Immigration

GOP presidential candidates are touring Iowa ahead of next week's caucuses. The main issue for many voters there is the economy, but another hot topic is emerging: overhauling immigration policies. Iowa's Hispanic population is surging, and Republican candidates are struggling with how best to deal with voter concerns.

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Colorado has the second-largest proficiency gap between 4th graders who are English language learners and those who are fluent in English.

Colorado immigrant groups are hailing a new pilot program launched this week in Denver and Baltimore that aims to narrow focus on deporting serious criminals that are in the country illegally.  The Obama Administration has ordered federal immigration officials to review some 7,800 pending deportation cases in Colorado as part of the six week, experimental program.

"The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the parts of Alabama's immigration law that require proof of lawful residency in the U.S. and track immigration information about newly enrolled students," The Huntsville Times writes.

Alabama's toughest-in-the-nation law on illegal immigration went into effect Thursday, a day after a federal judge upheld some of its key provisions, but the court battle over the issue appears far from over.

State law enforcement can now question and detain without bond people they suspect may be in the country illegally, and public schools are required to verify students' immigration status.

A Colorado immigrant rights group is denouncing a bill that would require mandatory use of the employment verification system, E-Verify, nationwide.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office is joining a multi-state effort to help immigrants steer clear of scams targeted at them.

In Georgia, farmers have almost everything they need for a successful early harvest, as squash, peppers and peaches are ready for market. But one thing's missing: someone to pick them. Fruit and vegetable farmers blame the state's new immigration reform law, saying it's keeping migrant workers away.

In a Newscast report, Melissa Stiers of Georgia Public Broadcasting spoke to Steven Johnson of South Georgia Produce, who says his crop is ripe on the ground — but there aren't enough people to pick it:

Georgia is putting in place a new law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants, and many across the state are nervous. Businesses fear an economic boycott, the Latino community fears police officers will abuse their new powers, and farmers in South Georgia fear the law will hurt them dramatically.

Georgia is known for its peaches and Vidalia onions, the state vegetable. The specialty crop is produced in just a few counties in the rural southeast part of the state, where the soil is just right.

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