Photo by jeromebot/Flickr (Creative Commons)
A controversial 2005 House bill was credited for sparking the 2006 immigration rights marches; a similarly strict enforcement bill is again pending in Congress.
It isn't shaping up to be a great week for immigration reform in Congress.
In the Senate, Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is referring to the comprehensive reform bill pending before lawmakers as a dead mackerel ("The longer it lays in the sun, the more it smells") ,as he and like-minded lawmakers work for its defeat.
In the House, Speaker John Boehner announced Tuesday that he wouldn't bring an immigration bill up for a floor vote unless it's supported by a majority of his fellow Republicans, many of whom oppose a path to citizenship for immigrants now in the U.S. illegally, as the Senate bill proposes.
Then there's the House bill known as the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act, or SAFE Act, which House lawmakers began debating on Tuesday. Its provisions harken to the days of the last immigration reform debate, when the House was putting out similarly strict enforcement proposal s— and comprehensive reform plans fell flat.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton during an October 2010 news conference at which he announced a record number of deportations, a hallmark of the Obama administration's enforcement policies. Morton has announced he will resign at the end of July.
House proposal to further criminalize illegal immigration criticized - USA Today Today backers of the stand-alone bill being taken up by the House say its intent is to prevent future illegal immigration, but critics say it would criminalize people already in the country illegally who might qualify for relief under the Senate's comprehensive plan. The House proposal would make it a misdemeanor to be "unlawfully present in the United States."
ICE director John Morton stepping down - Washington Post U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton has announced plans to leave the agency at the end of July to take a job as a bank executive. Appointed to the post in 2009, Morton has presided over the Obama administration's record deportations and controversial enforcement policies like Secure Communities.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against a 2004 Arizona law requiring voters to supply proof of U.S. citizenship beyond what's required on federal forms.
Supreme Court says states may not add citizenship proof for voting - Washington Post The high court has ruled 7-2 against Arizona's Proposition 200, which required voters to provide proof of their eligibility to vote beyond the oath on the federal form where they attest to U.S. citizen. The court ruled that the National Voter Registration Act trumps the state measure, which was approved by Arizona voters in 2004.
U.S. seizes 14 7-11 stores in immigration raids - New York Times Federal agents have seized fourteen 7-Eleven convenience stores on Long Island and in Virginia, "arresting nine owners and managers and charging them with harboring and hiring illegal immigrants and paying them using sham Social Security numbers." U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is reportedly investigating 40 other 7-Eleven franchises.
Courtesy of Ivan Ceja
Ivan Ceja took this screen shot from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website in October when he learned his deferred action application was approved - and added his own celebratory comment, coined by a friend, before posting it to Facebook.
When President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, last June, immigrant advocates hailed it as a landmark shift for an administration that was until then best known for its strict enforcement and deportation policies.
Under the program, young people who arrived in the U.S. before age 16 and were no older than 30 are able to seek a renewable two-year reprieve from deportation, so long as they have a relatively clean record without any serious offenses, can prove at least five years' continuous residency in the country and meet other criteria.
The program kicked off in August. But as of April, the program had only drawn slightly more than 500,000 applications, roughly a quarter of the nearly two million potential applicants that some predicted early on. There was a spike in applicants last fall, but incoming applications have since trailed off.
John Moore/Getty Images
A U.S. Border Patrol agent looks for footprints of people crossing the U.S.- Mexico border in 2010. A border security amendment to the Senate immigration reform bill that would have significantly delayed the path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants was voted down Thursday.
GOP border security amendment to immigration bill voted down by Senate - Associated Press The Senate voted Thursday to not approve an amendment that would have required for the U.S.-Mexico border to "be under control for six months" before unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. could move toward legal status and eventual citizenship. It was voted down 57-43.
Immigration costs are overstated, study finds - New York Times A report from an organization based in Europe compares costs of immigration internationally, arriving at the conclusion that "Across the developed world, 'the fiscal impact of immigration is close to zero...The current impact of the cumulative waves of migration that arrived over the past 50 years is just not that large.'"
Can Congress vote on immigration reform before its vacation? - TIME The Senate has set a goal to vote on its comprehensive immigration reform bill before July 4, but some critics think it's unlikely. The same deadline was blown in 2007, when then-president George W. Bush appealed to Congress to vote before the July 4 recess. That reform bill eventually died.