Coming to America:

President Obama’s immigration plan would allow undocumented immigrants to become U.S. citizens within eight years, a leaked draft of the proposal revealed Sunday. The plan also requires business owners to check on the immigration status of new hires within a certain time frame and establishes more funding for security. The White House is working on its own bill as congressional Democrats and Republicans develop their own immigration reform proposals. Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio has already panned the White House plan, insisting that it will be “dead on arrival” if introduced in Congress. (Read more)

Raise the (Minimum) Wage: New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is the latest economist to make the case for increasing the minimum wage. In a blog post for The Times, Krugman points out there simply isn’t evidence to support the GOP’s claim that raising worker pay will end up decreasing employment. The Nobel Prize winner also dispels the notion that the Earned Income Tax Credit and minimum wage are competing ways to help low-wage earners, arguing that raising worker pay better ensures that the employees—not the employers—are getting the benefits from the EITC. Krugman concludes: “So a minimum wage increase isn’t some kind of counsel-of-despair way to help workers a bit in a dysfunctional political scene (although there’s that too); it’s actually good policy.” (Read more)

A Different Direction: While numerous states are attempting to make it practically impossible for women to get abortions (despite the fact that it’s a legal procedure), Gov. Andrew Cuomo is working on legislation that would guarantee women in New York the right to have one late in their pregnancy if their life is in jeopardy or the fetus is not viable. The federal law—which supersedes state law—allows women to get abortions into their third trimester; the law on the books in New York allows women to have abortions after 24 weeks only if the mother’s life is threatened. According to The New York Times: “Abortion rights advocates say the existence of the more restrictive state law has a chilling effect on some doctors and prompts some women to leave the state for late-term abortions.” (Read more)

Indecent Proposal: Never mind that we have important issues to discuss like worker wages and immigration reform—one North Carolina congresswoman is utilizing her time in the House of Representatives by attempting to define female nipples as indecent. Republican Rep. Rayne Brown apparently believes female public toplessness is a big issue in this country, at least enough so that she worked on legislation banning it. Said Brown: “There are communities across this state, there’s local governments across this state, and also local law enforcement for whom this issue is really not a laughing matter.” Your taxpayer dollars, hard at work. (Read more)

Golfing With Tiger: In case you were wondering what Barack Obama was up to this Presidents Day weekend—he spent the day before the actual holiday hitting the greens with Tiger Woods. The president and the world’s once preeminent golfer played a round at the Floridan, an exclusive club on Florida’s Treasure Coast where Obama is spending the weekend. The pair was joined by businessman Jim Crane, the owner of baseball’s Houston Astros and outgoing U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. (Read more)

Video of the Day: “Saturday Night Live” poked fun at Marco Rubio’s “sip heard ’round the world” during his State of the Union rebuttal. The Florida senator (played by Taran Killam) attempts to explain the ill-timed drink of water, but just ends up making the same gaffe again.

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