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January 31st, 2013
07:12 AM ET

MYB: Bill Gates on immigration: High talent immigration has kind of been held hostage

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates talks immigration with Christine Romans. He says the U.S. is losing potential talent. "He specifically is interested in high-skilled tech workers being allowed to stay in this country," Romans reports. 

"The high talent immigration has kind of been held hostage," Gates tells her.

January 29th, 2013
07:45 AM ET

VIDEO: Rep. Garcia predicts immigration reform will be ready by summer

Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL) on whether Congress and President Obama can work together for immigration reform.

Filed under: Immigration • Immigration reform
December 10th, 2012
07:34 AM ET

Boston Globe reports shocking holes in U.S. immigration system; reporter Maria Sacchetti broke the story about 'secrecy' of system

A new investigative report in the Boston Globe reveals shocking holes in the U.S. immigration system. According to the series, the U.S. government is quietly releasing thousands of dangerous illegal immigrants, including murderers and rapists, back onto American streets, because their home countries won't take them back. All this while detaining harmless and often sick immigrants for months at a time. Maria Sacchetti is the reporter for the Boston Globe who broke this story. She joins “Early Start” live from Boston this morning.

The names of the immigrant offenders are classified. The immigration system has “always said that they believe this is a private matter, that they need to protect the immigrant’s privacy,” Sacchetti reports, “so they won’t release the criminals’ names.”

Sacchetti says the Globe's report thus focuses on the secrecy of the immigration system. "Immigration has become the largest law enforcement system in the country. And very much unlike the police or the FBI, they operate largely in secret. So their arrests are secret. Their detentions are secret."

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Filed under: Immigration • Law • Law enforcement
August 15th, 2012
10:55 AM ET

Rep. Gutierrez: Deferred Action program about trying to get 'symmetry' for young immigrants, says no one will take away their future of being American

(CNN) - Hundreds of thousands of people who entered the United States as children but without documentation can apply - beginning Wednesday - to remain in and work in the country without fear of deportation for at least two years.

The form, titled "Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals," was dated August 15, 2012 and bore the expiration date of February 28, 2013. The director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said Tuesday that applicants who have not committed major crimes can apply without fear of deportation.

"This afternoon, USCIS makes available online the forms and instructions for individuals who will request deferred action for childhood arrivals," Director Alejandro Mayorkas said in a conference call.

The announcement comes two months after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that people who arrived in the United States as children may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization.

This morning on "Early Start," Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force, explains why it's such an important program.

SAMBOLIN: I know you worked tirelessly on the DREAM Act and championing the rights of these young people in particular. In today, you have a forum designed to have these kids come forth and potentially pill out this paperwork.

Some people are saying that this going to create a database available to the federal government of undocumented kids. Why would you say this is such a good idea?

"What we're attempting to do is take about 2 million young people and try to make some symmetry," Rep. Gutierrez says. "They are really much more American than they are immigrant. And today, we're going to begin the process where their status, their immigration status and reality of their American life and their American being, that there's symmetry and parity between the two."

When asked about the threat of deportation despite the program, Gutierrez says young people shouldn't be scared.

"Young people are brave and by showing up in line, they are changing and making the process irreversible," he says. "There is no one that is going to take away those work permits, those Social Security cards, those driver's license and their future of being an American for them once they step forward."

More on the Deferred Action program.

Filed under: Immigration
August 15th, 2012
06:36 AM ET

'Deferred action' plan goes into effect today for undocumented immigrants – Zoraida Sambolin explains how it could change one student's life

They're already lining up in Houston, Texas outside the Mexican Consulate, where today young illegal immigrants across the country will begin their question for a temporary reprieve from deportation.

Starting today, people who arrived in the United States as children and without documentation can apply to work without fear of deportation, the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Tuesday.

The announcement comes two months after Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that people who arrived in the United States as children may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization.

The program, dubbed Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was created in June under an executive order signed by President Barack Obama.

