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This Week in Immigration NewsThis Week in Immigration News | The Washington Independent

  • The ACLU and other civil rights groups filed a class-action lawsuit against federal authorities demanding they reform the immigration detention system to help mentally ill detainees. A Human Rights Watch report from July detailed problems for the mentally ill in immigration custody, who often spend years in detention because they lack legal counsel.
  • More states and cities are considering their own immigration bills.
  • No senators joined Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on his push to change the 14th Amendment to remove automatic citizenship for babies born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants, but Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Jon Kyl, Tom Coburn and Chuck Grassley said they would support hearings to look into the issue of “birth tourism.” Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), who chairs the subcommittee that would theoretically look into the issue, said he does not plan to hold hearings.
  • Independent analysis released Monday shows the Department of Homeland Security deported a record number of criminal illegal immigrants this year. The DHS under Obama prioritizes immigration enforcement for people deemed dangerous criminals — and it appears to be working. “The stated immigration policy is actually being followed,” said David Burnham, co-director of Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which performed the study.
  • Kris Kobach, a lawyer who helped draft Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law, defeated two candidates Tuesday to become the Republican nominee for Kansas secretary of state.
  • The Department of Justice threatened to sue Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for failing to hand over documents for a civil rights investigation, but a lawyer for Arpaio said Thursday that he plans to cooperate with parts of the probe.
  • The Senate passed a $600 million emergency funding bill for border security Thursday, disappointing immigrants rights groups who hoped to see them focus on comprehensive immigration reform instead. Although Republicans have said they want to see measures to increase border security before they will support other immigration reform, experts on both sides of the debate said the bill won’t help the odds of a reform bill this year.

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