BPC Blog

Apr. 24, 2014
According to a new DHS estimate, the unauthorized immigrant population declined slightly between 2010 and 2012

Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an updated estimate of the unauthorized immigrant population. As of January 1, 2012, DHS estimated that 11.4 million unauthorized immigrants were in the country. By comparison, the Pew Research Center’s commonly-cited estimates suggest that about 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants were in the country as of March 2012.

New technology is one of the prime drivers of economic growth, but the process that leads to innovations is marked by uneven progress

The research and experimentation (R&E) tax credit – alternatively referred to as the R&D tax credit, the research tax credit, or the credit for increasing research activities – is a tax provision designed to incentivize innovation by making research activities cheaper for businesses. The R&E credit is one of the “tax extenders,” a set of federal tax provisions that expired on December 31, 2013, but have routinely been renewed in the past. 

How it works, why people like it, and why it might need updating

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal tax provision that supplies a valuable benefit to low-income, working Americans. The credit is held in high esteem by Republicans and Democrats alike because it incentivizes work by subsidizing take-home pay for low-income workers. The EITC’s generosity has been increased under presidents from both parties.

The plan builds on the work of Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA), who helped renew congressional interest in reform last year

Achieving housing finance reform received a major boost when Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and ranking member Mike Crapo (R-ID) recently unveiled their long-awaited reform proposal.  

International Atomic Energy Agency still lacks funds to carry out Iran nuclear inspections

Before the interim deal agreed to by Iran and six world powers in November 2013 and signed in January 2014, known as the Joint Plan of Action (JPA), the IAEA had more than 20 staff dedicated to inspections in Iran, with two to four staff in Iran every day. These inspectors visited the enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow about once a week and other sites less often. The JPA expanded access for inspectors, allowing for daily access to Natanz and Fordow, “managed access” to the Arak heavy water facility, which could be used to make weapons grade plutonium, as well as uranium mines, mills, and centrifuge facilities.

Data suggest that DHS’ border enforcement strategy, including its increased use of formal removals at the border, is achieving its intended goals

Recent weeks have seen a flurry of debate over the Obama Administration’s deportation numbers. As stakeholders on all sides of the debate put forward their take on the data, two key facts have been overlooked. First, the increase in formal border removals is part of a deliberate strategy to deter unauthorized immigrants at the border. Second, by at least one of the few sets of performance data available, the strategy appears to be working.

One study found that over half of Americans risk not being able to maintain their standard of living in retirement

On Wednesday morning, the Bipartisan Policy Center will launch the Personal Savings Initiative (register to join us here). The initiative will be led by former Senator Kent Conrad, who served as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and James Lockhart, who served as deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration and other key roles in the executive branch. Their effort will be supported by a bipartisan commission of nationally recognized experts who will examine legislative and regulatory avenues to improve Americans’ personal savings and retirement security.

Until there is federal clarity in immigration law and policy, the tension will continue to grow

Last week, Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia signed an executive order limiting the cooperation of the city’s law enforcement agency with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on detainers—requests to hold individuals in custody for immigration enforcement. In doing so, Philadelphia joined many other jurisdictions across the country that have enacted such policies in the last several years

The willingness of the court to challenge the prime minister's party restores some optimism for the future of rule of law in Turkey

In recent months, Turkey’s embattled government, led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has taken extreme measures to combat allegations of corruption. He has adopted several pieces of legislation to expand the power of the executive. These laws undermine the separation of powers and rule of law in Turkey. Although Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled to overturn several articles of the law restructuring Turkey’s Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors, scoring a small victory for checks and balances, the government’s response suggests it is unlikely to abandon its attempts to tame the judiciary.

No more spats over MATS? The EPA regulation is one step closer and one year closer to reality

In an April ruling, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed all challenges to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for Power Plants. This regulation is set to require pollution controls or fuel switching for some of the existing fleet of coal-fired and oil-fired generators by 2015 or 2016 to control a selection of hazardous air pollutants that currently flow out of their exhaust stacks. In addition, a number of announced coal plant retirements cite MATS as a factor.

Last September, BPC published the first in a series of annual reports, Jihadist Terrorism: A Threat Assessment

As we commemorate one year since the Boston Marathon bombings, and 19 years since the bombing of the Murray building in Oklahoma City, we note that the risk of homegrown radicalization continues to threaten our nation.

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