The Lookout
  • AP061215043995GOP Congressmen are calling on President Obama to return to large-scale workplace raids to round up and deport illegal immigrants--even though the Obama administration conducted a record number of deportations last year.

    The new chair of a congressional immigration subcommittee, Rep. Elton Gallegly, said the lack of worker deportations are represents a "grave disservice to American workers," reports to the Ventura County Star.

    The Obama White House has deported more illegal immigrants in one fiscal year than any other presidency has in recent history, even resorting to unorthodox tactics in the rush to beat their deportation record. The administration's focus, however, has been on deporting people with criminal records or people who have been arrested for any crime.

    Workplace raids have dropped 70 percent since President George W. Bush's last two years in office, and the Obama administration says it prefers to concentrate on punishing employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants instead of the workers themselves via investigations and fines.

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  • A former Securities and Exchange Commission chair described to the Congressional Financial Inquiry Commission the full-court press that industry lobbyists, working with sympathetic lawmakers, exerted on his agency when they learned of a new proposed regulation they didn't like.

    From the report:

    Former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Arthur Levitt told the FCIC that once word of a proposed regulation got out, industry lobbyists would rush to complain to members of the congressional committee with jurisdiction over the financial activity at issue. According to Levitt, these members would then "harass" the SEC with frequent letters demanding answers to complex questions and appearances of officials before Congress. These requests consumed much of the agency's time and discouraged it from making regulations. Levitt described it as "kind of a blood sport to make the particular agency look stupid or inept or venal."

    Levitt chaired the SEC from 1993 to 2001.

    The CFIC report found

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  • Robert RubinHere's a cautionary tale from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission's report about what may have happened to you at Citigroup if you tried to raise concerns about lending standards during the height of the housing boom:

    Richard Bowen, a veteran banker who oversaw loan quality for billions of dollars of Citigroup mortgages, became so worried about defective loans that in November 2007 he sent an email on the subject to several execs, including Robert Rubin (pictured), the former Clinton Treasury Secretary who chaired the firm's board. The email was titled: "URGENT—READ IMMEDIATELY."

    Bowen, who no longer works for Citigroup, told the commission about this during public testimony last year. And Rubin responded during his own public testimony that the email was "acted on promptly and actions were taken in response to it."

    But the commission now reports that those actions may not have been quite what Bowen was hoping to see:

    Bowen told the Commission [in an interview] that after he

    Read More »from Citi denies it demoted banker who warned Rubin over dodgy loans

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