Immigration: Years Before Becoming Citizens

The naturalization process confers U.S. citizenship upon foreign citizens or nationals who have fulfilled the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). After naturalization, foreign-born citizens enjoy nearly all of the same benefits, rights, and responsibilities that the Constitution gives to native-born U.S. citizens, including the right to vote.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 757 434 persons naturalized during 2012.

Screenshot from 2013-05-25 17:11:30The Naturalization Process

An applicant for naturalization must fulfill certain requirements set forth in the INA concerning age, lawful admission and residence in the United States. These general naturalization provisions specify that a foreign national must be at least 18 years of age; be a U.S. legal permanent resident (LPR); and have resided in the country continuously for at least five years. Additional requirements include the ability to speak, read, and write the English language; knowledge of the U.S. government and history; and good moral character.

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First Amendment Violation: Separation Of Church And State

 

In a recent Wall Street Journal article written by Jacob Gershman entitled: For Next Big Religion Case, High Court Goes to Greece, is reported that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to rule on a case whether an upstate New York town violated the Constitution by opening its public meetings with a Christian prayer.

The case centers on the Town of Greece, near Rochester, which had routinely invited Christian clergy to deliver prayers, most of which contained references to “Jesus Christ,” “Jesus,” “Your Son,” or the “Holy Spirit.”

Town residents claim the practice violated the separation of church and state of the First Amendment.

Constitutional scholar Carl Tobias, of the University of Richmond School of Law, said “It’s a very delicate and difficult issue”.

The outcome could have wider implications beyond legislative invocations, Mr. Tobias said. It could have an impact on everything from school prayer to what may be recited at funerals for state troopers.

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Justice: Can you be sued and “not guilty” at the same time?

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How can a civil court force someone to pay a settlement when another court has already said they are not guilty? Guilty – But Not Guilty? It’s true that a person can win a criminal action, but then go on to lose the civil action. It’s because the two actions are brought by different parties and subject to different standards of proof.

The Difference Between Criminal Guilt and Civil Liability

The law distinguishes between criminal guilt and civil liability. In 1995, Simpson was found not guilty of murdering Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, but then two years later was found liable to Goldman’s parents for causing Ron’s “wrongful death.”

The explanation is that a “Murder” is a crime, whereas “wrongful death” is a civil wrong, otherwise known as a “tort.” Generally speaking, crimes are established so that society can punish (and, one hopes, deter) morally culpable behavior. Torts, on the other hand, are created to provide compensation to the injured.

not-guilty-graphic-33377572The Difference Between Torts and Crimes

It just so happens that many acts – like killing somebody – are both crimes and torts. But this is not always the case. For example, a failed attempt to commit a murder constitutes a crime (attempted murder), but if the intended victim is not harmed by the attempt, there’s no tort – because there’s nothing to compensate. Conversely, there are plenty of torts that aren’t crimes. Defamation, for example, is the publication of words that damage a person’s reputation. You can be sued for it, but in most jurisdictions there is no corresponding crime.

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Assisted Suicide Bill Approved By Vermont Legislators

In a recent Reuter’s article written by Scott Malone entitled: Vermont set to become third U.S. state to allow assisted suicide, is reported that on Monday Vermont lawmakers approved a physician-assisted suicide bill to allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill patients who want to die.

The bill awaits to be signed into law by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin who has indicated support for the measure. He believes this is the right thing to do, which would offer Vermonters who face terminal illness at the end of life a choice to control their destiny and avoid unnecessary suffering.

Doctor-assisted suicide has been already legalized in Oregon and Washington in voter referendums.

The procedure of a doctor-assisted suicide has some safeguards. Two doctors, the patient’s primary physician and the consulting doctor, must make the medical determination that their patient is suffering from a terminal illness and is capable of making an informed decision to request death-inducing drugs. Under the bill the patient has to request the drugs twice, with 15 days separating the first and second requests. Moreover, the patients must apply the drugs to themselves only.

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Kermit Gosnell: Accusation Of Illegal Late-term Abortions

A recent Wall Street Journal article written by Peter Loftus and Louise Radnofsky entitled: “Abortion Doctor Convicted of Murder in Baby Deaths”, reports that a Philadelphia abortion doctor was declared to be guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies born alive.

The hot abortion debate was caused by a horrible case of 2009 when Kermit Gosnell, 72 years old, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 sedation-overdose death of a 41-year-old woman during an abortion procedure. Dr. Gosnell was found not guilty on a third-degree-murder charge in the woman’s death, and he was acquitted of first-degree murder of a fourth baby.

Dr. Gosnell can get the death penalty when the jury will return next week to reach its verdict on his case.

Opponents and supporters of abortion rights have seized on Dr. Gosnell’s case. Antiabortion activists, accusing Dr. Gosnell of the violence in terminating pregnancies, believe the issue of late-term abortions could influence Americans who support abortion rights. They believe there are at least some instances in which abortion should be illegal.

Other opinion accuses restrictive laws in Pennsylvania and many other states, where women with low-income have few possibilities to obtain quality care they need. That is why “inexpensive” Dr. Gosnell became so popular for poor and desperate women, despite his practice could be illegal, unethical and unsafe.

