Immigration Politics


asian little girl sad hand hold jail at Railroad,railway station

In a recent post, Robert Stribley explains Americans have derived various ways to describe those who immigrate illegally to the United States — and the ways different ways reflect our personal biases and beliefs.

Dissatisfied with the limited selection of available terminology, Stribley concludes using “unauthorized” is preferred to using “illegal” or “undocumented,” since it contains “the possibility of reparation and atonement” and allows “for a sensible reaction proportional to the offense.  Accordingly, he opts for “unauthorized immigrant.”

Stribley is correct.  Words matter.

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immigrants-march-for-immigration-reform

Immigrants March For Immigration Reform (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The week before had ended innocently enough.

Both sides of the immigration debate looked ahead.

A long eight months of battle, following the November 2012 election, seemed to drawing to a close.

The House of Representatives would meet to decide how they planned to proceed on reform.

The fate of a broken immigration system hung in the balance. (more…)

gingrich-destroyed-immigration-reform-in-1996Newt Gingrich as the new savior of immigration?

Bah! Humbug!

Having practiced deportation defense in the 1990s, I am no Johnny-come-lately to immigration issues.

I remember the xenophobic backlash led by Gingrich against the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) signed into law by his fellow conservative, Ronald Reagan.

I remember, in other words, Gingrich as the Grinch who stole immigration reform.
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Before becoming a Riverside immigration attorney, I learned the art of politics.

I often spent several months crafting new legislation.  At the end, the legislation was sometimes not introduced.

Between start and finish, political winds had shifted.

I was told the votes were no longer there.  My work product was neatly put in a manila folder and locked away in a filing cabinet. (more…)

“Racism,” my neighbor scolded me, “is not the reason for our immigration problems.”

It was barely 7:00 a.m.

I was peacefully returning from my early morning exercise.  Since I had not yet even drank a cup of coffee, I wasn’t quite ready for a long dialogue.

My neighbor, however, was fired up.  She had read my comments the day before in the Southwest Riverside News Network online paper.

Being my neighbor, she felt entitled to an explanation.

And I felt it important to explain my position, since her misunderstanding likely reflected that of others living in nearby communities. (more…)

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