The Week in Immigration News
A roundup of the top immigration stories of the week:
- Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law had its first day in court Thursday, when a judge heard a challenge of the law from a Phoenix police officer but issued no ruling. District Court Judge Susan Bolton will hear the case brought by the Justice Department against SB 1070 next week. Arizona will have support in the form of “friend-of-the-court” briefs from nine state attorney generals — three of whom are Republicans running for governor — and a group of House Republicans.
- Immigration enforcement is at a new high, with 4,145 cases referred to federal prosecutors in March and April, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. That was the largest number of referrals for any two-month period since the creation of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
- Arizona’s immigration law convinced some migrant workers from Mexico to stay home, prompting observers to question whether unemployed Americans will take on the tough harvest jobs. (It’s what Stephen Colbert wants Americans to do.)
- A list of 1,300 accused illegal immigrants living in Utah and their private information was circulated early this week to government agencies and media. Utah launched an investigation into the source of the information and announced today that at least two state employees appear to be behind the list. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said the state does not plan to prosecute people on the list, but will move forward on possible privacy law violations by the list’s creators.
- Rep. Xavier Becerra, (D-Calif.), the vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Tuesday the Dems could still tackle immigration reform this year. If they do, Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Mike Honda (D-Calif.) want to include provisions for gay rights.
- The Mexico-U.S. border governors conference is back on after Arizona’s Jan Brewer pulled out of hosting last month. Arizona was set to host the 28th annual conference, but Brewer canceled after Mexican politicians threatened to boycott. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Thursday that he will host the conference instead, but it still won’t be complete: Brewer and Rick Perry of Texas said they won’t attend.
- Haitians living illegally in the U.S. when a hurricane hit six months ago will be given additional time to apply to stay and work in the country legally.
- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered a deployment Friday of California National Guard troops to the border. The order will support Obama’s proposal to send 1,200 National Guard troops to the border, with 224 stationed in California. Schwarzenegger’s order said the troops deployed will not be used in a direct law enforcement role.