Flake and McCain Push for "Zero Tolerance" on Illegal Border Crossings

Three activists wrap themselves around the wheel of an Operation Streamline bus in Tucson in 2013 to protest criminal prosecution of undocumented immigrants.
U.S. senators John McCain and Jeff Flake have proposed an amendment to the federal budget that would create a spending-neutral reserve fund to support a zero-tolerance approach to prosecuting illegal border crossers.

The motion follows reports that the Arizona U.S. Attorney's Office plans to stop using a controversial program, called Operation Streamline, to indict people who are caught crossing the border illegally for the first time. Instead, Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot has said, law enforcement is instructed to concentrate on rounding up those who have criminal rap sheets or a history of immigration violations.

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Cleaning Company to Pay at Least $250,000 for Hiring Undocumented Workers

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A Valley-based company that specializes in cleaning LDS temples and churches will pay at least $250,000 to the federal government for hiring undocumented immigrants, its owner says.

Joel Votaw, operating officer and founder of Valley View Building Services, tells New Times the payment will be part of a deal still in the making with the feds. Last week, the federal government filed forfeiture paperwork in the five-year-old case for "a monetary judgment of not less than $250,000," which represents the profit made by the company made from its violations.

The case stems back to a 2010 raid by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office that resulted in five arrests, including that of one undocumented suspect who'd been providing cleaning services at Fort Huachua, home of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center.

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Former Iran-Trained Badr Corps Members Arrested in Arizona, Accused of Hiding Past

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Three foreign nationals arrested in Arizona last week are accused of hiding their past membership in an Iran-trained Iraqi militia.

A 10-count federal indictment filed on February 18 states that Hadi Assi Mubarak and his two sons, Haidar Hadi Assi Mubarak and Ali Hadi Mubarak, (a.k.a. Jihad Hadi Mubarak), failed to mention their former membership in the Badr Corps on immigration forms.

The three men and a fourth suspect , Wahida Juma Odah, were taken into custody "without incident" on Thursday, according to the FBI.

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Mark Brnovich Says "No" to Arizona Dreamers, Launches Appeal of License Ruling

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich
Mark Brnovich wants to put the brakes on driver's licenses for Arizona's Dreamers.

The newly elected Arizona attorney general launched an appeal today to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, hoping to overturn an order last month that forces compliance with President Obama's executive action on immigration.

The move comes after this week's ruling by a federal judge in Texas that puts a temporary halt to Obama's plans to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

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Judge Permanently Blocks Arizona From Denying Driver's Licenses to DREAMers

Matthew Hendley
Alessandra Soler of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona speaks to the press in 2012, along with attorneys and DREAMers, after filing a lawsuit challenging Brewer's denial of driver's licenses for DREAMers.
A federal judge has sided with the challengers to Arizona's denial of driver's licenses to young immigrants shielded from deportation by Obama's executive action.

Last month, the DREAMers began obtaining their first Arizona licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the state to stop enforcing the ban put in place by former Governor Jan Brewer.

Today, Arizona U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell issued a judgment for the plaintiffs in the case, a group of immigrants-rights activists, and permanently enjoined any official in the state from enforcing Brewer's 2012 executive action.

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President Obama Making Announcement on Immigration Plan Tomorrow

White House/Pete Souza
President Obama is going to outline the details of his executive action dealing with immigration tomorrow evening.

"Tomorrow night I'm going to be announcing here from the White House, some steps that I can take to start fixing our broken immigration," Obama said in a video released on Facebook.

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Arizona's Unauthorized Immigrant Population Decreasing

Gordon Hyde
Arizona is one of 14 states where the population of unauthorized immigrants decreased from 2009 to 2012, according to data released today by the Pew Research Center.

According to the organization's analysis, Arizona's unauthorized immigrant population dropped from around 350,000 people to 300,000 people. Only New York and California had larger decreases.

"There were really big drops in the number of unauthorized Mexicans in the country between 2007 and 2009, and since then, there have continued to be decreases in the Mexican population," Pew Research Center demographer Jeffrey Passel tells New Times.

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Arpaio's Lawyer Tim Casey Wants Out of Racial-Profiling Case; ACLU Hopes He'll Stick Around

Ramon Charley Armendariz
Tim Casey, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's longtime lawyer, wants out of the hot-potato Melendres racial-profiling case now that it's in a "compliance phase."

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona don't want him to leave so fast, though -- not with questions and things left to discover related to corrupt deputy Ramon Charley Armendariz, who hung himself in May rather than submit to arrest.

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Bill Montgomery Files Emergency Motion to Block Ruling on Bail for Undocumented

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery wants "full and fair opportunity" to prove in court why a recent ruling allowing bail for jailed undocumented migrants should not stand.

The Republican politician put out a news release on Thursday evening saying he's filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals to ask for delayed implementation of the ruling.

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Dehydrated Immigrants Rescued From Trunk of Car in Arizona; Ryan Alitz of Mesa Arrested

Image: Facebook
Ryan Alitz is being charged with transporting undocumented immigrants after two Mexican men were found dehydrated in a car's trunk.
The day before two dead immigrants were found in the trunk of a California man driving into the United States, Arizona officials rescued two Mexicans from nearly befalling a similar fate.

Ryan Alitz, a 30-year-old meth addict who moved to Arizona from Iowa this year, was arrested on August 11 at a checkpoint near North Komelik on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation after two undocumented men showing symptoms of dehydration were discovered in a car trunk.

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