This week’s blog roundup covers new research on immigration, state and federal policy news, and more…

According to the Department of Homeland Security the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has fallen by about a million from 11.8 million in 2007 to 10.8 million in January 2009.

America’s Voice is releasing a new report "The Power of the Latino Vote in the 2010 Elections" (PDF) discussing the increased political power of Latinos in the U.S., voting trends, their potential impact on the 2010 elections, and how immigration reform will affect turnout.

In their report "Many Happy Returns: Remittances and their Impact" the Immigration Policy Center finds that remittances are often thought of as losses to the U.S. economy, they are used to buy goods from U.S. companies

Lawmakers in Maryland have proposed a bill that would require the state’s prisons to notify federal authorities when an inmate may be in the country illegally.  However, this has immigration advocates concerned with how prison officials would be collect information regarding immigration status and the potential for discrimination.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is not letting up on his plans to continue training deputies to enforce federal immigration law in the state of Arizona.  Although DHS has taken away 100 of their federally-trained deputies, Arpaio has made clear his plans on training each new deputy in recognizing "immigration violations".

U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis announced the reinstatement of protections within the H-2A agricultural guest worker program that had been cut during the Bush Administration.  The new regulations (effective March 15th) will increase wages, improve work conditions, and require farm owners to post farm jobs on an electronic job registry in order to make sure domestic workers are given first choice.

Lastly, following up from the 1,500 page report issued by the American Bar Association last week, the ABA is proposing the creation of a new, independent court system for immigration cases.  Last week’s report documented various aspects of the current system overwhelmed with growing backlogs, pressure for speedy decisions, and a growing rate of appeals.

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