Dallas teen missing since 2010 was mistakenly deported

Posted on January 3, 2012 at 10:35 PM

DALLAS – “It’s very frustrating,” Lorene Turner said.

She has spent hours on Facebook trying to find her granddaughter, Jakadrien.

“Once I get home I am up until 3 or 4 in the morning searching and looking,” Turner said. “It’s all I can think about. Finding my baby.”

Turner has been searching for Jakadrien since the fall of 2010, when she ran away from home. She was 14 years old and distraught over the loss of her grandfather and her parents’ divorce.

Turner searched for months for a clue.

“God just kept leading me,” she said. “I wake up in the middle of the night and do whatever God told me to do, and I found her.”

Turner said with the help of Dallas Police, she found her granddaughter in the most unexpected place – Colombia.

Where she had mistakenly been deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April of 2011.

“They didn’t do their work,” Turner said. “How do you deport a teenager and send her to Colombia without a passport, without anything?”

News 8 learned that Jakadrien somehow ended up in Houston, where she was arrested by Houston police for theft. She gave Houston police a fake name. When police in Houston ran that name, it belonged to a 22-year-old illegal immigrant from Colombia, who had warrants for her arrest.

So ICE officials stepped in.

News 8 has learned ICE took the girl’s fingerprints, but somehow didn’t confirm her identity and deported her to Colombia, where the Colombian government gave her a work card and released her.

“She talked about how they had her working in this big house cleaning all day, and how tired she was,” Turner said.

Through her granddaughter’s Facebook messages, Turner says she tracked Jakadrian down.

U.S. Federal authorities got an address. U.S. Embassy officials in Colombia asked police to pick her up.

But that was a month ago, and the Colombian government now has her in a detention facility and won’t release her, despite her family’s request.

“I feel like she will come home,” the grandmother said with tears in her eyes. “I just need help and prayer.”

There are still many unanswered questions about how an African-American girl who speaks no Spanish is mistaken for a foreign national. Immigration officials are investigating and released a statement late Tuesday.

“ICE takes these allegations very seriously,” said ICE Director of Public Affairs Brian Hale. ” At the direction of [the Department of Homeland Security], ICE is fully and immediately investigating this matter in order to expeditiously determine the facts of this case.”

ICE officials also noted there have been instances where ICE has seen cases of individuals providing inaccurate information regarding who they are and their immigration status for ulterior motives.


DOMA Attacks Again…

Deportation could split up lesbian Vt. couple

Associated Press

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Frances Herbert and her wife, Takako Ueda, were looking forward to the New Year’s Eve family concert at the Baptist Church, the town fireworks on the pond and then a night at home to celebrate the arrival of 2012.But federal immigration authorities have told Ueda she needs to leave the United States for her native Japan by Dec. 31, a move that would split up a couple who have been together more than a decade and were married under Vermont law in April.

Their relatively rare case illuminates the difficulties that binational gay couples face at a time when the Obama administration has pledged not to uphold federal marriage law in courts but the rest of the executive branch – including immigration authorities – still follows the letter of the law.

Federal immigration authorities demand extensive documentation showing that a binational couple claiming to be married really are: witness statements, property records, utility and other household bills showing both names and the like often are required. Herbert said she and Ueda submitted 600 pages of such evidence with their application.

“It’s despicable,” Herbert said. “We had 600 pages of proof, and 599 of them were completely ignored. One line on one page” – the one that said they were both women – “is what they paid attention to.”

Herbert, a 51-year-old home care provider, and Ueda, a 56-year-old graphic designer, live in the southern Vermont town of Dummerston and got letters Dec. 1 from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, telling them that Ueda had to leave the country within 30 days. Ueda’s student visa expired in July.

They had applied for “relative alien” status on the basis that she was the spouse of a U.S. citizen, but the federal agency denied that petition.

The letter to Herbert, who had applied to be Ueda’s sponsor, said that under the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law saying the government would not recognize same-sex marriages, they couldn’t be considered spouses. DOMA defines marriage as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.”

“Your spouse is not a person of the opposite sex,” wrote Robert Cowan, a U.S. CIS official. “Therefore, under the DOMA, your petition must be denied.”

Only a handful of states recognize same-sex marriages. Experts say there are not reliable numbers on how many couples find themselves in a similar situation to that of Herbert and Ueda, but it’s believed the number is small. Many binational same-sex couples don’t seek spousal status for fear of being rejected because of DOMA.

