Friday, 21 November 2014

Obama - Change In Immigration Law

President Obama’s action to shield millions of undocumented immigrantsfrom deportation and grant them work permits opens a new front in the decades-long debate over the scope of presidential authority.
Although Mr. Obama is not breaking new ground by using executive powers to carve out a quasi-legal status for certain categories of unauthorized immigrants — the Republican Presidents Dwight D. EisenhowerRonald Reagan and George H. W. Bush all did so — his decision will affect as many as five million immigrants, far more than the actions of those presidents.
Mr. Obama’s action is also a far more extensive reshaping of the nation’s immigration system.
“The magnitude and the formality of it is arguably unprecedented,” said Peter J. Spiro, a Temple University law professor. “It’s fair to say that we have never seen anything quite like this before in terms of the scale.”

The breadth of Mr. Obama’s decision is already raising serious legal and constitutional questions, fueling Republican charges of imperial overreachand worries among some Democrats of future fallout.

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Obama Defends Plan’s Legality

Obama Defends Plan’s Legality

President Obama defended his authority to act on immigration and challenged Congress to pass its own legislative overhaul of the system.
 Video by Associated Press on Publish DateNovember 20, 2014. Photo by Pool photo by Jim Bourg.

In an acknowledgment of the difficult questions of law and executive power Mr. Obama is raising with his action, the White House took the unusual step Thursday night of releasing the formal, 33-page Justice Department memo detailing the action’s legal underpinnings. Such internal legal opinions are seldom revealed to the public.
The memo, White House officials and a broad array of legal experts assert that the president’s directive, announced Thursday night in a prime-time address to the nation, rests on firm legal ground.
As chief executive, they say, Mr. Obama has virtually unfettered “prosecutorial discretion” to decide when he will or will not prosecute criminal infractions.
They also say that because Congress does not appropriate nearly enough money to deport all of the 11 million undocumented immigrants estimated to be living in the United States, the president is obligated to choose whom he deports, so he cannot reasonably be accused of usurping lawmakers’ authority or failing to execute the law.
“The key is that the president’s actions will still leave millions of undocumented immigrants to go after, and that will be with resources appropriated by Congress that still make barely a dent in the remaining population,” said Stephen H. Legomsky, a Washington University law school professor who was chief counsel of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2011 to 2013.
The White House also released a letter Thursday night signed by 10 of the nation’s top legal and constitutional scholars, including Laurence H. Tribe of Harvard, a noted liberal, and Eric Posner of the University of Chicago, a conservative, that called the new policy “lawful” and “within the power of the executive branch.”
Still, some lawyers critical of Mr. Obama argue that by publicly grouping a large number of undocumented immigrants who are not subject to American law and granting them a special status, the president has gone far beyond the limits of prosecutorial discretion and crossed the line into legislative fiat.
“This action certainly looks a lot more like, ‘I’m changing the rules of the game,’ rather than ‘I’m just choosing not to exercise my discretion,’ and that runs counter to Congress’s power to decide what the law is,” said Shannen W. Coffin, who in the George W. Bush administration was a Justice Department lawyer and then counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney. “It’s highly questionable as a constitutional matter.”
As the chief executive, Mr. Coffin added, the president has a duty to enforce the law, and while declining to do so may not be unconstitutional in every case, “at some point when you’re doing it en masse, you’re doing something very damaging.”
Previous presidents who used their executive authority to shield undocumented immigrants confronted little of the fury that Mr. Obama now faces, in part because their actions affected fewer people and the issue was not as polarizing at the time.
“Back in the 1980s, immigration was controversial, but there was a bipartisan consensus that we had to reform immigration laws,” said Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, who teaches immigration law at Cornell University.
In 1986, Mr. Reagan signed the so-called amnesty bill passed by Congress that granted legal status to three million undocumented immigrants, and then acted on his own the following year to expand it to about 100,000 more. That action extended the amnesty to immigrants who had left the country and then used fraudulent documents to be readmitted, and shielded from deportation minor children whose parents qualified.
Mr. Bush moved in 1990 to allow 1.5 million undocumented spouses and children of immigrants who were in the process of becoming legal permanent residents to stay in the country and obtain work permits. At the time, that amounted to about 40 percent of the immigrants living without documentation in the United States. Mr. Obama’s order would affect about 45 percent of the undocumented immigrants.
The numbers matter because legal scholars say a president’s discretionary power on immigration is not unlimited. Were he to refuse to deport any immigrants, Mr. Obama could open himself to a constitutional challenge that he was failing to live up to his duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
The announcement on Thursday was the latest presidential grant of deferred action, a concept in immigration law that was also the basis for Mr. Obama’s 2012 directive granting two-year deportation reprieves to undocumented immigrants younger than 30 who had been brought to the United States as children and had graduated from high school or joined the military.
The president’s new policy expands that 2012 order by removing the age limit and applying it to anyone brought to the United States as a child before 2010. But Mr. Obama declined to include the parents of those immigrants, after administration lawyers concluded that doing so would exceed his authority.
David A. Martin, a University of Virginia law professor who was a counsel at the Department of Homeland Security in 2009 and 2010, said that beyond the question of whether Mr. Obama was staying within the bounds of his power, the bigger problem for the future was one of precedent. Even if his directive is legally defensible, Mr. Martin said, Mr. Obama may be paving the way for future Republican presidents to act similarly to contravene laws that Democrats cherish.
“It is problematic if presidents can just make major inroads in programs that Congress has enacted and funded,” he said.

