News and Articles
Talks are underway between California Governor Jerry Brown and leaders in local law enforcement to determine how much local police should cooperate with federal immigration enforcement by participating in Secure Communities. Secure Communities is a program whereby immigration authorities check the residency status of immigrants in county jails using fingerprint data and then decide whether to place an immigration "hold" on those immigrants that are without legal status. Many local law enforcement agents have expressed a frustration that cooperating with this practice takes time and resources away from apprehending real criminals. Laws may soon be amended so that local law enforcement only comply with immigration holds on immigrants with previous felony convictions.
Read More: Local Jails May Limit Immigration Holds to Convicts via KQED News
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases involving same-sex marriage: the constitutionality of Article III of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies federal marital benefits to same-sex spouses even if their marriage is legally recognized in their particular state of residence; and the constitutionality of Proposition 8 in California, which is a voter-approved referendum to the state constitution recognizing marriage as only between a man and a woman. Oral arguments will likely take place in March of 2013 and a decision would likely come down in June of 2013.
If the Court were to strike down Article III of DOMA, there would be no legal basis for denying immigration visas to same-sex couples that are otherwise eligible. Gay rights and immigration advocacy groups, hoping for such an outcome, are asking immigration authorities to delay decisions on same-sex visa cases until the Supreme Court makes a definitive ruling on the matter.
Read More: Delay Sought for Visa Cases That Involve Same-Sex Spouses via NY Times
Former President George W. Bush entered the fray to encourage benevolvent immigration reform talks, speaking favorably of immigrants and their benefit to U.S. communities and to the economy. Bush had hoped to pass immigration reform legislation during his presidency but was unable to do so. Bush, who remains popular amongst Republicans in and out of government, is notably softer on immigration than Governor Mitt Romney, who took a hard line on immigration during his recent campaign for the presidency.
Former President George W. Bush Calls for "Benevolent Spirit" in Immigration Debate via Dallas Morning News
G.W. Bush Seeks "Benevolent" Immigration Policy via USA Today
Bush Calls for "Benevolent Spirit" in Immigration Debate via CBS News
George W. Bush to Republicans: Embrace Immigration via The Daily Beast
Tighter restrictions on the U.S.-Mexico border have scared away many border town consumers causing many small businesses in these towns to go under.
Read More: Effort to Secure Border Crimps Commerce Along It via NY Times
The IRS has changed its rules on obtaining a tax ID number. The changes will take effect for the 2013 tax cycle. Rule changes include that persons must now reapply for tax ID numbers (also known as "ITIN"s) every five years, and that persons applying for ITINs must submit original documents, copies of original documents as certified by the issuing agency, or copies of original documents reviewed by Certifying Acceptance Agents (CAAs).
Read More: In Effort to Curb Immigration Related Fraud, IRS Changes ITIN Procedures via Forbes
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus held a press conference yesterday urging fairness in immigration reform, exemplified by nine principles. These principles, including preventing the separation of families and same-sex couples, are meant to guide what many hope will be a productive, bipartisan discussion of immigration reform legislation in Congress.
Read More: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Announces Nine Principles of Immigration Reform via America's Voice
President Obama will soon sit down with the newly elected President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, to discuss several issues that impact the U.S.-Mexico relationship, including immigration reform.
Read More: Mexico's New President to Talk Immigration, Drug War, Trade with President Obama via ABC News
The ACLU has filed a class action lawsuit challenging mandatory immigration detention without bail for those who are not flight risks and have strong arguments for being allowed to stay in the country. Currently, many immigrants are detained and held without bail until their immigration case is concluded, which can take several months to several years. The ACLU argues that too many immigrants who are not dangerous and who will likely be granted permission to remain in the United States are unnecessarily detained and separated from their families.
Read More: ACLU Files Class Action Lawsuit Challening Mandatory Immigration Lock-Up via Huffington Post
A new series of reports by the nonprofit Detention Watch Network criticize the patterns and practices of immigration detention as well as call on specific ICE dentention centers to be closed.
53,273 undocumented immigrants have received deferred action approval, up from 4,591 last month. A steady stream of applicants coupled with efficient application processing has increased the output of deferred action approvals.
Read More: More Young Illegal Immigrants Apply For, and Receive, Reprieves via NY Times
Read more about what exactly law makers will be discussing when they sit down to discuss comprehensive immigration reform.
What Is Comprehenisve Immigration Reform? via Huffington Post