March 15, 2014 |
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - In almost every sense, Emilio Vicente is an American success story. He grew up a shy kid in the North Carolina mill town of Siler City. His parents, who moved there when he was 6, had little formal education and worked long, punishing shifts at a chicken processing plant to support their seven children. Vicente's strong grades and college boards earned him a full scholarship to the University of North Carolina, one of the nation's most prestigious public universities.
March 14, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Under orders by President Obama to enforce immigration laws "more humanely," Homeland Security officials are focusing on at least two major policy changes that would slow the pace of deportations of immigrants in the U.S. illegally. But the White House has tentatively rejected proposals to expand an Obama administration program to allow the parents of young people who were brought to the country illegally to stay. Officials said Friday that the changes under review would effectively stop most deportations of foreigners with no criminal convictions other than immigration violations, and focus enforcement efforts instead mostly at those charged or convicted of felony crimes or who pose more of a threat to public safety.
March 14, 2014 |
BERLIN - The last time she checked, Katya Tasheva had the normal number of limbs and eyes. So she feels a nasty shock of non-recognition, she says, when German news reports warn of a coming invasion of people like her - Bulgarians - as if they were aliens from space. "It's all of a sudden like we're these three-eyed, five-legged people who are all going to steal stuff," said Tasheva, 27, a singer who has lived in Berlin for nine years. "Normally when I listen to these comments, I just laugh and switch the channel or turn the page….
March 12, 2014 |
TUCSON - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced Wednesday she would not seek a third term, forgoing a campaign that would have required her to challenge the state's term limits measure. The Republican had left open the option of running this year, despite the overwhelming weight of legal opinion against it. She became governor in 2009 when Democrat Janet Napolitano left office to join President Obama's Cabinet, and Brewer won reelection the following year. The state limits governors to two terms, and most legal experts said her first partial term counted toward the limit.
March 9, 2014 |
NEW YORK - Anderson Cadet arrived at the Varick Street courthouse in an orange jumpsuit, shackled at the wrists, prepared to fight his deportation without an attorney. In immigration court, there is generally no right to free legal counsel. Many immigrants represent themselves. But on this cold February morning, Cadet was greeted by a public defender who took on his case for free. The Haitian immigrant is a client in a yearlong pilot program, believed to be the first of its kind, that provides free legal counsel to low-income people facing deportation.
March 9, 2014 |
About 330 detainees were on a hunger strike for better conditions at an immigration detention center in Tacoma, Wash., as of Sunday afternoon, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center began Friday, and at one point more than half of the facility's 1,300 detainees - 750 - were refusing meals, an ICE official told the Los Angeles Times. The facility is privately owned and operated by the GEO Group Inc., a government contractor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2014 |
The first day you fast, says Eliseo Medina, your stomach begs you to reconsider. The second day is worse. "Your body starts asking for food," the 68-year-old local activist told me about his fast for immigration reform. "It becomes more difficult and you wonder if it's worth doing this. " But Medina's commitment is an extension of the work he began almost half a century ago, shoulder to shoulder with Cesar Chavez. So there was no letting up last fall, as he made his appeal outside the halls of power in Washington, D.C. When his stomach growled, he drew strength from fellow fasters as they joined hands and prayed.
March 7, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - With their hopes for broad legislation to overhaul immigration policies all but dead for the year, advocates have turned quickly to a new target: Pushing President Obama to take executive action to ease deportations of immigrants in the country illegally. In a coordinated, aggressive and sharp-elbowed campaign, leaders who stood behind the White House not long ago as the president called immigration reform his top second-term priority are now attacking Obama for not doing enough on his own. Dismissing Obama's insistence that his hands are tied by the law, advocates plan to pile on until he relents -- as he did once before in the run-up to an election.
March 6, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama insisted Thursday that he's not the "deporter in chief," as critics have labeled him, but the "champion in chief" of a fairer immigration policy. But until Congress passes a new law, Obama said, he is constrained by current statutes in how he treats immigrants who entered the country illegally. “I cannot ignore those laws any more than I can ignore any of the other laws that are on the books,” Obama said. “That's why it's important to get comprehensive immigration reform done this year.” Support for that view among reform advocates is splintering, a fact becoming clearer by the day. The president of the National Council of La Raza, the country's largest Latino advocacy organization, this week coined the “deporter in chief” term for the Democratic president the group has worked with in the past.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2014 |
GUADALUPE, Calif. - As a nearby tractor purred to life, Miguel Villagomez picked up his knife and stepped into a furrow of dirt amid thousands of plump heads of cauliflower ready for cutting. "This," the 19-year-old from Michoacán, Mexico, said with a touch of pride, "is my place. " For decades, the lush soil in this corner of California has been tilled largely by immigrants from Latin America, many returning year after year. But that long-standing relationship has encountered unexpected turbulence in recent weeks.