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Anticipating Obama’s Immigration Push

In his inaugural address Monday, President Obama touched only briefly on immigration reform. But in the next few weeks, he is expected to propose changes that would put millions of illegal immigrants on the path toward U.S. citizenship. It could be one of the biggest challenges in his second term. President Obama’s deferred deportation program allows those who came illegally as children to work or study in the U.S. Last week, administration officials—speaking anonymously, of course—”leaked” to reporters some of the details of Obama’s immigration plan. For the first time, the White House made clear that the president won’t agree to raise the visa caps for highly skilled immigrants unless it’s part of an overall reform plan that includes a path to citizenship for many of the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S.

Questions Raised About Gun Albuquerque Family Massacre

Police in Albuquerque say they’re investigating if one of five family members killed had a record that could have barred him from owning the guns allegedly used. Authorities were investigating comments made by friends and colleagues that Pastor Greg Griego had a criminal record and if so, whether he should have been prohibited from owning an assault-style rifle and other guns his son allegedly used to kill him and four other family members last weekend, the Albuquerque Journal reported Tuesday. Greg Griego’s son, Nehemiah Griego, was charged with five counts of first-degree murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death in the shootings in the family’s South Valley home.  The Journal said the father had told people he had been in prison or had a criminal past, possibly in California. The Journal said Greg Griego, who ministered to prisoners at an area detention center, still could have been able to purchase a gun in New Mexico, one of 36 states that doesn’t require background checks for firearms bought at gun shows or from private sellers.

Groupon Stops All Gun-Related Deals

Groupon Inc. has stopped all current and future gun-related deals, bowing to customer pressure a month after the deadly mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. The LA Times reports the Chicago company said it has canceled existing and planned discounts for shooting ranges, conceal-and-carry and clay shooting. A statement from Groupon didn’t specify the company’s motives or when it would resume such deals, other than to say that the “category is under review following recent customer and merchant feedback.” The statement, issued Monday, said the company plans to review its international standards for these deals while they’re on hold. The move has been criticized by some merchants who say their deals were canceled abruptly because of the change in policy. Some media outlets cited a Texas gun shop owner who is calling for a Groupon boycott after he said the site scrapped his deal for a concealed handgun training course.

State Officials Looking To Keep Tight Rein On Legal Marijuana

State officials are looking to build a strictly regulated marijuana system that could forestall federal concerns about how the drug will be handled once it’s available for public purchase. Rick Garza of the Washington Liquor Control Board said Monday that he expects the federal government will try to take action if Washington’s system has loose controls. He said it’s important for Washington to have a strong regulatory structure, such as how participants in the system are licensed and how the product is handled from growth to the point of sale. One of the biggest issues the state is looking to manage is how much marijuana will be grown under the new system. Garza said it’s important for officials to properly project consumption rates so the state is growing the right amount for in-state users and not having any extra supply that could spill into states that haven’t legalized marijuana. Garza’s comments came a day before Gov. Jay Inslee was set to meet with the U.S. Department of Justice to discuss the marijuana law. Washington voters approved the marijuana law in November, but Justice Department officials have not indicated whether they will allow Washington and Colorado to create legal marijuana markets, since the drug is illegal under federal law.

Federal Regulators Order Employers To Ease Social Media Policies

As Facebook and Twitter become as central to workplace conversation as the company cafeteria, federal regulators are ordering employers to scale back policies that limit what workers can say online.  Employers often seek to discourage comments that paint them in a negative light. Don’t discuss company matters publicly, a typical social media policy will say, and don’t disparage managers, co-workers or the company itself. Violations can be a firing offense. But as the New York Times reports  in a series of recent rulings and advisories, labor regulators have declared many such blanket restrictions illegal. The National Labor Relations Board says workers have a right to discuss work conditions freely and without fear of retribution, whether the discussion takes place at the office or on Facebook. In addition to ordering the reinstatement of various workers fired for their posts on social networks, the agency has pushed companies nationwide, including giants like General Motors, Target and Costco, to rewrite their social media rules.

 

 

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