New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill Tuesday granting in-state tuition to immigrant students who lack legal status, hailing it as a way to equalize opportunities and as a pragmatic step toward getting a better taxpayer return on investment in education.

The legislation extends cheaper in-state tuition rates to students who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children, have attended at least three years of high school in the state and earned a high school or equivalency diploma, among other criteria.

His agenda tattered by last year's confrontations and missteps, President Barack Obama begins 2014 clinging to the hope of winning a lasting legislative achievement: an overhaul of immigration laws.

It will require a deft and careful use of his powers, combining a public campaign in the face of protests over his administration's record number of deportations with quiet, behind-the-scenes outreach to Congress, something seen by lawmakers and immigration advocates as a major White House weakness.

A new law that will expand the ability of illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in Maryland took effect on Wednesday, January 1st.

Under the measure, which Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) signed into law in May, the state is making permanent a two-tiered system for obtaining driver’s licenses that it adopted on a temporary basis in 2009 to comply with a federal law.

President Barack Obama speaks to members of the military and their families in Anderson Hall at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Wed

The last vestiges of 2013's political wrangling officially behind him, President Barack Obama is setting his sights on the coming year, when a number of unfinished tasks will increasingly compete for attention with the 2014 midterm elections.

High on the agenda for the start of the year is a renewed push on immigration. Bipartisan consensus about the need for action on immigration in the wake of the 2012 presidential election gave way in 2013 to opposition from conservative House Republicans.

Deportations are down. During the 2013 fiscal year, the Obama administration deported 368,644 foreigners, a 10 percent drop from the number of migrants deported in 2012.

Total, over the course of President Obama’s time in office, more than 1.9 million migrants have been deported, a figure that is by far the most for any American president.

During a recent interview, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi criticized the deportations saying, “Our view of the law is, if somebody is here without sufficient documentation, that is not reason for deportation.”

The government of the small Mediterranean island of Malta recently announced proposals to start selling citizenship of its nation to foreigners for €650,000 (about $888,000).

But faced with rising criticism both in Malta and other European Union countries, the Maltese government has temporarily halted the law's implementation and will review its requirements.

The European Parliament is to hold a debate on the scheme on 15 January 2014.

President Barack Obama previously put his support behind the House's piecemeal passage of immigration reform, but is now urging the House to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

On Friday, Obama implored the House to back the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill, saying the legislation is politically popular and would benefit the country. However, he did not mention the option of dividing the measure into a series of smaller bills, according to Politico.

A federal jury of seven women and five men Thursday found a Kenyan woman guilty of entering into a sham marriage and falsely claiming she had been abused so she could remain in the U.S. and eventually become a citizen.

Margaret Kimani, 30, of Springfield, Mass., was convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

The jury deliberated for about 40 minutes after 2½ days of testimony in U.S. District Court in Bangor. The trial, scheduled to start Monday, was delayed a day because of the weekend snowstorm.

The New Jersey Legislature approved legislation on Thursday that would allow students without legal immigration status to pay in-state college tuition. Gov. Chris Christie planned to sign it on Friday, a spokesman said.

 The bill’s passage was assured after Mr. Christie, a Republican, struck a deal with Democratic lawmakers, who agreed to a demand of his that they change the bill to remove a provision allowing undocumented immigrants access to state financial aid programs.

State Sen. Adriano Espaillat

The number of deported immigrants under President Obama is approaching the 2 million mark and immigration reform has become once again no more than a rapidly-fading illusion. Yet, here in New York, some politicians and community leaders are working to alleviate the immigrants’ situation by allowing the undocumented to legally apply for a driver’s license.

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