"Early Start" anchor Zoraida Sambolin looks at the new program this morning, and she talks with a student here in New York City about how the reprieve could change his life.


Filed under: Immigration
June 26th, 2012
10:21 AM ET

Rep. Gutierrez: Arizona immigration law 'about targeting and scapegoating a particular community'

Yesterday the Supreme Court struck down key parts of SB 1070, Arizona’s law to deter illegal immigration. However, one of the most controversial elements of the bill, the so-called "show your papers" law, remains.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat representing Illinois, has been a consistent opponent of SB 1070 since it was enacted.

On Early Start this morning, Gutierrez explains why he opposes the law.

Gutierrez says the Arizona law gives a cop “a responsibility, if he has a reasonable suspicion that you have an immigration problem, to detain you and to detain you until you can prove otherwise.”

Due to concerns about racial profiling, the Justice Department announced a hotline for the public to report potential civil rights concerns.

“This is all about targeting and finger pointing a particular community and scapegoating that community,” Gutierrez says.

Filed under: Immigration • Supreme Court
June 25th, 2012
06:42 AM ET

All eyes on U.S. Supreme Court as rulings on health care, immigration expected this week – Mark Preston explains

As early as 10am today, the U.S. Supreme Court could hand down their ruling on the constitutionality of health care reform, President Obama's signature piece of legislation. The core question for the court: Can the government force individuals to purchase health insurance? Both sides have multiple responses prepped depending on how the court rules.

This week, the court is also expected to issue a ruling on Arizona's controversial immigration law.

This morning on "Early Start," CNN political director Mark Preston explains how possible rulings on each issue could shape the presidential election.

Filed under: 2012 election • Health care • Immigration • Politics
June 18th, 2012
06:20 AM ET

Was President Obama's immigration announcement new policy or politics as usual? Joe Johns on the political reactions

From CNN's Political Ticker:

(CNN) – Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, wouldn’t say Sunday whether he’d repeal President Barack Obama’s decision to stop deporting certain young illegal immigrants.

In an interview, Romney would say only that his administration would seek longer-term solutions to the problem of illegal immigration, and that Obama’s new directive, announced Friday, was temporary fix.

“He was president for the last three-and-a-half years and did nothing on immigration,” Romney said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “Two years he had a Democrat House and Senate, did nothing of a permanent or long-term basis. What I would do, is I’d make sure that by coming into office I would work with Congress to put in place a long-term solution for the children of those that have come here illegally.”

Sunday on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, White House senior adviser David Plouffe spoke about President Obama’s announcement on immigration policy and the political implications, saying that it wasn't a political move.

This morning on "Early Start," Joe Johns looks at the political back and forth on President Obama's new immigration policy change.

Filed under: Immigration • Politics
April 26th, 2012
10:54 AM ET

Hints of support for immigration law? Attorney Raul Reyes explains

Raul Reyes, attorney and USA Today columnist, on the Arizona immigration case before the Supreme Court.

Filed under: Immigration • Supreme Court
April 25th, 2012
12:54 PM ET

Rep. Schweikert on SCOTUS immigration case: 'Political theater' surrounding law

Today, the law that put Arizona in the immigration-enforcement business heads to the high court.

Lower courts blocked four key parts of the law. The blocked provisions would:
– require state and local police to check the status of suspected illegal immigrants whom they've stopped or arrested for other reasons.
– make it a state crime for illegal immigrants to not possess federal registration cards.
– make it a state crime for illegal immigrants to work, or try to get work.
– allow state and local police to arrest illegal immigrants without a warrant if there's probable cause that these people committed crimes that would result in deportation.

The courts say the state's "interference" is making matters worse. Arizona says the issue is safety and the federal government isn't doing enough. And it appears many people agree. A new poll finds 68% of people nationwide support the law, just over a quarter disapprove.

Former Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) talks with Zoraida on the case before the Supreme Court.

Filed under: Immigration • Supreme Court