• Senate Judiciary Committee launches immigration hearings

    Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing featured testimony from DHS secretary Janet Napolitano and Jose Antonio Vargas, a former journalist who started the group Define American, which campaigns for immigration reform. The hearing focused largely on border security and enforcement, with an entire panel devoted to just one witness — Napolitano. Napolitano said that border security was often used as an excuse to prevent meaningful changes.

  • Courts largely ignore immigration status in lawsuits: study

    When a person living in the United States without legal permission or suspected of doing so is involved in a work-related lawsuit, most courts disregard their immigration status when determining remedies, says a study from an expert in labor relations.

  • Problems-plagued border sensor program put on hold by CBP

    Two years ago, DHS cancelled SBInet, the ambitious Bush-era project to install advanced sensing technology along the border. The project was cancelled after more than $1 billion were spent on a few towers equipped with sensors which were built along a 28-mile stretch and the Arizona-Mexico border. Now CBP has put on hold one of SBInet’s successors, a project aiming to install sophisticated ground sensors along the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Labor organizes campaign to push GOP to support path to citizenship

    Immigration advocates have launched a campaign to push Republicans to agree to legislation which provides a path to citizenship for more than eleven million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States. Several GOP leaders have called for granting illegal immigrants legal status in the United States, but not a path to U.S. citizenship. The AFL-CIO, which is helping in organizing and funding this latest campaign, says that allowing millions of undocumented residents to remain in the country without full citizenship would only perpetuate a caste system which will drag down wages and health benefits for all workers.

  • Gang of Eight: DHS secretary to determine if border is secure

    Even supporters of immigration reform admit that security along the U.S.-Mexico border should be improved so that legalizing the status of the eleven million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States would not become a magnet for drawing even more undocumented immigrants into the country. How do we know, however, whether the border is secure enough for the legalizing process to begin? A bipartisan group of senators, known as the Gang of Eight, has an idea: under the terms of the bipartisan framework for immigration reform, DHS secretary Janet Napolitano would make the final determination about whether or not the border is secure. Once she makes the determination that the border is secure, the eleven million undocumented immigrants would start on their path to a legal status in the country.

  • DHS secretary says El Paso border is secure

    During a visit to El Paso, Texas on Tuesday, DHS secretary Janet Napolitano highlighted improvements in border security, as many in Congress argue that the path to immigration reform begins with making sure the U.S.-Mexico border is secure.

  • Labor unions join campaign for immigration reform

    The immigration reform debate continues to grab the headlines, and labor unions are now entering the ring,  hoping that organizing immigrant workers can boost the unions’ shrinking ranks.

  • U.S. tech companies hope visa reform for high-skilled immigrants is near

    U.S. technology companies hope that what appears to be a more bi-partisan approach to immigration reform will not overlook the need to address the issue of high-skilled immigrants. The current number for H-1B visas fir skilled immigrants is 65,000 a year. “A 65,000 starting point is just not feasible for this economy. That’s the same number we started with in 1990, when the economy was one-third the size it is today,” say a high-tech industry representative.

  • Arizona may require hospitals to report undocumented immigrants seeking care

    A bill before the Arizona legislature aims to track how many undocumented immigrants are receiving free medical care at hospitals in Arizona. The bill would require hospitals to confirm a person’s legal presence in the country if the individual seeking care does not have insurance. If the staff thinks the patient is here illegally, they must notify authorities.

  • Why some immigrants get citizenship

    For immigrants, the path to citizenship in many countries is filled with hurdles: finding a job, learning the language, passing exams. For some people, however, the biggest obstacle of all may be one they cannot help: their country of origin.

  • Conflicting cultural identities foster political radicalism

    New research suggests that dual-identity immigrants — first-generation immigrants and their descendants who identify with both their cultural minority group and the society they now live in — may be more prone to political radicalism if they perceive their two cultural identities to be incompatible.

  • Bipartisan group of senators offers sweeping immigration reform

    A bipartisan group of eight senators yesterday unveiled a proposal to overhaul the U.S. immigration system, a proposal which will form the basis of a bill that its backers hope to introduce to the Senate by March. Today, President Barack Obama is delivering a major speech on immigration in Nevada, and White house sources say that the specific proposals in his speech will dovetail with the senators’ proposal.

  • Lawmakers propose bill which would increase visas for highly skilled immigrants

    Four senators plan to introduce a more narrowly tailored immigration reform bill which focuses on increasing the number of temporary visas available for highly skilled immigrants. The bill would also free up green cards so more of these highly skilled immigrants could settle in the United States and eventually become citizens.

  • Naturalized security threats retain their U.S. citizenship

    There is a surprising number of naturalized citizens in the United States who have been charged and convicted of serious national security crimes — including terrorism, espionage, and theft of sensitive information and technology — in the last several years. A new study compares the relative ease with which aliens naturalize with the difficulty in stripping them of citizenship, even when they prove to be national security threats who have gamed the system.

  • Mexican officials hope for real changes in U.S. gun policy

    The majority of the guns used in drug-related violence in Mexico have come from the United States. Numbers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives show that  almost 70 percent of the 99,000 weapons seized in Mexico in 2012 came from the United States. Mexican officials are hoping that president Obama’s speeches on changing the U.S. gun policy will be more than just talk.