TX News Service: Immigration Reform – A Path to Citizenship and Secure Borders

Published January 29, 2013
John Michaelson, Public News Service – TX
El Paso, TX

A plan for immigration reform has been announced by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, and a mix of optimism and caution is greeting the proposal.

It includes a path to citizenship for people already in the country, says Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights.

“They are talking about bringing people who are undocumented out of the shadows and give them some kind of path to citizenship, so I think the recognition that there should be a solution for the people already in the United States, and they should be integrated with full citizenship, is quite important.”

The plan rolled out Monday also includes ramped-up border security, a reformed legal immigration system and an employment verification system.

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Public News Service: Big Turnout Leads to Big Predictions of Immigration Reform

Published November 8, 2012
Peter Malof, Public News Service – TX
El Paso, TX

As political analysts debate whether this week’s election results will ease the gridlock in Washington, D.C., some are predicting a quick breakthrough on at least one major issue. Immigration reform has been blocked in recent years – primarily by a Republican base that wants to seal the border first. That stance alienated enough Latino voters to help propel Democrats to a national victory this week, according to Adriana Cadena, statewide coordinator of the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance. She says Hispanic voters will not be satisfied with anything less than comprehensive reforms.

“That means providing venues through which people who are here undocumented can become U.S. citizens. There’s really no other option, and the time is now.”

The debate is already heating up. Some conservative activists say they will continue fighting what they see as amnesty for millions who are in the country illegally, but other Republicans are calling for a reexamination of their party’s relationship to the growing Latino electorate. President Obama, meanwhile, wants reforms enacted soon, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promises to introduce a bill in the coming year.

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San Antonio Express News: Texas wants access to immigrant records

By Susan Carroll, published July 19, 2012:

Texas elections officials have joined a growing number of states seeking access to a massive immigration database to check voter rolls for possible noncitizens, officials confirmed Wednesday.
Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade sent a letter to Homeland Security Department Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting access to the federal database, which contains more than 100 million immigration records.
Andrade, an appointee of Gov. Rick Perry, is the latest of roughly a dozen GOP elections leaders from across the country to seek the information after the Homeland Security Department granted Florida officials permission last week after a long fight.
Andrade’s plans to check voter rolls against the database mark the latest chapter in an ongoing controversy over the state’s efforts to combat voter fraud. Texas officials and the U.S. Justice Department already are embroiled in a court battle over a state law passed last year that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls.
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Think Progress: 96 Year-Old Former Arizona Governor Detained By Border Patrol In 100 Degree Heat

Reported July 6, 2012:

This man is Raúl Héctor Castro. He is 96 years old, a former Arizona governor, and a former United States Ambassador to El Salvador, Bolivia and Argentina. He was born in Mexico, and is a United States citizen.

Last month he was stopped by U.S. border patrol agents after residual radiation from a medical procedure he’d recently undergone triggered an alarm at a checkpoint in Tubac, AZ. The 96 year-old heart patient was then forced to exit his vehicle in the 100 degree Arizona heat and wait in a tent in a business suit, even as his companion begged the agents not to subject an elderly man to such treatment.

This is the third time the former governor and ambassador has been detained by border control. The first occurred years ago while he was repairing his own fence and agents stopped him and asked to see his work card — although they eventually desisted after Castro pointed out a sign by his farm entrance that read “Judge Castro.” The second occurred years later in San Diego, although that encounter ended shortly after someone recognized Castro and said “Governor, how are you?”

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KERA: Supreme Court Arizona Ruling Impacts Farmers Branch

On June 26, 2012 Bill Zeeble (KERA) wrote:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Arizona may shut down any more attempted restrictions on Farmers Branch apartment renters.

The court struck down most of an Arizona law targeting illegal immigrants. Farmers Branch wanted to make all renters get citizenship clearance before they could move in. But David Hinojosa, with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), said the Farmers Branch law was thrown out in lower court, and the Supreme Court ruling just confirms that.

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