Melancon has filed legislation that offers "commonsense measures" to address the nation's continuing challenges with illegal immigration. The Secure America through Verification and Enforcement Act, also known as SAVE, is a three-part plan to drastically reduce illegal immigration through stricter border security, employer verification and interior enforcement. "Illegal immigration is a threat to our communities and a burden on our local governments," says Melancon. "We must do something to solve this problem."
Melancon says it's estimated that more than 12 million people are in the country illegally, and thousands more are coming in every week. "Americans are demanding a solution," he adds. Specifically, the SAVE Act would add 8,000 new patrol agents to the nation's border, require employers to verify legal status and further enforce existing laws that the congressman says lack any real bite. ... VITTER'S TESTIMONY CANCELED U.S. Sen. David Vitter was scheduled to testify this week about his involvement with an escort service ran by the "D.C. Madam." Deborah Jeane Palfrey had subpoenaed Vitter, but last week, a federal judge canceled the hearing. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that Palfrey was attempting "an end run" around evidentiary rules to get an advance look at the government's case.
Palfrey has been indicted for running a prostitution ring in D.C. Her attorneys were expected to question Vitter about his involvement with the escorts. ... WILL BOUSTANY/VITTER/GIULANI ALLIANCE HOLD? Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani is pro-choice, pro-gay rights and pro-gun control. So it came as no surprise when many people scratched their heads wondering why bedrock conservatives like U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany and U.S. Sen. David Vitter endorsed him earlier this year.
Will the state's GOP base stand for it as the election draws closer? There are already indications that the Christian Right is turning up the heat. Most recently, the former vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, which has 15 million members nationwide, called for a boycott of CBN and The 700 Club after Pat Robertson made his own Giuliani endorsement.
Additionally, Campaign for Children and Families, a leading West Coast pro-family organization, is condemning the "selling out of family values" in leaders, like Robertson, endorsing the former New York mayor. CCF President Randy Thomasson offered up a scathing quote, one that could possibly cross over to Lafayette's Boustany or Metairie's Vitter in coming months. "Pat Robertson is casting a blind eye to Rudy Giuliani's big-time advocacy of the transsexual, bisexual and homosexual agenda ' an intolerant agenda that harms children, religious freedom, parental rights, the institution of marriage and the Boy Scouts," he says. ... LWV URGES ACTION ON AILING SCHOOL FACILITIES Lafayette's public school buildings are "old, overcrowded, and underfunded" and in dire need of a major face lift in order to provide local students a quality education. That's the synopsis of a study published last week by the Lafayette League of Women Voters. Other highlights, er, lowlights, include: 60 percent of Lafayette Parish's public schools are at least 40 years old, and almost 40 percent are at least 50 years old; 25 percent of the school system's total classrooms are now portable. Although Lafayette Parish has the third highest per capita income in the state, 26 other parishes have a higher millage rate for their schools, 13 parishes have a higher sales tax rate, and 15 parishes spend more per pupil; St. Tammany Parish raises almost double what Lafayette Parish does for its schools in total ad valorem revenue (property tax).
School Board members have been invited to attend the league's next meeting on Dec. 3 to address the study. The league, which is experiencing a renaissance of sorts with new membership, also plans to be involved when the board holds an upcoming workshop devoted to adopting a long-term, comprehensive facilities plan. The school facilities report is one of two studies the local LWV plans to release. Another study on the potential of Lafayette Utilities System's fiber-to-the-home project is already under way.
Contributors: Jeremy Alford, R. Reese Fuller and
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seenh on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her lead GOP challenger Congressman Bill Cassidy are running close when it comes to money. Landrieu has $5.5 million to Cassidy’s $5.6 million in the bank.
With expectations mounting that Gov. Bobby Jindal will soon announce his campaign for president, attention is turning to not only who he will bring along with him but also what will transpire politically back home during the transition.
Seven of the 11 U.S. cities in a new ranking of “most dangerous diets” are in the Bayou and Lone Star states, but the ranking is more about poverty than fried oysters.
Lafayette police are investigating a fatal shooting involving an alleged burglar and homeowner.