by German Lopez
Senators push immigrant policy, JobsOhio gets funding, parking plan passes committee
Two Ohio senators, including Senate Minority Leader Eric
Kearney of Cincinnati, are pushing a bill that will require the state’s
Bureau of Motor Vehicles to grant driver’s licenses
to the children of illegal immigrants. The senators claim state BMV
offices are inconsistently applying President Barack Obama’s Deferred
Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows the children of
illegal immigrants to remain in the country without fear of prosecution, but the Ohio Department of Public Safety says the issue is still under
review. CityBeat originally broke the story after hearing of Ever Portillo’s experiences at a Columbus BMV office here, and a follow-up story covered the internal conflict at the BMV over the issue here.
Ohio officials have said the state has only put $1 million toward JobsOhio, but records recently acquired by The Columbus Dispatch show $5.3 million in funding has been directed to the program
so far, and the public investment could be as high as $9 million. State
officials said the funding is necessary because constitutional
challenges, which the Ohio Supreme Court recently agreed to take up,
have held up the program’s original source of funding — state liquor
profits. JobsOhio is a nonprofit company established with the support of
Gov. John Kasich that’s meant to attract investment and bring jobs to
the state. Kasich says he wants to replace the Ohio Department of Development with the nonprofit company in the future.
City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee approved a plan
to lease Cincinnati’s parking assets to the Port of Greater Cincinnati
Development Authority in a 4-3 vote yesterday, but the plan will require
five votes to become law in a final City Council vote tomorrow. The
plan, which CityBeat previously covered,
would lease the city’s parking assets to fund development
projects, including a 30-story tower and a downtown grocery store, and
help balance the deficit. The deal would produce a $92 million upfront
payment, and the city projects that additional annual installments would
generate more than $263 million throughout the lease’s duration.
Critics are worried the city will give up too much control of its
parking assets as part of the deal, and concerns about the city’s long-term
deficits remain. The alternatives — plans B, C and S — would fix
structural deficit problems, while the budget only helps balance the deficit for the next
two fiscal years.
The company that will operate Cincinnati’s parking meters if the parking deal is approved by City Council had problems in the past,
according to a tip received by multiple news outlets from Tabitha
Woodruff, an advocate at Ohio Public Interest Research Group. The issues
surfaced years before Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) was bought by
Xerox in 2010, and Xerox now denies any wrongdoing. One of the issues is
a 2007 audit, which found ACS mismanaged parking meters in Washington,
D.C. Kevin Lightfoot, a spokesperson at Xerox, says the audit was based
on “faulty information,” and a lot of the problems found were because
the auditor improperly read parking meter screen displays.
An approved commitment by the Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District (HCTID) may ensure a rail service is ready for Cincinnati
in time for the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Hamilton
County Commissioner Todd Portune is pushing for local and state
governments to break down any barriers for Oasis Rail Transit, which
will carry passengers from Downtown to Milford.
The Ohio Board of Education will decide
between two candidates for state superintendent next week: acting
Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Sawyers or Dick Ross, Gov.
John Kasich’s top education adviser.
After years of development and anticipation, Cincinnati’s Horseshoe Casino opened yesterday. The casino comes with the promise of jobs and economic development, but it also poses the risk of crime, bankruptcy and even suicide.
State and local legislators are also looking forward to extra
government revenue from the casino, even though casino revenue around
the state has fallen short of projections.
For Over-the-Rhine residents, the grand opening, which culminated in a
fireworks display, was sort of like being in the middle of a
Livability.com named Cincinnati the No. 10 spring break destination
because of the Cincinnati Zoo, Botanical Garden, IKEA, Cincinnati Art
Museum, the 21c Museum Hotel, Newport Aquarium and the Clifton Cultural
Arts Center, among other places and family-friendly activities.
Science doesn’t want pregnant women to be capable of anything.
Here are two pictures of Venus from Saturn’s view.
by German Lopez
BMV reviewing driver's license rules for DACA recipients
Ohio’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is granting driver’s
licenses to some of the children of illegal immigrants, but what qualifies a few and
disqualifies others is so far unknown.
