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Immigration news to follow during 2013

Throughout 2012, we wrote about many important news stories dealing with immigration. One of the biggest stories came last summer with the announcement of the "deferred action" program, which puts a temporary halt on deportation and grants two-year work visas to qualifying young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children.

Another big story from last summer was the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on Arizona's controversial immigration law. In that decision, the nation's highest court struck down most of the law, but left the so-called "show me your papers" provision intact. The decision is especially important for residents of South Carolina, a state that has imposed very similar laws.

No doubt, there are just as big of stories to come in 2013, especially with the White House's announcement this week that the Obama Administration will soon lead a push for immigration reform. Here are a few stories to watch out for over the coming year:

Comprehensive immigration reform. This is an issue that was put on the backburner for years, but is once again gaining momentum in Congress and Republicans and Democrats appear to be willing to work together on the issue. The question is, how comprehensive will the reform be?

Minorities becoming the majority. For the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau announced in the spring of 2012 that a majority of births in the United States were to parents of color. Additionally, minorities proved to have a pivotal effect on the 2012 election. These are stories that will only become more important over time.

States vs. federal government on immigration policy. This year, several states adopted their own comprehensive immigration laws, only to be challenged by the federal government as being unconstitutional. The Secure Communities program is another immigration policy that has blurred state vs. federal lines. Surely, 2013 will only bring more of these challenges.

As you can see, 2013 is going to be a very important year for immigration policy in South Carolina and the rest of the United States. We look forward to providing you with news developments and commentary on what the changes may mean for you.

Source: 89.3 KPCC, "5 immigration stories to watch in 2013 and beyond," Leslie Berestein Rojas, Jan. 4, 2013

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