HEADLINES: Immigration

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Saul Timisela was ordered to report to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Newark early Thursday (March 1) morning to be deported. Instead, the Indonesian Christian took sanctuary at the Reformed Church of Highland Park, where the Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale is trying to save a group of Indonesian refugees who fled their country to escape religious persecution more than a decade ago. Timisela may have felt safe given ICE’s historical reticence to raid churches where undocumented immigrants are harbored. But at the same time, he was sorry to say goodbye to his wife of 10 years — another Indonesian Christian who’s also in hiding because she has overstayed her visa and does not have an open case with the immigration agency. “This morning was our first day in 12 years we have not sang together and prayed,” Timisela said through tears. Timisela, 44, of Woodbridge, N.J., is one of 80 Indonesian Christians living in New Jersey who fled religious persecution from Indonesia, the world’s most populous Islamic country. [Huffington Post]

About 200 people protesting Alabama’s immigration and voter ID laws are beginning their fourth day today in their journey from Selma to Montgomery. On the heels of Bloody Sunday these marchers have recreated the historic Selma to Montgomery march. They started this 50 mile march on Monday and tonight they will get to Montgomery, stopping at St. Jude’s Educational Institute. Friday morning they’ll begin the short walk to the Capitol. Many participating in this march say they have a similar mission to those who marched 47 years ago – fighting for their civil rights. They’re protesting Alabama’s new immigration law as well as the introduction of the voter ID laws. They’re hoping to effect change the same way civil rights leaders did back in 1965. [WSFA] More on the Selma to Montgomery march from The Huffington Post

With immigration still a contentious issue around the country, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Republican lawmakers have maintained a noticeable distance from New York State proposals that would make financial aid available to undocumented immigrants at colleges and universities. Advocates for the Dream Act have the backing of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who said at a recent budget hearing that maintaining a system in which illegal immigrants cannot gain access to scholarship aid “is just asking us to continually have a group of people who can’t share in the American dream.” But thus far the advocates have been unable to win public support from Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat who has generally been supportive of immigrants but who faces the possibility that his position could reverberate if he runs for president in 2016. Mr. Cuomo’s spokesman would say only that the governor was studying the legislation. Advocates for the legislation are also hoping to win support from at least some Republican lawmakers, as party leaders have increasingly promoted their outreach to the state’s fast-growing Hispanic population. But Republicans have so far issued only cautionary statements about the Dream Act. [NYTimes]

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