Arizona Lawmakers: State will build a fence on the Arizona-Mexico border

November 24, 2011

“The idea came from state Senator Steve Smith, a Republican who says people from across the nation have donated about $255,000 to the project since the state in July launched a website that urges visitors to “show the world the resolve and the can-do spirit of the American people.” Smith estimates that the total supplies alone will cost $34 million, or about $426,000 a mile.”

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Report: Armed illegal immigrants ‘stalked’ U.S. Border Patrol agents

November 24, 2011

“A now-sealed federal grand jury indictment in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry says the Mexican nationals were “patrolling” the rugged desert area of Peck Canyon at about 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 14 with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” Border Patrol agents.

At least two of the Mexicans carried their assault rifles “at the ready position,” one of several details about the attack showing that Mexican smugglers are becoming more aggressive on the U.S. side of the border.”

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Illegal immigrants suspected in over 30 border fires during a five-year period

November 24, 2011

“People entering the U.S. illegally from Mexico are believed responsible for more than one-third of human-ignited wildfires in Arizona over a five-year period, according to a government report that could stoke congressional debate over illegal immigration.”

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Department of Justice files lawsuit against state of Utah over the state’s immigration law on the grounds that it preempts Federal authority

November 23, 2011

“The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging Utah’s immigration enforcement law, saying the law pre-empts federal authority. Justice officials said they did not expect the lawsuit to end continuing negotiations with state officials about immigration enforcement. The Utah law requires people to prove their citizenship if they are arrested on serious charges ranging from certain drug offenses to murder. It also gives the police discretion to check citizenship if charged with traffic infractions and other lesser offenses.”

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In the CNN National Security Debate, Gingrich calls for a ‘humane’ approach to illegal immigration

November 23, 2011

“The latest frontrunner in the Republican presidential race, Newt Gingrich, has gambled by advocating a “humane” approach to illegal immigration, one that risks alienating conservatives.

Gingrich, the former House Speaker, said he was conscious he was entering an area that was potentially dangerous for him. “I am prepared to take the heat for saying let’s be humane in enforcing the law,” he said on Tuesday night.”

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Baltimore is one of two cities testing the Obama Administration’s immigration policy that freezes deportations of illegal immigrants who have no criminal records

November 18, 2011

“Baltimore is one of two cities selected to test an immigration policy adopted by the Obama administration that could freeze deportations of illegal immigrants who have no criminal records, the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday.

The elderly, children who have been in the country more than five years, students who came to the U.S. under the age of 16 and are enrolled in a college degree program, and victims of domestic violence are among those whose deportations could be put on hold under the test program, which begins Dec. 4 and could be broadened in January.

Though the federal policy was set earlier this year, the decision to begin implementation in Baltimore is likely to renew a broader immigration debate in Maryland.”

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Justice Department: Alabama’s immigration law is unconstitutional and aims to threaten ‘the most basic human needs’

November 17, 2011

“Alabama’s immigration law is unconstitutional and aims to threaten “the most basic human needs,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in a court filing.

“The Constitution leaves no room for such a state immigration-enforcement scheme,” the department said in a brief filed with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta Monday.

The impact of Alabama’s immigration law is “clear and deliberate, designed in the language of the legislation’s sponsor, to force aliens to ‘deport themselves,’” the department’s filing said.

Alabama’s law cracking down on illegal immigration is considered the strictest in the nation. The U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit against Alabama over the measure is one of several battles in a nationwide skirmish between state federal officials over who controls immigration enforcement.”

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Recall election victory in Arizona against the author of the state’s tough immigration law creating hope for Democrats

November 13, 2011

“Last week’s recall election defeat of the Republican legislator who wrote Arizona’s tough anti-immigration law and the seating of Democratic mayors in Phoenix and Tucson have given Democrats renewed hope for picking up the state in next year’s Senate and presidential elections.

Combined, the outcomes underscored the diversity of voters in what many view as a conservative state even though voters here are split nearly in thirds among Republicans, independents and Democrats.”

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Arizona Activists against tough immigration laws targeting laws in other states following defeats against Arizona’s tough law

November 10, 2011

“Advocates who favor more lenient immigration policies said the recall Tuesday of the chief architect of Arizona’s immigration law is the first shot in a battle against “extremism” they will take nationwide in 2012.

