Homeland Security: Deportations dropped by 10 % in 2013; N.M. legalizes gay marriage

December 19, 2013
HOMELAND SECURITY
Deportations dropped by 10 percent in 2013

The Obama administration deported about 369,000 undocumented immigrants during fiscal year 2013, a 10 percent drop from last year, when a record 410,000 were removed from the country, according to new statistics from the Department of Homeland Security.

In recent years, the Obama administration has pointed to the rising number of deportation as evidence that it is vigorously enforcing border control laws, even as the president has supported legislation that would offer a path to citizenship for most of the nation’s 11 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants.

In June 2012, Obama announced an administrative action to defer deportations for young immigrants who were brought to the country illegally by their parents. More than 400,000 people have been granted deferred action under that program, according to Homeland Security.

— David Nakamura

NEW MEXICO
State becomes 17th to legalize gay marriage

New Mexico became the 17th state to legalize gay marriage Thursday as its highest court declared it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Justice Edward L. Chavez said in a ruling that none of New Mexico’s marriage statutes specifically prohibits same-sex marriages, but the state’s laws as a whole have prevented gay and lesbian couples from marrying.

Under the ruling, clergy who disagree with same-sex marriage can decline to perform wedding ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples.

New Mexico joins 16 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay marriage either through legislation, court rulings or voter referendums.

Eight of the state’s 33 counties started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in August when a county clerk in southern New Mexico independently decided to allow the unions. County officials asked the high court to clarify the law and establish a uniform policy on gay marriage.

— Associated Press

College bans fraternity over death: Baruch College in New York announced Wednesday that it has banned the fraternity Pi Delta Psi after a student died in an alleged initiation ritual in Pennsylvania. Authorities say Chun “Michael” Deng, 19, died from brain injury Dec. 8.

— Associated Press

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