Steve Ralls, spokesman for Immigration Equality, a nonprofit legal aid group that works on immigration and sexual orientation issues, said one San Francisco couple remained together despite getting government notices that one of the men, an Australian, needed to leave the country, while a New Jersey man’s partner had been deported to Peru.

President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. announced in February that the administration would no longer defend DOMA in court in the cases in which it is being challenged. But until the issue is resolved, executive branch agencies, including those within the Department of Homeland Security, it remains the law of the land.

But Leslie Holmans, second vice president of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association, said that even after getting the types of letters Herbert and Ueda got, some same-sex, binational couples benefit from “prosecutorial discretion” by immigration authorities.

She said many federal prosecutors believe “our systems are so overcrowded that what we really need to be doing is concentrating on people who are a risk to our country. What’s happened is that we have seen some same-sex couples go before the immigration court and ask for prosecutorial discretion.” Government lawyers often respond by “either dismissing cases or they’re not enforcing the notice of deportation.”

Holmans said the situation is far from ideal because affected immigrants are left in “legal limbo,” still without recognized immigration status and unable to get a job or seek other government benefits.

Scott Titshaw, a professor at Mercer University Law School in Georgia who has practiced immigration law and written articles on DOMA, said Ueda and Herbert most likely shouldn’t fear Ueda’s imminent arrest but “still have plenty to worry about.” He said if Ueda traveled abroad, then she might be barred from re-entering the U.S. With local authorities in some states cracking down on illegal immigrants, Ueda might also want avoid travel to places like Arizona and Alabama, which both have strict immigration laws.

Herbert and Ueda first met as students at Aquinas College in Michigan in 1980 and stayed in touch during the next couple of decades after Ueda returned to Japan and married a man. She said that when Herbert went to visit her in Japan in 1999, she made a big decision. “I had a good marriage, but there was something missing, and that something was Frances.” Eight months later, she moved to the United States, and the two had a commitment ceremony in 2000, marrying in 2011.

Both vowed to fight any effort to break them up.

“I’m a really great law obeyer. I grew up in Japan. We follow laws,” Ueda said with a laugh. “But I have a very strong feeling, too, that I won’t go back to Japan. I don’t have a place to live in Japan. My family, my existence, is not there anymore.”

Dayton, OH Welcomes Immigrants

Dayton, Ohio, Welcomes Immigrants As Policy Point

Dayton Ohio Immigrants
By DAN SEWELL   10/24/11 02:56 PM ET   AP

DAYTON, Ohio — On the same afternoon thousands of Hispanics in Alabama took the day off to protest the state’s strict new immigration law, Mexican-born Francisco Mejia was ringing up diners’ bills and handing containers piled with carnitas to drive-thru customers on the east side of Dayton.

His family’s Taqueria Mixteca is thriving on a street pockmarked with rundown buildings and vacant storefronts. It gets packed with a diverse lunchtime clientele of Hispanic laborers, white men in suits and other customers, white and black. “Business is very good,” Mejia said, smiling broadly between orders.

It’s the kind of success story that leaders in Dayton think offers hope for an entire city. It has adopted a plan not only to encourage immigrants to come and feel welcome here, but also to use them to help pull out of an economic tailspin.

Dayton officials, who adopted the “Welcome Dayton” plan unanimously Oct. 5, say they aren’t condoning illegal immigration; those who come here illicitly will continue to be subject to U.S. laws.

While states including Alabama, Georgia and Arizona, as well as some cities, have passed laws in recent years cracking down on illegal immigrants, Dayton officials say they will leave that to federal authorities and focus instead on how to attract and assimilate those who come legally.

Other cities, including nearby Columbus and Indianapolis, have programs to help immigrants get government and community help, but Dayton’s effort has a broader, and more urgent, feel.

Mayor Gary Leitzell told the city commission before the vote that immigrants bring “new ideas, new perspectives and new talent to our workforce. … To reverse the decades-long trend of economic decline in this city, we need to think globally.”

Hard-hit for years by the struggles of U.S. manufacturing, particularly in the auto industry, the recession pounded Dayton, which as the Wright Brother’s hometown calls itself “the birthplace of aviation.”

Thousands of jobs were lost with the crippling 2009 exodus to Georgia of NCR (formerly National Cash Register), one of Dayton’s signature corporations, after 125 years, and by the 2008 shutdown of a General Motors plant in suburban Moraine.

Dayton’s unemployment is nearly 11 percent, 2 percent higher than the national average, while population has fallen below 142,000, down 15 percent from 2000. Meanwhile, the city’s official foreign-born population rose 57 percent, to 5,102, from 2000 to 2010, according to census figures.

