A bill to allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities cleared committees in both houses of the Legislature yesterday after several hours of impassioned debate.

“The Joe Arpaio approach to law enforcement is un-American and ineffective. His actions are the perfect example of why the federal government needs to take back control of immigration enforcement and pass a practical immigration reform law that secures our borders and legalizes undocumented workers. It’s welcome news that the U.S. House Judiciary Committee will begin a federal investigation into his unlawful tactics. Arpaio is a modern day Bull Connor and his publicity-seeking crusades have made the Latino community scared and Maricopa County less safe by prioritizing racial profiling over executing the felony warrants that have piled up on his desk.”

In the aftermath of the May 2008 raid in Postville, IA, labor organizations, immigration reform advocates, and Congressional leaders feared that the fast-track deportation of immigrant witnesses ensnared in the raid would make it impossible to bring appropriate charges against Agriprocessors, an egregious violator of a series of workplace safety, labor, health, physical, and food safety laws. The news that Iowa’s Attorney General has brought charges against the owners and senior managers at the notorious plant is an important victory for accountability and justice.

The saga in Prince William County continues. The county’s controversial crackdown on immigrants, enacted with great fanfare in 2007, is continuing to unravel.

Today, while working families in Prince William County, Virginia filed tax returns in a state with a $19 million dollar deficit and continued to face a growing national recession, County Chairman Cory Stewart persisted in his efforts to bleed taxpayers dry by championing a controversial and ineffective crackdown on illegal immigrants that will cost the county $6.1 million.