HEADLINES: Immigration

Published On: Donate

The government says apprehensions of people for federal immigration violations have dropped to the lowest level in 40 years, reflecting a decline in the northbound traffic of undocumented immigrants from Mexico. At the same time, the number of suspects booked by the U.S. Marshals Service for criminal immigration offenses has gone up dramatically, a function of tougher law enforcement on the U.S. side of the border. In a report released Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said the number of immigration-related apprehensions has steadily declined, peaking at 1.8 million in 2000 but dropping to 516,992 in 2010 – the lowest level since 1972. [Huffington Post]

A group of Latinos is arguing in federal court that Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies carried out racial profiling as part of policy of discrimination. The civil lawsuit involving Arpaio — the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America — has put his anti-illegal immigration patrols on center stage. Tim Casey, who is defending Arpaio, said Thursday that the patrols were properly planned out and executed. He said they exceeded police standards. “Race and ethnicity had nothing to do with the traffic stops.” Arpaio has said people pulled over were approached because deputies had probable cause to believe they had committed crimes and that officers only learned afterward that many were illegal immigrants. A lawyer for plaintiffs who argue they were victims of racial profiling said in opening statements that the evidence will show that Arpaio and his deputies discriminated against Hispanics. “It’s our view that the problem starts at the top,” attorney Stan Young said. The plaintiffs aren’t seeking money damages. They want a declaration that Arpaio’s office racially profiles and an order that requires the department to make changes to prevent what they said is discriminatory policing. [Washington Post]

Virginians overwhelmingly want their state to adopt a tough Arizona-style immigration law, according to a new poll Wednesday. Close to two-thirds of voters want the Old Dominion to follow Arizona’s lead and adopt a policy requiring police officers to check the immigration status of people they suspect may be in the country illegally, with 34 percent opposing such a move, the Quinnipiac survey found. The legislation attracts majorities regardless of gender, religion, education level or income. The only demographic group to oppose the law is black voters: Thirty-six percent would support Arizona-style legislation, and 58 percent would oppose it. Meanwhile, 53 percent of registered voters support the Obama administration’s decision to allow illegal immigrants who came to the country as children to obtain work permits, according to Quinnipiac. Forty percent oppose it. But only 14 percent said it would make them more likely to vote for the president, half the number who said it would make them less likely to support him. Over half said it wouldn’t affect their vote. [Politico]

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