The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center has filed a class-action lawsuit against the State of Utah seeking to block a law that gives police new powers to question people they stop about immigration status. Since immigration reform has stalled in Congress, several individual states including Arizona, Alabama, and Georgia have moved to crack down on illegal immigration by giving police power that many civil rights leaders call a violation of federal civil rights and immigration law. In the meantime, Obama continues talks with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus who are pushing for immediate reform to allow young immigrants with no criminal records to remain in the country.
Last Friday, President Obama delivered the commencement speech for a largely minority student population graduating from Miami Dade College. The institution, which, according to a recent NYTimes article, has an “amazing run of success stories with its Hispanic and black students,” provided a valuable opportunity for the President to reiterate his bi-partisan commitment to immigrant reform:
I strongly believe we should fix our broken immigration system. Fix it so that it meets our 21st-century economic and security needs. And I want to work with Democrats and Republicans, yes, to protect our borders, and enforce our laws, and address the status of millions of undocumented workers. And I will keep fighting alongside many of you to make the DREAM Act the law of the land.
Click here for a full transcript of his speech.
While Obama may have previously expressed an understanding of how vital immigrant entrepreneur populations are to the U.S. economy, he has stopped short of directly addressing a revised bill that might allow “startup” visas for foreign-born entrepreneurs who meet requirements. Proponents of the bill have included a provision that would allow foreign students in U.S. universities and workers on H-1B visas to start companies. As part of another related report, Businessweek takes a look at the changing face of entrepreneurship in the U.S.
During his recent Meet the Press appearance, New York Mayor Bloomberg suggested that in order to stimulate the city’s stagnate economy, Detroit should pass a law that would allow immigrants to live and work in the city for five to ten year periods. The city’s population has decreased from 1.8 million in the 1950s to 714,000 in 2010.
Thousands took to the streets for immigration reform in downtown Los Angeles this past Sunday. Click here for pictures of the event.