May 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A sweeping bipartisan plan to overhaul the nation's immigration system headed to the Senate floor after a key committee approved it Tuesday, setting the stage for a debate next month that could lead to the biggest victory for advocates of immigrant rights in a generation. The centerpiece of the legislation - a 13-year path to citizenship for many of the 11 million people now in the country without legal status - survived intact. But the bill's supporters accepted amendments that tilted it to the right to attract GOP backing, including some to toughen border security.
May 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - When Sen. Orrin G. Hatch took his seat on the dais for the Senate Judiciary Committee's debates on the immigration reform bill, the 79-year-old was not just one of 18 senators. He was the most sought-after vote. A towering but genteel figure, Hatch was seen as the potential Republican domino - the first GOP senator beyond the four in the bipartisan group that crafted the immigration bill to join the effort. A yes from Hatch, the bill's supporters hoped, would heighten the odds of support from the GOP as the bill moved to the full Senate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 2013 |
Immigration-related offenses are now the leading type of federal prosecution, constituting more than 40% of cases compared with 22% for drug crimes, according to federal crime data. Many immigrants are now prosecuted because they try to cross the border again after being deported, according to a report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch. Often, they are so desperate to get back to their families in the United States that prison time is not a deterrent, the report said.
May 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Senators pushed forward Monday with changes to a sweeping immigration overhaul over the objections of a union of immigration officers that announced its opposition to the bill. The legislation, written by a bipartisan group of senators, has largely withstood challenges and is on track for a key vote this week as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to pass the measure to the full chamber. As the committee convened for its fourth day of hearings, the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, which represents about 12,000 employees at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, announced its opposition, saying provisions in the bill could lead to fraud.
May 18, 2013 |
TUCSON - Young people granted immigration relief and work permits under a new Obama administration program still won't be able to obtain driver's licenses in Arizona, a federal judge has ruled. Although the decision is a win for Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who issued the executive order denying driver's licenses to this particular group, it's just the first battle in a case that will probably be argued on constitutional grounds. U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell on Thursday turned down a request for a preliminary injunction blocking Brewer's order but stated that the plaintiffs - a contingent of immigrant rights groups - would probably prevail on their claim that the governor's order violates guarantees of equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.
May 17, 2013 |
TONATICO, Mexico - Armando Guadarrama was navigating his taxi through the narrow streets of this central Mexico pueblo on a recent Saturday morning, some 2,000 miles from the Beltway. But like many here, Guadarrama was up-to-the-minute with the immigration reform push that is the talk of Washington. When he spoke of its odds, the 40-year-old could sound like a hard-bitten D.C. veteran, grumbling over a scotch at the Old Ebbitt Grill. He sniffed incredulously at President Obama's statement, a day earlier, that he was "absolutely convinced" that reforms would pass this year.