City leaders aiming to turn Dayton around started examining the immigrant population: Indian doctors in hospitals; foreign-born professors and graduate students at the region’s universities; and owners of new small businesses such as a Turkish family’s New York Pizzeria on the city’s east side and Hispanic-run car lots, repair shops and small markets. They say immigrants have revitalized some rundown housing, moving into and fixing up what had been vacant homes.

“This area has been in a terrible recession, but it would be even worse without them,” said Theo Majka, a University of Dayton sociology professor who, with his sociologist wife Linda Majka, has studied and advocated for Dayton’s immigrants. “Here we have this underutilized resource.”

Dayton officials say their plan still needs funding and volunteers to help put it in place; they hope by the end of the year. Its key tenets include increasing information and access to government, social services and housing issues; language education and help with identification cards, and grants and marketing help for immigrant entrepreneurs to help build the East Third Street section.

“We will be more diverse, we will grow, we will have more restaurants, more small businesses,” said Tom Wahlrab, the city’s human relations council director, who helped lead the plan’s development.

Besides thousands of Hispanics, there are communities in Dayton of Iraqi refugees, Vietnamese and other Asians, Africans from several countries, and Russians and Turks who, officials say, are already living here quietly and industriously.

“Immigrants are hard workers with a propensity to create jobs, and this will invigorate the economy,” said Festus Nyiwo, an attorney in his home country of Nigeria who has been a small-business entrepreneur since coming to Dayton about eight years ago.

Around the country, the bad economy has helped inspire new laws targeting illegal immigrants, seen as taking scarce jobs and overburdening schools, police and services.

In Alabama, a new law allows police to detain indefinitely those suspected of being in the country illegally and requires schools to check new students’ status; some farms and businesses say they’re losing workers because of it. Georgia and Arizona also added tough restrictions.

The immigration debate continues in Hazleton, Pa., where officials five years ago passed a law aimed at driving out illegal immigrants they blamed for drugs, violent crime and overwhelming schools and hospitals. The measure has since been tied up in court challenges.

Dorothy Balser, manager of refugee resettlement services for Catholic Social Services, said that finding jobs can be a struggle, but that refugees have generally been able to fit into the Dayton community. She thinks the Welcome Dayton plan will have a “natural positive effect” on those already here without causing a significant rise in numbers immediately.

Dayton’s schools say they’re helping 525 students learn English, up from 420 less than two years ago. About half are native Spanish-speakers; the rest are a mix of Turkish, Arabic, Swahili and more. They’re ready to accept more.

“We already are currently experiencing many students from many nationalities living in Dayton. That is a reality,” said Jill Moberly, a spokeswoman for Dayton Public Schools.

Opponents fear it will encourage illegal immigration and give preferences to immigrants.

“If Dayton wants to help build its economy by letting people know that legal immigrants are welcome, that’s their prerogative,” said Steve Salvi, founder of Ohio Jobs & Justice PAC, an advocacy group that focuses on illegal immigration. “But when they accept a plan that clearly has the purpose of including those (illegal) people, that’s a problem for everyone.”

Roy Barber, who owns Roy’s Lock Shop on East Third Street, says he’s been in business for 30 years and doesn’t like the city’s plan.

“Nobody ever talked to me,” he said. “Why not help us?”

Barber said most of the neighborhood’s Hispanic immigrants work hard and cause no problems. But he predicts Welcome Dayton will bring more illegal immigrants.

“You see people out on the street and you know they’re illegal,” he said.

Rich Lober, 50, a lifelong Dayton resident, said Mexican and other immigrants have helped East Third.

“I like the idea of rejuvenating this neighborhood,” Lober said. But he said Dayton should look to draw back former residents.

“I’d like to see a `Welcome Back.’ They should include American citizens, too,” Lober said.

Black resident David Dewberry told city officials it’s important not to neglect predominantly black neighborhoods, where residents might wonder where their welcome plan is.

“Rightfully so, there are some lifelong residents who are disenchanted,” he said.

At Taqueria Mixteca, Mejia’s mother and restaurant manager, Marta Guzman, believes Welcome Dayton will help relieve stereotypes.

“I know there are some (immigrants) who are causing crime and problems,” said Guzman, who has lived in the United States for three decades, legalized through the 1986 amnesty program.

“I have struggled a lot in this country, working two jobs, raising three children” as a single mother, she said. “Most of us are here to work hard and to live the American dream.”

