could impact the upcoming immigration debate in Congress, as Republicans have refused to continue to fund the Department of Homeland Security until the new immigration programs have been rescinded.
San Francisco Assemblyman David Chiu introduced statewide legislation today that would require employers with more than 500 employees in California to post their hourly schedules at least two weeks in advance or compensate employees for the late notice. According to SF Gate, the measure is similar to the bill San Francisco passed last year (which goes into effect this June), though it only covers very large employers. While employers complain that the measure leaves them little flexibility in industries with constantly changing needs, advocates point to the tremendous instability and family conflicts that are exacerbated when employees have unpredictable schedules.
The New York Times writes about the sources of government data that allows researchers to study income inequality and the wealth patterns of the 1 percent. The Congressional Budget Office began using a new data set in 2012 to measure this population using a more inclusive measurement of after-tax income. While the measure has shown that incomes became more equal during the Great Recession (the share of national income held by the 1 percent fell from 17 percent in 2011 to 13 percent in 2011), the article notes that this level is “still much higher than the 7 percent share of income that the 1 percent had in 1979.”