Read the full story here.



Thursday, 20 November 2014

Sarfraz Ahmad Hundred Against New Zealand

By Sikander Hayat 

Sarfraz Ahmad has scored a brilliant hundred against New Zealand and in doing so kept New Zealand lead to a minimum. This is his third hundred in this year and this makes him the first wicket keeper from Pakistan to score three hundreds in a calender year. Tail ender played well around him and especially the last wicket partnership frustrated New Zealand for a long time.

Can America Trust Pakistan?

Raheel Sharif's visit, the first by any Pakistani army chief in four years, comes at a time when the US is in the final stages of its withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Officials say the US may not need Pakistan's ports and roads as before to sustain its Afghanistan operations, but the engagement between the two nations will continue.
The relationship took a heavy blow following the US raid in Abbottabad to kill Osama Bin Laden, but efforts have been made over the past year to rebuild the military ties.
Mr Sharif, after taking over the post last year, has overseen a major military operation against Islamists in the tribal areas of Pakistan, a long-pending US demand.
Experts say Islamabad is using this as a way to extract a commitment from the US regarding enhanced engagement and continuation of military aid to Pakistan post-2014.
Signs of thawing relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have helped create some positive vibes in the US towards its uncertain ally.

Start Quote

Why should America's enemies unnecessarily become our enemies?”
Sartaj AzizPakistan National Security Advisor
But there still remains a huge trust deficit.
Many officials and members of Congress have openly expressed frustration at Pakistan's efforts to combat militant groups like the Haqqani Network, who pose a direct threat to US interests.
Earlier this year the US had to free five top Taliban fighters from the Guantanamo Bay prison to secure the release of one of its soldiers, Pvt Sgt Bowe Bergdahl, who was allegedly in the captivity of the Haqqani Network.
The deal left many Pentagon officials cringing. They believed Sgt Bergdahl could have been snatched from the Haqqanis if the Pakistani Army had extended its cooperation.
"They placed a higher value on their relationship with the Haqqanis than they did on their relationship with the United States, " said former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense David Sedney.
Incidents like these have led many in Congress to question the effectiveness of this strategic partnership.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Foreign Students Must Know This Information For Studying In Munich, Germany

by Apurvaa Subramaniam
So you have decided to study in Munich. Well done, you have chosen wisely. Munich, the capital of Bavaria, famous for the Oktoberfest, is also home to a host of universities including 2 of Germany’s elite universities Technical University of Munich(TUM) and Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU). Here are some tips on how to make the most of your student life in Munich and experience the true “Münchner Gemütlichkeit”.
Editor's note: Don't miss out to have a look at the exciting study programmes offered in Munich!

Before Arriving

Plan and prepare in advance

Once you have are accepted to a university in Munich, it is essential to start your preparations as soon as possible, ideally at least 2 or 3 months before your arrival.


