Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

February 2, 2013

Michigan in Brief: 02/02/2013

State to issue driver's licenses to immigrants

LANSING — Michigan's secretary of state reversed course Friday and said her agency will issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, changing her mind after the Obama administration clarified the issue.

The decision by Republican Ruth Johnson could affect up to 15,000 young immigrants in the state.

President Barack Obama, who last June announced a policy letting some illegal immigrants apply for temporary work permits if they were brought to the country as children, on Jan. 18 cleared up remaining concerns that a small number of states — including Michigan — had about their legal status.

Inmate charged with assisting escapee

DETROIT — Federal authorities have charged a Wayne County jail inmate with assisting the escape of another inmate by switching identity wristbands.

The U.S. Marshals Service says Rocky Marquez had promised to take care of Adrian Rivera when Rivera gets out of jail.

Rivera was charged Friday in Detroit federal court. Meanwhile, Marquez still is on the run, nearly two weeks after leaving the jail — and it's not his first escape.

When Marquez was arrested on Jan. 14, he was wanted in Arizona for escaping the Maricopa County jail in Phoenix eight months ago.

The Marshals Service says Rivera flushed Marquez' wristband down a toilet after the two men made the switch. Rivera told authorities that he would pretend to be asleep when Wayne County jail officers called Marquez' name.

8 plead guilty in Mich. right-to-work protest

LANSING — Eight people have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors after being arrested inside the state Capitol building during a December protest against passage of Michigan's right-to-work law.

Their attorney says they won't get jail time under misdemeanor pleas entered Friday to a Lansing district judge. They will be sentenced in September.

The eight defendants from the Detroit area were arrested and charged with felony resisting and obstructing after police said they tried to push past two troopers guarding the Senate door on Dec. 6.

Okemos attorney Randal Behrmann says his clients pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted resisting and obstructing. If they stay out of trouble, the charge will be reduced further to disorderly conduct.

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