HEADLINES: Immigration

Published On: Donate

Federal authorities have seen no change in the number of immigration checks sought by local Arizona police and allowed under a state law partly upheld by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, officials said Wednesday. In the first week after the high court upheld a portion of the controversial law, eight calls were made by Arizona law agencies inquiring into the immigration status of persons suspected of being undocumented, said spokeswoman Amber Cargile of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Phoenix. Those eight phone calls “resulted in the arrest of 38 aliens on immigration violations” between June 25 and July 2, Cargile said. Comparison figures to the recent past or a year ago weren’t immediately available, “but our staff reports they continue to receive what they describe as a normal volume of calls from state and local law enforcement agencies,” Cargile said in an e-mail response to a CNN inquiry. [CNN]

Just weeks after the Supreme Court largely reaffirmed the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement powers in its legal battle with Arizona, federal officials are facing a new, politically tricky clash with local authorities over immigration, this time in Chicago. At a news conference on Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he would propose an ordinance that would bar police officers from turning over undocumented immigrants to federal agents if the immigrants do not have serious criminal convictions or outstanding criminal warrants. In contrast to the Obama administration’s long-running confrontation with officials in Arizona, who are mostly Republicans, the latest challenge to the president’s immigration policies comes from Mr. Emanuel, his former chief of staff, and from other Democratic allies in President Obama’s hometown. “If you have no criminal record, being part of a community is not a problem for you,” Mr. Emanuel said, speaking at a high school library in Little Village, a Latino neighborhood. “We want to welcome you to the city of Chicago.” The mayor said the proposal was part of his goal to make Chicago the “most immigrant-friendly city in the country.” [New York Times]

A reporter for Georgia’s largest Spanish-language newspaper who frequently writes about immigration issues has recently found himself caught up in his own immigration drama. When an immigration judge last month denied Mario Guevara’s application for asylum and ordered him and his family to leave the country within 60 days, his world was turned upside down. Guevara said he left El Salvador in 2004 after he was beaten and repeatedly harassed by leftist groups because of his work as a political reporter for La Prensa Grafica, a conservative newspaper with close ties to the political party that was in power at the time, according to documents filed in an Atlanta immigration court. Immigration authorities have spoken to Guevara and his lawyer to try to resolve the situation, but for the last few weeks Guevara has felt much like the people he so often writes about. “I wrote a lot of stories about immigration. I feel like I’m one of my sources,” he said Thursday. “I’m one more victim of the immigration system.” [Washington Post]

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