When CityBeat last covered the BMV policy (“Not Legal Enough,”
issue of Feb. 6), Ever Portillo, a 22-year-old from El Salvador, was
unable to get his license even when he was accompanied by his attorney
at the West Broad Street BMV office in Columbus. Since then, Portillo
returned to the same BMV office with his attorney, a community leader from
DreamActivist Ohio and a reporter from The Columbus Dispatch and successfully obtained his license.
At the same time, CityBeat received a tip from an
anonymous illegal immigrant after she could not get a driver’s license for her son
because, according to what she heard from the BMV, state policy is still
The differences between Portillo and the woman’s
experiences are reflected by what seems to be an internal conflict at the
BMV, which CityBeat found in a series of internal documents sent by Brian
Hoffman, Portillo’s attorney. In emails dating back to January, state
officials wrote that “foreign nationals” with C33 Employment
Authorization Documents (EAD) and I-797 documents with case types I-765D
and I-821D cannot qualify for driver’s licenses. The documents are part of President Barack Obama’s
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows the children of illegal immigrants to remain in the United States without fear of prosecution.
But a Feb. 13 memo from the BMV says Ohio has not issued a
statewide policy on DACA for driver’s licenses and is currently
reviewing the process. A Feb. 19 email echoes the memo, stating “neither
the Department (of Public Safety) nor the BMV has yet issued a
statewide broadcast to provide direction regarding the DACA issue.” In a
Feb. 21 email, Lindsey Borher, spokesperson at the BMV, told CityBeat, “Our legal department is in the process of reviewing guidance from the federal government as it applies to Ohio law.”
The discrepancy between January and February may be attributable to CityBeat
originally breaking the story on the state policy, which was followed
by a barrage of statewide media coverage on the issue.
Ohio no longer grants driver’s licenses to children of illegal immigrants despite federal executive action
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Ever Portillo is legally allowed to live
and work in the United States, but the state of Ohio won’t let him
obtain a driver’s license.
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 12, 2012
An Ohio policy research group is
criticizing a local state senator’s “anti-immigrant bill.”
by German Lopez
Local state senator proposes bill to limit payments to illegal immigrants
An Ohio policy research group is taking offense to a local
state senator’s “anti-immigrant bill.” If passed, S.B. 323, proposed in
April by Ohio Sen. Bill Seitz, would require workers to prove their
legal status to work before receiving workers’ compensation, but
Innovation Ohio says the bill reaches too far to solve a problem that
might not even exist.
The bill was the topic of discussion at a Senate
Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee hearing on Nov. 27. At the
hearing, supporters argued the bill would stop compensating illegal
workers who aren’t supposed to be in Ohio to begin with. But opponents
argue that the details in the bill add too many extra problems.
In fact, the bill might be going after a problem that
doesn’t even exist. At an earlier hearing, Seitz, a Republican, said the state does not
collect data on the immigration status of workers receiving
compensation. To Brian Hoffman of Innovation Ohio, this means there’s no
way to know if the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has ever
compensated a single undocumented worker. “It just seems curious that
this bill is being introduced and has gotten three hearings when there’s
no proof that it’s actually even an issue,” he says.
Hoffman is also worried that the bill is imposing a new
regulatory burden on BWC without providing additional funds. In his
view, the state agency is essentially being told to do more without
additional resources to prepare or train regulators. Considering how
complicated the immigration issue can get, this makes Hoffman doubt the
agency will be able to properly carry out the new regulations.
From a broader perspective, the bill imposes regulatory hurdles on all injured workers just so they can get compensation they're entitled to under state law. “Talk about kicking someone when they’re down,” Hoffman says.
But the burden could hit Hispanics even harder and lead to
more discrimination in the workplace. After all, when employers are
clearing legal statuses, who are they more likely to question, someone with a
name like “Dexter Morgan” or someone with a name like “Angel Batista”?
In Hoffman’s view, the state should leave immigration
issues to the federal government and worry about more pressing issues:
“Why is the state legislature even wasting its time on the issue? There
are plenty of really good ideas to bring jobs back to Ohio. Why aren’t
they focused on those?”
