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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Lawsuits mount over Texas' plan to jail illegal immigrants

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Monday, January 8, 2024   

Texas is the epicenter of the U.S. immigration debate, and now faces a lawsuit over plans to jail those whose enter the state illegally.

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Texas last week over a new state law that allows state police to arrest migrants suspected of crossing the Texas-Mexico border without authorization.

The federal action follows a similar lawsuit filed by three other groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

ACLU of Texas Senior Staff Attorney David Donatti said he believes regardless of citizenship, communities of color - including Latino, Black and Asian American - are already affected by the state's anti-immigrant rhetoric.

"The new laws are a dramatic escalation, even beyond what we have already seen in the state of Texas," said Donatti. "And so, Texas communities, rightfully, are very afraid."

The federal action is meant to prevent Texas from implementing the new law on March 5.

The Department of Justice argues it violates the U.S. Constitution, because only Congress has authority over immigration enforcement.

The new law would mean up to six months in jail - and repeat offenders could face a second-degree felony charge, with punishment of two to 20 years in prison.

Donatti said it's unfortunate the immigration issue has become politicized. He said he believes the conversation should be about why so many people are trying to enter the U.S, at the border in the first place.

"Why is it that people feel compelled to leave their homes, to take their families on treacherous journeys, to fight for their survival?" said Donatti. "And nothing in this bill addresses the human needs that these individuals face, or materially improves the circumstances that we Texans face."

In a second lawsuit filed last week, the New York City Mayor sued 17 Texas charter bus companies that have driven thousands of migrants from Texas to the Big Apple.

That suit seeks more than $700 million to cover the costs of caring for migrants transported to the city.




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