immigration

(via Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said the current federal budget battle could present an opportunity for a “grand bargain” between Republicans and Democrats, asserting that  it's time to reform Medicare and other entitlements.

As a guest on Fox News Sunday, the number two Democrat in the Senate also managed to get in a political jab at Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).   

Blunt – Flickr/Gage Skidmore; McCaskill – Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill

Just months after the GOP’s poor performance among Latino voters, a group of eight senators -- four Republicans and four Democrats -- has renewed calls for immigration reform.

The plan would address four issues: border security, expanding opportunities for legal immigrants, an employee identification system and an arduous path to citizenship.

But Republican Senator Roy Blunt told reporters that it's the last one that will be the most problematic.

(via Flickr/jonrawlinson)

Updated 3:06 p.m. with comment from Gov. Quinn. Will be updated further. Reporting from Brian Mackey used in this report

The Illinois House has approved legislation allowing those who are in the U.S. illegally to obtain driver's licenses.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A State Senate panel assigned to study immigration issues in Missouri held its final meeting today in Jefferson City.

Some of the discussion focused on so-called “anti-immigrant” comments made on the House and Senate floors in recent years.  Vanessa Crawford Aragon is Executive Director of Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates.  She told committee chair Senator John Lamping (R, Ladue) that inflammatory speeches by some lawmakers have made life harder for immigrants in Missouri and they need to tone it down.

(via Flickr/jonrawlinson)

Supporters of licensing illegal immigrants to drive say it would make Illinois roads safer with trained motorists required to carry insurance.

The Senate Executive Committee voted 12-2 Thursday to advance the plan for some of the 250,000 people living in Illinois illegally.

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran told the committee unlicensed and uninsured illegal immigrants cause $64 million in damage claims each year - a cost covered by insured motorists' premiums.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 3 p.m. to include comments from Cullerton and Edgar comments. Tony Arnold contributed reporting from Chicago, and Brian Mackey from Springfield, Ill.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says he wants to pass a bill out of the Senate next week to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. And Gov. Pat Quinn says he'll sign the legislation, if it lands on his desk.

Quinn and Cullerton attended a bipartisan news conference Tuesday that included former Gov. Jim Edgar and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, both Republicans.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A Saint Louis University economist thinks he has found a key to growth for St. Louis.

Professor Jack Strauss presented his findings this afternoon from an economic study that shows a direct correlation between an increasing immigrant population and economic growth. The study was originally released in June.

He says he thinks it is likely that the city’s economic slump is partly due to a dwindling number of immigrants living in the area. Four and a half percent of St. Louis’ population is foreign. In other large cities, that number is closer to 18 percent.  

Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Immigrant advocacy groups in Missouri say that while they are pleased the US Supreme Court struck down most of a controversial Arizona immigration policy, they remain concerned about a provision that had the support of the justices.

The five-to-three ruling on Monday allowed Arizona law enforcement officials to check the papers of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. Opponents say that will lead to biased policing.

Update at 10:21 a.m. ET. Strikes Down Key Provisions Of Immigration Law:

The United States Supreme Court invalidated three of four challenged provisions of Arizona's controversial immigration law. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.

The high court upheld the part of the law that asked police to check the immigration status of those stopped for another violation.

via Flickr/KellyB.

St. Louis needs more immigrants. That’s the gist of a new report from St. Louis University.

Professor Jack Strauss presented the findings of his study Tuesday to city and county leaders, including St. Louis mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, at a regional economic development conference.

At about 4.5 percent, Strauss says St. Louis has the lowest rate of immigration among the nation’s largest 20 cities.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Study says region needs more immigrants

A new study to be released this morning says the St. Louis region needs to attract more immigrants if it wants to thrive in the current economy.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch got an advance look at the study, written by Saint Louis University professor Jack Strauss.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri officials are both praising and condemning President Obama’s executive order today that halts deportation of teenage and young adult illegal immigrants.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Around 300 people rallied at the Missouri Capitol today to protest two bills backers say are designed to combat illegal immigration.

Rally leaders were especially critical of a Senate bill that would require all law officers to check the immigration status of those they stop, detain or arrest if they have a “reasonable suspicion” that they’re in the country illegally (SB 590).  Vanessa Crawford is Executive Director of the group Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates.

(via Flickr/Lauren Manning)

An interest group is angry over a bill that would require all public schools to verify the immigration status of incoming students.

The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday that the bill also would require law enforcement officers to check immigration status during all traffic stops when they have reasonable cause. And it would create a misdemeanor for not carrying proper citizenship documentation. It is sponsored by state Sen. Will Kraus, a Lee's Summit Republican.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Legislation to be considered by lawmakers next year would require Missouri’s Attorney General to sue the federal government to enforce federal immigration laws.

The bill is sponsored by GOP Senator Will Kraus.  He says whenever state or local authorities arrest someone who happens to be in the US illegally, the feds release that person about 60 percent of the time.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Immigration agents arrested 17 people in Missouri as part of a nationwide crackdown on convicted criminal immigrants.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Wednesday they arrested 2,901 criminal immigrants in the last week.

Only one of those arrested in Missouri was female. ICE officials said in a news release that the arrests included a 34-year-old Sudanese man from St. Joseph, convicted of third-degree domestic assault and possession of a controlled substance, and a 37-year-old Nicaraguan man from St. Louis, convicted of illegal re-entry after deportation.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A spokesman says Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will sign a bill to allow the children of immigrants, both legal and illegal, to get private college scholarships and enroll in state college savings programs.

Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman says the governor will sign the bill Monday.

Called the Illinois Dream Act, the measure creates a panel to raise private money for college scholarships. Supporters say this will help illegal immigrants who graduate from Illinois high schools go on to college because they may otherwise not be able to afford it.

(via Flickr/mrwynd)

Green Sales Tax Holiday Begins in Missouri

The Third Annual Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday begins today and runs through April 25. Those wishing to purchase new Energy Star-qualified appliances in Missouri during the holiday will save at least 4.225 percent off the purchase, representing the elimination of the state's sales tax from the purchase, according to the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Pamela Vanegas and Manuel Torres discuss civics in their final study session before the 81-year-old takes his citizenship test.
Kristen Hare | St. Louis Beacon | 2010

They sit across from each other at the table. She asks questions. He answers them.

"OK, please stand up," Pamela Vanegas says, and Manuel Torres does. "What did I ask you to do."

"To stand up."

"OK, please raise your right hand."

He does.

"Do you swear to tell the truth today?"

"Yes," he says with feeling, then sits down.

Jim Hacking
From law firm website

Most of us say deportation, but in legal circles, with the government and those who find themselves involved with a case, it's called removal.

The word itself pretty much describes what happens: A person is literally removed from this country for a number of reasons. But how removal works is not necessarily easy to understand or navigate.

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