The bill is still in committee, but it’s been the subject
of multiple hearings. It’s unlikely the Ohio Senate will take it up in
what’s left of the lame-duck session, but it could come back in the next
CityBeat was unable to reach Seitz for comment
despite repeated attempts through phone and email, in addition to a scheduled
interview that was canceled. This story will be updated if comment becomes available.
by Danny Cross
It was “Rich People Voice Their Concerns Night” at city
councils across town last night, as proponents of the $1 sale of Music
Hall packed Cincinnati City Council chambers even though the proposed
lease deal wasn’t on the agenda. Mayor Mark Mallory insisted that any
middle ground that will allow the nonprofit Music Hall Revitalization
Co. to renovate the building will require that the city retain
Across town (and about 10 miles northeast toward the area with mass trees), Madeira City Council shot down a plan to
develop a luxury apartment complex on Camargo Road. Council voted 6-1 to
scrap the plan for a 184-unit complex after residents who voiced
concern said the complex would be “too dense” and take away from the
city’s single-family character. Word on the street is that the Council
majority didn’t want scumbag renters like this guy to be able to move
into the neighborhood and start playing music really loud out of their car stereos.
Cincinnati City Council yesterday pretty much canceled its
plans to build an atrium at City Hall. Six council members approved a
motion asking administrators to shut it down, and City Manager
Milton Dohoney says he’ll abide by it even though he technically doesn’t
have to because the funding was approved in a spending ordinance.
Council also voted yesterday to keep the property tax rate pretty much the same next year despite a projected deficit.
Now that the Supreme Court has temporarily upheld part of Arizona’s racist
controversial immigration law, no-name state legislators in Ohio and
Kentucky plan to break out the laws they couldn’t previously get passed.
According to The Enquirer’s Mark Curnutte (who apparently won a
national book award for his work covering poverty in Haiti — big ups,
Curnutte!), some dudes named Courtney Combs (R-Ross Township, Ohio) and
John Schickel (R-Union, Ky.) have some great ways to rid of their states'
illegal immigrants, at least until the court strikes down the rest of
New York Times: "Arizona Ruling Only a Narrow Opening for Other States"
Housing prices are going up in most cities due to low interest rates and cheap prices.
A new Obama campaign ad refers to Mitt Romney as “outsourcer in chief.” Ouch!
The War on Drugs is making the AIDS epidemic worse by driving people away from treatment, according to a report released today by the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
California condors are being threatened by lead poisoning
from bullets left behind in dead carcasses shot by hunters, which the
Facebook changed users' listed email accounts, and people on the Internet are mad. Gizmodo explains how to fix it.
The Spice Girls are reuniting to create a musical called Viva Forever! at London's Piccadilly Theatre.
by Danny Cross
The ever-debated, never implemented property tax increase
will continue to be nonexistent, as will a new police station, playgrounds,
some public pools, Music Hall renovations and certain street repavings and
building demolitions, according to The Enquirer.
Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan will make the deciding vote against City Manager
Milton Dohoney’s proposed tax increase, which would add $46 to the owner of a
$100,000. Also against disproportionately taxing rich people are Councilmen Chris Seelbach, P.G.
Sittenfeld, Christopher Smitherman and Charlie Winburn. Quilivan says
the government isn’t the right size and that the government should make the
tougher changes before asking for more revenue.
Here are two ways to report the latest news regarding
potential Duke Energy rate hike connected to streetcar construction:
• From The Enquirer: “Duke
customers could face streetcar tab”
• From The Business Courier: “Cincinnati, Duke making progress
on moving utility lines”
A 15-year-old girl was killed in Over-the-Rhine around 11
p.m. last night. She was reportedly standing with a group of people, though
Police haven’t released any details about the shooter.
A new poll shows support for President Obama’s shift on
More Asians are immigrating to the U.S. than Hispanics these
Adult humans are 16.5 million tons overweight, which
researchers say will threaten the world’s food security and environmental
Approximately half of all new AIDS cases are occurring in
the South, and the region is severely short on HIV specialists.
Attorneys for the Penn State football coach who showered with a
bunch of boys are starting their defense by painting him in a positive light.
Spotify will stop charging $10 per month for use on mobile
devices. Free now.
Facebook acquires Face.com. Ha.
Former baseball player Roger Clemens was acquitted of
perjury charges, the latest in a bunch of wasted time by the federal government
investigating athletes who can afford really good lawyers.
by Danny Cross
After 18 months in the courts, Democrat
Tracie Hunter has won a Hamilton County Juvenile Court judgeship, but
a GOP challenge to the court's acceptance of Hunter's challenge is
likely to follow. Republican John Williams led hunter by 23 votes on
election night 2010, but Hunter filed a lawsuit over provisional
ballots cast at incorrect polling stations that weren't counted. After a
recount of 286 provisional ballots, Hunter moved ahead by 74 votes.