In a telephone press conference Wednesday, the advocates said that the rejection of Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican and Senate President, by voters was a rejection of extremism.

The recall election, forced by a petition drive, was the first for an Arizona legislator.

“Our communities were decisive in defeating. . .the most notorious anti-immigrant office-holder in America,” said Rudy Lopez, the national field director of politics for Campaign for Community Change, an Arizona group that worked on the recall campaign.

“The message of this election is clear: Latinos and immigrants will not be scape-goated and will not tolerate those politicians whose attempt to gain or keep power by demonizing us. . .In 2012, we bring to the table the fastest growing voting bloc in America and pro-migrant voters will be heard.”

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Attorney General Holder to the Senate Judiciary Committee: Fast and Furious tactics will not be tolerated

November 9, 2011

“In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Holder hit hard at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives practice that has tainted his tenure at the Justice Department and led to some Republican calls for him to resign.

“I want to be clear: Any instance of so-called ‘gun walking’ is unacceptable,” Holder said of weapons smuggling, later adding: “This operation was flawed in its concept, and flawed in its execution.”

Holder acknowledged what critics have been saying about the long-term consequences of “gun walking.” “Unfortunately we will feel its effects for years to come, as guns that were lost during this operation continue to show up at crime scenes both here and in Mexico,” Holder said. “We are losing the battle to stop the flow of illegal guns to Mexico.”

Holder defended his own actions, reminding the panel he called for the inspector general to examine the so-called Operation Fast and Furious and issued a directive that “gun-alking” was illegal and should never be repeated. The resulting report may be concluded before the end of the year. However, Holder stopped short of laying blame for the flawed operation.”

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Bill Clinton defends Rick Perry’s stance on immigration

November 7, 2011

“In an interview with USA TODAY, Clinton said he didn’t think much of the Republican field vying for the nomination against President Obama. “I think that most of what they’re debating is crazy,” he said, noting that he watched the Las Vegas debate last month, which featured spirited exchanges between Perry and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
“It makes my skin crawl when they attack Rick Perry for one of the best things he did,” Clinton says, that is, his support of a Texas law that grants in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants brought to the state as children. “What would they like?” Clinton demands. “Would they like the kid to stand on a corner and sell dope or something?”
Perry takes the same view: He says the Texas law creates “taxpaying, contributing members” of society.”

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President of the Arizona State Senate may be ousted from his position for being too conservative

November 7, 2011

“Republican state Senator Russell Pearce is fighting for his seat in a recall election. The author of Arizona’s controversial immigraiton law is too distracted by the issue, his opponents say.

The strain of conservatism that propelled Arizona lawmaker Russell Pearce to a powerful perch in state politics could also prove to be his downfall.

Pearce, president of the state Senate, will face off Tuesday against fellow Republican Jerry Lewis in a recall election in their suburban Phoenix district.

The election is the culmination of a nearly yearlong effort to oust the controversial Pearce, arguably the state’s most powerful politician. Supporters champion his gruff, unwavering commitment to conservative ideals, while critics call him a bully whose tactics are divisive.

Opponents began circulating recall petitions in January, just three weeks after Pearce took over the Senate. Citizens for a Better Arizona, led by Democratic labor organizer Randy Parraz, turned in about 17,000 signatures in May; more than 10,000 were validated by county election officials. The group needed at least 7,756 to qualify for the ballot. The group argued that Pearce’s focus on illegal immigration — he wrote the state’s controversial immigration law and a host of others — has distracted him from the needs of his district. His policies, they say, have damaged the image of the state.”

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Rick Perry affirms his support for Work Visas for Undocumented Workers in the United States

November 6, 2011

“Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry said the federal government should extend work visas permitting undocumented immigrants to move freely between the U.S. and their home countries, but stressed that he still opposes amnesty or a path to citizenship.

Speaking during an interview with CNN’s John King on Thursday, the Texas governor said that expectations that U.S. authorities are going to arrest and deport up to 15 million undocumented immigrants isn’t realistic. He added, however, that other Republicans, including fellow Texan George W. Bush, went too far when they previously proposed an immigration overhaul that included a path to citizenship.

The Texas governor also claimed his chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, had once supported amnesty. Romney has drawn criticism for hiring a lawn care company that employed undocumented immigrants at his family’s property in a Boston suburb for a decade — but has also said amnesty is not appropriate for unauthorized immigrants.”

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