In what will be seen as another blow to immigration reform’s chances, a top pro-reform Republican in the House concedes House Republicans are not going to act on immigration reform this year, and he worries that the window for getting anything done next year is closing fast.

“We have very few days available on the floor in the House, so I don’t think we’re going to be able to do it this year,” GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida told me by phone today.

The District of Columbia City Council approved a bill on Tuesday which grants access to a special kind of driver's license for undocumented immigrants who are residents of the city. The bill, which is set to go into effect in May, puts D.C.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives needs to approve immigration reform by the end of 2013, President Barack Obama said Tuesday before a meeting with business leaders at the White House.

"So this is something that has strong bipartisan support. Keep in mind that my predecessor, George W. Bush, was a strong supporter of this. We have a fascinating cross-section of people - some unlikely bedfellows, some very liberal folks, some very conservative folks - who all believe that now is the time to get this done," he said.

Britain has scrapped a plan to force people from India, Pakistan, and some African countries to hand over a cash deposit in return for a six-month visa, after the policy caused outrage at home and abroad and exposed a divide in the governing coalition.

The government’s plan involved visitors from Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka being forced to pay a £3,000 (US$4,800) deposit in order to receive a visa. The money would be refunded when the person left the country upon expiration of their visa. The plan was intended to serve as a deterrent to overstaying.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) said he thinks at least half of the House Republican caucus will support immigration reform and believes legislation can be enacted before the end of the year.

"To me, doing nothing is not acceptable," Upton told a Rotary Club meeting last week, according the Kalamazoo Gazette. "I do believe that we'll have at least half our caucus for it."

On Wednesday, Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) became the third House Republican to support an immigration reform bill introduced by Democrats, helping to build momentum for a vote by the end of the congressional year. Valadao’s support follows two other House Republicans, Reps. Jeff Denham (R-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) both of whom said earlier this week that they would support the bill as cosponsors.

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday there is a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives ready to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill, but she may never get the chance to prove it if GOP Speaker John A. Boehner doesn’t bring a vote in the Republican-lead House.

“With 28 Republicans having publicly expressed support for a path to citizenship, we believe the votes are there on a bipartisan basis to pass a bill,” she wrote on Facebook. “It’s just a question whether Speaker Boehner can muster the will to schedule a vote.”

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi has announced the 2014 Diversity Visa requirements for the lottery winners who were notified by the Department of State of their selected status in May, 2013.

To qualify for the 2014 Diversity Visa, you must meet the following requirements:

Mr Robert Simiyu with his wife Lucy in Houston, Texas. Photo/CHRIS WAMALWA

It is a particularly beautiful Sunday evening in the lush suburbs of Houston, Texas, as small groups of Kenyan families arrive in their posh cars at one of their compatriot’s home for an evening out.

Ordinarily, such meetings, which are regular fixtures, would just be for sharing an evening together and catching up. But the gathering on this particular Sunday has greater significance.

The previous evening, some members of this group had hosted one of the most successful and well-attended meetings in recent memory: the first annual Mashujaa Awards ceremony.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Please have a seat, everybody.  Good morning, and welcome to the White House.  Today I’m here with leaders from business, from labor, from faith communities who are united around one goal -- finishing the job of fixing a broken immigration system.

Featured Article

Kora Hardy has always been a private, soft-spoken person. She never anticipated taking part in a pageant until now.

“Many people who know me might not have expected me to participate in this, but I believed that my passion was worth a large...

3251 reads

Featured Article

The chef responsible for food choices at the Oregon Convention Center has received a high industry honor. Allan Wambaa, who's executive chef for the convention center, the Portland'5 Centers for the Arts and the Portland Expo Center, has attained...

1928 reads

Featured Article

The Kenya Embassy in Washington, DC will start accepting applications for Kenya National Identity Cards (IDs) from Kenyans resident in the United States of America beginning on Thursday March 27th, 2014 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. With March 27th being...

4899 reads

Featured Article

In this week’s episode of Diaspora Notebook, NTV’s Chris Wamalwa interviews Julie Weche, founder of Elimu Tutoring and Training Center.

Elimu Tutoring and Training Center serves the Kenyan community in Baltimore, Maryland, providing after-s...

5319 reads


Aggregated Feeds