HEADLINES: Immigration

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U.S. Supreme Court justices strongly suggested they would uphold SB 1070, a provision in Arizona’s tough immigration law that tells police to check whether people they stop for some other reason are undocumented. But several justices also suggested they were troubled by parts of the law that would make it a state crime for undocumented immigrants to seek work or not to carry immigration documents. The hourlong oral arguments Wednesday pointed toward a possible split decision: a partial victory for Arizona that would revive its first-in-the-nation state crackdown on undocumented immigrants but weaken the impact of its law. The Obama administration won lower court rulings that blocked Arizona’s law on the grounds that it conflicted with the federal government’s control over immigration. But U.S. Solicitor Gen. Donald B. Verrilli Jr. ran into steadily skeptical questions from the justices, both liberal and conservative. [Chicago Tribune]

Immigration officials have suspended 16,544 deportation cases and are moving steadily through a review of nearly 300,000 cases in the deportation queue, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced this week. The Obama administration announced the deportation review last August as a response to the searing criticism it had received for its record-breaking deportation rate that included DREAM Act-eligible youth, parents of U.S. citizen children and people who had never been convicted of a crime. Immigration officials pledged to pore over the 300,000 cases of people slated for removal and administratively close the cases of those who didn’t present a threat to their communities and were not a high priority for removal. ICE said that as of April 16, it has reviewed 219,554 pending cases of immigrants slated for deportation, and moved to suspend 7.5 percent of deportation cases. Nearly 3,000 cases have been administratively closed. [Color Lines]

Mexican President Felipe Calderon said during a speech Wednesday evening that while he respects U.S. laws designed to control undocumented immigration, he’s against statutes like Arizona’s controversial law that he believes unfairly go after immigrants. The speech was part of a daylong visit to Houston by Calderon, who also met with local business leaders and the city’s mayor. Latinos make up about 44 percent of Houston’s population, according to U.S. census figures. While Calderon made reference to various initiatives U.S. states have passed to control undocumented immigration, he singled out Arizona’s law, which he described as not only anti-immigrant but also as possibly racist. Calderon’s comments on immigration came the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over Arizona’s law, which requires police to check the legal status of people they stop for other reasons. [Boston Globe]

 

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