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News Round Up In-Brief

U.S. News

  • The Supreme Court announced that it would begin hearing arguments about state immigration laws in April, beginning with Arizona law SB1070, the first in a series of state laws targeting undocumented immigrants.  Justice Elena Kagan is recusing herself from hearing the arguments about Arizona’s immigration law on account of filing a lawsuit against Arizona during her tenure as solicitor general.
  • Alabama’s attorney general, Luther Strange, recommends the state legislature repeal some parts of the state’s new law until federal courts clarify states’ roles in setting immigration policy.
  • With a new training program for lawyers and enforcement officials, The Department of Homeland Security hopes to speed up deportations of criminals and suspend deportations of undocumented immigrants without a criminal record.
  • Recent statistics show that border apprehensions are down 25% from last year, and that the number of “illegal border crossings” is lower than it has been in nearly 40 years.
  • Earlier this month in Texas, an 18-year-old named Joaquin Luna, Jr., took his own life, leaving behind a note that reflected Luna’s lost sense of hope for realizing his goals.  Some immigrant rights groups note that Luna’s suicide points to the significant psychological pressures of being an undocumented resident in the United States.
  • After a rent increase and a new proof of legal status requirement, residents of a mobile home park in New Mexico worry they may have to move.
  • Arizona Sherriff Joe Arpaio, whose stance on immigration has given him national notoriety among political conservatives, is accused of “botching” sex-crime cases.  Many of victims of the sex-crimes, which include child molestation, were children of undocumented immigrants.
  • In a recent blog post, The Immigration Policy Center critiqued the American Heritage Dictionary for including “anchor babies” as a new term.  In response, the dictionary’s editor revised the term to reflect its meaning as a slur.
  • A Colombian Immigrant and Brooklyn resident wrongfully accused of sexual assault discusses how the allegations have negatively impacted his life.
  • Successes of undocumented immigrants’ children have also been featured in recent news, as demonstrated by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center President, Ronald DePinho’s reflection on his father’s struggles as an undocumented immigrant.

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