Will the new policy bring more immigrants? Mejia smiled again.

“We’re already hearing that there are some Mexicans who are planning to come here from Alabama,” he said.

Still think Obama is soft on illegal immigration?

Obama’s ICE reports record number of deportations of illegal immigrants

By Jordy Yager – 10/18/11 08:08 PM ET, The Hill

The U.S. deported more people — nearly 400,000 — who were in the country illegally in fiscal 2011 than ever before, according to the latest numbers released Tuesday by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bureau.

President Obama’s administration touted the startling figures as evidence of its progress in stopping illegal immigration, a record that could help the president win back independent voters who abandoned Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections.

A key Hispanic Democrat, however, said the figures were “nothing to be proud of,” highlighting the dangers a record number of deportations could mean for a White House focused on attracting Hispanic voters critical in swing states such as Colorado and New Mexico.“We are deporting hundreds of thousands of people who came to the country to work, raise families, contribute to the economy, and want nothing more than to be allowed to live and work here legally,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said in a statement.

Of the 396,906 people removed from the U.S., more than half — 216,698 —had been previously convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, according to the ICE numbers, which represent a 90 percent increase in the number of criminals deported over those for fiscal 2008. The numbers mark a 10 percent increase over criminals removed in fiscal 2010 — about 195,000.

With the Republican field of candidates fighting over who can be the toughest on border security, Democrats believe there is an opening for Obama to win over Hispanics in 2012. The demographic group was an important part of Obama’s 2008 coalition, but Hispanics have been disappointed with the president’s failure to move broad immigration reform legislation through Congress.

For much of 2011, the White House has been focused on reaching out to Hispanic groups to highlight its support for comprehensive immigration reform.

The administration also shifted its enforcement policy in June, focusing its prosecutions on illegal immigrants who had criminal records. The new Department of Homeland Security rules halted the blanket deportation of every illegal immigrant in line for exile. Instead, DHS officials said they would look at each individual on a case-by-case basis, prioritizing violent offenders and other criminals, while deferring the deportation of many students and others considered nonthreatening.

The new policy, formally announced in August and hailed at the time by Gutierrez and other immigration reform advocates, was intended to win over Hispanics.Gutierrez on Tuesday said he’s still searching for evidence that those changes have taken hold.

“The announcement cannot be merely a pacifier for those of us crying out for justice and compassion,” he said. “It must actually stop the deportation of those with deep roots in our country like long-term residents, DREAM Act students, military families, and immediate family of U.S. citizens.”

ICE Director John Morton attributed the jump in deportations to the agency’s newly revamped discretionary policy.

“Smart and effective immigration enforcement relies on setting priorities for removal and executing on those priorities,” Morton said in a statement.

“These year-end totals indicate that we are making progress, with more convicted criminals, recent border crossers, egregious immigration law violators and immigration fugitives being removed from the country than ever before,” he said.

Republicans have blasted the White House’s new enforcement policies, saying they are a backdoor path to citizenship and a cloaked version of amnesty.

“The Obama administration is cooking the books to make it look like they are enforcing immigration laws, when in reality they are enacting amnesty through inaction,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) on Tuesday.

Obama, in an online discussion targeted at Hispanic voters last month, acknowledged that the deportation numbers are “deceptive” because they do not include people who are sent back to their native country after being arrested by Border Patrol while attempting to cross the border illegally.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who is expected to be asked about the new policies when she appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, said earlier this month that the rising number of deportations shows her agency is doing its job to enforce the law.

“We cannot, on the one hand, be on the verge of removing, for the third consecutive year, a record-breaking number of unlawful individuals from this country with the highest number of criminal removals in American history and, at the same time, be abrogating our law enforcement responsibilities,” Napolitano said during a talk at American University.

ICE said that of the criminals deported, 1,119 had been convicted of committing a homicide, 5,848 had been convicted of sexual offenses and 44,653 aliens had been convicted of drug-related crimes.

This year’s numbers represent about a 1 percent increase in total people deported. In fiscal 2010, ICE removed 392,862 people who were in the country illegally.

The announcement comes as the debate over the country’s immigration laws has gained focus on Capitol Hill, in the federal court system and on the GOP presidential campaign trail.

The Justice Department (DOJ) has launched a fight against Alabama’s new immigration law — the latest in a series of state measures that require local law enforcement officials to establish whether a suspected criminal is in the country legally.

And Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain came under fire this week for comments he made suggesting that a border fence should be electrified. Cain later said he was making a joke and that he didn’t want to offend anyone, though he stood by the idea of electrifying a fence along the border.

