Governors Urge Congress to Act on Immigration

Gov. Neil Abercrombie yesterday joined 14 other governors in a letter to Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging the U.S. House of Representatives to act without delay in adopting bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Click to read letter

Click to read letter

A measure passed last month in the U.S. Senate but is awaiting action by the House. The letter emphasizes that such action is necessary for the nation to begin building an immigration system that reflects the country’s values and strengthens its economies.

The letter states:

“As reflected by the strong vote in the Senate, there is widespread support for an immigration bill that provides a fair, realistic pathway to earned citizenship for undocumented individuals currently in our country while, at the same time, securing our border.”

The governors also expressed support for visa programs that allow for agricultural guest workers and students studying science and math:

“Agriculture is one of the backbones of our country’s economy. Many of our farms, especially small family farms, will go out of business unless they are given access to a reliable workforce.

“We also support an immigration plan that provides visas to foreign graduate students in science and math who came to this country for an education. Our nation and states work hard to attract these talented students. We should give them the opportunity to stay so that they can contribute to our economies and access the American dream.

“This is not only the right policy for our nation, it also makes sense economically … We all recognize that immigrants contribute a great deal to our economy and our culture. We should make sure they are fully integrated into the social, civic and economic fabric of American life and have access to the same opportunities to succeed as everyone else.”

In addition to Gov. Abercrombie, those signing the letter included Govs. Mike BeeBe (Arkansas), Dannel P. Malloy (Connecticut), John Hickenlooper (Colorado), Jack Markell (Delaware), Pat Quinn (Illinois), Steve Beshear (Kentucky), Deval Patrick (Massachusetts), Margaret Hassan (New Hampshire), Lincoln Chafee (Rhode Island), Jay Inslee (Washington), Martin O’Malley (Maryland), Mark Dayton (Minnesota), John Kitzhaber (Oregon), and Peter Shumlin (Vermont).

Link to the letter here.

 

Video: U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono Rallies East Hawaii Voters at Big Island Bus Stop Tour

Big Island of Hawaii’s Democratic contingency took part in an East Hawaii Bus Stop tour today starting at Laupahoehoe Community Charter School and ending at Auntie Sally’s Luau in Hilo today.

I took the following pictures at HAAS Community Charter School in Pahoa today on their third stop of the tour.

Unfortunately Governor Abercrombie and Democratic Candidate Tulsi Gabbard were unable to make the event, however, U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono had this to say at the rally:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/snzw7S3b_Qs]

Hawaii Population Up 12.3% According to US Census Bureau

The US Census Bureau released the population counts today and Hawaii is up 12.3% According to the US Census Bureau’s Website.

Unfortunately, this was not enough to gain a seat in reapportionment.

Media Release:

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the 2010 Census showed the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2010, was 308,745,538.

The resident population represented an increase of 9.7 percent over the 2000 U.S. resident population of 281,421,906. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Acting Commerce Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank and Census Bureau Director Robert Groves unveiled the official counts at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“A big thanks to the American public for its overwhelming response to the 2010 Census,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “The result was a successful count that came in on time and well under budget, with a final 2010 Census savings of $1.87 billion.”

Rebecca Blank, now Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce who has overseen the 2010 Census as Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, echoed Locke. “The 2010 Census was a massive undertaking, and in reporting these first results, we renew our commitment to our great American democracy peacefully, fairly and openly for the 23rd time in our nation’s history.”

The U.S. resident population represents the total number of people in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The most populous state was California (37,253,956); the least populous, Wyoming (563,626). The state that gained the most numerically since the 2000 Census was Texas (up 4,293,741 to 25,145,561) and the state that gained the most as a percentage of its 2000 Census count was Nevada (up 35.1% to 2,700,551).

Regionally, the South and the West picked up the bulk of the population increase, 14,318,924 and 8,747,621, respectively. But the Northeast and the Midwest also grew: 1,722,862 and 2,534,225.

Additionally, Puerto Rico’s resident population was 3,725,789, a 2.2 percent decrease over the number counted a decade earlier.

Just before today’s announcement, Locke delivered the apportionment counts to President Obama, 10 days before the statutory deadline of Dec. 31. The apportionment totals were calculated by a congressionally defined formula, in accordance with Title 2 of the U.S. Code, to divide among the states the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The apportionment population consists of the resident population of the 50 states, plus the overseas military and federal civilian employees and their dependents living with them who could be allocated to a state. Each member of the House represents, on average, about 710,767 people. The populations of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are excluded from the apportionment population, as they do not have voting seats in Congress.

“The decennial count has been the basis for our representative form of government since 1790,” Groves said. “At that time, each member of the House represented about 34,000 residents. Since then, the House has more than quadrupled in size, with each member now representing about 21 times as many constituents.”

President Obama will transmit the apportionment counts to the 112th Congress during the first week of its first regular session in January. The reapportioned Congress will be the 113th, which convenes in January 2013.

Beginning in February and wrapping up by March 31, 2011, the Census Bureau will release demographic data to the states on a rolling basis so state governments can start the redistricting process.

Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution calls for a census of the nation’s population every 10 years to apportion the House seats among the states. The 2010 Census is the 23rd census in our nation’s history.