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Health Insurance Coverage – One Of The Primary Concerns Of Health Care Reform

 

Yesterday Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced new funding to help more uninsured Americans enroll in new health insurance coverage options made available by the Affordable Care Act. Approximately $150 million will help community health centers provide in-person enrollment assistance to uninsured individuals across the nation. About 1,200 health centers operate nearly 9,000 service delivery sites nationwide and serve approximately 21 million patients each year.

“Health centers have extensive experience providing eligibility assistance to patients, are providing care in communities across the Nation, and are well-positioned to support enrollment efforts,” Secretary Sebelius said. “Investing in health centers for outreach and enrollment assistance provides one more way the Obama administration is helping consumers understand their options and enroll in affordable coverage.”

According to the Uninsured Health Care Statistics, 16.3 % of the U.S. Population do not have any health insurance.

In the table below are presented data for different sectors of the society without health insurance:

Screenshot from 2013-05-10 15:41:22

On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. The law puts in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will roll out over four years and beyond.

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Complains About The National Mortgage Settlement

In a recent article written by Karen Freifeld and Aruna Viswanatha entitled: New York to sue BofA, Wells Fargo over mortgage practices, is reported that The National Mortgage Settlement, the largest consumer financial protection settlement in United States history (see), was brokered between the banks and 49 state attorneys general.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Monday he intends to sue Bank of America and Wells Fargo for violating the terms of a settlement designed to end mortgage servicing abuses.

Last year top banks reached an agreement about providing $25 billion in relief to homeowners and comply with a set of servicing standards to make amends for foreclosure misconduct. But as it turns out, the obligations of the deal are not carried out as expected.

According to Eric Schneiderman, 339 violations of standards dictating the time-line for banks to process mortgage modification applications has been documented since October 2012. Wells Fargo allegedly violated the servicing rules 210 times, while Bank of America allegedly violated the terms 129 times.

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Same-Sex Marriage Is Also Legalized In Rhode Island

In a recent Reuters article written by Edith Honan entitled: Rhode Island lawmakers pass gay marriage bill; governor signs it, is reported that on Thursday the smallest in area of the 50 U.S. states Rhode Island became the 10th U.S. state to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples and the last of the six New England states to do so.

Governor Lincoln Chafee, an independent, signed the bill yesterday shortly after its approval. The first wedding ceremonies will be possible on August 1, when the law will take effect.

“We would not be where we are today without the Rhode Islanders who for decades have fought for tolerance and freedom over discrimination and division,” said Chafee. “I am proud to say that now, at long last, you are free to marry the person you love.”

Later the governor together with the state’s main gay rights organization, Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, celebrated their victory in the state capital Providence.

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The FBI Reports An Increase Of Crimes Throughout The Country

Is there a day that crime isn’t in the news? Is there any doubt in your mind how dangerous the world we live in is?

Crime is an unfortunate reality everywhere! Big cities, small towns, even rural communities.

Statistics released in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report indicate that the number of violent crimes reported in the first six months of 2012 increased 1.9 % when compared with figures from the first six months of 2011. The number of property crimes increased 1.5 % for the same time frame. The report is based on information from more than 13,300 law enforcement agencies that submitted three to six comparable months of data to the FBI in the first six months of 2011 and 2012.

Violent Crime

  • Two of the four offenses in the violent crime category—murder and non-negligent manslaughter and forcible rape—show decreases when data from the first six months of 2012 are compared with data from the first six months of 2011. The number of murders declined 1.7 %, and the number of rapes decreased 1.4%. But the number of robberies increased 2.0 % and aggravated assaults 2.3 %.
  • Cities with populations of 250,000 to 499,999 showed an increase in violent crime of 4.7 %, the largest increase among the city population groups. Cities with less than 10,000 inhabitants experienced the only decline (0.7 %) in violent crime offenses.

  • Violent crime increased 0.7 % in metropolitan counties and 0.6 % in non-metropolitan counties.

  • Violent crime increased in each of the nation’s four regions. The largest increase, 3.1 %, was in the West, followed by 2.5 % in the Midwest, 1.1 % in the South, and 1.1 % in the Northeast.

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Find Out if Your Medical Service is Covered By Medicare!

According to the Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare, the Medicare program guarantees health insurance for people ages 65 or older and people under 65 with certain disabilities as well as people of any age with End – Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) (permanent kidney failure that requires a regular course of dialysis or a kidney transplant).

The whole Medicare social insurance program is divided into different parts where each of the part covers specific services:

Medicare Part A applies to Hospital Insurance and covers inpatient care in hospitals and skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care.

Medicare Part B applies to Medical Insurance and covers not only doctors’ and other health care providers’ services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, and home health care, but also some preventive services to help maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse (for example, preventive services include Pap tests, flu shots, and screening mammograms).

Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, offers health plan options run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies, helps to get the benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B, and may include extra benefits for an extra cost. Most Medicare Advantage Plans cover Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).

Medicare Part C, or Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, covers the cost of prescription drugs or may help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future.

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