Newsletter February 2011- States are Lining Up to Enact Arizona-Style Immigration Laws

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IN THIS ISSUE:
Failure to Pass the DREAM Act Resulting in a Nightmare for Many
Will the USCIS Raise Filing Fees Again?
Delay in the Processing of Immediate Relative Petitions, Form I-130, at Texas Service Center
The Faces of US Immigrants: Cristeta Comerford
Recipes from the Melting Pot: Arroz Caldo, A Filipino Dish ala Cristeta Comerford

The controversial Arizona immigration law, SB-1070, makes failure to carry immigration documents a crime. It also extends the authority of police to detain anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally, which can open the doors to profiling. It was reported last year that Arizona lost at least $140 million in revenue due to boycotts. And yet, at least 13 states legislatures have introduced similar bills as of February 2, 2011. The list includes:

California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

The bills from each of these states are similar in that they would require police to question the immigration status of anyone they suspect is in the U.S. illegally. In addition, Florida’s measure goes further than the Arizona law by increasing the criminal penalties to any illegal immigrant that commits a crime. Mississippi’s, South Carolina’s, Texas’ and Virginia’s measures would also allow the police to check the immigration status of anyone who is stopped for a traffic violation.

The list no longer includes Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, since the legislation recently failed in those states. There is some sensibility that pervades our moral soul after all.