Young illegal immigrants may get driver’s licenses

USA Today, 9/15/12

The new immigration policy has brought to the forefront the long-running and bitter debate over whether illegal immigrants should have access to driver’s licenses. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that each state could determine whether to issue licenses or extend other benefits to young immigrants who qualify for the deferred status.

Some states, such as Oregon and Georgia, have announced that they will grant driving privileges to those eligible for the new program. Others, such as Arizona and Mississippi, have vowed to deny them.

California legislators this month approved a bill that would allow an estimated 450,000 eligible young immigrants in the state to use the federal work permits at the Department of Motor Vehicles as proof of lawful presence in the country. The bill is now headed to the governor.

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ICE plans to allow Mexico to charge some smugglers

San Jose Mercury News, 4/14/2010

Mexico will be able to prosecute some accused drug smugglers caught in the U.S. under a new program being launched by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, officials said Wednesday.

The Illegal Drug Program will focus on cases that U.S. prosecutors decline to take on, said John Morton, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for ICE. Morton briefly described the program to a congressional subcommittee in Washington, saying it will help ensure that more suspected smugglers are prosecuted.

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Words of Napolitano, unacceptable: Gómez Mont (In Spanish)

El Universal, 3/18/2010

The Secretary of the Interior, Fernando Gómez Mont, condemned the declarations made on Tuesday by the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, who stated that the decision to deploy the military in Juarez “has not helped” contain the wave of violence that has slammed the city.

At the press conference, Gómez Mont expressed that one should understand  the context in which the remarks were made by the Secretary of Homeland Security before declaring a “holy war,” but even so, he said: “They are rejected by this secretary.”

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Unauthorized Immigrant Population Declines

New York Times, 2/9/2010

The population of unauthorized workers in the United States declined in the year ending January 2009, according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security.

An estimated 10.8 million unauthorized immigrants were in the country in January 2009 compared with 11.6 million the previous year.

That decrease — nearly 7 percent — is probably related to the country’s declining economy in the first year of the recession. Other scholars have found a correlation between arrests at the Mexican border and labor market in the United States.

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Report Critical of Scope of Immigration Detention

Janet NapolitanoNew York Times, 10/7/09

A report on immigration detention released Tuesday by the Obama administration paints a picture of a costly, inappropriately penal system that is growing without basic tools for management and monitoring, while the government office nominally in charge struggles with high turnover and a lack of expertise.

Though the administration has indicated that it wants to concentrate immigration enforcement on serious criminal offenders, the report shows that one of the largest and fastest-growing segments of the population in detention is noncriminals picked up in the enforcement programs the government has embraced.

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Read the Report and Fact Sheet…

Immigrant Detentions Continue to Decline

United_States_Border_Patrol_MexicoSAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 6/17/2009

Apprehensions of illegal immigrants dropped dramatically in 2008, continuing a three-year decline attributed to the increase in Border Patrol surveillance and the poor U.S. economy, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics said Tuesday.

The 2008 tally was 724,000, putting apprehensions at its lowest level since 1973.

While there were some coastal apprehensions made by Border Patrol, 97 percent of the captures were made on the Southwest border.

Statistics track apprehension events rather than numbers of individuals, who may be apprehended more than once.

In 2007, there were 876,803 apprehensions, compared to a mid-decade peak in 2005 of nearly 1.2 million and an all-time peak of nearly 1.7 million in 1986 as immigrants streamed across the border ahead of legislation granting amnesty.

Most of those picked up, 91 percent, were Mexicans with a sprinkling of immigrants coming from Central American and other countries.

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US and Mexico Agree to Improve Customs

DHS LOGOAssociated Press, 6/15/2009

The U.S. and Mexico have agreed to work together to secure legal travel and trade across the countries’ shared border.

The agreement is outlined in a letter of intent signed Monday by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Mexico’s Finance Minister Agustin Carstens.

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