Judge Says No to Alabama Immigration Law

29 August 2011 Last updated at 17:19 ET, BBC News

Alabama immigration law blocked by judge

Opponents of the immigration law spoke to reporters after a hearing on 24 August

A US federal judge has blocked Alabama’s strict new anti-illegal immigration law, saying she needed time to weigh its constitutionality.

The federal government in Washington had challenged the law, set to take effect on Thursday, saying states lack authority to set immigration policy.

Judge Sharon Blackburn said she will issue a longer ruling next month.

Among other provisions, the law would require schools to find out whether students are in the country legally.

In addition, it would make it a crime knowingly to give a lift or rent a room to an undocumented worker.

The state’s police would also get sweeping new powers.

If, in the course of their duties, they come across anyone whose status is suspect, they would be able to detain them without question.

Supporters of the law, passed in June by the Republican-dominated state legislature, say it is the product of growing frustration in state capitals with the inability of the US federal government in Washington to handle the problem of illegal immigration.

It was opposed by Hispanic groups, immigrant advocacy organisations and some churches, who say it is racist and mean-spirited.

In the Alabama city of Birmingham, Judge Blackburn heard arguments on whether to block 1 September implementation.

Similar laws passed this year and last in Utah, Georgia and Arizona have been blocked in whole or in part after challenges by the Obama administration, which argues that only the federal government has constitutional authority to set immigration policy.

An estimated 120,000 illegal immigrants live in Alabama, most of whom work in agriculture.

DHS: Case-by-Case Review of 300,000 Illegal Immigrants Facing Deportation

US plans to make it a priority to deport illegal immigrants who are convicted criminals

By Associated Press, Published: August 18
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Thursday it will allow many illegal immigrants facing deportation the chance to stay in this country and apply for a work permit, while focusing on removing from the U.S. convicted criminals and those who might be a national security or public safety threat.

That will mean a case-by-case review of approximately 300,000 illegal immigrants facing possible deportation in federal immigration courts, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in announcing the policy change.

Advocates for an immigration overhaul have said that the administration, by placing all illegal immigrants in the same category for deportation, has failed to live up to its promise to only deport the “worst of the worst,” as President Barack Obama has said.

“From a law enforcement and public safety perspective, DHS enforcement resources must continue to be focused on our highest priorities,” Napolitano wrote a group of senators supporting new immigration legislation. “Doing otherwise hinders our public safety mission — clogging immigration court dockets and diverting DHS enforcement resources away from the individuals who pose a threat to public safety.”

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.

Some states are rebelling against another administration effort to control illegal immigration known as Secure Communities. The program requires that when state and local law enforcement send criminal suspects’ fingerprints to the FBI, the prints are run through an immigration database to determine the person’s immigration status. States have argued that the program puts them in the position of policing immigration, which they consider a federal responsibility. Immigrant advocacy groups have complained that people who had not yet been convicted of a crime were being caught up in the system.

In June, the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Morton, sent a memo to agents outlining when and how they could use discretion in immigration cases. That guidance also covered those potentially subject to a legislative proposal, known as the DREAM Act, intended to give young illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military a chance at legal status.

Morton also suggested that agents consider how long someone has been in the United State, whether that person’s spouse or children are U.S. citizens and whether that person has a criminal record.

A senior administration official said delaying deportation decisions in cases for some non-criminals would allow quicker deportation of serious criminals. The indefinite stay will not give illegal immigrants a path to legal permanent residency, but will let them apply for a work permit.

“As a matter of law, they are eligible for a work authorization card, basically a taxpayer ID card, but that decision is made separately and on a case-by-case basis,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discussed the change publicly.

The official said the change will give authorities the chance to keep some cases from even reaching the court system. The message to agents in the field, the official said, would be “you do not need to put everyone you come across in the system.”

If an immigrant whose case has been stayed commits a crime or other circumstances change, their case could be reopened.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a longtime supporter of immigration overhaul and the DREAM Act, applauded the policy change.

“These students are the future doctors, lawyers, teachers and, maybe, senators, who will make America stronger,” Durbin said in an emailed statement. “We need to be doing all we can to keep these talented, dedicated, American students here, not wasting increasingly precious resources sending them away to countries they barely remember.”

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said the Obama administration was implementing reforms “against the will of Congress and the majority of American people we represent.”

