As mid-term and gubernatorial campaigns enter into the final weeks before the election, immigration plays a key role, both in terms of rhetoric and voters.

While some politicians are prone to suggest illegal immigrants cause an increase in crime, various research show that illegal immigrants are underrepresented in California prisons.

Immigrants who become U.S. citizens accounted for one in 10 registered voters in the United States in 2008 while the number of new American citizens registered to vote increased by more than 100 percent, according to a report by the American Immigration Council’s Immigration Policy Council.

Kris Kobach, the attorney who helped draft Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal immigration law known as SB 1070, wants to create another law in Arizona that changes how the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants obtain citizenship, meaning that although current law gives them full citizenship if they are born in the United States – and thus, the right to vote – this wouldn’t necessarily be the case if such legislation would become law.

(Speaking of SB 1070, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will allow C-SPAN to broadcast a hearing on Gov. Jan Brewer’s appeal of a Federal District Judge’s decision to block parts of the law.)

As it stands, immigrants residing in the United States who register to vote and cast a ballot in national or statewide elections run the risk of deportation, as they don’t have the right to vote unless they actually obtain citizenship.

But, according to the Houston Chronicle, they might have better luck of avoiding deportation in Houston immigration courtrooms, where immigration judges dismissed more than 200 cases in August, an increase of more than 700 percent from the prior month. In September, about 45 percent of the 350 cases decided in court there were dismissed, the Chronicle reported.

Another increasingly political group — young illegal immigrants — will not be able to attend Georgia’s top public universities, starting next fall. State regents planned to introduce a bill to bar such students from all public colleges in the state, which follows South Carolina in barring illegal immigrants from attending all public colleges, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The AJC also reported on a lawsuit filed by Mark Lyttle, a mentally disabled U.S. citizen who was wrongly deported to Mexico in 2008.

The biggest news on immigration, however, came from outside of the United States, when German Angela Merkel announced that Germany’s attempts to build a multicultural society had “utterly failed.”

Although Germany rallied behind its multi-ethnic national soccer team — nearly half of the squad had “foreign roots” — in its march to a third-place finish in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Merkel’s message is that immigrants have not integrated with German society.

Merkel’s declaration comes amid increasing anti-immigrant sentiment across Western Europe, fueled, in part, by tough economic conditions, the Washington Post reported.

In Milan, local leaders have pushed to bulldoze Roma encampments. France has moved to expel Roma people. Other Western European nations have also put up blocks to immigration.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Andrew Becker is a reporter for Reveal, covering border, national and homeland security issues, as well as weapons and gun trafficking. He has focused on waste, fraud and abuse – with stories ranging from border corruption to the expanding use of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, from the militarization of police to the intersection of politics and policy related to immigration, from terrorism to drug trafficking. Becker's reporting has appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Newsweek/The Daily Beast and on National Public Radio and PBS/FRONTLINE, among others. He received a master's degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. Becker is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.