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National Govt & Politics
Trump presses for legal immigration system based on merit
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Trump presses for legal immigration system based on merit

Trump presses for legal immigration system based on merit

Trump presses for legal immigration system based on merit

President Donald Trump set out plans on Thursday to retool the nation's legal immigration system, in order to bring more highly skilled workers to the United States, saying it was time to emphasize skill and smarts in deciding who gets a green card to live and work in America.

"We discriminate against brilliance," the President said in a speech from the White House Rose Garden. "We won't anymore, once we get this passed."

"Only 12 percent of legal immigrants are selected based on skill, or based on merit," Mr. Trump added, as he said it's time to emphasize those qualities in order to draw more 'top talent' from abroad.

The President has long sought to limit so-called 'chain migration' - where extended family are allowed to follow someone who is legally admitted to the United States - and to do away with the visa lottery, which he argues is one example of how highly-skilled workers aren't getting a preference for a green card in America.

"Immigrants must be financially self-sufficient," the President said, making clear that his priority was in attracting higher wage workers and skilled talent - not only those currently in the work force overseas, but also foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities.

"Some of the most skilled students are going back home because they have no relatives to sponsor them in the United States," the President said, arguing that he wants those 'exceptional students' to stay and 'flourish' in America.

Mr. Trump also rolled out several proposals to deal with the current migrant surge at the southern border of the United States, proposing changes which would swiftly determine who is legitimately claiming asylum, and those who are not.

The immediate outlook for the plan in Congress was murky at best; the White House is not sending actual legislation to Capitol Hill on the subject, leaving any legislative lifting to Senate Republicans, who know that any big changes on immigration must be bipartisan in order to get through the Senate, and be approved by Democrats in the House.

The President's plan includes no provisions dealing with illegal immigrants already in the United States, or with the fate of so-called "Dreamers" who were brought to the U.S. at a young age by their parents.

"We have to, I believe, come to comprehensive immigration reform," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who pointedly noted the President has talked about helping Dreamers in the past.

Asked about the President's emphasis on a 'merit' based system - Pelosi bluntly called that 'condescending.'

Allies of the President said they were ready to push ahead, though the path forward was not at all clear.

Earlier this week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the only way anything would pass on immigration would be through compromise.

Graham vowed to hold a hearing on the subject, and then allow his committee to vote on actual legislation; no time frame has been announced, as the President made clear he believes if Democrats refuse to deal, it will help him in 2020.

"If for some reason - possibly political - we can't get Democrats to approve this merit-based, high security plan, then we will get it approved immediately after the election, when we take back the House, keep the Senate, and of course - hold the Presidency," Mr. Trump said to applause.

