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4. Border and Enforcement (Arizona) News:



Top Official Says Feds May Not Process Illegally Present Immigrants Referred From Arizona


Fox News reports that a top Department of Homeland Security official has said that DHS may choose not to process illegally present immigrants referred to them by Arizona authorities. The official added that the best way to reduce illegal immigration is by enacting a comprehensive federal approach to the issue.


DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano confirmed that ICE has no obligation to process immigrants referred to them by state authorities: ‘ICE has the legal discretion to accept or not to accept persons delivered to it by non-federal personnel.’

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Arizona Gov. Brewer announces appointment of counsel to defend immigration laws


WireUpdate News Service reports that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has announced that the law firm Snell & Wilmer will represent her in federal lawsuits against Arizona’s new immigration law.


The State Attorney General is named as a defendant as well as the Governor, in at least one of the pending suits, but he has declined to represent the Governor, necessitating the Governor’s acquisition of outside counsel. Snell & Wilmer has represented two past Governors and the State Legislature in constitutional matters in the past.

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Obama to send troops to U.S.-Mexican border


The Washington Times reports that the White House has ordered 1200 National Guard troops be sent to the US-Mexico border, and will also ask Congress for $500 million to increase border security. The move refocuses national attention on the immigration debate on the issue of border security.


The Bush Administration had previously sent National Guard troops to the border, with mixed success. Troops are not allowed to enforce immigration laws, thus much of their work entailed aiding US Border Patrol agents. Many Border Patrol agents found themselves relegated to what they called “nanny patrol,” which left them protecting the National Guard troops, who were also forbidden from carrying weapons.


While the White House’s move has irritated many pro-immigration reform activists, there are also those who feel the move is not enough. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), along with Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ), had proposed sending 6,000 troops to the border, with 3,000 of them delegated to Arizona.

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Arizona immigration law will boost crime in U.S. cities, police chiefs say


The Washington Post reports that police chiefs from several of Arizona’s largest cities, as well as from some of the country’s largest cities, in a meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder, have said that the Arizona crackdown on illegal immigration will increase crime in US cities, not reduce it. They believe that the law will drive a wedge between police forces and immigrant communities.


The officers feel that the law will intimidate both victims of crimes and witnesses of crimes, and the enforcement of the immigration aspects of the law will divert police from investigating more serious crimes. Police Chiefs from Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Houston were all present at the meeting. ‘This is not a law that increases public safety. This is a bill that makes it much harder for us to do our jobs,’ said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.

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Mass. Senate passes crackdown on illegal immigrants


The Boston Globe reports that the Massachusetts Senate passed a far-reaching crackdown on illegal immigrants and those that would hire them. The bill replaced a narrower bill earlier passed. The measure, which passed 28-10, as an amendment to the budget, bars the state from doing business with any company found to break federal laws barring the hiring of illegal immigrants. The bill also explicitly calls for denial of in-state college tuition for illegally present immigrants, and requires the state to give legal residents priority for subsidized housing.


The Senate measure comes just weeks after the State House failed to pass similar immigration matters. Amid the heightened debate over immigration, sparked by the controversial law in Arizona, the Massachusetts measure authorizes the state attorney general to broker an agreement with federal authorities to help enforce immigration law.

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Arizona seeks dismissal of lawsuit over new law


Associated Press reports that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Attorney General Terry Goddard asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to stop the implementation of the state’s new immigration law. Lawyers for both officials claim that the case is based on speculation that ethnic profiling will take place.


So far, five legal challenges have been filed against the law since it passed in April. The challenges generally allege that the law is unconstitutional, will lead to racial profiling, and that it infringes upon the federal government’s right and responsibility to regulate immigration matters.

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Do You Take This Immigrant?


The New York Times has featured an article detailing the process of marriage interviews for people who seek to marry an immigrant. Marriage interviews are conducted nationwide whenever a citizen seeks a green card for a foreign spouse. In the event the couple raises a red flag, or otherwise does not “pass” their interview, they are directed to a second tier of interviews.


In these second round interviews, people are asked specific details of their and their spouse’s lives. Some questions can deal with simple things, such as what color toothbrush their spouse uses, or who does the cooking or cleaning in the house. Other questions can be more personal, asking about tattoos, birth marks, and the couple’s sex life.


Most people move on from the interview just fine, and are approved for their visas. The number of petitions denied for fraud is very small. 506 out of the 241,154 applications filed by citizens in the past fiscal year were denied, or just two-tenths of a percent (0.2%). Some key “red flags” agents look for in interviews include: “unusual cultural differences” and large age discrepancies.


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Arizona immigration law may increase Phoenix foreclosures


The Arizona Republic reports that SB 1070, the controversial new immigration law in Arizona, could have a negative effect on the housing market of Phoenix. A potential exodus of people, both legal and illegally present, should the law take effect in late July, could drag down the housing market recovery.


Experts say the law has the potential to drive away not only illegally present immigrants, but also legal residents, Hispanic and otherwise, who disagree with the principle of the law. And despite a misconception that the state’s illegally present immigrants don’t own houses, housing advocates say that thousands, if not tens of thousands of people who are not legal residents have purchased houses in the state. The most obvious and immediate signs of any adverse effects on the housing market from the bill would likely be more empty homes and apartments in the metro Phoenix area, which is heavily populated with Hispanics.

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Texas Republicans add Arizona-like residency checks to platform


Dallas Morning News reports that Texas Republicans have voted to call for a state law that would require local officers to verify people arrested on suspicion of crime are in the country legally. The Republicans have now added the proposal to their platform; however, Governor Rick Perry has said that he doesn’t think that Texas should adopt the law, similar to Arizona’s.


Delegates on the committee deciding the platform also voted to “oppose amnesty for illegal immigration, period,” with the exception of military service. They also voted to end birthright citizenship—the policy that anyone born in the United States, even to illegally present parents, is a citizen. Texas Democratic Party spokeswoman Kristen Gray, in opposing the new platform, said Republicans had been in power for a decade in the state, yet have failed to come up with a single sensible immigration plan, instead opting for extremism and going against American values in the process.

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