Non EU citizens usually require a Residence Permit to study in Germany. Keep all the required documents ready and apply well in time. Depending on your nationality, the visa may take up to 4-6 weeks to be approved and granted. It is compulsory for foreigners to purchase health insurance for their stay in Germany. Many foreign students are also required to open blocked accounts or ‘Sperrkonto’ in a bank in Germany before they can apply for a visa. Thus, carefully read through the visa requirements for your country in the German Embassy or High Commission’s website.


Student housing run by the Studentenwerk in Munich is usually the cheapest and most sought after option. However, it is generally very hard to get because the demand is much greater than the supply. Flat shares or WGs are a good alternative. It may take you a long time to find a suitable residence, so it’s better to start looking early. Websites such as are a good place to begin your search from.


Many organizations such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offer different kinds of scholarships. If you are going only for a few semesters on a Study Abroad program, your university may also offer scholarships.

Connect with People

Talking to people who are already in Munich or those who are coming to study like you is always beneficial. You could join or set up a Facebook group for all the students coming to your university for example. Reading blogs and forums is also worthwhile. Toytown Germany is a great resource for foreigners in living in Germany.
Many universities in Munich have a ‘buddy system’ i.e. you are allocated a buddy who is usually a student currently studying in the university. You can ask your buddy various questions about the university, life in Munich, and so on. Your buddy will often become a good friend as well. So do ask your university to allocate you a buddy.
For any course related queries it is best to contact your professors in advance. They are generally very helpful.

Have a Plan

Set goals, think about the things you want to achieve, activities you want to do and places you want to visit. You will be surprised at how quickly the time passes after your arrival, especially if you are staying for only a few semesters!

After Arrival

Make the most of your time

The first few days may be a bit tough with everything being new, but hang on because things will definitely get better!

Attend the University’s Orientation Programs

Most universities have at least 2 weeks of orientation for new students. These programs include providing administrative help such as getting your student ID, library pass, transport pass, registration in the KVR for foreigners, as well as campus tours and parties. Thus, not only are these programs useful but also a great way of meeting new people and making friends.

Manage your time wisely

The European university system is usually more flexible compared to the Asian system (from my choose your exam dates, enroll in courses in one semester but take the exams in the next semester and so on. While this gives students a lot of freedom, it also means a lot more responsibility. Hence, make sure you maintain a good balance between work and play.

Internships and Part-Time Work

A number of career fairs are held every semester in the main universities of Munich. It is fairly easy to find internships here, even for foreign students as fluency in German is usually not a must.
Lots of part-time work opportunities are also available in the university such as assisting professors, working at the library, campus bar and so on. This is a great way to earn some extra money.

Get Involved

For a richer experience, participate in various activities. There are a lot of different university clubs to choose from such as dance, debating, music, computer clubs and so on. The Olympiapark in Munich offers a lot of sports facilities. You can join a sports team as well.
The DAAD organizes interesting events such as the Tandem Reporters program. A host family program is offered during Christmas through which you can spend a few days in a German family’s home and thus experience typical German Christmas traditions.
Since most people in Munich speak English, it is not essential to know German. However learning a bit of German is certainly beneficial and will be very helpful if you travel to small towns and villages outside Munich. The locals also appreciate foreigners who try to integrate and learn their language and will therefore be friendlier. Most universities offer German as a foreign language.

Travel and Make Use of Student Discounts

Munich as well as a lot of other places in Europe offer generous student discounts on transport, entrance tickets to attractions and performances and accommodation. So carry your Student Card everywhere and take full advantage of this.
Munich is also ideally located for travel to Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland to name a few. Ryanair operates a number of cheap flights from Munich. Deutsche Bahn also offers good prices if you book a few weeks in advance. Deals such as the Bayern Bohemian ticket are also worth checking out. Mitfahrgelegenheit is a cheap way of traveling to relatively nearby places by road.

Stay in touch after you leave

Join the Alumni Network

Sign up for your university’s alumni newsletter. This may be very useful in the future as it will give you access to a large network of people, job opportunities, seminars and other developments.

Preserve your Memories

Studying abroad will be one of the most memorable experiences of your lifetime. Thus, creating a blog or a scrapbook or writing articles about it will help you relive all the wonderful moments again and also serve as a guide to other students.

Quotation of the Day