HEADLINES: Immigration

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In a move similar to ones chided by federal courts in Alabama and Arizona, one Kansas City area lawmaker has proposed a bill that would require Missouri schools to check the immigration status of its students. Republican state Sen. Will Kraus’ bill would also allow police to question a person’s citizenship at traffic stops and makes it a state misdemeanor not to carry proper citizenship documentation. Schools would be required to ask new students for a birth certificate or proof of legal immigration, but would still be able to attend school if they or their parents are undocumented. [Huffington Post]

Fifty people have been held over one of the largest fraud cases investigated by U.S. immigration officials, involving alleged Puerto Rican identity theft. The accused conspired to sell the identities of thousands of Puerto Ricans to illegal immigrants, U.S. authorities say. Legal documents were allegedly sold for as much as $2,500 (£1,631) per person. The 50 suspects have each been charged with conspiracy to commit identification fraud, which carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. [BBC]

The Arizona Republic reports that this week Democratic state Sen. Steve Gallardo, of Phoenix, plans to file a measure that would mark the first legislative attempt in Arizona to do away with the anti-immigration S.B. 1070 law. A federal judge has blocked the enforcement of the law’s most contentious sections, such as a requirement that police, while enforcing other laws, question people’s immigration status if officers suspect they are in the country illegally. But the judge allowed other sections to take effect, including a ban on blocking of traffic when people seek or offer day-labor services on streets. Gallardo said he knows the bill likely won’t get far, but he believes support for measures that attempt to deter illegal immigration by criminal enforcement has declined both in the Legislature and throughout Arizona. Arizona Republicans are expected to propose at least a few new immigration measures this session, such as a bill that would require public schools to keep track of their numbers of undocumented students. [Fox News]

President Obama proposed a new rule last week that would allow certain illegal immigrants with U.S. citizen spouses or parents to stay here while they apply for hardship waivers, the first step for many before they can submit applications for legal residency. Without waivers, illegal immigrants can be barred from reentering the U.S. for up to 10 years. Under the current rule, those who seek waivers have to go to their native countries and wait for the applications to be processed by U.S. officials, which could take months or years. However, it doesn’t change the fact that to get waiver, families must prove that deportation would cause extreme hardship to the U.S. relative. If they succeed in getting waivers, the immigrants still would have to return to their native countries to apply for green cards. The proposal angered Republicans, who accused Obama of bypassing Congress and passing a “back-door amnesty” through this and other recent changes. [LATimes]

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