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The Week in Immigration News

A roundup of the top immigration stories of the week:

  • The Justice Department filed a suit against the state of Arizona on Tuesday for its controversial immigration bill. This could stop the law from going into effect on July 29 — the DOJ filed an injunction — but the judge assigned to consider the case said she may not be able to reach a decision on the injunction before the bill is implemented. Experts predict that the suit will probably put an end to the law, but Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is confident the state will prevail, calling the administration’s actions “outrageous.” Arizona will have some help with its legal costs — the state has received nearly $500,000 in donations to fight back against lawsuits aimed at SB 1070.
  • Most Americans oppose the government’s lawsuit against Arizona’s immigration law. There is a strong partisan divide on support for the administration’s decision to sue Arizona: Republicans and independents mostly oppose the lawsuit, while a majority of Democrats support it. A majority of Americans support the Arizona law, and 61 percent of voters would like to see an Arizona-style law in their state. But a majority of Americans, including those who support the Arizona law, support comprehensive immigration reform.
  • The number of illegal immigrants in Arizona dropped 17.9 percent from 2008 to 2009 — the biggest drop in any of the 10 states with the largest illegal immigrant populations. Of the 10 states, only Georgia saw a rise in estimated illegal immigrants from 2008 to 2009. Immigration is shaping up to be a major issue in the state’s upcoming elections. Georgia’s Republican candidates have emphasized their support for Arizona’s SB 1070 during the primaries, but Democrats in the state have remained mostly silent.
  • Senate candidate Rand Paul (R-Ky.) changed his mind on his preferred border control method, throwing his support behind a proposal to construct a physical fence at the border. Paul previously stated in interviews and on his website that he would like an underground electrical fence to be constructed along the border, but his spokesman said Paul no longer supports that plan. “Rand Paul will secure our border by any means needed as our current open border is a threat to national security and economic well being,” the spokesman said.
  • The cost of immigrating to the United States is set to become more expensive: the price of a Green Card is expected to go up by 10 percent this September. Other fare hikes will likely be even steeper. A proposal for fee increases raises the price of temporary residence application by $420, to $1,030, and visas for investors, which were previously free, will now cost $6,230. The cost for citizenship applications will remain the same, at $595.

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