Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama Sworn In As The 44th U.S. President

By H. Nelson Goodson
El Conquistador Newspaper
3206 W. National Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215
January 21, 2009

Washington D.C.- Last Tuesday, Barack H. Obama, 47, former U.S. Senator from Chicago, Illinois became the 44th President and the first African-American to be sworn in as President of the United States. More than 1.4 million people gathered into the National Mall for this historic 56th Inauguration event and 100 of thousands lined up along the inaugural parade route. People from the National Mall were not allowed unto the parade route because it was full to capacity, according to Washington D.C. Police. This year’s crowd of 1-2 million people in the mall surpassed any other Presidential inaugural event. Police estimated another 2 million people visited the city during Obama’s event.
People began entering the National Mall at 2:00 a.m. and endured a seven degree cold temperature with wind chills minus eighteen throughout the morning in order to see President-elect Obama sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, 53. Joe Biden was also sworn in as Vice-President. During a traditional post-inauguration luncheon for President Obama, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, 76, D-Mass. became ill and collapsed. He was taken to a nearby hospital. Kennedy has been battling a brain tumor. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, 91, was also reported to have left the luncheon unexpectedly.
On Wednesday, Obama freeze the salaries of some of the White House aides and barred aides from receiving any gifts from lobbyists. He told reporters he will "make government as honest and transparent as it needs to be" just because a government agency has the legal power to keep information private does not mean that it should. "For a long time now, there's been too much secrecy in this city" and now is the time for accountability and to change that, Obama said. Obama send out a memo to all government agencies requesting the change of policy concerning the way the federal government interprets the Freedom of Information Act. "But these historic measures do mark the beginning of a new era of openness in our country," Obama said. "And I will, I hope, do something to make government trustworthy in the eyes of the American people, in the days and weeks, months and years to come."
In Wisconsin, Obama made history in last November’s Presidential election when Obama won Wisconsin with 59 counties that included 32 counties which voted Republican in 2004. This time around the 32 counties voted for a Democrat, sending a strong message to the Republican party that voters dislike President George W. Bush and his administration policies and voted for change.
On Wednesday, Voces de la Frontera joined grass roots community organizations across the country and in Washington, D.C. to celebrate a new America. Latinos and organizations took part in a National Day of Action to call for comprehensive, humane immigration reform in the first 100 days of the new administration. The pro-immigration reform groups called on President Obama, Homeland Security Secretary-designate Janet Napolitano, Senator Russell Feingold, and Congresswoman Gwen Moore for an end to the immigration raids, for enforcement of the human rights of immigration detainees to be upheld, accountability for immigration and federal officials who disregard current laws granting immigrants rights and due process, and for a humane and just reform of U.S. immigration law.
On January 7, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey ended the practice of allowing immigrants to reopen immigration cases that they lost because of their lawyers' mistakes or incompetence. Mukasey’s order, which was effective immediately, may lead to the deportation of innumerable immigrants who have lost their cases due to attorney error.
Mukasey wrote in favor of Board of Immigration Appeals in Matter of Lozada, 19 I&N Dec. 637 (BIA 1988), and Matter of Assaad, 23 I&N Dec. 553 (BIA 2003), “I overrule Lozada and Assaad to the extent they are inconsistent with the constitutional conclusions in this opinion, and I affirm the Board’s decisions denying reopening in each of the matters before me.”
Will Mukasey’s personal decision be upheld by President Obama’s designate Erick Holder as the next U.S. Attorney General? Most likely not, according to immigration activists.

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