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Local News

  • Oconee County Commissioners set July 10 as the date for a public hearing on applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. From the Oconee County Government website… The Oconee County Board of Commissioners is accepting applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program-Agricultural Land Easements (ACEP-ALE). The ACEP-ALE is a voluntary program that helps farmers keep their land in agriculture. ACEP-ALE is a competitive program, where farms are ranked based on national and state criteria. The National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is authorized to facilitate and provide matching funds (up to 50%) for the purchase of conservation easements on eligible land that is subject to a pending offer from an eligible entity. These permanent conservation easements prohibit the conversion of farm and ranch land to nonagricultural uses and ensure that the agricultural capacity of the soils remain viable for future generations.  A public meeting will be held on July 10, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the UGA J. Phil Campbell Research and Education Center Conference Room, 1420 Government Station Road, Watkinsville, with greater detail for those interested in applying for the ACEP-ALE Farmland Preservation Program.  Applications are available from the NRCS Office, 1291 Greensboro Highway, Watkinsville, or by calling 706-769-3990. The general application submission deadline is July 24, 2019 and may be delivered to Gerald Grace at the NRCS Office, Government Annex, 1291 Greensboro Highway, Watkinsville.  The Oconee County Farmland Preservation Committee will rank the applications for presentation to the Board of Commissioners at the Agenda Setting Meeting on August 27, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the Commission Chambers of the Oconee County Courthouse. The Board will consider the Committee’s recommendation at its Regular Meeting on September 3, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. The top-ranked farm approved by the Board of Commissioners may complete the required information in cooperation with Athens Land Trust for submittal to compete statewide for federal funding. For more information on eligibility and the application process, please contact the NRCS Office at 706-769-3990 or the Oconee County Extension Office at 706-769-3946. Further information may also be found at www.nrcs.usda.gov. 
  • The Miriam Moore Portrait Unveiling Ceremony and Reception will take place Saturday, June 29, 2019, in the Community Room of the East Athens Development Corporation, located at 410 McKinley Drive.    Free and open to the public, the program will start at 2 p.m. Special guests will include Athens Mayor Kelly Girtz and DeKalb County CEO Michael L. Thurmond, author of the newly released book — A Story Untold: Black Men and Women in Athens History (they will be available for purchase during the reception).      In 1988, Mrs. Moore became Athens first African-American female to hold elective office when she was elected to the Athens City Council. In 1990, she also became the first African-American female commissioner of the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government. The Miriam Moore Community Service Center was named in her honor on October 3, 1999. A strong advocate of low income and working families, she tirelessly fought for quality, affordable housing, zoning fairness and against poverty and community violence. She passed away on December 1, 2006.
  • The Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department schedules a series of public meetings to talk with private trash haulers: the forums will start on August 15 and continue through the 27th. City Hall says the forums are meant to generate feedback on current and future garbage collection efforts in Athens. From the A-CC government website… Solid Waste is hosting a series of community input meetings designed to receive feedback on current and future collection services and/or programs. The meetings are organized for staff to gain a better understanding of our citizen expectations, needs and priorities as they pertain to both public and private hauler Solid Waste collection and management in Athens-Clarke County.Your feedback is important to us. Please join us at the following times and locations: Thursday, August 15th @ 5:30 p.m.Auditorium at the Athens-Clarke County Library 2025 Baxter Street, Athens Monday, August 19th @ 5:30 p.m.Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department 725 Hancock Industrial Way, Athens Tuesday, August 27th @ 5:30 p.m.The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens 780 Timothy Road, Athens (Fellowship Hall)
  • Today’s the day for the J. Phil Campbell Senior Research and Education Center’s annual Corn Boil: the event, featuring corn grown on the University of Georgia research facility on Experiment Station Road in Oconee County, is underway at 9:30 this morning. From the University of Georgia master calendar…   Conceived as a way to introduce neighbors to the farm’s research back when the 1,055-acre farm was operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the center’s annual corn boil is a feast made from the corn grown on the property.
