Parental rights

California – AB 519 – Parental Rights

Under the conditions stipulated by AB 519, this bill allows a child to petition for reinstatement of parental rights in circumstances where the child would otherwise remain a legal orphan. In order to reinstate parental rights, the juvenile court is required under the bill to find that changed circumstances exist such that the child is no longer likely to be adopted and that reinstatement of parental rights is in the child’s best interest.

Excuse me? Let me get this straight. The State of California has terminated a parents rights and then because the child has remained in foster care for a period of three-years and has not been adopted, [read: costing the state money] they are going to find that being reunited with the parents may well be in the best interest of the child?

Now, don’t get me wrong, this could be a great thing for children and parents who are caught in never-never land but let’s think about this a minute.

If after a period of three years, the state can find that it’s in the best interest of the child to be reunited with his or her parents, perhaps that child should never have been removed from those very same parents in the first place.

Can you imagine how hard it will be for this family to come back together and have any meaningful kind of life together? A great deal can change in the space of three years.

While I commend the author (Assemblyman Leno) for trying to provide a remedy for a bad situation, I would encourage legislators to take another giant step in the right direction; by providing more family services, to keep the family unit together from the start and making it more difficult to terminate parental rights in the first place.

Today foster parents receive services and monies that are not available to the parents of these very same children. Why are foster parents eligible for respite care, when the parents of these very same children do not receive these services. It would be far less costly for the state to help a homeless family, find housing and employment than it is to remove the children and pay a foster care worker to feed, house and cloth them.

I am not a strong proponent of big government, but we all know big government is here and not going anywhere, anytime soon. A family deserves every opportunity, every chance we can give them to become a strong support system for each and every child.

I know too many parents personally who have lost everything, fight the state to keep or get their children back from the foster care system. The costs mount up quickly with attorney fees, court fees, mental assessments, therapy sessions and the like, that even if they do win the fight (and most don’t) to reclaim their children, they often have little left to provide the necessities for their children. This is wrong folks and this much change.

I urge you to support this bill but let’s not stop here. We must see changes in child welfare laws and they can’t be passed soon enough.

For complete details See AB 519

Tancredo fights back – to abolish H1-B visas

The Congressman from Colorado, in a bold move last week to assist unemployed American IT workers, introduced HB 2688. Congressman Tom Tancredo, has introduced a 15-line bill proposing the elimination of all visas under the H1-B category, created in 1952 under the guise of providing the US economy with technically skilled foreign workers.

In recent years, the number of H1-B visa’s issues had swelled. H-1B workers have obviously been a source of cheap labor, so much so that many IT departments laid-off American workers in favor of labor imports, mainly from India.

The results have been disturbing. University studies have shown that H-1B programmers and engineers are paid 15 percent to 33 percent below normal, and the Wall Street Journal has reported that the H1Bs are paid $20,000 to $25,000 less than comparable Americans. Similar findings were issued in a 2000 report from the National Research Council.

The Economic Times (an India Times Publication) would have us believe this “move is patently unfair and will not help unemployment. Rather it will cripple the high-tech and other technical industries and undercut the American hi-tech industry’s ability to be a competitive global leader.”

In light of a recent move to eliminate over-time pay by President Bush, (Bill HR 1119) affecting IT specialists and having the pleasure of personally knowing a gentleman living and working in this country under the H1-B visa the only word that comes to mind is, “Hogwash.”

“Sam” an IT worker from Indian lives with the constant fear of being sent back to India, with 10-days notice. He makes far less than his American counter-parts and puts up with a great deal more from the company he works for than most American workers would. He seems to handle the stress well but a great deal is at stake for him and his family.

Sam puts up with this injustice because of his opportunity to be sponsored by his employer for a green card, allowing him to live permanently in the United States. H-1B visa holders are not considered immigrants but “temporary” workers, who are allowed to remain in the United States only at the pleasure of their employers. This is, in effect, indentured servitude – slavery – and creates strong incentives to accept lower pay.

Congressman Tom Tancredo began his crusade to end this injustice November 1, 2001, when he introduced a similar bill HR 3222.

Please contact your Congressman and ask that they support this bill.

Have you been replaced by an H1-B visa worker? I’d like to hear your story.

Annette M. Hall