Top Immigration Headlines: July 2012
The top immigration headlines for July 2012 were diverse, involving a number of states in the western part of the country.
States in the news for immigration-related stories in July included Arizona, Washington and California. But some recently released statistics involved the entire country. You can continue reading to find out more about these immigration stories for July 2012.
On July 22, a pickup truck carrying 23 passengers crashed into a tree while traveling near South Texas, killing at least 14. According to Fox News Latino, many of the passengers were illegal immigrants, and two of the deceased were children. When authorities showed up, 11 of the passengers were already dead, and three more passed away at local hospitals. Many of the victims were from Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala, but authorities are still investigating whether the driver of the overloaded truck was smuggling immigrants into the US.
An Associated Press article in the Washington Post reported that the number of federal immigration violations is currently the lowest it has been in about 40 years. Some of the reasons cited include the poor economy of the US., the lower birthrate in Mexico and enforcement of immigration policies at the border. At the same time, the number of criminal immigration offenses is higher than ever, likely due to the increased enforcement efforts by authorities in the US.
According to Matt O’Brien of the Contra Costa Times, California passed a law that is being touted as the “anti-Arizona” bill. The California Trust Act states that illegal immigrants do not have to be detained if they have not committed any serious offenses. This means that immigrating illegally will not be a serious enough crime to be detained or deported in California. Though the Senate passed the law, it needs to pass a concurrent vote by the legislature on August 6. It is unknown whether Gov. Jerry Brown will approve the bill.
According to Lornet Turnbull of The Seattle Times, Washington is one of the most recent states that the Department of Homeland Security has given access to an immigration database. This could help officials determine who is eligible to vote, since the database features basic information on more than 100 million legal citizens of this country. The database is called Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE), and officials could use it to make sure foreign students and those who have green cards or work visas do not vote since they are not legally allowed to.
Joe Arpaio, who is the well-known Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff behind SB-1070, took the stand in a civil rights trial. According to CBS5, Sheriff Arpaio and his deputies have been accused of racially profiling. He has consistently denied the charge, but it is likely that several witnesses will testify that he and his officers have engaged in racial profiling. The ACLU is representing the plaintiffs involved in the case.