State and Local Round-up [its been a while]

statesVA: Va. Panel on immigration steps back from hard line. Virginia, known for some of the nation's toughest policies on immigration, appears to be abandoning its hard-line approach as state officials consider proposals to help foreign-born residents assimilate, including increasing the number of English classes. TX: Deportation efforts defended, Chertoff’s letter to Perry reveals a clash of the titans. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff fired back Friday at Gov. Rick Perry's sharp criticism of federal efforts to deport illegal immigrants booked into Texas jails.

IN: Sides wrangle over enforcement: Advocates want action; critics decry profiling. Advocates of local illegal immigration overhauls say area police agencies need the authority to arrest illegal immigrants. Critics say doing so usurps federal powers and could cast a cloud of suspicion over all Hispanics, even those born in the U.S.

CO: Panel: Toughen immigration laws. A working group tasked with examining gaps in the state's immigration enforcement has begun to identify specific recommendations for the governor after nearly a month of educational meetings.