Headlines: Immigration | LIRS
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Headlines: Immigration

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Texas lawmakers blocked the “sanctuary cities” bill that would have barred cities from stopping police departments from asking about immigration status of people who are detained or arrested. It died when the Texas legislature adjourned without passing it in part thanks to Houston home-builder Bob Perry and grocery chain magnate Charles E. Butt who hired one of Austin’s most powerful lobbyists to oppose the legislation.  The construction and retail industries employ thousands of immigrants in Texas and across the nation.  [Reuters]

Alabama is the latest state to see a mass exodus of Hispanics after passing a strict illegal immigration law, leaving construction firms without employees to rebuild the state after its April  tornado. The law imposes penalties on businesses that knowingly employ illegal immigrants. A company’s business license could be suspended or revoked. The American Civil Liberties Union’s Civil Rights Project said it will challenge the Alabama law in federal court before it takes effect Sept. 1. [Politico]

Some 500 Caribbean teachers who gathered on the steps of New York’s City Hall this past Wednesday said they are in the United States on H-1B work visas they need to keep renewing or risk deportation. The teachers, who were recruited in 2001 when the city faced a teacher shortage, say they were hired with the understanding that New York City officials would help them regularize their immigration status. Supporters of the teachers say what is needed is a unified lobbying effort to secure special immigration status for the teachers and their families.  [Wall Street Journal]

The federal government on Tuesday took the unusual step of offering to drop a passport violation prosecution of a Navy petty officer if he completed a term of probation. In March, while he was on active duty at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Petty Officer Dawkins was indicted on a charge of making a false statement on a 2006 passport application. The statement, according to prosecutors, was that he had never applied for a passport before, when he had actually abandoned an application he filled out the year before. The diversion program will allow Petty Officer Dawkins, who also served in the Army, to complete probation and avoid a conviction that could preclude him from becoming the citizen both he and the military thought he was. [New York Times]

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