Latest developments in Immigration
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Latest developments in Immigration

June 7, 2011, 8:41 pm
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Alabama passes tough immigration law but several states say no to Secure communiuties
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                    Alabama Passes Toughest Immigration Law in the U.S.
On Thursday, June 2, the Alabama Legislature passed arguably the toughest state immigration bill in the United States.  Much like Arizona’s SB 1070, the law covers a wide array of immigration matters including employment, voting, education, and enforcement.  It requires that all employers in the state use E-Verify. t also requires law enforcement officers to verify the immigration status of a person lawfully stopped for a violation of state or local law when the officer has reasonable suspicion the person is unlawfully present in the U.S.  The bill also prohibits sanctuary practices by state and local officials and prohibits concealing, harboring, and transporting illegal aliens.   Governor Bentley is expected to sign the bill into law.
                   New York, California Revolt against Secure Communities
 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week he was suspending the State’s cooperation with Secure Communities because of its impact on families, immigrant communities and law enforcement. In a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Counsel to Governor Cuomo, Mylan L. Denerstein wrote “The heart of concern is that the program, conceived of as a method of targeting those who pose the greatest threat in our communities, is in fact having the opposite effect and compromising public safety by deterring witnesses to crime and others from working with law enforcement.”
Last week’s events in New York and California come on the heels of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s decision in May to cease his State’s participation in the Secure Communities program. Governor Quinn told ICE officials that “due to the conflict between the stated purpose of Secure Communities and the implementation of the program, Illinois state police will no longer participate Masachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has also joined the Secure Communities debate, announcing today that his State will not be participating in the program, while Minnesota and Washington have declined to join the program all together.    

                Maryland Residents Fight Back Against Tuition Breaks for Illegal Aliens
Last Tuesday, Maryland true immigration reform activists turned in 62,496 signatures in a first step to preventing in-state tuition rates for illegal aliens.  (Washington Post, June 1, 2011)  The group needs just over 55,000 signatures to force a vote on the measure providing tuition breaks to aliens in Maryland illegally.  In order to continue the fight against illegal immigration, one-third of the total number of needed signatures had to be submitted by May 31 at midnight.    Maryland’s Governor, Martin O’Malley, signed a bill into law earlier this legislative session that allowed illegal alien students who have attended Maryland high schools for three years to receive in-state tuition at Maryland colleges.
Incoming DNC Chair: Republicans Believe Illegal Immigration Should be a Crime
At a recent Christian Science Monitor breakfast, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (D-FL) denounced Republicans for thinking that illegal immigration should “in fact be a crime.”  (Fox News, May 31, 2011)  The incoming chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee told listeners that Democrats want “comprehensive immigration reform” and that the 12 million illegal aliens currently in the U.S. are “a necessity” for the economy.  She then said that the general “Republican solution … in the last three years is that we should just pack them all up and ship them back to their own countries and that in fact it should be a crime and we should arrest them all." That, she said, is what Rep. Sensenbrenner’s 2005 legislation proposed.

*****My thanks to FAIR for allowing me the use of their immigration updates in preparing this article 

Author: Reynold Mason
Reynold N. Mason teaches law courses at Zenover Educational Institute In Atlanta, Georgia. He has been a judge on New York City Civil Court and, a Justice on New York State Supreme Court. Mason has been an adjunct professor of law at Medgar Evers College and Monroe College in New York. He has authored several legal opinions published in New York Miscellaneous Reports and New York Official Reports as well as the New York Law Journal. He lives in Atlanta.
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