By Nathan Koppel
We have one word for law graduates looking for gainful employment: immigration.
Immigration disputes continue to command top billing in our nation’s dockets, as two WSJ articles today attest.
In Georgia, the ACLU and other groups have filed suit challenging a new state law that takes effect July 1 and authorizes police to check the immigration status of suspects and to hand over to federal authorities anyone who is in the U.S. illegally, WSJ reports. The law also requires businesses to verify that employees are eligible to work in the U.S. and criminalizes the transport of illegal immigrants.
The suit claims the immigration law oversteps state authority and opens the door to racial profiling of Hispanics, Asians and other minorities
Federal judge Thomas Thrash, WSJ reports, said at a hearing yesterday that he would decide by July 1 whether the new law should be blocked. About 30 states in total are considering immigration proposals, most of which would crack down on illegal workers.
In Georgia, business groups have claimed that the new law would taint the state’s image and create problems for employers, particularly local farmers.
But Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, a Republican who supports the law, has pledged to crack down on high medical and prison costs that he says are a result of illegal immigration, according to WSJ.
Separately, a federal suit has been filed against the State Department on behalf of thousands of potential green-card winners whose chances of obtaining residency were scuttled because of a computer error, WSJ reports.
A record 15 million people from around the world submitted entries to the so-called diversity visa program lottery, which each year offers a quick path to a green card for 50,000 people selected by random draw.
The State Department notified 22,000 people in May that they had been chosen, but it later informed them the electronic draw would have to be held again because a computer glitch, according to WSJ. The government told affected applicants they would be re-entered in a new draw.
Disenchanted applicants from across the globe created a Facebook page dubbed “22,000 Tears” and began collecting signatures for letters to the State Department and U.S. lawmakers in protest, WSJ reports.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of plaintiffs from more than 20 countries, claims the U.S. government must restore its “broken commitment” of providing green cards.
David Donahue, a deputy assistant secretary of state who oversees the program, said the original draw was voided because it “did not represent a fair, random selection of entrants as required by U.S. law.”