  • During Julia Turpin’s freshman year, she participated in the University of Georgia’s Theatre in London study abroad program. This is where she first learned about performing arts medicine, a practice that emerged in the late 20th century. Much like sports medicine, the medical professionals who practice performing arts medicine are artists themselves and therefore more familiar with the types of injuries that artists sustain. “Julia represents so much about the power of the London Program and what it offers. She said ‘yes’ to everything and because of that had wonderful opportunities become available to her,” said George Contini, a professor in the theatre and film studies department and director of the London Study Abroad program. “A successful study abroad experience should shake [students] up a little and make them question their passions. Every student that has ever gone on the London trip has come away reinvented and that is very satisfying.” Because performing arts medicine is not offered as a degree at the University of Georgia, Turpin created her own course of study. Interdisciplinary studies require careful planning and rigorous academic work. To earn an interdisciplinary degree, students must design a program of study and write a senior thesis under the supervision of a faculty advisor and an advisory committee. For her senior thesis, Turpin presented a pilot study with sexual assault victims. Dance movement therapy is one of the many forms of treatment therapists can provide. Turpin’s pilot study examined how the dance movement therapy community treats sexual assault survivors; she plans to use these results to create a more specific treatment plan for trauma victims. This spring, Turpin graduated with a degree in interdisciplinary studies focusing on the Principals of Dance Science and Movement Education. She will be pursuing her master’s degree in dance movement therapy at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. She hopes to expand on the study she did for her senior thesis at Naropa University by treating trauma and PTSD with dance therapy. Naropa University is known for its nontraditional learning structure, where classes combine Eastern and Western practices to create a unique learning environment. It is one of only six schools in the country that offer a degree in dance movement therapy. “Julia is one of the most enthusiastic, passionate and hardworking students I have worked with at UGA. In my “Principles of Dance Science and Somatics” class, I was fortunate to witness her not only begin to appreciate but fall in love with the ideas she was introduced to regarding safe dance practice, and science-based dance pedagogy (a professor’s dream),” said Rebecca Gose, an associate professor in the UGA dance department. “She has really taken charge of her education here and I am so proud of her.” During Turpin’s time in Athens, she interned with Nuçi’s Space, a nonprofit organization with a focus on musicians that advocates for and helps alleviate the suffering of those living with mental illness. Nuçi’s Space provides a health and resource center for musicians to receive professional care as well as a space to practice their craft. “I really admire Nuci’s Space and I want to open a place like that for dancers with studios for therapy and general dance lessons,” said Turpin. “I would also like to have a physical therapist on staff so that we could cater to the dancers’ mental and physical needs in one place. I want dancers to know they have a support system and people to lean on.” Turpin hopes that her work can influence the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” the handbook used by health care professionals to diagnose and treat mental disorders, to recognize dance therapy as a viable and more widely recommended alternative to traditional treatment plans.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS The clock is ticking on the Georgia football offseason, arguably the best time of year for quarterbacks and receivers to get in sync. Greg McElroy and Eric Zeier, two of the more successful SEC quarterbacks in the modern era of college football, agree there's plenty of time left for the Bulldogs to get their passing game settled. 'The best time to develop chemistry with your corps is the summer, when you're not limited by time,' McElroy, who led Alabama to the 2009 national championship and has been with ESPN and he SEC Network since 2014. 'Jake Fromm knows what its supposed to look like, so it's huge to have a veteran guy.' RELATED: SEC Network says Jake Fromm making the right calls on and off field Zeier, who set 67 Georgia records and was the SEC's all-time leading passer at the conclusion of his UGA career in 1994, believes Fromm has time to get the receiving group adequately prepared for the start of fall drills. 'In terms of being ready to go from the first practice, they will be ready to go,' Zeier told DawgNation. 'As you come up there are so many 7-on-7 camps, and the level of sophistication at the high school level has changed dramatically, so they are ready to go sooner when they get on campus and they will be ready to gel.' That said, Zeier also believes there's nothing like doing it in on a Saturday afternoon in front of a full stadium. Georgia opens the season on the road at Vanderbilt at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 31. 'Buy' games with Murray State and Arkansas State the following two weeks should allow new OC James Coley to tweak the pass game before the Sept. 21 home showdown with Notre Dame. 'It doesn't take long to develop that rhythm, the big question is you have to do it in the game,' said Zeier, who provides color analysis for the Georgia Bulldogs radio network. 'Everyone reacts a little differently under the lights. But the work they are doing in the offseason, they are developing that relationship and getting on the same page.' RELATED: Nauta shrugs off Jake Fromm's G-Day struggles Indeed, former UGA tight end Isaac Nauta was the first to point out that the summer was when lots of work would be done, and that too much shouldn't be made of Fromm's sub-par spring game. 'The reality is it's still early in the offseason and there's a whole summer to get better and get guys on the same page,' Nauta said after Fromm was 14-of-29 passing for 116 yards, a TD and a Pick-6 in the G-Day Game. 'It's way too early for people to freak out.' Concerns about Fromm's spring game have eased in the offseason, but the recent dismissal of leading returning receiver Jeremiah 'J.J.' Holloman has put a transitioning receiving corps under the microscope. Senior Tyler Simmons, who had 9 catches for 138 yards, is now the leading returning receiver. RELATED: Georgia counting on transfer receivers to be on target The Bulldogs could shift more emphasis on passing to the backs and tight ends in addition to looking to transfer receivers Lawrence Cager and Demetris Robertson to produce more. Georgia's 2017 SEC Championship team entered the College Football Playoff with Javon Wims as its leading receiver with just 38 catches for 631 yards at that time. RELATED: Recent history suggests Georgia needs prominent go-to receiver Wims' stats represent the fewest yards for a CFP team's leading receiver among the 20 teams that participated in the playoffs since their origination five seasons ago. The post Clock running on Jake Fromm, Georgia receivers, to get in championship form appeared first on DawgNation.