“It is just the latest attempt by this president to bypass the intended legislative process when he does not get his way,” McCaul said in a statement. “The fact that we have a backlog and prioritize deportations is nothing new. This policy goes a step further granting illegal immigrants a fast-track to gaining a work permit where they will now unfairly compete with more than 9 percent of Americans who are still looking for jobs.”

Other Republicans have previously criticized the DREAM Act and other immigration legislation that would provide a path to legal status as amnesty. Following Morton’s June memo, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, introduced a bill to block the administration’s use of prosecutorial discretion and called the use of that discretion “backdoor amnesty.”

AZ Recall Election Can Go Forward

Arizona state senator recall election can go forward, judge rules

August 12, 2011

(CNN) — An Arizona judge ruled Friday that a special election to recall state Senate President Russell Pearce, the primary sponsor behind a controversial anti-illegal immigration law that a federal court struck down in April, can be held November 8 as planned.

In an 11-page ruling, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Hugh E. Hegyi rejected nearly all of the arguments alleging problems with the recall petition.

The suit was filed by Franklin Bruce Ross, who backs Pearce and who alleged problems in the way the recall petitions were filled out. The suit cited as an example the language in the oath sworn by the circulators of the recall petitions did not state that the signatures collected were “genuine” or the “functional equivalent.”

But Hegyi concluded that the legislation concerning recall elections does not mandate that the oath contain the word “genuine.” “It merely requires ‘an’ oath that the Petition signatures are genuine, but does not prescribe a specific oath that will accomplish that objective,” the judge wrote.

In this case, the requirements of the law — which he described as constitutional — have been met, he said.

“Obviously, I’m pleased,” said Thomas Ryan of Chandler, Arizona, a lawyer who represented the petition-drive organizers Citizens for a Better Arizona. “It’s a big victory for the 10,000-plus people who signed that recall petition to get rid of their senator.”

In an e-mail sent to Ryan, Lisa Hauser, the attorney representing Pearce supporter Ross, said she would appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court. She did not immediately return a call from CNN seeking comment.

In May, the group Citizens for a Better Arizona submitted petitions to Arizona’s secretary of state, defendant Ken Bennett, who certified that they contained 10,296 signatures — 2,540 more than the required number.

At the time, Pearce did not respond to requests to comment on the recall campaign, but said of his supporters: “I am so grateful that some of my friends have stepped forward to oppose this recall and defend the truth. The personal, hurtful attacks by people who don’t even live in Arizona must stop. Working together, we can bring Arizonans together and move our state forward.”

His supporters have formed their own group, The Citizens Who Oppose the Pearce Recall.

Pearce, a Republican, sponsored Arizona Senate Bill 1070. The measure would have required local police, while enforcing other laws, to question the immigration status of anyone they suspected of being undocumented. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said the measure overstepped Arizona’s authority.

Before becoming a state senator in 2001, Pearce spent 23 years as a Maricopa County sheriff’s deputy. He is known for his tough stance against illegal immigration and continues to introduce such legislation.

What Do Private Prisons And Immigration Have In Common? [Video]

Congressman Gutierrez Arrested at Immigration Demonstration

Congressman arrested at immigration protest

Washington (CNN) — Rep. Luis Gutierrez and 10 other people demonstrating for immigration reform were arrested Tuesday outside the White House, the U.S. Park Police and a spokesman for the congressman said.

Douglas Rivlin, the press secretary for the Illinois Democrat, said Gutierrez and the other people arrested “were sitting on the sidewalk in front of the White House after being told to leave” the protest, held to mark the more than 1 million people deported since President Barack Obama took office.

“The U.S. Park Police gave them a warning to leave. After the third warning they were put in plastic handcuffs and taken away,” Rivlin said.

Park police Sgt. David Schlosser said the 11 people arrested paid a fine for disobeying an official order and were released.

Gutierrez is an outspoken advocate for immigration reform. A statement about the protest said that while Obama correctly blames Republicans for blocking immigration reform, “it doesn’t get him off the hook.”

The president has the power to stop deportations of undocumented immigrants “with deep roots in the United States, and we think he should use it,” Gutierrez said in the statement.

California Dream Act

California: Half of ‘Dream’ Act Signed
By ,  July 25, 2011 NY TIMES

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Monday legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to receive privately financed scholarships for state universities. The bill is part of package known as the California Dream Act, which would entitle those students to the same kind of state aid that American citizens and legal residents can receive. That bill has passed the state Assembly, but has not come to the floor for a vote in the Senate. The Democratic-controlled Legislature has passed similar bills in the past, but they were vetoed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican. Mr. Brown is a Democrat.