Republican board of election members reportedly plan to argue that
the 286 should not have been recounted.
The Enquirer's Mark Curnutte today
offered an analysis of recently released census data that shows a
steady growth of the regional Hispanic population and a growth of
minority population in areas outside the city that were once largely
white. Cincinnati's data suggests that the city and region are
slightly different than the nation's overall trend, which in 2011 for
the first time found a majority of the country's under 1-year-old
population minority (50.4 percent), up from 49.5 percent in 2010.
Included in The Enquirer's story, which
included a profile of a Mexican-American Florence family that moved
to Northern Kentucky eight years ago from Los Angeles:
A decrease of 1.3 percentage points in Hamilton County’s
black population under 5 was countered by increases in the black
population under 5 in each of the region’s six other core counties:
Butler, Clermont and Warren in Ohio and Boone, Campbell and Kenton in
Overall, the regional population of Hispanic children under 5
years rose from 7,583 in 2010 to 8,032 in 2011, a proportional
increase of 0.4 percentage points to 6.1 percent.
The family of a teenager fatally shot
by a Cincinnati police officer on Fountain Square last summer has
filed a federal lawsuit alleging police used excessive force and
violated 16-year-old Davon Mullins' constitutional rights. Police
say Mullins pulled a handgun, but the lawsuit says he had been
disarmed before officer Oscar Cyranek shot him multiple times.
Cincinnati's Bike Month revelers and
Over-the-Rhine residents received some good news this week when Reser
Bicycle Outfitters announced the opening of an OTR location. The
store could open by June 1 in the 1400 block of Vine Street.
Legislation regulating ownership and
breeding of exotic animals has been approved by the Ohio House Agriculture
and Natural Resources Committee, 17-4. Senate Bill 310 could get
through the full House and Senate next week and be signed by Gov.
John Kasich soon afterward. The ban on the acquisition, sale and
breeding of certain species would take affect 90 days later.
Europe is preparing for Greece to
completely duck out of the Eurozone. The world markets are feeling
Mitt Romney has released his first
general election TV ad. And he's giving cookies to the media.Former Senator John Edwards will learn
his fate today, as a jury was set to deliberate this morning on charges that Edwards used campaign funds to
conceal an affair during his run for president.
More than 200 pages of documents,
photos and audio recordings were released yesterday
offering further details about what happened the night George
Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.
The documents include an FBI audio
analysis of the 911 call placed by a resident that captured yells and
screams. Two FBI examiners said they could not determine whether it
was Martin or Zimmerman yelling because of the poor quality of the
recording and the "extreme emotional state" of screamer.
The AP is live-blogging Facebook's
stock market debut. Why does Bono have so much Facebook?
Cell phone maker Nokia has accused
Apple of programming bias into its interactive Siri voice search by
making it answer the question “What is the best smartphone ever?”
by stating “"Wait... there are other phones?" The answer
had apparently previously been “Nokia's Lumia 900.” Apple won't
say whether or not it changed Siri's answer after finding the glitch.
A new study suggests that nighttime
fasting can go a long way toward keeping you slim even if you eat bad
stuff during the day.
Scientists have found a car-sized
The private space launch is scheduled for
4:55 a.m. Saturday, and there will be alcohol involved.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 8, 2012
A recent Enquirer story leaves out the fact that the Mormon church
outlawed polygamy all the way back in 1890, prohibited black people from
priesthood until 1978 and reportedly only overturned it once senior
church members found out that the New Orleans Jazz would be moving to
Salt Lake City.
An advocate of tracking illegal immigrants like UPS packages, Sheriff Richard Jones says, 'People are so tired of politicians not standing up'
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Just a couple blocks away from the front door to the Butler County Sheriff's Office in Hamilton sits a thriving corner market with a sign outside that reads "Super Mercado y Carniciera." Drive further into Hamilton or nearby Fairfield, and motorists will see a different and more ominous sign: large billboards featuring the image of Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones under the stern warning, "Hire an illegal, BREAK THE LAW!"