  • College football is turning 150 years old this season and as a way to celebrate the 150 anniversary of the college football and the first ever game between Rutgers and Princeton, teams are putting a “150” patch on their jerseys.  The UGA Football Equipment Twitter account posted pictures of the red, white and even the black jerseys with the “150” patch. Which asks the question, will Georgia wear their black jerseys this season?
  • ATHENS Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm calls the huddles on the football fields and makes the phone calls off them to set up the voluntary workouts. Now, more than ever, Fromm will need to forego his offseason hunting and fishing trips to get the pass game up to snuff with the top five pass catchers from a season ago no longer with the team. RELATED: Georgia QB Legend explains confidence in offense, Fromm The Bulldogs couldn't ask for anyone better to be making those connections, according to former All-SEC and NFL receiver turned SEC Network analyst Chris Doering. 'I don't think there's a better person that they could have to break in those receivers than a guy like Jake Fromm,' Doering told DawgNation. 'This being Jake's third year, he has a comfort level with his role as a leader and the things his receivers need to work on.' ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit was on the same page this spring when asked about Georgia football. 'It starts with Jake Fromm, and I know they lost some key pieces,' Herbstreit told DawgNation. 'In my mind with his leadership, and with the way they've recruited in the last three years, there's no question or no concern for me to wonder whether this is going to be an offense that will be productive.' RELATED: Kirk Herbstreit puts his spin on Jake Fromm's role Doering said Georgia's receiving corps was going to be under the microscope this season even before leading returning receiver Jeremiah 'J.J. Holloman was suspended last week on account of an alleged domestic assault. 'There has to be a sense of urgency among those receivers to fill the void that was left,' Doering said. 'Those workouts are not something the coaches can organize, but it's something that should be worked on every day. RELATED: UGA title hopes take hit, transfer receivers must step up 'The quarterback typically is the guy that spearheads what time these things are going down, where it's going down, and what they are going to work on.' UGA coach Kirby Smart said he saw Fromm take even more steps forward as a leader this spring. 'I think leadership was the biggest thing (Fromm) took a step forward in, and asserting his personality on the receivers and on the O-Line,' Smart said at the conclusion of spring drills. 'Not being timid to step up and say things to guys when things needed to be said. 'Not that he's every been afraid to do it, but I think he has asserted himself more.' Fromm finished fifth in the nation in passing efficiency last season, and he's the only one of the four permanent team captains from 2018 that's returning to the team. Fromm was part of the Georgia leadership team that recently traveled to Florida, and he was among the most popular players to volunteer his time at Camp Sunshine last week. RELATED: Jake Fromm, D'Andre Swift bring joy to young cancer patients But it's what Fromm does on the field that gets the most attention, and in addition to the Georgia fan base the NFL scouts will be watching. RELATED: Fromm among 5 Georgia players projected early in 2020 NFL Draft Doering, who was with eight teams in the NFL during his 11 years of professional football, said the best quarterbacks are sometimes the most demanding. 'I've been with quarterbacks before where they don't have a personal comfort with a play, and they want to rep it again and again,' Doering said. 'Or, they see something with a receiver that they want to correct based on film study from the spring, or something they've seen in workouts.' As much as anything, Fromm has to find his rhythm with the new receivers. The leading returning wide receiver is senior Tyler Simmons, who had just 9 catches last season. 'Obviously, you want to have guys that the quarterback can be confident in knowing where they will be, and also have some consistency catching the football,' Doering said. 'There are nuances to how the guys are running the routes, so I think it's something that is up to the quarterback to get comfortable with. 'This time of year, it's all about the quarterback organizing activities, whether it's one-on-one with the receivers, or 7 on 7s with the defense.' That that's where the pressure is on Fromm to come through this offseason, something Herbstreit is confident he will do. 'You look around the entire county, he's one of those leaders beyond his Xs and Os and what he can do when he starts throwing the ball,' said Herbstreit, once a quarterback himself at Ohio State. 'Fromm is like a dad that's on the team, the younger players are like his kids, and I just have a lot of confidence that between his experience and leadership he'll get the offense in the right spot.' The post SEC Network expert: Georgia QB Jake Fromm making calls on and off field appeared first on DawgNation.
