Curious Timing and Tough Cases on Immigration

Federal officials announced the arrest yesterday of about 130 immigrants in Northern Virginia, half of whom are in the US legally, the Washington Post reports today.

The announcement was made as President Obama returned from his trip to Latin America, including a last stop in El Salvador, home to many of the immigrants who migrate to the Washington suburbs looking for work.

“About half of those arrested — 64 — were in the country legally, and the rest were not, officials said,” the Post reported. “But even those with legal status, such as work permits or ‘green cards,’ can be deported if they commit crimes of ‘moral turpitude’ or receive sentences of a year or more,” the paper said.

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Anti-immigrant activists in the Washington suburbs, and federal officials, are increasingly highlighting those in the US illegally who commit crimes when here. “A Fairfax County man died Monday night after his car was forced into oncoming traffic near Fort Belvoir by a repeat drunk driver who had previously been deported for entering the country illegally,” the Post reported earlier this week.

This type of story -- featuring the arrest of immigrants here illegally who commit crimes on US soil -- is typical of the coverage the immigration issue receives in the “local press,” which, given where members of Congress and Obama Administration officials work, ensures a national impact.


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