By Jueseppi B.
01:10 PM EST
Domestic Violence Awareness Month has ended, but our work to end abuse continues. Today, in this country, women and children continue to suffer from unspeakable violence because they are afraid to seek help without legal status. When immigrant survivors of abuse without legal status are, according to one study, half as likely to call the police to seek the help they need, we must act.
President Obama Discusses Immigration Reform with Business Leaders
Published on Nov 5, 2013
President Obama discusses the economic benefits of immigration reform with leaders from a small cross-section of the businesses all across the country who are deeply committed to making sure that we get comprehensive immigration reform done, and done quickly. November 5, 2013.
Since it was first signed into law in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA has recognized the need for special protections for immigrant survivors of abuse, including self-petitions and categories of visas for victims of violent crimes and human trafficking. But while VAWA includes key provisions to help immigrant survivors, it is not enough.
Now, Congress has the opportunity to take an important step towards protecting victims, and supporting law enforcement to create safer communities for all Americans. Commonsense immigration reform would significantly benefit immigrant women all over the country. The Senate has already passed an immigration reform bill by a wide, bipartisan majority. And Democratic leaders have introduced a bill in the House that’s similar to the bipartisan Senate bill. So it’s up to Republicans in the House to decide whether to move forward with immigration reform. Unlike many other issues in Washington, immigration reform is one that both parties can agree on. Congress must finish the job on commonsense immigration reform.
10:45 AM EST
Ed. note: The livestream for this event has now concluded. Check back later for full video.
The President & First Lady Surprises White House Tours
Streamed live on Nov 5, 2013
On the day tours re-opened at the White House, the President & the First Lady greeted the first visitors.
michelleobama on Instagram: First Lady Michelle Obama This account is run by the Office of First Lady Michelle Obama. Instagrams from the First Lady are signed -mo. Messages may be archived WH.gov/privacy http://whitehouse.gov
The President and First Lady welcomed guests with handshakes and hugs. Bo and Sunny made an appearance and guests of all ages affectionately patted and pet the pups.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have made it a priority to open the White House to young people, military families, and Americans of all ages. Today, President Obama and Mrs. Obama surprise guests on a White House Tour and we invite you to watch live.
Experiencing the White House isn’t limited to those who are able to visit in person. Check out all of the ways the Obama Administration offers virtual visitors unprecedented access to the People’s House, and then find out how to stay engaged with all that is happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Learn about the White House grounds and many of the historic rooms inside the People’s House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
We have partnered with the Google Art Project and allowed their 360 Street View cameras to capture the rooms that are featured on the public tour.
Check out behind thescenes of some of the everyday – and not so every day—activities that take place at the White House.
The White House restarted tours after a seven-month hiatus on Tuesday, and the first visitors received a big surprise.
President Obama, Michelle Obama as well as their dogs Bo and Sunny greeted the tourists as they filed through the White House.
“We are so glad you are are here,” Mrs. Obama told one family. “We’re so glad they’re (the tours) back.”
The president and first lady spent more than 30 minutes together greeting the tourists before Obama had to peel off to attend a meeting. The first lady stuck around longer.
Obama seemed to particularly relish chatting up the younger visitors. He told one nattily attired 8-year-old boy that he looked quite “raffish” with his pocket square. And he joked with a little girl, who turned 4 earlier this month, that he was sorry that he missed her party, but he was dealing with the government shutdown.
Another little girl told Obama she saw a wax version of his likeness a day earlier. The president asked if he or his wax figurine had less gray hair. The child politely demurred.
The tours, which were canceled in March as a result of the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, restarted Tuesday on a reduced schedule. Instead of five days a week, the tours will run for three days a week, according to the White House.
President Obama Calls Red Sox Manager John Farrell
Published on Nov 5, 2013
President Barack Obama calls Boston Red Sox Manager John Farrell to congratulate him on the team’s third World Series title in ten years.
Ratification of the Disabilities Treaty: An Opportunity To Reinforce U.S. Leadership on Disability Rights
November 05, 2013
12:20 PM EST
Judith Heumann serves as Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State.
This is an important week for people with disabilities, including myself. In fact, it’s important to anyone who supports opening the world to Americans with disabilities, Americans who wish to enjoy the same opportunities as our fellow citizens to study, travel, serve, and work overseas. On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will begin considering the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Disabilities Treaty), which embodies, at the international level, the principles of non-discrimination, equality of opportunity, accessibility, and inclusion grounded in our own Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
More than 130 countries have ratified the Disabilities Treaty, but the United States has not. The United States set the gold standard for disabilities rights when we passed the ADA in 1990, and we have the opportunity to lead again. By ratifying the Disabilities Treaty, the United States can carry forward its strong leadership on these issues, breaking down barriers, and making a real difference for the one billion people living with a disability, many of whom too often face discrimination, inequality, abuse, or neglect.
Last week, I sat with Vice President Biden and Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett to discuss the treaty with disability leaders, veterans, business leaders, and people of faith from around the country. We reiterated the Administration’s strong support for the Treaty and the fact that ratification will have a direct positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities — including our wounded warriors and disabled veterans.
Joining treaties is an exercise of our sovereignty. It is an exercise that the Founding Fathers foresaw when they built mechanisms into the Constitution that enable the U.S. Senate to give its advice and consent to international agreements of all types. And the United States has a proud tradition of using treaties to uphold American values and principles, including treaties combating genocide, racial discrimination, and torture, and upholding religious freedom and freedom of expression. Thousands of Americans with disabilities would not support the Disabilities Treaty if we felt it would in any way denigrate these United States of America and our fellow citizens.
There are additional points that are important to know about ratification of the Disabilities Treaty.
First, the Disabilities Treaty upholds family values, promotes families with disabilities staying together, and protects parental rights. U.S. ratification will protect the authority of parents to raise their children as they see fit, including making their own decisions about education and parental discipline. In particular, the Treaty upholds the ability of parents to homeschool their children with disabilities, and joining this treaty will provide the United States with a platform from which to show other countries how homeschooling can be done effectively.
Second, the Disabilities Treaty does not change U.S. law regarding abortion. Indeed, many countries that prohibit or restrict abortion have ratified the treaty.
And finally, U.S. ratification will keep the balance of power between the federal government and the states exactly the same.
Joining the treaty is the best tool we have to promote and export our disability rights gold standard, open markets for U.S. businesses, encourage meaningful systemic improvements in other countries, and open the world to Americans with disabilities wishing to work, travel, study, and serve abroad.
As Secretary Kerry recently said, “[I]n too many countries, what we have come to be able to take for granted here in America hasn’t been granted at all.” The time is now for action on the Disabilities Treaty.
To learn more, visit http://www.state.gov/disabilitiestreaty.
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