Thursday, May 12, 2011

  • Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Obama Has Discretionary Authority to Advance DREAM Act, Humane Immigration Reform


    Senate Democrats have reintroduced the DREAM Act for the first time since Republicans blocked its passage late last year. Under the measure, immigrant youth would obtain permanent residency with a chance for citizenship, provided they attend college for at least two years or enlist in the U.S. military. The move comes one day after President Obama delivered a major address on immigration reform. We speak to Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. [includes rush transcript]

  • “They Are Violating All the Rules”: Rep. Luis Gutierrez Calls for Public Hearings, Impact Studies into Massive Gas Pipeline for Puerto Rico


    Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois comments on the Puerto Rican government’s push for a 92-mile natural gas pipeline dubbed the "Via Verde,” or "Green Way," despite concerns that it will cut through forests and water systems and pass near schools and residential areas. Geologists have noted the pipeline is near earthquake faults where there have been 2,500 seismic events in the last three years. Gutierrez says additional public inquiry is needed before the project should be approved and has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to freeze construction until inquiries and impact assessments can be conducted. “We need hearings. We need public participation,” says Gutierrez. “Once you destroy the natural habitat of Puerto Rico, it isn’t something that you can recuperate.” [includes rush transcript]

  • Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón on Holding Torturers Accountable, Why He Opposes the Killing of Osama bin Laden, and His Threatened Ouster from the Bench


    Citing the doctrine of universal jurisdiction, Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón has used the Spanish courts to investigate cases of torture, war crimes and other offenses around the world. In 1998, he ordered the arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, a move that led to Pinochet’s arrest and detention in Britain. In 2003, Garzón indicted Osama bin Laden and dozens of other members of al-Qaeda. Garzón later attempted to indict six high-ranking members of the Bush administration for their role in authorizing torture at the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay and overseas, before the case was eventually dropped under U.S. pressure. While Garzón has long been one of the world’s most feared judges, he is now facing his own legal battle. Last year he was indicted for exceeding his authority for launching an investigation into the disappearance of more than 100,000 civilians at the hands of supporters of Gen. Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Garzón was suspended as a judge in May 2010 and is facing three separate trials. [includes rush transcript]