HEADLINES: Immigration

Published On: Donate

The Cook County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance Wednesday that would allow suspected undocumented immigrants jailed in misdemeanor cases to be freed despite federal requests to have them detained for possible deportation. Abiding by the federal immigration “detainer” requests costs the county roughly $15 million per year, or $143 per detainee every day, and the federal government offers no reimbursement, county officials said. The new ordinance, which takes effect immediately, applies to suspected undocumented immigrants arrested on misdemeanor charges ranging from traffic violations to minor drug and disorderly conduct charges. [Chicago Tribune]

The California Senate has passed a bill allowing undocumented immigrants who attended at least 3 years of high school to apply for access to state funded financial aid. The California Assembly is expected to pass the bill within a week, and most observers predict Gov. Jerry Brown (D) will sign it because of promises he made during his gubernatorial bid. About 40,000 undocumented immigrants now attend the state’s three-tiered higher education system, which includes 10 campuses in the University of California, 23 in California State University, and 112 community colleges. [Christian Science Monitor]

New Mexico — one of three states that allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses — is debating whether to change the practice. Republican Susana Martinez  campaigned on a promise to stop undocumented immigrants from getting licenses. Immigrant-rights advocates defend the current practice. It was intended to offer undocumented immigrants “the opportunity to buy insurance, register their vehicles and have a driving record available to all law enforcement,” said Marcela Diaz of Somos Un Pueblo Unido (We Are a United People). [CNN]

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