Detention center puts immigration spotlight on New Mexico town

July 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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By Milan Simonich  of  The New Mexican |

ARTESIA — Oil, farming and high school football are usually the hottest topics in this dusty town of 11,300 people. But now Artesia finds itself in the middle of the national debate on immigration policy.

Between 400 and 500 immigrants accused of illegally entering the United States were being held last week in a government compound here that, ironically enough, trains every U.S. Border Patrol agent. All of the immigrants being detained in Artesia are mothers and their children, a total of 191 families as of Friday.

Artesia Mayor Phillip Burch says many of those in custody at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center paid thousands of dollars to immigrant smugglers who assured them that they would be accepted in the United States if only they made it to the border in South Texas.

When these mothers with children in tow reached what they thought was a safe haven, a new world full of bright promise, many walked right up to a Border Patrol agent to announce that they were immigrating to America, Burch said. Instead, they landed in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Read more

SB 5012 – Requires persons obtaining or renewing drivers’ licenses to show proof of citizenship or lawful presence

January 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Stop The Checkpoints urges everyone to contact their legislators to oppose this bill!

From Publi-Cola

 A bill introduced by senate Republicans would require Washington state residents to prove they were in the country legally to get a driver’s license or other state-issued ID.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Don Benton (R-17, Vancouver), who was reelected by a margin of just 74 votes in November, would also require the state to report all residents’ immigration status to the secretary of state as well as state and local criminal justice agencies, raising the possibility that immigrants’ ability to vote might be restricted. Read more

WA state politicians eye Utah’s immigrant driver license model

October 29, 2012 by · 2 Comments
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Washington and New Mexico remain the only two states in the country not to  require proof of legal U.S. residency when applying for a driver’s license.

But the races for governor and attorney general have brought renewed  attention to a proposal that would create a two-tiered driver’s license system  in Washington to address the issue of driving by immigrants who can’t provide  proof of legal U.S. residency.

Under the proposal known as the Utah model, a person who can’t prove U.S.  residency can get a permit that allows them to drive, but that document is not a  valid identification.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna backs the idea, and attorney  general candidates Republican Reagan Dunn and Democrat Bob Ferguson speak of it  favorably. Read more

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