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Stories by Pei Li

Little-known visa for trafficking victims is chronically underused

Visas to enter the U.S. are typically a hot commodity: The government stopped taking applications for its 2014 allotment of 65,000 H-1B work visas after just four days, for example. But not the T-visa. Of the 50,000 T-visas that have been offered over the last 10 years, the government has issued only 6,206 of the little-known visas meant to protect victims of human trafficking and their family members.... Read more»0

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Az among best in nation, by being among the least for college debt

Students in four-year colleges in Arizona graduated with some of the lowest college debt in the nation in 2012, according to a new report.... Read more»0

Phx hunger-striker breaks fast after 22 days, but protest continues

After 22 days with no food as part of an immigration reform protest, Phoenix resident Cristian Avila broke his fast Tuesday and was sent to a Washington-area hospital for a checkup. Avila was one of four hunger strikers who had been living and fasting in a tent on the National Mall in hopes of compelling congressional action on immigration reform.... Read more»1

This hunger is no game: Phoenix man fasting to force immigration reform

Visitors to a tent on the National Mall occasionally have to lean in close so they can understand what Phoenix resident Cristian Avila is saying. Avila is one of five protesters who stopped eating Nov. 12 and in an effort to force congressional action on stalled immigration reform legislation. They have vowed to continue their fast until the House acts.... Read more»1

GOP outlines strategy to unseat freshmen Az Dems

The midterm congressional elections are still a year off, but the Republican Party started ratcheting up its campaign this week against three freshman Arizona Democrats it has targeted in the race. In a conference call Monday, strategists for the National Republican Congressional Committee said they would try to tie “the disastrous rollout of Obamacare” to Democratic Reps. Ron Barber of Tucson, Ann Kirkpatrick of Flagstaff and Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix.... Read more»0

Advocates press on, despite grim 2013 outlook for immigration reform

Immigration overhaul advocates said they will keep fighting, despite a House Republican leader’s comment last week that there is not enough time left on this year’s legislative calendar to act on the issue.... Read more»0

Post-9/11, National Guard serves – and sacrifices – abroad

Sgt. Mary Herrera answered her country’s call after 9/11 and was deployed to Iraq where she was shot twice in the right arm, a memory that she says is still fresh 10 years later. But Herrera was not active military when she was wounded overseas: The Tucson resident was a member of Arizona’s Army National Guard.... Read more»0

Az gets middling grade for protections against sex trafficking

Arizona got a C on a national report card that examines states’ protections against sex trafficking of minors, the third straight year the state has received a middling grade on the report.... Read more»0

McCain urges House to act on immigration reform, says issue can’t wait

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., urged the House Thursday to act on immigration reform, even if that means moving on its own piecemeal approach to the problem rather than the Senate’s comprehensive reform bill.... Read more»0

1.1 million Arizonans will see food-stamp cuts Friday

More than 1.1 million Arizonans who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – better known as food stamps – will see their benefits reduced Friday in a long-planned national cut., ranging from $11 a month for a single recipient to $65 or more for large families.... Read more»0

Immigration-reform advocates take appeal to an international stage

After months of pushing national leaders for action on immigration reform, advocates Monday took their appeal to an international stage, telling the Organization of American States that U.S. immigration policy violates human rights.... Read more»0

Targeted Dems stockpiling funds for congressional re-election bids

With a year until the next election, Democratic freshmen in three competitive Arizona congressional districts are continuing to stockpile cash for their re-election bids, according to the latest campaign finance reports. U.S. Reps. Ron Barber, Ann Kirkpatrick and Kyrsten Sinema each raised at least $280,000 between July 1 and Sept. 30.... Read more»0

Immigration backers keep pressure on House with rallies, conferences

Phoenix resident Hassan Quiz had passed all the tests toward his dream of being in the military when he ran up against one he couldn’t pass. Quiz was brought to this country illegally as a child, making him ineligible to serve in the U.S. military. So Wednesday, he and eight other illegal immigrants who had been turned away from the service did military-style drills in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, hoping to get a message to Congress.... Read more»0

Az advocates try to take immigration appeal directly to Boehner

They rode for 43 hours in a bus from Phoenix, hoping to appeal to House Speaker John Boehner on immigration reform, but when they arrived at his office in Washington they were turned away. So the group of 44 Arizonans gathered in the hallway outside Boehner’s district office Tuesday, singing and praying and vowing to wait – for a week or for a meeting with the speaker, whichever comes first.... Read more»0

Advocates say fixing ‘age loophole’ in child prostitution law is a priority

Someone who solicits sex with a minor in Arizona could face up to 27 years in prison. Or 90 days. It’s what advocates call the “age loophole” and they say changing it is a priority. ... Read more»0

Grijalva among scores arrested at Capitol in immigration rally

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva was arrested Tuesday with nearly 200 other protesters outside the U.S. Capitol after a daylong rally to demand congressional action on comprehensive immigration reform. The Tucson Democrat was one of eight lawmakers arrested at the end of the Camino Americano rally, which drew thousands to the National Mall for speeches, music and cheers.... Read more»1

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