HEADLINES: Immigration

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The TRUST act in California continues to work its way through the state’s government system, and it should land on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk soon, where he “is expected to sign it into law.”  The TRUST act would make it illegal for the State to hold immigrants in detention who would otherwise be let out on bail.  Thus, it would invalidate laws such as the “secure communities” initiative, under which tens of thousands of immigrants are held past the 48-hour maximum, costing the city millions of dollars annually.  In opposition to this initiative, ‘the purpose of the TRUST act is to bring state enforcement in line with federal deportation priorities – which is to focus on dangerous criminals, national-security threats and repeat offenders.”  “We want police to distinguish between the woman selling tomales and the gang member who has a record,” said assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco. While there has been pushback against the bill by some individuals in law-enforcement among others who are anti-immigration, there has also  been an outpouring of support from many organizations and individuals, including the Los Angeles City Council, and Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  [HuffingtonPost] [Nytimes]

As the Democratic National convention takes off this week in Charlotte, NC, protesters will be present  from all over the country advocating for all different issues.  Demonstrators working for immigration reform should be among the loudest, however.  President Obama, though he has catered to his Latino base through his deferred action program and his announcement that deportations will be focused on criminals and repeat offenders, has fallen short of what many immigration rights activists had hoped when he ascended the presidency.  In fact, he has presided over more deportations than any other president in history.  Thus, many still need to protest for the rights of undocumented workers.  Included “among the protestors were undocumented immigrants from Phoenix, some wearing T-shirts that read ‘Undocumented, unafraid,’ and ‘Arrest Arpaio.’”  A group of 25 undocumented persons from Phoenix, AZ arrived in what they are calling the “undocubus,” after touring the country to try and raise awareness on issues facing undocumented people.  Four of them have already been arrested in “Knoxville, TN, last week after disrupting a political meeting, but they were subsequently released.”  Hispanics have become a key demographic in nearly every state in the US, including NC, a key swing state in the upcoming election, and immigration is often a linchpin issue for them.  As the presidential campaigns continue to accelerate into November, it is clear that the issue of undocumented immigrants and immigration reform will be a central one of this election cycle. [Nytimes]  [Charlotte Observer]

This week, despite the fact that there is still a month left in the fiscal year, the cap for U-visas has been reached, and the attempt to raise the number of visas for next year has been thwarted by the stalemate over the renewal of the VAWA legislation.  The bill passed through the Senate earlier this year, but is has been stalled by House Republicans, who, instead pushed through a “regressive measure that omits the Senate’s U visa increase, along with protections for gay, bisexual, or transgender victims of domestic abuse.  The House bill also calls for eliminating the existing ability of U visa holders to apply for permanent residency.”  This would imperil many women who are victims of domestic abuse, and lessen the chance that women will come forward and speak out against their aggressors.  [Nytimes]

In a new bill proposed by California democrats, undocumented immigrants living in the state, which has the largest population of undocumented people, would be able to receive amnesty for five years if they pay income taxes during that time period.  While many were concerned that under this bill undocumented immigrants would pay more than other citizens because they are ineligible for deductions, the bill eventually was pushed through the state senate along party lines.  Others, however, are skeptical of the effectiveness of the bill, as it would have no bearing over federal proceedings regarding immigration and deportation.  Thus, it is effectively impossible for California to truly promise amnesty to their undocumented population, no matter what laws they enact on the state level.  For now, it is unclear how the state law and federal law would interact were the state law to pass. [CalWatchDog]

A Federal judge ruled Wednesday that the “show me your papers’ section of the ever controversial SB-1070 should be upheld, paving the way for it to be put in to practice shortly.  Opponents of the clause claim that it “would lead to racial profiling and unreasonably long detentions of Latino’s if it’s enforced,” but US District Judge Susan Bolton ruled in favor of Arizona.  In reaction to the news, “gubernatorial spokesman Matthew Benson said, ‘certainly Gov. Brewer is pleased with this decision.  She believes it’s time SB-1070 is implemented so that we can see how effective this law is in practice.’”  The Supreme Court, due to its landmark ruling by this past June, however, “has laid a legal minefield that Arizona now must navigate when the critical provision takes effect.”  While the Supreme Court did not rule against this clause, as it did against several other portions of SB-1070, it “explicitly left the door open to arguments that the law leads to civil rights violations.  Attorneys would need actual victims to make that case.”  Thus, Arizona must be very careful in their implementation of the law, because immigration rights activists and lawyers are waiting for their chance to pounce and thrust the law back into the legal system.  For now, it is clear that, though it might be in a lull, the fight over SB-1070 is far from over. [Washpost] [Washpost]

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