Immigrant prosecutions set record

FRESNO, Calif. —Federal prosecutions of immigrants soared to new levels this spring, as the Obama administration continued an aggressive enforcement strategy began under President George W. Bush, according to a new study released Thursday.

The 4,145 cases referred to federal prosecutors in March and April was the largest number for any two-month stretch since the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was created five years ago, the Syracuse University-based Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse found.

The government's heavy focus on immigration investigations already is creating a heavy burden for the swamped courts along the U.S.-Mexico border, whose judges handle hundreds more cases than most of their counterparts in the rest of the country.

Border governors to meet in New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. —New Mexico will host a meeting of U.S. and Mexican border governors, providing a new venue for a conference that was scrapped in Arizona because of a dispute over its new immigration enforcement law.

However, the governors of Arizona and Texas will not attend the rescheduled meeting.

The meeting will be held in Santa Fe in late September, according to Gilbert Gallegos, a spokesman for Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson.

The governors of six Mexican states are expected to attend, he said Thursday.

Hot weather bakes Southern California

RIVERSIDE, Calif. —Southern California was sweltering in triple-digit heat as monsoonal thunderstorms helped spark at least a dozen brush fires.

Fire officials say lightning strikes on Thursday were to blame for at least 15 fires in Riverside County and that strong winds are fanning the flames. Three separate fires also are burning in remote areas east of San Diego.

County fire spokeswoman Cheri Patterson says some are small spot fires, while others have consumed up to 75 acres of heavy brush.

The high topped 100 degrees in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley as a high-pressure ridge settled over the region. The weather system drew moisture from Mexico, resulting in higher humidity and an unstable airmass.