  • SEC football legend Tim Tebow loves his Florida Gators, but he has been quick to give Kirby Smart credit for immediate success at Georgia. Tebow, playing for the Syracuse Mets Triple-A baseball club when he's not providing commentary for ESPN, met with media during the weekend series in Gwinnett. Atlanta's 11Alive TV caught up with Tebow in a dugout interview and talked about Georgia football and its fourth-year head coach. RELATED: Tebow predicts Georgia lacks motivation for Texas 'I think they were ahead of schedule and they did some incredible things, and honestly, probably should have won a national championship two years ago,' Tebow said. 'And, really, had such a great chance to close out the SEC Championship Game last year and go to the playoffs. 'So I think this is a big year, I think probably anything less is going to be a little bit disappointing if you're a Georgia fan.' Tebow says this needs to be the year for Georgia football, and that another loss to Alabama could create a mental hurdle. 'It's been a building process for Georgia, (and) if you looked a few years ago, you would say right now would be that time,' Tebow said. 'I think this needs to be Georgia's year, I really do. I think just the way it's gone against Alabama the last couple of years, to not be able to get there again. 'It's not just that it hurts you in that year. It becomes a big brother-little brother type of thing, where you have to eventually be able to get over that hurdle, and get over that hump, and this is kind of that year.' RELATED: Georgia's Kirby Smart not fixated on Alabama Tebow's take has become a popular narrative in the SEC, with league analyst Paul Finebaum leading the charge. Finebaum peppered Smart with questions about the Bulldogs' heartbreaking losses to Alabama 26-20 in overtime in the College Football Playoff Championship Game after the 2017 season, and 35-28 in last season's SEC Championship Game. Georgia led by two touchdowns in both games before the Tide rallied for the wins. 'I'm not going to make it about one team,' Smart stated calmly, but firmly, when Finebaum pressed with the Alabama question in May. 'I think everybody else wants to make it about one team.' Smart knows Georgia can beat Alabama: UGA has led or been tied with the Tide 118 minutes and 54 seconds of 120 minutes and 281 of 290 plays of the past two meetings in the CFP title game and SEC title game. SEC Legend Tim Tebow Tim Tebow: This has to be #UGAs year so they can stop being the little brother to Alabama. pic.twitter.com/XHjh5I2lWP 11Alive Sports (@11AliveSports) June 22, 2019 The post Tim Tebow: Georgia football was ahead of schedule,' but needs to beat Alabama appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Sometimes, 'it takes what it takes,' and that was the motto stamped on the gray shirts of the Georgia players after a recent leadership trip to the Gulf of Mexico. The players posted photos on the Instagram and Snapchat accounts earlier this month of jet ski adventures near Pensacola Beach along with packed car rides. It Takes What it Takes. Trevor Moawad (@TrevorMoawad) June 15, 2019 Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart an advocate of keeping the main thing the main thing, and pressure being a privilege revealed last monththere were plans to enhance Georgia's team leadership training. 'We'll take our leadership guys off location this summer and spend time together,' Smart said at the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla., 'and try to do some things different to change it up.' It was clear in the pictures and videos that quarterback Jake Fromm and tailback D'Andre Swift, two of the higher-profile skill position players, were growing closer to one another. Smart said at the start of spring drills he felt good about the team's leadership, but it has been tested during the offseason. Most recently, junior receiver Jeremiah 'J.J.' Holloman was dismissed from the team after an alleged assault that occurred after the 2018 G-Day Game but was only recently reported and disclosed. RELATED: Georgia football title hopes take hit, but Bulldogs have talent to rebound Details from a police report indicate it's very unlikely Georgia coach Kirby Smart and his staff had any prior knowledge of the alleged incident. Already, the Georgia football team has been addressed on the issue, and the leadership council activity and awareness has spiked, according to a UGA team source. Now, more than ever, the Bulldogs' players have tightened their circle with the support of the Georgia football coaches and staff. Smart said it's important to change things up to keep leadership fresh with ideas, but the Bulldogs have some methods that have proven effective over the years. 'I think when you look at the total picture, we're trying to find something different to do as a staff with this group, and how can we make this group different,' Smart said. 'We don't want to get bored with monotony but we also think some of the things we are doing works, and we want to stick with those things and that goes for us as coaches.' Renowned 'brain trainer' Trevor Moawad was on the leadership trip with the Georgia players, shown in the team's beach photo below. The Moawad Consulting Group works with 'elite talents in sports, business, military, and life to maximize their potential. Moawad's techniques have been well documented, with Sports Illustrated college writer Andy Staples taking a deeper dive into the former Alabama, Georgia and Florida State employee. Smart is hoping a Georgia leadership group will benefit once again. 'How we'll play and how this team will perform together is going to be decided this summer,' Smart said. 'Ultimately it's going to boil down to what they choose to do this summer, and how they choose to take on leadership roles.' The post LOOK: Georgia football leadership team traveled to Florida, meets with renowned brain trainer' appeared first on DawgNation.