Immigration Across The Nation 04/16/2008

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Iowa Court rules Voter Registration Applications Must Be in English; Feds want Immigration Checks in all Jails; and Most Clueless on Candidates Stands on Immigration

►Iowa Court rules Voter Registration Applications Must Be in English
Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) “cheered” according to a press release on his website with a ruling to uphold Iowa’s English Language Reaffirmation Act that made English the official language of Iowa in 2002. An Iowa district court ruled on Thursday, April 3 that voter registration applications had to be in English. Previously, the forms were available in five languages. As of today, the Iowa Secretary of State’s website only has forms in English. “This Iowa court ruling upholds our official English law.  No one is above Iowa law, not even the Iowa state government,” he said.
“I am thankful for the careful and thorough ruling in this decision. The Judge’s decision made clear – the foreign language voter registration forms produced by the Secretary of State violated Iowa’s English Language Reaffirmation Act,” King said. King was author of the bill in 2002.

Secretary of State Michael Mauro responded to the court’s ruling saying in the Des Moines Register, “The goal of my office was to make the voting process as uncomplicated as possible for all Iowans, regardless of their first language.”

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The attorney general is now in charge of it, but no decision has been made on whether it will be appealed.

►Feds want Checks in All Jails
Federal officials plan to check the immigration status of jail detainees, ICE assistant secretary Julie Myers said in Dallas, Texas, according to the Dallas Morning News. It would take three and a half years before it could reach all the jails but the focus of “Secure Communities” is to remove those with criminal backgrounds.

In some areas around the country, similar programs make those in jail have to call ICE to see if they’re legal or speak with ICE agents. The plan would be to have this in places that do not facilitate this procedure.

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In this same visit to Dallas, Myers wanted more access to Social Security numbers that were mismatched. However social security argues federal tax law does not allow the sharing of that information.

►Most People Don’t Know Candidates Stands on Immigration
A poll by Pulse Opinion Research determined that the most primary and caucus voters do not know their candidate’s position on immigration. Only 34 percent of Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) voters, 42 percent of Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) voters, and 52 percent of Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) voters could accurately name what their candidate’s position on immigration was.  Maybe that’s why there’s so much controversy over the issue of immigration.

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