Entries in Illegal Aliens (4)


Parts of Alabama Immigration Law Blocked

Comstock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- In a 16-page order, a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked Alabama schools from checking the immigration status of enrollees.  The court has also stopped enforcement of a provision making it a misdemeanor for aliens to not carry a green card.

But the court, at least for now, leaves the most controversial section of the tough new law intact.  It requires police to check the immigration status of those “stopped, detained or arrested” and allows illegals to be held without bond as a flight risk.  This provision was also upheld by a district court judge.

The 11th Circuit will continue to hear the case on the merits, and may yet decide to overturn the law.  But for now, Alabama police can continue to arrest and detain illegal immigrants.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Illegal Alien Hero at Center of Debate on New Policy for Immigrants

John Moore/Getty Images(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- The Obama administration's new policy allowing illegal immigrants without criminal records to remain in the country has stirred up debate, and Antonio Diaz Chacon, the country's latest illegal immigrant hero, is in the middle of it.

On Monday, Chacon, 23, jumped into his pickup truck when he saw a 6-year-old girl being abducted and chased down the alleged abductor, who crashed into a light pole and ran into the desert in Albuquerque, N.M. Chacon then rescued the child, and the suspect has since been arrested and charged with kidnapping and child abuse.

While being questioned by reporters, Chacon revealed his immigration status.

Chacon, who is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, is married to an American and has been in the United States for four years.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry declared Friday Antonio Diaz Chacon Day in the city and presented Diaz Chacon with a Spanish language plaque at an afternoon ceremony.

Chacon's wife, Martha Diaz, who is a U.S. citizen, said she and her husband are worried about the consequences of revealing his immigration status, but "he thinks thinks this happened for a reason," according to

Under the new immigration policy announced by the Obama administration this week, it is possible that Chacon would not be deported.

Jennifer Allen of Border Action Network says the policy would apply to those who have been in the United States for many years and have been positive members of the community.

"The President is recognizing it simply does not make sense for this country to be removing children who have grown up and know this country better than they know any other country; or removing the spouses of active duty military, certain service men and women," Allen told ABC News affiliate KGUN-TV in Tucson, Ariz.

In a White House blog post, Cecilia Munoz, the administration's director of intergovernmental affairs, defended the new policy.

"It makes no sense to spend our enforcement resources on these low-priority cases when they could be used with more impact on others, including individuals who have been convicted of serious crimes," Munoz wrote.

"This means more immigration enforcement pressure where it counts the most, and less where it doesn't," she said. "That's the smartest way to follow the law while we stay focused on working with the Congress to fix it."

Officials noted that cases can and will be re-opened at any time if the government receives new information on criminal behavior.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Utah Approves Guest Worker Program for Illegal Immigrants

Photodisc/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Utah could become the first state in the nation with its own guest worker program, which would grant permits to undocumented immigrants and allow them to continue living and working in the state legally.

The measure passed the Republican-controlled state legislature late Friday as part of a bipartisan deal that also includes an enforcement law, requiring police to check the immigration status of suspects in felony or serious misdemeanor cases.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert praised lawmakers for crafting a so-called "Utah solution" to the state's illegal immigration problem but has not said whether he will sign the bills.

The federal government would need to grant a waiver to allow Utah to permit immigrant workers who would otherwise not be legally present in the United States.  Such a waiver would be unprecedented, and it's unclear whether a mechanism exists for the state to request one.

Still, passage of the legislation -- in a red state, in a part of the country most affected by illegal immigration -- is significant.

Most congressional Republicans and some Democrats currently oppose plans that would address the legal status of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living across the U.S.

Supporters of the Utah bills say they strike the right balance for the economy, recognizing the importance of immigrant workers for businesses and the need to crack down on illegal immigrants involved in crime.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Plans Moving Forward to Scrap 'Virtual Fence' Along US-Mexico Border

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama Administration is moving forward with its plans to scrap the so-called virtual fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.  This after federal authorities spent nearly $1 billion on the project.  Officials have signalled a desire in recent months to end the project and a firm announcement is expected soon that it will not proceed.

The 53 miles of "fence" was to be a high-tech means of helping to secure the border with Mexico and involved state-of-the-art ground cameras and remote sensors to detect illegal entries.  It was proposed back in 2006, under the Bush Administration and was seen as a post-9/11 effort to keep illegal aliens out of the United States.  There are also hundreds of miles of actual pedestrian fencing. 

The project has been plagued by management and contractual problems and cost overruns, revealed in a General Accounting Office review.  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said the government has an obligation to secure the borders but it must do so in the most cost-effective way possible.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


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