Today's News & Commentary–July 10
A strike could begin on the Long Island Rail Road as soon as July 20th, the New York Times reports. Transportation workers and the M.T.A. have not been able to reach agreement on a new contract, despite multiple attempts at federal mediation since December. M.T.A. leaders say they have offered the union “everything that they’ve asked for” but two federal mediation panels have determined that the union’s offer is the “most reasonable,” according to the Times. Under the Railway Labor Act, Congress could intervene to resolve the dispute, however, lawmakers have indicated they will not step in.
In employment news, several prominent gay rights groups have withdrawn their support for ENDA due to renewed concern over its religious exemption language, according to the Washington Post. ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, would provide workplace anti-discrimination protections to LGBT employees. However, its exemptions for religious employers are far broader than equivalent exemptions in other anti-discrimination laws—and following the Hobby Lobby decision, some advocates fear ENDA would give employers broad license to discriminate against LGBT workers.
In response to the continuing crisis of child migrants at the southern border, President Obama has asked for $4 billion to increase immigration enforcement, according to the New York Times. The Times also reports that the surge in child migrants is due to children fleeing increased gang violence in Central America. The United States provides some greater protections to children entering the country alone than to adults entering the country due to a 2008 law to combat child trafficking, according to the Times.
In other immigration news, immigrant children are suing the United States for failing to provide legal counsel to children in deportation hearings, according to the Los Angeles Times. The plaintiffs are represented by immigration advocacy groups, and they argue that deportation proceedings without counsel violate constitutional due process.
The Ninth Circuit has ruled that Arizona cannot deny driver licenses to formerly undocumented immigrants who were granted documentation via the deferred action program (DACA), according to the New York Times.